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David Wilson: Guitar Player, Sound Man, Photographer, Festival Talent Buyer and More

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We're always happy to hear about the prospect of [DARYL] getting back together for a one-off show here or there, but I honestly can't fathom where their guitarist David Wilson would find the time these days. Wilson needs to be first in line to be duped on a 3D printer, or perhaps properly cloned. Wilson worked for the DO for a bit, played with Weezer's Matt Sharp in The Rentals for a tad, and did live production in Chicago and spots around DFW. Now, he's holding down a full time gig at Microsoft, runs sound at Sons of Hermann Hall, has his own freelance photography business (his photos are nothing short of kick ass...the man is no hack), serves as a talent buyer and event planner for Richardson's annual Wildflower Festival, and makes it point to get out and see bands he likes, even shooting them pro-bono sometimes just for fun. Whew.

Saying "you're a busy one!" in this column is almost a cliche' now, but I must say, your workload is a behemoth. Do you enjoy having a full plate?

I don't know that I enjoy having a full plate as much as I have trouble not being busy. I work on so many different things that I don't have time for everything, so there's always something that I could be doing. I gave up my full-time contract job at Microsoft about four years ago so I could work freelance and concentrate on running sound and photography. That kept me fairly busy and was enough to pay the bills, so I was happy. However, I was offered a similar job back at Microsoft two years ago; the lure of a constant paycheck was too great, so I went back there. Most people (I think) tend to either work for themselves full-time, or at a day job full-time - I've ended up doing both, essentially having more than one full-time job. I've thought about giving up one or the other, but I'm committed to both for the foreseeable future. Add the Wildflower Festival into the mix and for 4 months of the year, I'm working three full-time jobs simultaneously.

Good God,man! Is that healthy?

I definitely can't say I recommend it.

Furthermore with Wildflower, I've enjoyed the subtle synthesis of local talent rolled into the lineups, alongside recognizable nationals. Who are some of the more profound DFW acts that have been a success at Wildflower in your opinion?

This past year, I tried something a little different and I booked the Fort Worth band Urizen. They play metal-tinged video game-inspired music and their live show includes a seven-foot robot who battles a giant eyeball to save the band from the clutches of an evil scientist. Yeah - I put them on in the middle of a Sunday afternoon to a crowd who were camped out to see Blue Öyster Cult and .38 Special. I figured if I was going to not be asked back to the Festival, this wouldn't be a bad way to go.

Ha! So, how did that work out for you?

The band absolutely killed it - the kids and adults in the audience loved it, the festival staff loved it - even the Blue Öyster Cult roadie...wearing his "More Cowbell" t-shirt, I kid you not...loved it, and he had to clean the BOC drum set of the toilet paper that came from the TP gun that vanquished the evil giant eyeball. There have been many local bands who proved that they have what it takes to play on a festival-sized stage, but only one brought a TP gun, so Urizen is a stand-out for me.

It sounds to me like, despite how much else you have going on, that you're having a great time doing that for ⅓ of the year, and therefore it's worth it.

Working with the City of Richardson as the Local Talent Buyer for the Wildflower Festival has been an amazing experience. 2014 will be my fifth year involved and I enjoy being able to showcase some of the amazing talent we have in DFW on a big festival stage.

Is there any time in there at all to create and conceptualize music at this point in your life? You don't seem to be the type that's done with expressing, despite doing so much else.

I do find the time to bang around on the synths, guitars and various other instruments that I have set up in my home studio, but the only thing I've really created are the synth/ukulele covers of the Best Song nominations for the Observer music awards. http://mastercontrolprogram.bandcamp.com I have talked to other musician friends about putting together some sort of live project, but it hasn't happened yet. I'm definitely itching to play live again in some capacity.

You've said that photography has become more than a hobby, but a livelihood for you these days. Is that clientele business coming from shooting local arts much? Or is it more suburban clientele stuff like weddings, etc? Is it tough for you to make time these days to just get out and have fun shooting music?

My photography has taken a back seat professionally recently. I do still have some ongoing photo work, but I haven't actively sought out new clients in a while. I get to pick and choose which work I take on and what it is I shoot, so it's as fun as a hobby, while still bringing in money occasionally. Having said that, if I could only do one job, it would be photography.

Really. You sure about that?


Take us inside some your favorite DFW-music moments at Sons.

I've been at Sons since 2006, so seven years now. We get a little bit of everything in that room. Literally everything: from swing dancing to 18-band metal shows, from stand-up comedy to weddings, quinceañeras and Meat Fights. My favorite music moments usually revolve around bands that suit the 100+ year-old room. Bands like Shoot Low Sheriff and the Three Quarters Fast Jazz Band. There's something special about seeing that music in the room it was meant to be played in. We're fortunate to also have great local promoters who bring in touring bands, so we get to share the room with a new generation of music and fans.

Was there a profound event (or time period) in your youth that turned you into a music person?

I'm not sure there really was a time in my past that turned me into a music person. If anything, I feel like I'm in the middle of that time, being propelled by music. Growing up, my parents were both musical and it was a music-filled household. I started playing guitar in my teens and soon after started messing around on a four-track recorder. In order to learn more about recording, I went to school and got my degree in Audio Engineering. One of my teachers was Patrick Keel, the musician/producer who was a big part of the Dallas music scene in the 90s. I started working with him in the studio producing a number of local acts; one of those acts was the band lewis. Through that connection, I met Dylan Silvers and started playing in the band [DARYL], as well as sitting in with other bands like Chomsky, the Fred Savage Fanclub and Weener, the Weezer cover band. I'm not sure what's next, but I'm guessing it will involve music!

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