Southern California legend of comedy and ventriloquism David Liebe Hart is about to release his rock debut as the David Liebe Hart Band where he joins up with Adam Papagan to kick out some crunchy chords, punk hooks, and punchlines ripped from real life characters. On the album David rails against the injustice of trying to make an honest living from the overpopulated Santa Monica pier, Betty White toasts, tales about a one-eyed woman that makes ugly look pretty, punked out Christian Science hymns, rants against apathetic new age hippies, quirky neighbors, and ability to squeeze as many thoughts and expressions in a single breath. David bridges that divide between iconic stars of screen, stage, and YouTube infamy, bringing in the moral and religious weights that somehow include alien intervention about the problems pertaining to pornography. But all these are only the tip of many iceberg lettuce salads for you to enjoy, as both David and Adam joined us today to talk about what the David Liebe Hart Band does, and what it can, and just might do for you.
What were the earliest memories of forming the David Liebe Hart Band?
David Liebe Hart: I’ve known Adam Papagan ever since he was just a little youngin’ from being on my public access show, The Junior Christian Science Bible Lesson Program. Six years ago he asked if I wanted to write some songs with him and he started bringing all this recording equipment over to my house. Pretty soon we had our first album.
Adam Papagan: For years it was just me and David and it was a lot more lo-fi and outsider-y. After a while we started writing more rock oriented material so we decided to put a band together so we could perform it live. Our first show with a band was at a train museum.
DLH: I love trains!
My affinity for your talents began somewhere around your ventriloquist work on the Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! song segment, “I Fell In Love” where you love someone to bits and want to kiss them on the lips? What is the David Liebe Hart definition of a love so pure and true.
DLH: It’s when you have chemistry with someone and it’s more pure than crisp fresh potato chips.
Your power, thrash punk sound is massive, what led you down the the shredding boulevards of power chord city?
DLH: I love all kinds of music from punk rock to country and western. Adam would always play me the punk groups he liked and before long I developed a taste for it and knew it was a better way to reach young people than jazz or classical.
AP: I wanted to make an album in the style of Epitaph Records in the 90’s, early 2000’s radio rock, things like that. It’s the kind of music I grew up with and I thought it would work well with David’s style of songwriting. I sort of just picked a bunch of bands like that and then wrote music in that style.
Epic opener in “Santa Monica Pier”, but why is it impossible to make any money at the Santa Monica Pier? Is it all those snooty, redeveloping, big money hustlers that are messing up the money making game for the pier's working class artists?
DLH: I’ve been a street entertainer and artist in Los Angeles ever since way back in the 1980’s. I used to make good money at the Santa Monica Pier but it’s all dried up to practically nothing. The city gives out too many permits so there’s lots of competition and it’s hard to get a spot. Everyone just wants to support people doing rap music instead of an ex-Navy veteran like me.
What is the deal with the astronomical “LA Rent” these days? Is this your big song ode to LA rock?
DLH: That song is about an extraterrestrial who was visiting me and told me that porn was wrong and he was right, not paying rent in Los Angeles like a lot of people think. You’ll never learn to value a woman if all you do is look at pornography.
AP: “La Rent” is the alien’s name. That’s the correct spelling in Korendiand
Like in the song “Two Erics”, what kind of massive ego clash would happen if we had “Two Tims”?
DLH: I don’t know, you’ll have to ask him. Tim is more conservative so if the other Tim was too liberal it might be a problem. Both Erics and the one Tim are all nice guys though.
“Better Media' and “Betty White” are next to each other on the album, is there is correlation here or like some subliminal message that any media with home-girl “Betty White” is in fact, “Better Media”? It's all about artists who pay their dues to be our favorite stars, right?
DLH: They’re just different songs I wrote but they work well together. “Better Media” is about growing up in the suburbs and wanting to go to Chicago where it was more happening, and Betty White was a talented lady I used to watch on TV while I was growing up. She’s from the Chicagoland area just like I am. They used to have better stars in the past.
AP: I never thought about it like that, but you’re totally right. That’s just how the sequencing ended up, but both songs touch on similar themes that run thoughout the album.
“Take My Life” and “Agape” point to some manic mood swings, are these a kind of riff and rock therapy for you of sorts?
DLH: “Take My Life” is a traditional song in the Christian Science Church that I put to my own original music. The old music was so boring, I thought it needed a face-lift. “Agape” is about a horrible new age church that denied helping me when my apartment caught on fire. It was therapeutic to get to write the song and call them out for being so nasty.
AP: David is pretty all over the place in general. I think it’s just a coincidence.
From “One Eyed Woman”, “Two Dicks” and “Dick Fighting” you take us on a freak-show ride of oddities and phallic sword fights over beautiful women. What patterns and lessons are us listeners to take away from thisif any?
DLH: All of my songs are about things that really happened to me. There’s a woman with one eye who lives in my apartment building. When I was in the Navy guys used to dick fight over beautiful women all the time. “Two Dicks” is about Dick Sargent and Dick York who played on “Bewitched”, so that’s on you.
Care to expound further upon the character of “E. Lee Moo”?
DLH: E. Lee Moo is a gay black guy who lives in my apartment building. He used to be in show business but was also a school teacher. I’ve hinted to him I’m not interested but he kind of like has a crush on me so he keeps bringing me food that’s covered in perfume. He’s a nice guy, and I love all God’s children equally, but I like Coke, I like The Real Thing.
AP: That’s pretty much all true. I’ve seen him around The Dicksboros Apartments for years. When I found out his name, I knew we had to do a song about it.
Is “Walk With God” your big alt Weezer moment? Or is this perhaps a more sacred rock Gospel moment that we should probably be a little more reverent about?
DLH: This is another Christian Science song put to my contemporary music. We’ve had different arrangements in the past put this is the one that everyone likes best. It’s a beautiful song about Christian Science.
AP: Both. I wanted to have a rock ballad as the closer on the album, plus it was a nice compromise because David always wants to do Christian Science Hymns.
What is the key to cramming as much lyrical exposition within a single breath of delivery?
DLH: It takes practice. I’m 56 years old and I sing everyday of my life. A lot has happened.
The David Liebe Hart Band's self-titled will be available August 13 from Evil Weevil Records.