Jacob Davich is known to many for his roles in various Hollywood movies such as The Aviator, where he played a young Leonardo DiCaprio, and The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl, but all the while he was acting, Jacob felt the pull of music. He immersed himself in piano and guitar and eventually decided to follow his passion and pursue music full-time. Recently, he released his debut song, "My Father's Gun" and kindly called to talk about his roots, the song, and more.
You’ve been acting since you were a boy, but being that your Father was a composer, was music something that was always there for you or something that you recently became interested in?
Growing up around a working composer was really cool. My dad had a studio behind our house, so it was normal for me to walk to the studio, hang out, and watch the musicians do their thing. My Dad had me take piano lessons as a kid and as I got older, around 8th or 9th grade, I started playing the guitar. Before I picked up the guitar though, I randomly got my first commercial [for iTunes]. I was literally on the street and two girls were interviewing for a commercial; I rapped an Eminem song and I guess a little boy rapping Eminem was cute because I got the commercial. After that, I was spotted by Martin Scorsese or Leo DiCaprio and was cast as a young Leo in The Aviator. I continued acting, but was always playing the guitar and listening to various types of music like Rap and Classic Rock. In fact, the first two songs on my iPod were “Welcome to Atlanta” by Ludacris and Don McLean’s “American Pie” - that’s where my head was (laughing). Later, I got into James Taylor, whose finger picking style and chord formations I really liked. I had great guitar teaches, but if I wanted to learn something I was the meticulous nerd who looked up videos on YouTube and learned a song note for note until I could play it properly. Doing it that way increased my knowledge base and gave me a wide breath of songs I could play. I ate it [playing guitar] up, stayed with it, and over time music became more important than acting and I felt like I had no choice but to pursue it.
It seems that you have a wide variety of music you draw from or that influenced you.
I don’t listen much to modern music. My favorite songwriter is Paul Simon, but I enjoy Laura Nero, Jimmy Webb, Glen Campbell - and Leon Russell is my favorite piano player. I especially enjoy the incredible diversity of music from the 70’s. I’ve gone back and watched videos of Grammy winners in the 70’s and am just amazed at the range. You have Steely Dan, Don McLean, Harry Nilsson, and Aretha Franklin. It’s such a wide breath of sonically different music that, to me, was really interesting. It influenced me in such a way that when I put together a record, I want all of the songs to be Jacob songs, but I want there to be hills and valleys for a wide ranging sound.
Speaking of your own music, you recently put out your new song, “My Father’s Gun” [Listen HERE] which seems to draw on many influences. What’s the story behind the song?
I was in a state of mind where I was writing and several of the songs, which were upbeat and folky, were starting to feel repetitive. So, I decided to sit down and write something completely different. I went darker, in a minor key, and wrote this song about a young man who lost his Dad and now has nothing to lose - he’s ready to jump on a train and get out of dodge.
My father produced the song and arranged the string and horn parts, but once we got into the studio, we gave the musicians free range and they came up with some really cool stuff, like the part where it seems the instruments are dueling with one another. We also have mariachi horns going on and the male background vocals, which are a take on a Marty Robbins song, “El Paso,” give it that western gunslinger vibe. There’s a lot of layers to the song and I’m very proud of how it turned out. I don’t know what people expect from music these days, so I hope people hear it and say, ‘Wow, that’s cool.’
It’s a very well done and unique track that should grab people's ears!
"My Father’s Gun” will be on an upcoming full-length. When can we expect the album to be released?
We completed the album, which is titled Between The Lines, a year ago and I believe the tentative release date is sometime in March. Most artists gain a following then put out an album, but we did it the opposite way and now we are trying to promote the songs, get some attention, and gain a fan base. It’s difficult for me as I don’t have the personality of an extreme socialite, so social media is often difficult for me. I like to write, play, and record so as I’m trying to break out of my shell, I hope to rely on my songwriting ability and let the songs do most of the work.
With promoting the single and the album it seems like you will have a busy 2017.
There’s really no road map for this industry anymore. I’m really focused on writing songs and building an impressive repertoire so that I can get a publishing deal. My ideal situation would be to write as many songs as I can, get a publishing deal, and be seen as a bona fide professional songwriter whether other artists are singing my songs or I am. It’s going to be an interesting journey and one that I’m figuring out as I go along.
For more information visit his official website
Find him on Facebook and Twitter
Purchase "My Father's Gun" HERE