-- Maverick gets shredded --

Stijn Daneels
I was invited to go to WildFest 2017 and have a chat with Maverick’s lead singer David Balfour. This friendly Northern-Irishman and I discussed topics like the advice he learned from his shows with well-established music acts like Tigertailz and Y&T, the production of Maverick’s latest album, Big Red, and why it’s important for both band and audience to have a great supporting act. And I also compare David to Mr. T! Enough fool! Quit the jibber jabber and start the interview!

Pictures made by Jo De Boeck from Liveacts Belgium expect for the final picture which is a selfie I made after the shred.

BMS: Hello David, is this your first time here in Belgium?
David: Hi there, Stijn. In fact, I’ve already played in Belgium several times. Last year, for instance, I had the pleasure of playing at SkullFest. I love performing for Belgian crowds as you’re very friendly and enthusiastic, plus you have the nice habit of arriving here early so you get to see the entire lineup play their parts. I’m happy to be here at WildFest tonight, it’s a spacious venue with plenty of parking space and there are many people present here.
BMS: Yeah, for this second edition of WildFest the organization moved to a bigger, more accessible venue and I applaud their decision. Now, David, I read in some Maverick related articles that you had the honor of playing with several highly successful musicians like Tigertailz and Y&T. Please share your experiences.
David: Having the chance to play with bigger, more successful acts was a huge learning experience for me. They advised me on how to behave on stage as well as behind the scenes both musically and professionally.
BMS: You know, David, a lot of my fans play in bands so please tell what advice you could give to those emerging acts.
David: Sure thing! First and foremost, be respectful. Don’t drink too much before your show and don’t trash up the backstage area afterwards. You may feel the need to act tough and edgy but showing disrespect to your fans or to the people who arranged for your band to play in their venues will damage your reputation a lot! Also, if you’re the vocalist, I’d advice you not to overuse your voice during the first songs of your setlist. I understand that you want to leave a great first impression, but consistency is much more important than unloading all your vocal cords during the early minutes of your show.

BMS: That’s some great advice! Now, what other bands would you like to open up for?
David: I’d love to share the stage with iconic bands like KISS, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard or Whitesnake. As long as they’re bands from who I can learn from and there still is much for me to know.
BMS: Last year you released Big Red, tell me something about the album’s production.
David: Big Red’s production went like a dream. Me and the guys didn’t need much time to come up with satisfying material, we had many successful rehearsals and when we entered the studio to record we all had lots of fun and performed very well. Our producer, Neal Calderwood, was great to work with and we treated each other like friends. All things considered, I’d consider Big Red to be the best Maverick album thus far. Yeah, I know, most bands claim that their latest album is their greatest release yet but from my perspective I’ve never had a better time working on an album than I did with Big Red.
BMS: Personally, I can see why bands make such a claim. The more you play in a band the better you get at using your instruments, recording your material and getting to know your fellow band members’ strengths and weaknesses.
David: Yeah, I agree with that as well. Now, this summer will be writing new material and hopefully we can reenter the studio around September this year in order to get new Maverick material out of the door by Christmas. That may sound like we’re rushing things, but my buddies and I have many new ideas for songs in our heads and we can’t wait to discuss them. In addition, in October we’re scheduled to appear at the Rockingham Festival in Great-Britain and the RNS Festival in the US. Our show at the RNS Festival will be our first show across the Atlantic and we’ll be playing alongside highly talented acts like Firehouse and Quiet Riot. Hopefully that exposure will help us get a major tour for next year.

BMS: That’s very interesting. Hopefully all those ambitious plans may come to fruition. So, David, what are stuff do you do aside from Maverick?
David: Time for another cliché, I’m afraid. As what many other artists would say, music is my number one passion! I love writing music, playing said music on stage and exploring new and exciting bands. But other than that I’m also a huge fan of films. I love thrillers, action and sci-fi movies and one day I wish to direct my very own movie. In addition, I’m a bit of a gym rat.
BMS: You know, one of my dreams is to one day become an actor so should you ever direct a film I’m more than willing to work for you. Especially if I get to be the hero or villain in an 1980s styled action movie or to be the antagonist in a slasher flick.
David: Ah, I’ll keep you mind.
BMS: One thing I noticed about your appearance is that you look a bit like Mr. T!
David: Ha, ha! Yeah, I recall one fan calling me a white version of Mr. T because in addition to the beard and mohawk I was also wearing a lot of rings and necklaces so the remark was spot on! I pity the fool!
BMS: Another thing I noticed is that you like to challenge the audience to a beer chuck contest live on stage!
David: Oh yeah! We did those little challenges a lot back in the early years of Maverick although from time to time we still invite the crowd to join us on stage, beers in hand. I want people to have a good time when they come to see Maverick. We’re more than just some guys who play music, we want to interact with the audience and show them that they’re our friends!
BMS: I case you do the beer chuck tonight, then I’ll guarantee you I’ll be there to join! Now, how did you get in touch with the WildFest organization?
David: I’ve known Jan De Greeve for about a year and we chatted on Facebook from time to time. He offered Maverick a spot on his WildFest 2017 lineup and I immediately accepted. You know, it’s only yesterday I figured out that WildHeart helped organizing this festival. I’ve heard their performance during our chat and I’ve got to say I’m impressed with their work.
BMS: Yeah, I’ve known the guys from WildHeart for two years now and I’ve seen them evolve very positively over those past 24 months. And the crowds they attract get bigger and bigger.
David: You know, I’ve always enjoyed watching a great band play before us. If they put on a good show, we’re encouraged to bring our absolute A-game on stage. The crowd’s all-warmed up, we’re all warmed up. Everyone wins!
BMS: I totally agree with you, David. Now tell me something about the Northern-Irish rock and metal scene.
David: Although the music scene from my region is more focused on happier sounding music there still are many talented bands in the underground as well. One such band is the dark thrash metal band Scimitar. You should really check it out.
BMS: I will! So is there anything else you wish to say before we take the picture?
David: Well, Stijn, thank you for your time. Take care and see you again soon!

Maverick - Whiskey Lover