Thanks to Karen Cottrell for the photo!
At one point in time, Dave Benedict and I sat on a bus together, riding home (I think), from a high school soccer match. I don’t remember who we played or what the score was, but I can guess with some certainty that we got destroyed by whoever we were playing. The OSCVI “Killer Chickens” were a lot of things, but winners we usually were not.
In any case, Dave was already playing bass guitar by then and there was a question about whether he would attend band practice or soccer practice later in the week. I encouraged him to attend band practice, which I feel makes me directly responsible for the success he would experience around a decade later as the bassist in the band Default.
And oh what success they achieved.
Radio hits. Arena tours. A Juno award. Default had the world by the tail in the early 2000s and they rode a special wave from the clubs of Vancouver to the big rooms of the world. It was fun to watch from far away as it was happening. I remember hearing an announcement on the local rock radio station when one of Dave’s kids was born. How strange is that when you know the guy as just a friend from high school?
I expected to hear lots of fun stories when Dave agreed to come on the show. He told some great ones about meeting people like Bret Michaels and Tommy Lee and doing the rock star stuff. We talked about how quickly and how massively his band blew up. All of that was on the agenda when I hit the record button, but I wasn’t so much expecting to talk about what happened when the music faded and Default went on hiatus.
It happens to most bands in the end. The scene changes. The industry changes. Default got caught up in a lot of that, but mostly I think they just got tired after years on the road. No matter what happened, Dave suddenly found himself without a band and, by extension, without the identity that he had been chasing for years.
What to do?
To his credit, Dave dusted himself off, went back to school as a mature student, and resurfaced as a graphic designer and videographer. He started his own company and set about building a new identity as an entrepreneur. He’s been doing great with Square Egg Visions, and has also recently returned to the music scene both with Default and with his new band Bonds of Mara.
I had a ball with this conversation. Dave’s road stories – Mick Jagger! - are pretty incredible and I love his perspective on staying positive and taking it as it comes. It was great to catch up with him.
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And now, here’s a little music: