David Victor, formally of the multi-platinum band Boston, is an American rock vocalist and guitarist. He scored a number one hit called “Heaven on Earth” in 2014 with the band Boston. He’s produced and released three albums of original music both playing solo and with his band Velocity.
David is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and he has truly lived out the dream of Mike Wahlberg in the movie Rockstar. He played with the multi-platinum band Boston, and appeared with them into North American tours.
In August 2018, I had the pleasure of interviewing David Victor about the journey through his life and his creative endeavors. David truly is an incredible person and is commendable for his contributions to communities and society.
The video that started David Victor’s career. He played with his band “Smokin” at the El Portal Theater, North Hollywood, CA – October 28th, 2007.
David Victor’s SUPERGROUP – “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” Live from the Blue Note Napa
Interview Transcript David Victor Formerly of Boston
Richard Lowe 11:15
David, thank you for coming on the show. And how are you today?
David Victor 11:22
Very well. How are you, Richard?
Richard Lowe 11:24
I’m doing fantastic. So let me tell me ask me about Excuse me. Tell me your story. Tell me your story. How did you get? This is a fascinating thing. We’ve talked in the past. How do you get into Boston?
David Victor 11:42
How do you get into Boston? Well, I was born in a log cabin. I always loved music. And my whole family are artists and writers and painters. But there’s no musical blood runs in my family. So I kind of came to things a little late. But I think it gave me a little bit of interesting Launchpad because I was just I loved music before I knew I wanted to actually make music. And the first album that I ever heard that really started to change my life was the first pasta No, actually. And my sister’s boyfriend at the time was sitting on our front lawn playing an acoustic guitar. And I was just blown away. I’m like, Oh, my God, how long have you been playing? And, you know, he’s playing more than feeling and how long have you been playing those two weeks. I’m like, this is the this is the application for me. So that’s kind of where it all started. And, of course, the there’s a lot of details in between that, but I started playing music, start taking guitar lessons and play music and join some, some bands after I was sort of learned all I could at least all I wanted to learn from the teachers that I that I found and started playing, you know, playing in bands over and over again. It was really and when I moved to LA because I grew up in Northern California where there’s really not a whole lot going on. musically. I’m in kind of a isolated backwater part of of California. And there is music from the SF San Francisco Bay area. But in terms of a scene, it’s pretty isolated. You’ve got a few squillion errs and then that’s it. So LA was great. I moved there and met a lot of people and actually joined a band called smokin which was my first foray into doing you know, music of other artists in earnest. So they call it a tribute bands, which I think is a stupidest name ever. Because it implies are all hoisting I don’t know, canteens or beer and these guys were fabulous. You just play the music you know, you’re just basically promising the audience that you only play the music from this one artists so so we did all the music from Boston and one of the videos that we shot, meandered its way on YouTube and found its way into the home of Tom Scholz who is Boston and they call me 2009 and said hey, how would you like to come out and record at Tom Shelton studio so it was a good it was like a if you’ve ever seen that movie, Rockstar with Mark Wahlberg pretty close to that was a similar situation is like your first audition is going in and recording so But mostly what we did is played play live. It was a wonderful experience.
Richard Lowe 14:58
And how did you feel When you when you got that invitations,
David Victor 15:02
oh my god, I mean, you know, it’s like, if you’ve seen that movie, that thing you do. There’s a moment in there where they start to hear their song on the radio, and they freak out. And that’s pretty much, pretty much what it was. There’s a weird, there’s a weird thing that happens. I don’t know if everybody gets the same feeling. But there’s almost like, you know, when you fantasize about something, you dream about something that when it actually comes true, you’re sort of like, yeah, you know, it’s not, it shouldn’t it shouldn’t, you know, make you pass out or something like that, at least it doesn’t mean, I just kind of go, Yeah, this is supposed to happen. Or, of course, having perspective on it a little bit after having, you know, been out of the band for four years now. You know, I see it more for what it was, which is just a real brass ring, kind of, you know, amazing, wonderful moment. But I was I was ready for it. That’s the key.
Richard Lowe 16:02
Okay, and then you went in and you did your interview or your audition, and you immediately were picked up?
David Victor 16:08
Yeah, so I went into a studio. It was just a random weird thing that my, my wife at the time, and I were had a vacation scheduled out to visit her mom and Cape Cod. So that’s pretty close to where Tom studio is. And so I said, Well, actually, I’m coming out there and a couple of weeks. And they said, Yeah, great. So we’ll see you here. So yeah, just drove up to a studio and cut right to work basically, just, you know, I know, he auditioned a lot of people up to that point. And including one extremely famous person, they’d never told me who it was, I wish they had, but it kept dropping hints, like they were going to crack and they never did so. But anyway, once I sang, and it was a very low song. So being a, as you can tell, my voice is very high. And listening to Boston, you know, it’s all I saw, that sucks. I didn’t think I’d come in and have to go. But that was what the audition was. And so that’s what I, that’s what I did. And I was just confident enough, in the lower my lower register that I was able to pull it off. And actually, it’s funny, because after I did that session, it was maybe there for, I don’t know, four or five hours or something. We talked a little bit afterwards, and they sent me on my way. And then like that night, or it means the next morning, his assistant called and said, Well, you know, Tom’s axe, he’s not sure about the sounds, and then he’s got some stuff going on in the studio. And we’ll call you when we’re ready. And I thought, Oh, that’s it, you know, I’d failed. That was their way to sort of blow you off or let me down easily. But then a couple days, I was like, Okay, you got to work it against your company. Okay, so I went back down and did a few little touch ups. And after that, it was like, let’s go. But it was a number of years before the band toured. During which time I wasn’t allowed to tell anybody I was in the band. So that was hard.
Richard Lowe 18:19
Oh, I can imagine that was difficult. So when you started touring? How did that feel on your first live gig?
David Victor 18:29
You know, it’s interesting. We rehearse for several weeks. I don’t think it was, I don’t think it was a month, it might have three weeks. And I think the first time we went out there it was for a week, then you go home and come back a month and a half later, something like that. And then you rehearse right before you’re gonna start the tour. So I believe it was two and a half or three weeks that rehearsing pretty much you’re there at the studio every day. There’s a lot of waiting around. And a lot of play to be played. Because it’s still a five piece band even when the band leader is not there. So we played for, you know, eight or 10 hours a day, which I was told was a lot less than it used to be so I guess I guess that’s a compliment. And once we embarked on the tour, we always started at the Hard Rock. It’s like an arena down in Hollywood, Florida. You might know it being down there in Florida. I don’t know I don’t know. Okay. But it’s, it’s a nice kind of mini arena. It’s like a minor league hockey rink size. But it’s, it’s, you know, it’s plenty big for your first experience. The great thing about that was we went in there, at least two maybe three days before the first show, and we just ran the show with all Lights and other pa production going on behind us. So by the time the show actually happened, it was kind of funny, it was like, we’d already been on that same stage looking out over the same, you know, VISTA, you know, three days in a row. And all of a sudden, there’s just a bunch of people there. So it wasn’t, it wasn’t too bad. Just going out and, you know, muscle memory, basically.
Richard Lowe 20:23
Were you nervous?
David Victor 20:25
I’m sure I was, I think, you know, looking back, it’s hard to remember Oh, did I have butterflies, but I’m sure I did. But now I’ve done it so many times since then, that it just it doesn’t, I don’t get the same, I don’t get the same useless nerves, I get excited. And anticipatory, but I don’t get the mood, the jitters or anything like that. So I probably had some of that. First, especially with your voice, it’s easy to get. It’s easy to let the adrenaline sort of push things in the wrong direction.
Richard Lowe 21:03
Indeed, now, I’ve known that we had some talks earlier. And you mentioned you played with some rather famous rock stars, in addition to just Boston. Can you talk about some of those?
David Victor 21:12
I’m sure. Do you mean, do you mean who opened for us or just other bands that
Richard Lowe 21:17
have been whatever you want other bands? Who Oh, so
David Victor 21:21
well. So when I moved to LA, like I said, and this is sort of a made of maybe a creative, creative bullet point. But going down, there was the best thing I ever did for my musical career. If I’d stayed up here, you know, nothing, none of that would have happened. And I think I read this in a book recently, but basically, he was saying, you know, you should go to where it’s happening. If you want to be an actor or musician or whatever, you know, get to La get to New York, don’t sit in, you know, racing Wisconsin or something, going, I’m gonna kill it here and re seat. I mean, you might, but that’s probably all you will do. It’s not hard and fast rule. But I just think that the blending and mixing of the networking effect of being in a place where there’s a lot of people who all want to do the same thing is really powerful. Somebody wants to do the same thing. It’s a powerful career move, I think so I would definitely encourage anybody who’s got a sort of location specific application that go to those you know, go to those areas, you know, if it happens to be in London or Dubai or whatever it is, for me, it was you know, la it was kind of a no brainer was all the music was and I planted myself in the 818 area code which is where all the you know, sort of the sidemen are so it’s a lot of you know, this is the bass player like I one of my best friends to this day, the bass player in quiet riot check right I met him the same night I met Ricky Phillips, his bass player with sticks now and he was playing with Montrose for a while and then through meeting Chuck I met Pat Torpey, who is the drummer of fantastic drummer just passed away unfortunately, but amazing drummer from Mr. Big so I was just sort of meeting all these different people kind of just with one entry point really Chuck’s a huge networker. And you know, go to the NAMM Show, which is the National Association of music merchants you kind of go and hang out see what people are doing and meet people that way and catch up and network network network network and in person to the internet. You know, social media is a pale imitation of pressing the flesh, it probably always will be at least before you know I’ll pass off this mortal coil before it’s any better than being in person.
