David Sancious just wrapped up a year that would have been enviable to even the biggest names in the music world. As a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, David not only received the “Award for Musical Excellence,” but he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Peter Gabriel was inducted in 2014, as well, and David joined him on stage, too. Last year, Sancious also spent a good portion of his time traveling the world with Sting, Paul Simon, and Peter Gabriel. He came home for the holidays, had a brief break, and then hopped on a plane and went to New Zealand, Australia, and Europe with Sting and Paul Simon for the next leg of their “On Stage Together” tour, which started yesterday (Friday, January 30).
AXS talked with David shortly before he left for New Zealand. Hoping to hear how the musical juggernaut had enjoyed his brief time off, AXS was saddened to learn how the artist had actually spent his precious downtime.
“I had knee surgery,” Sancious related. “I had a real problem with my leg on the Peter Gabriel tour last summer, so I went through six months of physical therapy, which didn’t really help. I started out okay, but the longer the tour went on, the more painful it got, so I scheduled the surgery for January 6 and I’m just about finished recovering. It was important to get the surgery done before this next project with Sting and Paul Simon started up. Luckily, it fit in great! I’m just about fully healed, and I’m certainly ready to start the tour.”
A life on the road isn’t something that everyone can handle. The constant travel, irregular sleep, and not always the best food options are all very hard on the body. It takes a special person to thrive under these often adverse conditions. How does David manage?
“Every night is enjoyable!” he expressed. “That’s one of the things I love most about playing music. When I was little, my parents told me, ‘If you make your life’s work what you love to do, then it won’t really be such hard work, at all.’ Truth be told, this is incredibly hard work! But because I’m so in love with it and I find such enjoyment from the most simple things to the most complex things, my life has just been one long series of degrees of enjoyment.”
When David said his life, he meant his entire life. The artist knew by age seven that music was what he wanted to do.
“There are only two other things that I’ve ever lost myself in like I can lose myself in music — where hours go by and I don’t even realize it because I’m so enthralled. The first is painting. Abstract painting because I’m not a skilled or schooled painter, at all. Just doing oil on a canvas for my own pleasure, that same kind of world comes up where I just totally fall away. That time-based person who has concerns and all of that, it just melts away and I’m left with only the sensation of what I’m doing.
“The other activity that I have lost myself in is gardening,” David informed. “But music definitely trumps everything.”
Sancious went on to state that doing music is at once soothing and fascinating. He compared it to being on a river in that creativity has a pull and a force all it’s own, and you sort of just ride along, excited to see where it’s going to take you.
“I really do think that music and art have an energy that has its own life,” David elaborated. “It sort of comes through us and we become the instrument. It is just like when we use a musical instrument in our own hands, we become the physical, three dimensional instrument for that music to come into the world. It is such a fascinating process, you’ll be sitting there and you’ll be thinking, ‘I’m thirsty, I’d love to get up and get some water.’ But you won’t! That will wait for 20 minutes or more because you are too immersed in what you’re doing. You can even put off going to the bathroom,” he laughed, “because you just have to see where this moment is going to take you!”
David thought for a moment, then decided, “You know, they should teach this in schools. It ought to be something that goes along with career counseling. And it is something that should be done early on to get people in touch with whatever it is in life that their particular personality resonates with. What their interest is. Where their energy is. Find that thing that you get lost in and don’t ever lose touch with it!”
Besides his non-stop touring schedule, this year David promised AXS he would finally complete his ninth studio album, The Treehouse Sessions. “That’s my first priority,” he stated. “Everything else takes second priority to that. My touring will probably take me to the summer of this year. Then, I’ll have a little break before going back out with just Sting — I think we’ll be in Europe for about six weeks in late June… so my apologies for the delay on the record, but it will certainly come. Just like the sunrise, on one fine day, it will be there,” he laughed.
And on that day, AXS will be there to tell you all about it. For more information, visit David’s website and follow him on Twitter.
Article by Allen Foster
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