David Hodges

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NotAChristianBand.com & Evboard.com Interview
Saturday, July 3, 2004

----------QUESTIONS ABOUT YOU----------

What are some of your major influences?
sting, counting crows, alanis morissette, tori amos, radiohead, coldplay, u2, toad the wet sprocket

What all instruments do you play? What got you going on them (especially piano)?
piano, acoustic guitar, and not enough hand percussion to count. my parents forced me and my siblings to take piano lessons until we were in high school.

What's one instrument that you really wish you knew how to play?
hammer dulcimer

Where do you see yourself (musically) in 5 years?
a better songwriter. playing an instrument, performing a song, all of this is simply a means to an end to get my songs across. that's what's important to me.

5 years ago, did you think you would be where you are now?
not a clue. i am amazingly blessed.

I think you have a great singing voice, how long have you been singing?
i'm not sure. i'm definitely not close to the singer that amy is. thank you though.

What's your favorite song overall?
this is too hard to answer. i'll give you a few: with or without you (u2), windmills (toad the wet sprocket), shape of my heart (sting), that particular time (alanis morissette), because i told you so (jonatha brooke), driving with the brakes on (del amitri), the scientist (coldplay), colorblind (counting crows), psychobabble (frou frou), this year's love (david gray), frail (jars of clay), she has no time (keane), lakini's juice (live), dream on (aerosmith), just like you imagined (nin), fake plastic trees (radiohead), orestes (a perfect circle), sometimes (ours). that's a pretty good start.

How do you get inspired to write a song? Do you sit down and let it hit you or do you do some special thing?
a lot of things around me inspire me. relationships, random conversations, books, films, especially films. i feel that the strong emotions that i have (good or bad) need to have a place, need to be justified before i can move on. once i can connect musically and lyrically to an emotion, it has its place. tomorrow can come, but not until then. so writing is a cathartic experience for me. the mechanics of writing, on the other hand, are different everytime for me.

If there is one thing you would change in your life looking back what would it be?
i would not waste as much time. not spend time looking ahead when i could be making the most of now.

How may tattooes do you have? Which one is your favorite? What is the meaning behind the circles on your hands?
9ish. they all have important meanings to me. the tattooes on my hands are a japanese symbol of the Trinity, and the kanji characters that i have on my arms and back are Father, Son, and Spirit.

The tatoo on your arm looks similar to Ben's, is it? Does it mean anything?
for the record, the tribal tattoo on my arm has been there since the spring of 2001. ben got his tattoo 2 years later. no, it doesn't have any meaning.

Growing up, was there any one point when you realized you wanted to be a musician?
in the 10th grade i started writing music and fell in love with it. i haven't really looked back since.

If you could do anything for a living besides music, what would it be?
i'd work at an ad agency. my friend josh is sitting next to me now and he thinks that that is the most boring answer in the world. he's wrong.

Boxers or briefs?

What role does the church play in your life?
a major part. my relationship with Christ is the center of my life, and a large component of that is fellowship with other believers. being connected to a church is essential to being in the place that God has for me.

What is your dream, what do you really want to reach?
like any musician, i want to connect to my own heart first, and then connect to others with my music. sometimes to help people through a hard time, sometimes to celebrate being alive, sometimes just to relate. i made a list over 2 years ago of 20 things that i wanted to accomplish with my life. having gone through a few and having many more to go, i am beginning to see that the acquiring of things here on earth really are so temporal that they shouldn't consume me. if i am not being honest with myself and with God, or if i am not investing in the lives of those around me, then i am wasting the time and the talents i have been given.

If you could be anything for one day, what would you like to be?
i'd like to be van gogh for a day. i'd like to be albert eistein for a day. to be inside their head for 24 hours would be pretty intriguing.

Is there anything is this world you would like to change, what is it and why?
there's plenty, but towards the top of the list would be my desire to abolish this return of 80's fashion

What kind of movies do you prefer?
all types. i know that this wasn't the question, but my top 5, ok 6 favorite movies are (subject to change daily): good will hunting, eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, braveheart, memento, the royal tenanbaums, and the matrix trilogy

If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

What are you listening to right now?
frou frou, coldplay, keane, snow patrol

What are your feeling on the state of music right now?
it's getting a lot better. songs are becoming more real, people are starting to fall in love with artists again.

Have any nicknames that you go by? (and if they're embarassing, you HAVE to share)
this is kinda strange, but.... donkeypenguin? (i don't have any nicknames)

Is your family supportive of your job?
at first they were a bit skeptical, but they are very supportive now

What is your favorite Bible passage and why?
john 16:33b - "here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows, but take heart, because i have overcome the world." it helps me keep the right perspective on life.

If you could be a superhero, what would your superpower be, and what would you superhero name be?
i would be able to turn anything and anyone into meat. my name would be harvey meatman.

If you could create an animal by taking 3 already-existing animals and combining them, what animals would you use, and what would you name the animal?
a weasel, an elephant, and james brown. it's name would be james welephante, jr. and it would be the hardest working card shark in the grasslands.