Richard Lowe 23:48
So we were going to talk about some of the superstars are
David Victor 23:53
checkride Ricky Phillips, Pat Torpey Jason hook who plays with Five Finger Death Punch now I mean, these are these are Rockstar maybe calm Seidman but they’re you know, they’re they play in huge bands in front of millions of people. I never met Paul McCartney or you know, you know any of that, even when we played it. Well actually, when we played at Boston Strong it didn’t be a few celebs that that that was probably the highlight celeb moment. Playing in Boston Strong with Aerosmith. I got to sing with Steven Tyler. You know, stand on stage second, the same micro Steven Tyler That was cool. And met Joe Perry. And met Donnie Wahlberg guys from extreme and Doug Flutie. There was a bunch of Boston, Boston area people there. So that was great. And yeah, I mean, Boston. It’s interesting when you have a band, that’s a classic rock name. Typically what you’re doing, you’re a national actor, you’re going out you’re headlining shows, and sometimes you’re playing with other bands. And but usually the promoters don’t put more than one band on the bill unless they’re worried that they won’t be able to get the ticket prices they need or enough butts and seats. So you know, if you ever see an ad for a band, that’s, you know, hey, come to the, you know, shoreline amphitheater and see Bubba, it’s because blah, blah, blah isn’t selling, they would never advertise if it was selling. Or if you see an opening band, that’s a local man. So like, because they want those extra 200 300 seats, so they would never put a local band on because it’s just a pain in the ass. You gotta get there earlier and soundcheck and, you know, time and sleep is always the most precious commodity on the road. So that’s about all the super superstars. Good, good smattering there.
Richard Lowe 25:44
It’s more than most people meet in their entirety.
David Victor 25:48
at the NAMM show, that’s pretty good, too. Interesting. I thought of two more I met a Van Halen and Alex Van Halen, and Eddie Van Halen 50th birthday party. We just happen to walk into the restaurant when they were there. And this was also in the 818 area code. So man, if you’re if you’re somebody who likes to see stars, we should definitely move down there. Fun.
Richard Lowe 26:13
Interesting. So you eventually moved out of moved away from Boston and formed your own group? What happened with that? So yeah, so
David Victor 26:21
I started a band, called Bostick at the time now changed the name. But it was basically since it was, you know, 2009 I joined Boston. And each year it’d be like, are we going to tour this year now? I don’t think we’re gonna come out this year. And they would go out at that time about once every four years. So it’s kind of thinking, Man, I gotta get in shape. You know, for this tour, I want to be ready to go when I’m called. So I put this band together and it’s, you know, half Boston and half sticks, because my drummer plays does a great six vocals. So so we put that together. And that was so that was currently running while I was in Boston. I’d obviously been smoking by that time and started another band called platinum rock stars, which still exists today. 70s and 80s Classic Rock Show. I’ve got another band called David Victor super group that I just put together, which is all formerly of guys, former guys formerly of Creedence Clearwater guys, formerly of night Ranger, Joe Satriani, his band, and y and t. So it’s all formerly a little supergroup. And then of course, Boston, which is now called David Victor, the hits of Boston and sticks. And for, for reasons I can’t go into right now, but it’s It’s morphing. It’s morphing. And so there’s a lot going on what’s nice people think, oh, what’s your band? Well, my bands, Victor and the hits of Boston sticks. Oh, okay. And well, maybe this other band, you’d like to see what your two bands? Well? Yeah, I’ve actually got four bands and Oh, so it’s, um, I keep myself pretty busy. That’s the intention. Anyway, I’m running a like to say I’m running an experiment to see if it’s possible to make a living in the music business. So far. The answer’s no, but it’s a qualified No.
Richard Lowe 28:17
I understand. You’ve named a lot of the rock stars and stuff that I grew up with. And as I’ve gotten older, also, these are all my favorite bands, you know, Aerosmith, and Boston and sticks. We go on. So it’s very interesting talking to you. You also do a lot of charity work. That’s my understanding.
