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TV/Movie Composer Davin Wood on how to stop dithering and get your music out to the world (and onto things like Cartoon Network!)
Written by:
Emily Plazek

“Don’t dither, don’t just play to your friends -- get your music out there and stop overthinking it.”

We’ve been talking about Kellee being Popp the pop star on that Adult Swim Decker: Unsealed TV show, right? Well, any pop star needs a song to pop-star out to, and Popp’s “Pop Pop Pop” was all thanks to the music mastermind behind the Tim & Eric Abso Lutely Universe, Davin Wood.

In December we got the "Pop Pop Pop" song for Kellee to start practicing, and I creeped on Davin with the glorious power of the Google. Everything I found was that too-cool-for-school level of intimidating: he’d composed music for the Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Tom Goes to the Mayor, Baskets, The Simpsons, and duo albums with Decker himself (Tim Heidecker). Here is a screenshot of just page one of my Google-creeping:

Googling like a pro.

In February, after the January Decker filming in LA, I tweeted at Davin. I was curious. I wanted to learn about how he makes a living from music like this (because it’s the MIC dream, right? Interviewing successful indie musicians like this is my FAVORITE research to conduct for the IMBM).  He pretty immediately DM-ed me and we emailed and set up a Skype call -- I included MIC Publishing co-founder Dewey on the call because he’s a composer also, it’s cool to see how someone similar makes money.

Here’s what Dewey & I learned:

Davin lives in Echo Park, L.A., California; he uses Logic for his mixing, he has an audiographic memory, and he’s worked with more people than my Googling showed: actor Bob Odenkirk, comedian Patton Oswalt, and Portlandia’s Executive Producer Jon Krisel -- just to name a few.

He’s been around the block, musically. In the 80s Davin played in a band while in the Marines, in the 90s he played in “smelly rock bands” inland in Atlanta. Between 1992 and 2003 he played in various bands and went to Georgia State for music but switched to Berklee, then to “The Music Business Institute.”

“LA’s pretty brutal if you don’t know anyone,” Davin said about his move from Atlanta to L.A. in 1998. “We went the ‘normal channel’ in a cover band… we were 19-20 year olds, pretty disillusioned, following the ‘Ian MacKaye Punk Rock Book Your Own Tour’ lifestyle and we thought we’re supposed to have a record deal… eh, [but that didn’t happen] so I went to school for audio production.”

Heidecker & Wood, NPR.

In 2004 Davin met Tim Heidecker & Eric Wareheim, “these two Philly guys with websites/videos packed with incessant self-promotion and this very specific tone of comedy.” Ninety-five percent of Davin’s last 12 years of music were “made-for-hire” gigs writing for Tim & Eric shows, with Tim often singing and writing the lyrics. Davin and Tim are also known as “Heidecker and Wood”, with albums Some Things Never Stay the Same (2013) and Starting from Nowhere (2011) (listen on Spotify here).

(Davin’s also working on another record of 2 years' worth of his own songs, which I personally am looking forward to listening to very much.)

But wait, I haven’t gotten to the part you IMBM-ers are waiting for -- how did Davin meet Tim & Eric in the first place? Did he know someone? Apply for the job? Pound down the doors of their… website? How does someone get a sweet gig like this?

“Well, before it all, my friend took me to a psychic. Yeah I don’t like that sort of thing but, eh, I did it, he was my friend. And I swear, it was scary. I walked in there… and the psychic didn’t even talk with me, and she didn’t know anything about me from my friend, but she starts by saying something like,

‘Stop just playing music for yourself in your room, don’t just play it to your friends, get it out there. Don’t second-guess yourself, don’t be intimidated, just put it out to the universe and let it go.’

“I was pretty spooked walking out of there, but I remembered it. A little while later I was up late at night enjoying an episode of The Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and there was this one jingle for CSI that I thought was funny, but I thought it could be even better.

“So I sat down at the piano and worked the idea and recorded it, then decided, what the hell I’ll email it to them. Just for fun. Told them I was a fan and hey, here, I think this is funny, hope you like it. I wasn’t asking for anything.

“The next morning I woke up and whoa, my email inbox was flooded. Tim wanted to get on the phone with me and he asked, ‘Did you write this? You want to be on our team?’, and that’s how it started.”

Heidecker & Wood & a Doggo.
I sat on Davin’s story these past few months reflecting on how painfully obvious it is that if you never share your music, you’re basically self-fulfilling-prophecy-digging your music’s grave so it will never be heard. However, I know this is a massive hurdle for a lot of musicians - myself included years ago - so take Davin’s psychic’s advice and cut the crap. Kill that overthinking as soon as you can muster it.

That seems to be the overarching lesson and a solid end to this inspiring indie musician’s bio.

You can listen to some of Davin’s music here and follow him on Twitter here.

