It wouldn’t be too inaccurate to think Dave Sherman as a legend in the doom metal scene. Having gotten his initial exposure as the bassist/backing vocalist for Wino’s Spirit Caravan, Sherman has come into his own performing various roles over the years in different projects like Earthride and Weed is Weed. 2017 has been especially busy as he played bass on The Obsessed’s Sacred, released a new EP with Weed is Weed, and is set to appear with Earthride at the 2nd Annual Doomed & Stoned Festival in Indianapolis this October. In anticipation of Earthride’s fest appearance, Indy Metal Vault got in touch with Dave Sherman to ask him about his bands, future plans, and everything in between.
Indy Metal Vault: Earthride is getting ready to release its fourth studio album, which will also be the group’s first to come out since Something Wicked in 2010. How has the band changed in that time and what can fans expect to hear when it is released?
Dave Sherman: We are actually releasing a single, two songs, “The Witch Gun” and “Bridge Burner” on the b-side, on Salt of the Earth Records in the United States and Totem Cat Records out of France, which will be distributing through Europe. We won’t come out with a full-length till 2018. We record at Omega Studio in Rockville, which is really cool. We have two new members of the band, Edmund Allen Browne on bass and Greg Ball on guitar.
IMV: You’ve played shows in Indianapolis with a couple different bands over the years. I remember thinking it was pretty cool when you performed a cover of “Procreation of the Wicked” with Apostle of Solitude when Earthride was last in town. What is your impression of the scene here and are there any bands that stick out to you?
DS: Yes, of course, there is a real cool scene there. As long as I’ve been touring, over 20 years, Indianapolis, Indiana always has a place in my heart. GATES OF SLUMBER, Apostle of Solitude, Wretch just to name a few. But there are plenty [of] reasons to come to Indianapolis, Indiana. The awesome friends that live there and the people that are into doom metal never stop amazing me with their kindness and open heart[s]. God bless Indianapolis.
IMV: Your other project Weed is Weed released The Bong Remains the Same EP earlier this year. How would you describe Weed is Weed’s mission statement in comparison to Earthride or your previous bands?
DS: WISW did release The BONG Remains the Same [ourselves]. it’s available only digitally but physical copies will be available soon to come. Weed [Is] Weed [has] got a lot of satire, which is very funny. Everybody in the band is very cool to jam with and we’ve known each other for years. Practically everybody’s been in Pentagram. We’ve got Gary Isom, Mark Amman, Sean Saley, and Rob Portillo. List of the subject matter is about getting high weed, [stealing] people’s lighters, and [continuous] lol. Earthride is more on the serious tip of things political, drugs, and hard times. But there’s a silver lining.
IMV: You wear a lot of hats in various bands whether they be as the lead vocalist, bass player, guitarist, or a combination. How would you say your different roles compare with one another and what role comes the most naturally to you as a musician?
DS: No matter what I do musically, I always try and do my best. I try and think what the song needs to be great because I like watching as it develops, being it riffs or lyrics that work to the advantage of the song. But every part in the band plays an important role no matter if it’s voice, guitar, or bass.
IMV: What album would you say best describes you as a musician and is there any particular album that you are the most proud of?
DS: I would say Spirit Caravan’s Jug Fulla Sun. It’s such a great album, and we [were] firing on all cylinders and it was great working with Wino and Gary Isom. I’d say the 2nd album that I’m most proud of would be Vampire Circus because we worked with Mike Dean (Corrosion of Conformity). [It] just came out great sonically, one of the best albums [I’m] on.
IMV: If I may confess as an outsider, your involvement with The Obsessed in 2016 made it seem like it was more or less Spirit Caravan under a different name. Is there any truth to that sentiment or did things change as Spirit Caravan transitioned into The Obsessed?
DS: When we changed the name, we were excited to be in The Obsessed and we did a few SC songs, but 80% was old Obssessd as you probably already know. But I forgot that Wino is the whole band. With Spirit Caravan it was a team effort and not just one guy running the show.
IMV: Looking back, how do you feel about your performance on Sacred and the way the album turned out in general?
DS: Learning and writing material in the studio a week before going in the studio was very difficult. I would come up with something riff wise but it didn’t seem to be good enough for Wino, so I just went with Wino and Brian’s ideas because it just seemed easier to deal with I guess. But I had to do 14 songs in one day when they had several days to track, make mistakes, and redo if it was wrong or sounded funny. It was like I was under the gun. And I made a few mistakes here and there but with Pro Tools fixed it up. Thanks, guys for a great experience. Personally, I think the songs are good but I think the bass is too low in the mix and there’s way too many guitar overdubs. And the engineer Frank [Marchand III] listens back way too loudly and just throws your hearing way off. But it sounds good for the most part.
IMV: What are your goals for the future? Is there anything that still needs to be checked off your bucket list as a musician?
DS: Well the plan is come out with a new Earthride record in 2018 and tour our ass off. Pure Maryland doom for the Brotherhood of Music. Weed is Weed is writing songs for a new record, think it might be called (Classic Hits) lol and I have a new project with Starr Piazza Called Siren of Sorrows. We record on my 8 track Boss recorder and it comes out sounding like Paul Chain meets Pentagram, Italian doom metal. We have a song on Bandcamp, “Witch Hunt,” so hopefully [we’ll] have a full-length out 2018 and do a few shows. As far as a bucket list, I think that’s covered. Thank you and hope to see everyone at the shows, love and take care of your Brothers and Sisters.