David Victor 28:38
Indeed. Yes. So one thing we started doing. We started with plastics, actually, but kind of morphed into, actually, I forgot to show my other shows called Rocket Americans. I’m looking at my show listings here. And those are the only three that are up there. But the other shows called Rock in America, which is rock and roll road trip across America. 50 of the greatest rock and roll songs and 190 minute show, how do we do it? You’ll have to come see. But so that’s that’s the fourth show. But so we’re working on rocket Americas. And we really wanted to, you know, it was a show about the community was about America, but it was also about the local place that we were playing and it kind of was born out of this feeling I had when I was touring with Boston and we just zip into town. You’re in a bus, you park in some cement, you know, underground parking lot. You walk into a backstage area labyrinth with all the signs going, you know greenroom here, food here, this way to the stage and all this stuff. And then you go to the stage you see all the seats, it’s great, great, great players show everybody’s happy do they would call it grip and grin, which is just a fast way to say Meet and Greet but it’s basically just shake their hand. Look at the camera, smile, boom, boom, boom, boom, because you’re trying to get out of there to get on the road to get to the next destination because you have to be at the next As a nation that night, or you know, early the next morning to ensure that you can do the show, so, but it was such a hands off kind of an experience kind of antiseptic in a way, obviously, hugely enjoyable. But I really felt like I wasn’t, you know, I’ve done in New York twice, for example, but I never really got out on the bus, except in the venues. We played at Jones Beach. We played it. Gosh, I can’t remember the one upstate New York. But, you know, we driven through New York City, and I never saw our sights. So I just finally cared that this year, my wife and I went, but so I wanted to do something, a show that was like kind of bonding to about bonding to the community about America, but about No, really the people that make America work. And so it’s kind of a grandiose concept. In fact, it’s probably too much to bite off. It was originally called Rock Stars and Stripes. And people thought it was a political rally was sort of what we heard from our surveys. So we’ve changed it to rock in America. But basically, the idea was to find out about the places we’re playing in. So for example, we go to Saginaw, Michigan, what are people in Saginaw, Michigan? Do? Who do they root for? Where do they work? You know, how did they grow up? You know, what are the things that are important to them? And we really do a deep dive, we have a whole spreadsheet that we put together that basically says, you know, these are, you know, here’s the governor, you know, here’s the you know, where the state capitol is of this state and just shipped down to the really to the, you know, where do they eat, you know, what are they Turia, you know, what’s the local beverage, whatever, and really try to find out a lot about the community so that we can talk to them a little bit, and not just say, hey, we have a show coming to town, see you later, but really know something about the community. So for example, in Saginaw, we got to know a charity was part part of that whole thing. And we’ve done a charity at each of those shows. But just giving an example of Saginaw we got to notice this charity called major chords for minors, so they give music lessons to, you know, underprivileged kids for free. So it’s a you know, it’s a 501, c three eighths, and what we do is put a, we had an autographed guitar that’s all been wrapped up in our show you a picture of one, but not me, but it’s all wrapped up in our logo type. We autograph it, and then we auction it live during the show. So the shows going on, and there’s a live auction happening on the video screen as we play. And so people have fun, they can bid on their smartphones. And we raised a ton of money from shared from Charity up to 5000 $6,000. One on one show with our record with Bostick was actually $12,000. So we make a significant contribution to the local charity. And we’re, you know, we’re really trying to, you know, generate some goodwill in the community, obviously, you know, our donation is a guitar. But it, it generates goodwill, and people see us as doing something that’s more than just entertaining. So I really liked that. I love that, that connectivity. I love getting to know these places. I really do. I’m fascinated by people. And you know what they do and how they live and what kind of music they like, obviously. And so that’s been a part of everything we’ve done. So we’ve continued that on with my supergroup band. And we’ve done autographed acoustic guitar auctions. And we’ve raised a thirst show we raised $6,000 For Lazar x, which is a local cancer charity. We raised over $2,000 for the Napa Humane Society. So goes on, but it’s always about where we’re playing. We play in Napa Napa, he may play in Danville it was last week, because they’re a local charity to play. They handled a call it was for a local school for their band program. So I love that aspect of fun.
Richard Lowe 34:03
Interesting. Now, if you were talking to somebody who wanted to get into the music business now and was just starting, what would you tell them? This advice?
