Drake Dyban is a St. Louis, MO based multi-musician who plays not only his own material, but performs regularly with his original rock act "Silent Hollow" or his solo-acoustic act "Cover up! with Drake Dyban." When he is not performing, he teaches guitar, bass, piano, and vocal lessons in the St. Louis area. Drake is a unique and versatile musician that will definitely keep you entertained!
My OnSong Story:
I had originally found OnSong when I was performing regularly with my church. Once I had become familiar with it's interface, I was then able to not only put in cover songs but also my own material! From there, I have used it regularly while teaching and doing my solo-acoustic gigs. It's great to be able to make sets of similar music or even be able to bring up songs on the fly. When someone requests a song, I no longer have to flip through a book or try to look it up on-line. It's been so awesome, I have even converted a couple of other guitar players!
What kind of music are you playing right now? Listening to?
I started using OnSong to play worship songs, but now I use it for oldies, rock, alternative, hip-hop, etc. I have an eclectic taste and that reflects in my OnSong setlists!
Do you write your own music? If so, what inspires your writing?
I do write my own material. I write mostly acoustic and piano style songs and I am inspired by singer-songwriters like Paul Simon, Andrew Bird, City & Colour, and Ray Lamontagne.
Are you a professional musician/artist or play for fun/non-profit?
I was originally playing for fun with my church when I started using OnSong, but now I play professionally with Silent Hollow and my own Drake Dyban project.
What does your typical day look like?
Well, I have a day job, so that keeps me pretty busy. Luckily, my job is to work with musicians, so I get to talk gear almost everyday. Before work, I'm usually practicing or promoting, and after work, I am rehearsing or performing. It's a pretty sweet deal.
How do you bring music to life?
I've been a performing musician for over 10 years, and I use the not only the written music but also the audience to help feed my performance. I am a firm believer in using the mood in that moment in time, and this allows a song you have performed a million times to be special because you are using that moment to feed your message.
What’s one trend in music that really excites you?
I am really excited at how well live music is being layered by using samplers on multiple instruments. I use a Boss Loopstation to sample my parts and I am able to solo over it with the push of a button. I also think that being a multi-instrumentalist will start to become much more common, if not the standard, for doing solo work.
What instruments do you play?
I currently play guitar, bass, piano, and sing. I am currently learning violin, mandolin, banjo, and variety of other folk instruments.
What instrument is your favorite?
I started my musical career on guitar, so I will always have an affinity for the instrument, but I absolutely love the sound of a piano.
As an musician/artist, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I recommend always trying to break things down into smaller, understandable pieces. It'll make the whole song that much better if you can take a bunch of small, great sounding sections and turn them into a masterpiece. It works on every style of music, trust me.
What is one failure you had as a musician, and how did you overcome it?
When I first started, I had very poor technique. I didn't understand metronomes, sections, theory, and especially not the full-purpose of a guitar! The key is to never stop learning, keep practicing, and never let the nay-sayers keep you from doing what you love!
What is some advice you’re willing to give to budding musician?
Break things down and try to play them cleanly. Everyone wants to be the next virtuoso, but nobody is born with intimate knowledge of any instrument. We all have to learn, so you might as well get the hard stuff out of the way early. Break it down, understand it, and when you come back to dealing with something similar to that problem, it will not seem as hard.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
Well, I'm no world-traveler, but I would like to change a lot of peoples' mindsets of what they feel they can and cannot do. I've met too many people that feel limited by their own abilities, and if they could only take that step to meet their potential or with others who can help, we would be living in a completely different world. I believe technology is the best way to make this positive change happen.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
Even thought I may not act like it, I am very thankful to be able to create music. I sometimes worry that the "creativity well" may dry up, but I always seem to create something new, thankfully!
What are your three favorite online tools or resources?
OnSong, Anytune, and Evernote. Between those three apps/tools, I've created a musical empire! I use OnSong as my performance reference, Anytune to break down songs and learn them properly, and Evernote to keep my new song ideas flowing!
What is the one book/blog channel that you recommend our community should follow and why?
I believe anyone who is semi-serious should read the "Indie Rock Survival Guide" blog/book. It is a grassroots way of getting the things you want done without wishing for someone with a million dollars to invest in you. It has a lot of great resources listed, as well.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
You should follow Steve Martin (@stevemartingtogo), KDHX (@kdhx), and Greek Fire (@greekfireband). Steve Martin is hilarious, KDHX spotlights a lot of my favorite music, and Greek Fire is an awesome St. Louis band that takes amazing pictures and always have amazing stories.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
I try to laugh everyday at the small stuff, but the movie "This is the End" is the loudest I've laughed in a long time.
Who is your musical hero/influence?
I would have to say Andrew Bird is one of my biggest influences. I saw him live a while back and he has beautiful songs that are wonderfully layered. WORTH SEEING LIVE!!
What is one thing most musicians overlook?
Keep a good group around you. Artists have to support artists! Also, keep a good repair tech handy. As long as he actually fixes things, his service will be invaluable to you!
What do you do when you are not performing/practicing/promoting?
I try to make it a point to see or do something I have never done that is positive for me. Right now, I like to go hiking through state parks. It brings me closer to nature and the people that are in my life. You can find me on almost anything! I am based out of St. Louis, Missouri but I am all over the web!