Less than a year ago, Dave Wrendon, a NYC businessman lost his job. Like thousands of other Americans, his life suddenly turned upside down during the worst part of the recession. Without hesitating, he picked up his guitar and began to play to audiences big and small. Turning his hobby into a job has since become his passion. And although he plays plenty of covers, he has since written enough originals to make his first album...one you need to get your hands on right now. His music is timely and catchy. His song, Stars and Stripes (a dedication to those who perished 9/11) has became my favorite song and I can already sing every word. I spoke with him about his new life, what music means to him and where it's suddenly taken him. Check him out...
When did you start?
I’ve been playing the guitar since I was ten and I’ve been playing professionally for about four…about five years, semi professionally.
And what did you do before this?
I was a banker…
Really? How was that? What was that like?
It was exciting… I got a lot of experience with global culture, finance…and how to deal with greedy people (laughing) so it was interesting.
I see…and before banking?
I used to design Yachts before that…I was a naval architect…before that I was a male gigolo…
Whoa! You’re kidding, right?
What was your first gig like?
Um…I don’t know if I can recall my first gig but I can recall my most memorable gig which was when I performed in front of about a million people at an outdoor festival in Detroit, Michigan about three years ago.
Wow! How did you get that gig?
Through a connection with General Motors…they sponsored us to come out and play at their festival….for the Chevrolet company.
I absolutely loved your performance during your recent gig! Talk about it a bit with me!
It was an acoustic gig with thee wonderful singer, Jennifer Groves on the Lower East
Side of Manhattan in a place called Recoup.
It was amazing…I love how you too are both original. On a typical night, how do you go about connecting with your audience?
I make eye contact, I smile and I make the audience feel like they’re hanging out in my living room at my house.
Who are your musical inspirations?
I have guitar inspirations and singer inspirations and I think lately it’s people who sing and play like Billy Joel, John Mayer, and Eric Clapton. For guitar inspirations that would be Eddie Van Halen, Jimmy Page, Jimmy Hendrix…
What about the females? Don’t leave us out!
I like Blondie, I respect her a lot…and Pat Benatard, Stevie Nicks…
…also Gwen Stephanie….
Good choices! What do you think of Lady Gaga? She’s everywhere now…she is one rich musician!
Nah, she can basically piss off. I mean she does put a lot of effort into her shows though…I think performance is important, so she’s a performer but I don’t think she’s so unique.
She’s doing what Madonna’s done for years and making it eccentric but with music dance is always a good thing…
Who’s your favorite performer on stage?
It might be Bruce Springsteen but I don’t know. I’d really have to rack my brain. My favorite performers to watch? Red Hot Chili Peppers….they’re all theatrical and animated…could be the drugs, who knows?
Ever have any negative situations arise while performing?
The worst that has happened is breaking a string but I just continued playing and switched guitars at the end of the song.
How many albums you got out there?
I got one, my first, Stars and Stripes Fly….that’s one of the original songs, available on ITunes and Amazon.
What is your goal venue?
Well, my ultimate goal…my goal venue would be um…Webster Hall, New York City...or like Hammerstein Ball Room or something like that…I think Madison Square Garden is too generic…I mean who wouldn’t want to play at Madison Square Garden? My ultimate goal is to have my music in a Karaoke Book.
Really? Why is that?
You only make it into a Karaoke book when your song has been somewhat of a hit. It also means it’s recognizable universally.
What the significance of the title of your hit song Stars and Stripes?
I wrote this song a few years after 9/11, um, as a response to a lot of the political debate going on in the country as Obama was coming into popularity and how the county was so divided as opposed to the commonality of how closely the country united during 9/11. I wrote homage to our county…so it’s mostly just a homage to the freedoms we have in the United States that make our country stronger than other countries and I have a website that further discusses this on Wrendom.com. I also have a song called All Fired Up, which is a bluesy-rock kind of tune…it’s about my own life and um…keeping calm actually…throughout my day, staying sort of in control of my emotions. But the music makes you all fired up…it’s kind of a…almost an opposite meaning or energetic exciting kind of a meaning…
Speaking of websites, you also have an invention in the works?
Yeah, it’s called Barracuda Grip; it’s a foldable and portable handle for disposable beverage cups, hot and/or cold and anything that you don’t want to touch…
Nice! What made you come up with this?
It came to me in a dream and I’ve been spending the last two years in research and development…Barracutaconcepts.com.
I have another one that involves…music...I don’t have a patent for that one yet….
How has the recession affected musicians? Or, has it?
It hasn’t because musicians haven’t really ever made money doing what they do and people are downloading songs as much as they ever were.
I read recently about people getting caught downloading music. These fines can be astronomical!
I think it’s up to the digital distribution companies and they’re obligation to distribute the way they’re contracted to….if someone wants to distribute for personal gain…I think that’s wrong…but someone who’s selling/ profiting off of discounted downloads should be fined and punished. Someone downloading for their own enjoyment got lucky but the person who’s getting ads on their websites and all that should definitely be fined.
Compare how the drug scene with music has changed throughout the years. I don’t have a lot of experience with drugs in my community but there’s definitely a lot of alcoho
l consumption…I really don’t know, I’m not there yet…on tours and all that but right now that’s just not my scene.
Do you have a current Favorite venue?
It would probably be Crash Mansion that’s on Bowery Street, Why? It has a really nice stage and great light and sound system and a comfortable space for fans.
When is your next gig?
Go to wwwmyspacewrendom.com
What are your ambitions?
To play in Boston, LA, Atlanta, Detroit…
What about internationally?
I have some connections in Ireland and I might possibly be going to Asia with this new group I’ve hooked up with.
Have you ever to Ireland?
I was there for my friend’s wedding in September. His now wives’ brother is well connected in different bars in Dublin…I just have to get myself over there.