What was the last dream or nightmare you had?
last night i dreamed that i was kidnapped at the mall and i barely escaped by sneaking through chick-fil-a. amy was always big on analyzing dreams, so i would be interested if anyone would have interpretations of what this means.

Rumor has it that you are moving out to Los Angeles. Will you still keep your contacts with the Summit Church and give performances there similar to The Light?
la, yes. i will keep in touch, but i don't know what the future holds concerning performing again.

What is the best advice can you give to a guy who is trying to turn his church's traditional organ and choir music program to a more contemporary style with the use of only a few muscially inclined performers (regular keyboard, regular guitar, occassionally borrowed singer and ocassionally borrowed drummer from other churchs)?
pray. people for the most part will only be able to enter in to worship to what they're comfortable with, so you have to take it one step at a time and move slowly. also, make sure that you are moving in a direction that God wants for that church, not just the direction you want. some churches are and will always be old-school, because with that particular congregation it's still honest. after that, pray.

For those of us who have never been to or will never see The Summit Church, can you describe it for us?
i don't think i could do it justice. i love the leadership there and i love the freedom. it's pretty much a southern baptist version of a nondenominational church. a place full of love and wonderful people.

Do you consider yourself a passionate person?
i'm becoming more and more passionate.

Are you also an artist? (I mean like as in painting, sculpting etc)
i have no visually artistic skills at all. i wish i did.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
london. one of my goals in life is to write an entire record in london.

What is under your bed currently?
4 bodies. 3 of which i know.

What is in your fridge?
leftovers and condiments. a sad, sad display of bahelorhood.

Are you into yoga?
i actually enjoy it, but have only done it a few times.

If you could turn back the time, what would you change and would you make the same choices again?
for the most part.

Trading Yesterday ----------QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR MUSIC----------

Out of all the songs you have done, whether they were released publically or not, which would you say is the one you are most proud of? (Musically or vocally)
during preproduction for "fallen", i wrote a song called "for You only" that both lyrically and musically i'm really proud of. it's really short and mellow, but really right. lyrically, "the beauty & the tragedy" and "she is the sunlight"; musically "world on fire" and a new song called "revolution" that hopefully will done soon

And to counter that question, which would you say you look at as though it were your least favorite?
just earlier stuff. ben and i have a similar writing style in that we are constantly rewriting as we're writing, so it's more quality than quantity. if it makes it to the finish line, then i'm probably proud of it.

Who do you want to work with in the near future? with all the new artist coming around.
i'd love to work with sting. coldplay, john mayer, linkin park, a Christian artist named nichole nordeman.

Are you going to have a world tour, and are you going to take over the world? Cause that would be really awesome.
PS: If you do go on tour, will you come to Maryland first? MD needs to be taken over..seriously.

i am just following where God takes us in this. hopefully maryland is along the way, but we'll see.

If you could tour with one person/band, who would it be?
i'd love to tour with u2 and coldplay

Does your previous work with Ev influence your current work with Trading Yesterday?
definitely. the style and lyrical direction are totally different, but ben and amy and i learned so much about writing and recording during that process. i feel that i am more concise with my thoughts and ideas than i was before being in evanescence

Will you be doing any songs for any movies or soundtracks anytime down the road?
some work was done for the passion soundtrack, but some legistics fell through for that. i think that some projects are lined up, but nothing concrete

What are the distribution plans for the new CD? National distribution or only through The Summit Church?
the tentative plan for the cd is to be refurbished in la, with some songs added and some taken away, and released next spring internationally. but don't hold me to any of that.

Also, what is your vision/goal for Trading Yesterday?
to be a light in a dark place. to connect to people in unique ways. to bring empathy and hope to the hopeless. to be as big or small as God wants us to be.

How was it recording Trading Yesterday?
amazing. there were no boundaries in the process of recording because no one was expecting anything from it. it could be whatever we wanted it to be and we could take all the time we needed because we recorded the whole thing on our own recording rig in our apartment.

Can we ever expect to hear Trading Yesterday on a mainstream radio station?

What happened with the song "Only Human, Only God"? Why was it cut from the TY CD and will it ever see the light of day for the public?
hopefully. it was written almost 5 years ago and partially recorded in 2003, but it's not trading yesterday. we had to come to the conclusion a couple of months ago that trading yesterday isn't necessarily everything that i write. if it is released, it probably won't be under the name of trading yesterday

Hannah's voice compliments yours so well with her backing vocals (even more so than Amy's) is there a chance we will get a true duet between you two? Or perhaps even where she does lead vocals, and you do the backup?
i'd love that. because she's my little sister, our voices just naturally blend well. she's never had a real interest to sing lead on a song, but if she ever did, it would be great.

what's your most embarrasing moment in your career? (oh c'mon, we'll find it out anyway)
this may not count as career, but just a few months ago, i sang at my cousin's rehearsal dinner, and her fiancee had been kidding with me for weeks about bringing my "A-game". i told him there was nothing to worry about, but when i got up there to sing, i totally blanked on the words for both of the verses and futily tried to fake my way through it. it was bloody awful.

