Lazy-i Interview: David Nance — on his new record, Jack White and how music feeds his soul (at Reverb Lounge Oct. 12)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:15 pm October 11, 2018

The David Nance Band plays at Reverb Friday, Oct. 12.

by Tim McMahan,

Last weekend I got a chance to interview David Nance at his Dundee home while rain poured down around us. I sat on the porch swing with my lap-top while Dave walked around with his huge, shaggy head of hair, in a worn-out illegible band T-shirt and flannels and answered my meandering questions for a half-hour before it got too cold. We finished up in his living room with his dog, Wild Man, staring me down and occasionally barking.

Last week Chicago label Trouble in Mind Records released his latest album Peaced and Slightly Pulverized under the name David Nance Group (don’t go looking for it in Spotify under “David Nance” because you won’t find it; better yet, just go to a record store and buy a copy or pick it up at the show). Joining Nance on the record are drummer Kevin Donahue, bassist Tom May and guitarist Jim Schroeder performing a collection of psych-rock anthems — huge, droning monoliths grounded in Nance’s grinding guitar and echoing vocals.

David Nance Band, Peaced and Slightly Pulverized (2018, Trouble in Mind)

AllMusic critic Mark Deming called the record “a raw and raucous exercise in no-frills hard rock” adding that his guitar work is “a style that splits the difference between Neil Young’s primativist noise and Keith Richards’ fractured blues, with a bit more slop than either but a similar passion for volume and blissful crunch.” I guess that’s a compliment — Deming gave the record 3-1/2 stars.

Peaced isn’t so much a natural progression from Nance’s earlier records — last year’s break-through album Negative Boogie and 2016’s More Than Enough (both released on Ba Da Bing!) — as much as a slight turn toward more structured rock songs that evolve into amazing guitar jams — satisfying and easy to get lost inside.

Nance said the album was recorded in Jim Schroeder’s basement. “Jim has a nice tape machine set-up,” Nance said. “He’s a little more focused than me when it comes to fidelity. He’ll dial it in a little more; he cares about tape hiss.

“Out of the gate it’s the record that sounds most like a live band,” he added. “The last one we recorded in a day and then threw stuff on it. This one was recorded in a room with maybe a vocal overdub. It’s 90 percent live and that was the intent.”

Regardless of the live nature of the recording, Nance said the band likely will only play four songs off the record when on stage. “We’re also doing covers and old ones,” he said.

Those live shows used to be a mixed bag. I remember seeing Nance play a few years ago, possibly at Reverb or O’Leaver’s, where the set consisted of a half-hour of drone and feedback with a slight pause in the middle. On the other hand, recent shows, including at this year’s Maha Music Festival, have been relatively straight-forward, focused on selections from his latest albums but always climaxing with him and Schroeder trying to kill each other with feedback.

“I love the way it sounds when we’ve played recently” Nance said. “It’s been really present and in the moment – lots of uncalculated things happened. It’s been deep; I get a deep feeling coming away from it.”

One recent notable gig was opening for Jack White at ONEOK Field in Tulsa (Home of the Drillers) Sept. 17. “I never thought something like that would happen,” Nance said. “Someone from Jack’s team called and asked if we could play Shreveport and Tulsa. I said we already had a gig for the first night but would love to do the Tulsa show. We didn’t hear anything back. I wrote him three days before the show to see if it was still happening and they said ‘sure.'”

Nance said they got the gig thanks to someone who works at White’s Third Man Records who’s a fan of his band. “This guy emailed and we talked back and forth about records we like,” Nance said. “I found out later that he’s the guy running the show with Jack.”

Nance said he only spent a few moments with White in Tulsa. “We were all back stage and they just showed up in a van, got out and 20 seconds later were playing on stage,” Nance said. “As they were leaving the stage, Jack said thanks for playing and apologized for forgetting to say our band’s name from stage. It was insane.”

Old connections also helped land a new label. It was Nance’s history playing with Brimstone Howl that got him in front of Trouble in Mind Records. “I met Bill and Lisa (Roe, the label’s proprietors) through Brimstone,” he said. “When we went through Chicago we stayed with them. I love their label, they put out my favorite current stuff. Years ago they said if you ever want to do a record, we’d be more than happy to release it.”

