Interview | FFS 5 with David Quinn

Photo by Jess Myers / Courtesy of Baby Robot Media

In the best way, David Quinn is a Wanderin’ Fool. Such is the name of the Chicagoan cosmic country artist’s debut album, due out today. Like many in the vein of Americana before him, Quinn is a purveyor of open road songs inspired by real life stories. Inspired by his ‘quarter life crisis’, Wanderin’ Fool takes its melange of influences from the troubadour’s road traveled from the mountains of Colorado, down through Texas heat and California coasts. He’s got a pretty impressive team backing him up, among them producer Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Margo Price) and an all-star band comprised of players who have contributed to the likes of Hayes Carll, Kesha, and Johnny Cash.

For Folk’s Sake was privileged to be able to chat with Quinn some time ahead of the release of Wanderin’ Fool in anticipation of this day. As per always with our FFS 5 series, Quinn was so kind as to entertain a predetermined set of five questions with his own, one-of-a-kind mind. The result is what you will find below.

Please tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how did you get started in music? Any defining moments along the path to present day?

I am from the Midwest about 40 miles west of Chicago in Illinois. I got started playing music as a drummer. My brother was always in bands while growing up so that got me wanting to play. While pretty young I heard John Prine for the first time and that changed everything for me. Everything sounded right about it and it was even more inspiring because he grew up in the Chicagoland area. Hearing John Prine also sent me down a path of other roots, folk and country artists which have influenced me. After that I started writing all the time. I couldn’t find any band to play drums for that was playing the type of music I wanted to play so I decided to pick up a guitar and start playing my own songs. 

As an artist, how do you define success?

If I can play a show and connect with one person, that is a success for me. I try to write from the heart so I am just happy when anyone can connect with it and I hope it helps them in some way. 

What do you find to be your greatest struggle when it comes to the music business?

I think my biggest struggle is taking it all so seriously and promoting myself. Everyone seems to be worried about big stages and instagram likes when I am just thinking about writing good song. I am getting a little better about the promotion side but I will still play anywhere that lets me in. 

What do you think is the most realistic goal you can achieve as an artist/band? What do you hope to achieve?

I just want to be able to travel and play my songs for people.

Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?

One of my favorite things to do is go for a drive out. Driving for me is very cathartic. I get some of my best ideas while driving especially out in the country or plains. I also really like to write whether its poetry, prose or just ideas, I like to always write things down.

Words by: Jonathan Frahm (@jfrahm_)