You're known to be spiritual in your songwriting, but have you written alot, besides in Ev, about completely separate things and if not do you plan to expand in the future?
most of the trading yesterday stuff is about life and love and loss and not just the spiritual dimension, my faith will probably always be an undertone of everything i do

Do you prefer writing songs or doing string arrangements, much like most of Fallen?
i love strings. it adds so many layers to a song, taking it in so many different directions. but there is nothing as fulfilling as writing a song from top to bottom. for me, that's the best.

Do you think you'll ever stray from the musical path you are on right now (piano/vocal) and move into another genre?
i hope so. musically, i'd love to go in a million different directions

I have heard some of your songs and I wanted to ask if Fall Into You has a hidden meaning or double meaning i mean, love to someone or love to God...
i can't really tell where many of my songs come from because the place that they're written is mixed in the middle of who and where i am, so they apply to what you apply them to i guess. with all of that said, "fall into You" was written in a time of feeling that i wasn't able to hear God, so it is mainly focussed on that.

What's it like playing praise and worship at the Summit Church? Ok, vague question. I mean, what are some of your favorite aspects of it, favorite songs performed, etc?
worship music has always been a large part of my musical experience. i have loved sharing in that expression with the congregation of the summit for the past year. my favorite aspect i guess would be the freedom that we have to go in the directions that God is leading us in. the praise band has resigned itself to just watching the worship pastor that morning and being ready to go wherever he leads. that freedom has led to such an honest expression of worship that i will miss.

If, for some freak reason, you could only release ONE song to the world that you've written (meaning every other song is erased, gone, there can only be this one) which song of yours would you choose.
if i had to choose, it would probably be "for You only"

You have done much religous singing over the course of your career, and yet with Evanescence you have also been involved in main-stream music. Where do you see your future path? How much of your writing and performing will be Christian/church oriented and how much will be mainstream, and how much will be the two blended?
trading yesterday will be in the mainstream market, but i hope to continue to write songs for the church.

Evanescence ----------QUESTIONS ABOUT EVANESCENCE----------
How did you meet Ben and Amy and subsequently enter into the band?
i met ben through a mutual friend the summer of 98. he and i became close friends and he helped record earlier solo projects of mine. a year and a half later, i was getting tired of the music i was doing and ben asked me to join he and amy to write and see what happens. we started writing and recording "origin" in dec. 99 and everything worked so well that we continued from there.

Will you work with Amy again (anything from performing to songwriting)?
amy and i have become better friends in the past year and a half than we were being in the band together. she and i have very different perspectives on many things, but i'd love to be a part of a project with her again.

Will you work with Ben again (anything from performing to songwriting)?
we actually have worked on a few projects since he and i both left evanescence, so yes.

What was it like winning your first Grammy, only to have Fifty Cent walk up on stage?
one of the best days of my life. it felt so good to be acknowledged by the academy and our peers in that way. the fifty thing was kind of a shame because it kind of cheapened the experience and made him look foolish, but what are you gonna do?

What was your favourite Evanescence song to write?
i love "going under" and "my last breath". even though it was partially already written before i joined, "imaginary" is my favorite.

Do you know whats the man saying in FIELDS OF INNOCENCE?
ben wrote a poem that the song is based on, and he is the one reading it in the background. i think that's how it went down. i have no clue now what the words were though.

What song do you wish made it onto Fallen besides Breathe No More, Farther Away, and Missing?
there aren't many more songs that we even considered. there is a song called "before the dawn" that i love, but it didn't really fit the idea of the record.

Do you miss being part of Evanescence?
i miss writing with amy and ben. they are both brilliant songwriters.

how do you feel about the split of Ben last October?
amy said after the break that evanescence is the healthiest it's ever been. she's right, and i think ben would agree too.

Do you get noticed around town as the DAVID HODGES from Evanescence?
rarely, thank God.

What was it like working with Evanescence? How much input did you have? What was recording the songs like, and how did you go about it?
we had a protools rig in our apartment and ben and i would write together, starting from a drum loop or a rif or some idea, and when we were finished with the music, we'd burn it on to a cd and give it to amy to write a melody and lyrics. some times ben and i would have some melodies and ideas, but amy mainly did that. after that, we would all craft the song and give it the finishing touches.

What do you think about Evanescence in terms of the Christian music controversy?
i don't agree with their decision, but for the record, none of us wanted "fallen" to be in the christian market, but wind-up forced us to have it there, so i wasn't surprised when it all hit the fan last april.

What is your most memorable moment during the time you spent with amy and ben throughout your involvement with evanescence?
there's a few: getting the record deal in feb01, moving to la in jun01, finally finishing the album in nov02, and (probably the best) winning 2 grammy's in feb04

By any chance will you, Ben, and Amy ever have a water bottle basketball championship tournament? If so, do you think Ben will own you again? Will it be televised?
all 3 of us are poor, poor atheletes and when we played in prepro for "fallen", i think our friend josh won. if there is a rematch, i would destroy. i've been practicing.

Do you ever get tired of people asking you about Evanescence/Ben/Amy like that's the only thing you've ever done?
a bit, but it's understandable.

A huge thank you to David for taking the time to answer our questions!

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