David Victor 34:13
Yeah, first and foremost, move to where it’s happening. Networking is not just, you know, something you do online, I found. I found a lot of the online platforms severely wanting it’s a lot of people that say, Hey, great job and aren’t gonna lift the finger to go, you know, go to a show or you know, get a booking or anything like that. You really have to meet people. And I will say, we have tons of videos online. People watch it and they go, okay, yeah. And then they see us live, and they lose their minds. And they’re like, Oh, my God, you know, I mean, we get this a lot. Not every show, but we get it a lot where there’s a human best fan we’ve ever had here and I think I think two things I think, number one, maybe we’re Playing in the wrong place. And number two, you know, they’re having an experience with the live the live music or the live experience of hearing music really made in front of them in real time that is um duplicatable by virtual reality or video or anything else. When Pete When you know something’s being done right in front of your face, there’s an energy and electricity that’s that’s just generated, impossible to quantify. But it’s, it’s an essential part of the, you know, live experience and the reason why people are drawn to events, and they don’t just sit in front of a computer and watch videos, some people do, obviously, but the people that go out and support live music, you know, they, they network with their friends. So first and foremost, get to the right place, LA, if you’re in music, you know, maybe New York in you know, drama or something but a writing I don’t know, I have to ask you that that’s a completely asynchronous affair now. But, you know, all the big publishers are in New York still, aren’t they?
Richard Lowe 36:08
Yes, they are. I think there’s a good, there’s a good writing community over in Tampa.
David Victor 36:13
Now. Very good. And it’s you start with you. So yeah, so So that’d be the first thing, obviously, DIY. You know, the Boston thing, honestly, was that was, you know, the greatest thing that ever happened to me musically. But it was from a video that I posted. Because I thought it, you know, represented me well. And I put it up there and I tagged it, and I you know, it was out there to be found. So, though I was found it was I wouldn’t I don’t believe I would have been found if I hadn’t done something for myself. And then since that point, just been building my own shows. You know, it built the hits of Boston Stax and built supergroup, I built platinum rock stars about rock in America. And actually dovetailing with your charity question, I’m starting my own 501 C three, which will be called Harmony and healing, which is about going into hospitals and doing music for cancer patients, people who are in long term care, and just bringing a little light into their lives and some healing.
Richard Lowe 37:21
Very interesting, very interesting. Do you have any anything else you’d like to say to our audience?
David Victor 37:26
Gosh, I think I’ve been rambling on long time, but you know, just creativity, actually. We’re actually starting to write our own songs. So in my tribute band that hits the Boston sticks, we’re writing our own music, we have built a following. And we realized we’re squandering his following by just, you know, doing the same thing over and over, there’s only so many songs that these bands have done. And so I thought, Hey, we should write our own music. So we are starting that process. In my super group, and they’re all original songwriters, we’re going to be writing music, that will be an original band. Right now, it’s all pits because we, we just got together. But the creative process is so amazing. It’s unlike doing anything else that you do as a, you know, being somebody who is a marketer. I mean, I’m mostly a marketer, I’m mostly a creative person in the marketing sense. But getting back to my roots, which actually have three albums of original material. And writing. Writing music is, you know, that is the way to leverage yourself ultimately, and branding yourself, you know, don’t go off somebody else’s brand brand yourself, you know, and everybody says this, but it’s really true. And it’s, it’s, it’s embarrassing, you know, took me a long time to brand myself as David Victor, I wanted to be in a band I wanted to be, and I want a bunch of guys, my band, and we have a band, and that’s great. But at the end of the day, it’s if you’re doing all the work, and you’re getting the opportunities, and you’re securing the gigs, and you’re you know, you’re basically making the sales, it’s your baby, you know, getting people on board your baby is important. And maybe you need a group mentality for that. But ultimately, you’re in control of your own branding destiny. So get on board with that as soon as you can.
Richard Lowe 39:24
Thank you, David. Thank you for coming on the show. This is the first of several. Exciting, it is exciting. It’s exciting to finally interview you. I’ve I’ve had quite a few conversations with you. Of course.
David Victor 39:36
Yes. Yes. We remade my LinkedIn profile.
Richard Lowe 39:39
Yes. I think I think you liked it.
David Victor 39:43
I loved it. I loved it. The my I’ve sort of shifted my focus. So we’ll do a little more and more here. So
Richard Lowe 39:50
I’m pleased to help you there. All right. So we’ve been with David Victor, previously the bay on Boston and now with the man What’s the name again?
David Victor 39:59
Well, You know now there’s four names for names the hits of Boston and sticks is one supergroup is the other platinum rock stars is the other and rockin America is the video montage. 50 hits and 90 minutes blow out.
Richard Lowe 40:16
It’s enough to boggle my mind. Yes. I’m tired just listening to it.
David Victor 40:23
Very good. That’s exactly how I want to leave everyone. Yes.
Richard Lowe 40:28
So I’ve been with David Victor. And if you this will be a continuing series. And if you can subscribe down below, then you’ll be getting information about them regularly. Yes, subscribe below. And thank you for coming, David. All right. All right.
David Victor 40:45
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