Connections over the years also helped Nance book his upcoming tour on his own. Nance and his band (Schroeder, Donahue and Sarah Bohling of Thick Paint on bass) start out in St. Louis Oct. 24 for a 22-date tour that takes them south and east, back through The Waiting Room Nov. 13 before ending Nov. 16 in Chicago. Next March they’re headed back to Europe, followed by shows in Australia with indie-punk act Thigh Master.

“I worked at Coachella cooking pad thai and that funded my first tour,” Nance said. “I’ve been booking things myself for awhile. It works out pretty well. I’ve been connected through the underground to a lot of great people doing great stuff.”

Nance said he looks at music as “another part-time job. I would love to do it full-time, but I don’t know if that’s possible. I’m lucky to have the ability to do what I do, book shit myself and come home with enough money for rent. I’ve had opportunities to meet people and see great bands.

“I just want to keep doing it. It feeds my soul. I feel whole doing it. I always go in assuming no one’s going to like anything and nothing’s going to happen, so I’m pleasantly surprised.”

David Nance plays with Closeness Friday, Oct. 12 at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Tickets are $8, showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to

Note: This story also appears online at The Reader website.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Jack White coming to Baxter Arena, and what about that (proposed) La Vista venue…?

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:49 pm January 16, 2018

Jack White’s headed to Baxter Arena…

by Tim McMahan,

I’ll tell you right up front — I’m not a big Jack White or White Stripes fan. Just never really dug their music, though I get the attraction. They’re sort of a mainstream garage rock act; to me, White always sounded like he was aping Led Zeppelin (though nowhere near as much as Greta Van Fleet).

What’s interesting about today’s announcement that White has been booked to play Omaha April 23 is where the show is being held: Baxter Arena. I think the Baxter has hosted music in the past, but nothing like this.

I personally love Baxter Arena. The facility is right-sized, perfect for the UNO hockey program and a huge upgrade to the craptacular CenturyLink Center — one of the worst places I’ve seen a rock concert (Fleetwood Mac, Springsteen, The Who, three strikes you’re out). I wondered when it opened if Baxter could become a viable alternative to the old Civic Auditorium and CB’s Mid-America Center for bigly concerts like this. Baxter has a capacity of 7,898, according to Wiki (Vs. CenturyLink’s massive 17, 560 capacity). It’s in a great location, a modern facility with great sight lines. But I have no idea how a rock band will sound in there.

This brings up the recent news of a possible new venue in La Vista run by the guys who run One Percent Productions and KC’s Mammoth Inc.

From the OWH article:

The hope would be for the indoor club to seat about 2,000 and the amphitheater to seat about 4,500. While there are other indoor venues that seat around that many people, there are no other places in the area that pair that size of an indoor space with a sizable outdoor amphitheater. Also, many existing venues of that size in town are hard to get acts into because they book up so fast,...”

The proposed amphitheater would seat around 4,500, according to the article, which also said the new venue would allow Omaha to compete for shows it hasn’t been able to compete for in the past, like “Lauryn Hill, Arcade Fire, David Byrne and LCD Soundsystem — all artists that have skipped Omaha at some point because there wasn’t a venue that met their needs…

While Arcade Fire has been reportedly playing to half-full arenas, you would still think a 2,000-capacity venue would be way too small. Same goes for LCD Soundsystem. David Byrne played at the Holland Center back in 2008, and didn’t sell it out (which to me, seems a more likely reason for passing over Omaha this time ’round).

Regardless, the La Vista project is exciting news and could provide another venue for the kind of acts booked at the 3,500-capacity Stir Cove. That is, if it happens. The article said the indoor club is estimated to cost about $15 million, and would be privately funded by the booking companies and another investor, while the amphitheater would be funded by the City of La Vista, and “La Vista spokesman Mitch Beaumont said the city hasn’t committed to anything yet and has no cost estimate for an amphitheater.” Hmmm….

I’m sure all parties involved will be keeping an eye on how well the Jack White show sells (or doesn’t sell)…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.