Live’s Patrick Dahlheimer: ‘It’s Still to Me as Good as It Ever Was’
Live are back, but there's been a big change since their last studio album with a tumultuous split with Ed Kowalczyk and the addition of new frontman Chris Shinn. The early returns on their new album 'The Turn' have been positive and bassist Patrick Dahlheimer recently discussed the musical transition and the recording of 'The Turn' with 'Loudwire Nights' host Full Metal Jackie. Check out the chat below.
Patrick, how has what you want to say with your music and how you want to say it changed since the last album?
It changed a lot. Live is a band that’s been together for such a long time, 20 some odd years, that I don’t think musically the mission always stayed the same, but very often throughout the career, you know lyrically things would. [The] album [would] drift to different places. But this version of Live I feel is musically and lyrically just returning to the core of what the band Live was 15 years ago. There was an energy and there was just a purity, among, especially amongst our drummer and myself as a rhythm section, the two of us just have developed an amazing, unique sound. I think it helps Live with that recognition, and we’ve returned to just focusing on the band and melodies.
What track do you think will be the "aha" moment when they hear Chris Shinn singing on this album?
For me it’s 'The Turn.' 'The Turn' is a rock song, pretty big for Live, it’s got that hint of juice, that sort of edge rock to it; that’s one of my favorites. I think the reaction that I’m getting as the album comes and a lot of the singles are being previewed, you can pre-order on iTunes and we are seeing reactions, and I think 'The Way Around Is Through' is one of the songs that been released and I’m getting a lot a lot of good comments to that song, and there’s going ‘A ha! That’s Live!’ I recognize there’s a different voice but there’s still a passion and a great melody and I know that in the end it’s Live.
Given the shakeups this band has endured over the last few years, what made it so important to bring Jerry Harrison to produce 'The Turn'?
Jerry Harrison for Live is … we call him the Fifth Beatle so to speak. You know he produced I think five, I might want to say six, but I think its five Live records, starting with the very first record 'Mental Jewelry' and the very first EP prior to that, so he started to work with us when we were you know 19-, 20-years-old and he really helped to shape the way we look at songwriting and arrangement. He’s well versed and musically trained, classically, and then you know he spent his career in the rock world with the chart-topping hits. So he’s just … he had already been down the road and his songwriting abilities were off the charts, so for us at an early age to be exposed to that and then he became almost like a father figure, and like I say his almost like a fifth Beatle, so to use him again on 'The Turn' was just somewhat of a comfort level. But he always pushes us, we call him 'The Moon Doctor' and he knows when to push from someone and he knows when not to push. He’s just smart, great, amazing, I can’t say enough about Jerry Harrison.
Through the turmoil surrounding Live over the last several years, what did you come to understand about this band and playing with Chad Taylor and Chad Gracey that reinvigorated you?
For a while the three of us, I call them the other Chads in my life, Chad Gracey and Chad Taylor, when Ed decided to leave the band I think the three of us individually had thoughts -- ‘Is this what we want to do? Do we stay in the business as a unit? Do we each go our own way? What do we feel is right?’ So we took a little time off and after a few months I finally invited -- our drummer lives on the West Coast and our guitar player, Chad, just lives near me, in Pennsylvania -- so we finally had everybody in the rehearsal room and ran through some songs and it was like, ‘Wow? You know? What were we debating?This is it. We needed to continue the three of us and it’s gonna be Live,' because we started the band. It was crazy. The first time we ever played was in a eighth grade talent show and it was just the three of us, and we knew from that moment on that we had something and flash forward to 30 years later, it’s still to me as good as it ever was.
Thanks to Live's Patrick Dahlheimer for the interview. Pick up 'The Turn' album at Amazon or iTunes. And look for the band on tour in Europe in November. Dates can be found here. Tune in to Loudwire Nights With Full Metal Jackie and Tony LaBrie’ Monday through Friday 7PM through midnight online or on the radio. To see which stations and websites air ‘Loudwire Nights,’ click here.