Watch the episode where Kellee sings Davin’s “Pop Pop Pop” song here, on "Episode 4: Private Sector": http://www.adultswim.com/videos/decker

TV/Movie Composer Davin Wood on how to stop dithering and get your music out to the world (and onto things like Cartoon Network!)
TV/Movie Composer Davin Wood on how to stop dithering and get your music out to the world (and onto things like Cartoon Network!)
MIC is my baby.

“Don’t dither, don’t just play to your friends -- get your music out there and stop overthinking it.”

We’ve been talking about Kellee being Popp the pop star on that Adult Swim Decker: Unsealed TV show, right? Well, any pop star needs a song to pop-star out to, and Popp’s “Pop Pop Pop” was all thanks to the music mastermind behind the Tim & Eric Abso Lutely Universe, Davin Wood.

In December we got the "Pop Pop Pop" song for Kellee to start practicing, and I creeped on Davin with the glorious power of the Google. Everything I found was that too-cool-for-school level of intimidating: he’d composed music for the Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Tom Goes to the Mayor, Baskets, The Simpsons, and duo albums with Decker himself (Tim Heidecker). Here is a screenshot of just page one of my Google-creeping:

Googling like a pro.

In February, after the January Decker filming in LA, I tweeted at Davin. I was curious. I wanted to learn about how he makes a living from music like this (because it’s the MIC dream, right? Interviewing successful indie musicians like this is my FAVORITE research to conduct for the IMBM).  He pretty immediately DM-ed me and we emailed and set up a Skype call -- I included MIC Publishing co-founder Dewey on the call because he’s a composer also, it’s cool to see how someone similar makes money.

Here’s what Dewey & I learned:

Davin lives in Echo Park, L.A., California; he uses Logic for his mixing, he has an audiographic memory, and he’s worked with more people than my Googling showed: actor Bob Odenkirk, comedian Patton Oswalt, and Portlandia’s Executive Producer Jon Krisel -- just to name a few.

He’s been around the block, musically. In the 80s Davin played in a band while in the Marines, in the 90s he played in “smelly rock bands” inland in Atlanta. Between 1992 and 2003 he played in various bands and went to Georgia State for music but switched to Berklee, then to “The Music Business Institute.”

“LA’s pretty brutal if you don’t know anyone,” Davin said about his move from Atlanta to L.A. in 1998. “We went the ‘normal channel’ in a cover band… we were 19-20 year olds, pretty disillusioned, following the ‘Ian MacKaye Punk Rock Book Your Own Tour’ lifestyle and we thought we’re supposed to have a record deal… eh, [but that didn’t happen] so I went to school for audio production.”

Heidecker & Wood, NPR.

In 2004 Davin met Tim Heidecker & Eric Wareheim, “these two Philly guys with websites/videos packed with incessant self-promotion and this very specific tone of comedy.” Ninety-five percent of Davin’s last 12 years of music were “made-for-hire” gigs writing for Tim & Eric shows, with Tim often singing and writing the lyrics. Davin and Tim are also known as “Heidecker and Wood”, with albums Some Things Never Stay the Same (2013) and Starting from Nowhere (2011) (listen on Spotify here).

(Davin’s also working on another record of 2 years' worth of his own songs, which I personally am looking forward to listening to very much.)

But wait, I haven’t gotten to the part you IMBM-ers are waiting for -- how did Davin meet Tim & Eric in the first place? Did he know someone? Apply for the job? Pound down the doors of their… website? How does someone get a sweet gig like this?

“Well, before it all, my friend took me to a psychic. Yeah I don’t like that sort of thing but, eh, I did it, he was my friend. And I swear, it was scary. I walked in there… and the psychic didn’t even talk with me, and she didn’t know anything about me from my friend, but she starts by saying something like,

‘Stop just playing music for yourself in your room, don’t just play it to your friends, get it out there. Don’t second-guess yourself, don’t be intimidated, just put it out to the universe and let it go.’

“I was pretty spooked walking out of there, but I remembered it. A little while later I was up late at night enjoying an episode of The Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and there was this one jingle for CSI that I thought was funny, but I thought it could be even better.

“So I sat down at the piano and worked the idea and recorded it, then decided, what the hell I’ll email it to them. Just for fun. Told them I was a fan and hey, here, I think this is funny, hope you like it. I wasn’t asking for anything.

“The next morning I woke up and whoa, my email inbox was flooded. Tim wanted to get on the phone with me and he asked, ‘Did you write this? You want to be on our team?’, and that’s how it started.”

Heidecker & Wood & a Doggo.
I sat on Davin’s story these past few months reflecting on how painfully obvious it is that if you never share your music, you’re basically self-fulfilling-prophecy-digging your music’s grave so it will never be heard. However, I know this is a massive hurdle for a lot of musicians - myself included years ago - so take Davin’s psychic’s advice and cut the crap. Kill that overthinking as soon as you can muster it.

That seems to be the overarching lesson and a solid end to this inspiring indie musician’s bio.

You can listen to some of Davin’s music here and follow him on Twitter here.

Watch the episode where Kellee sings Davin’s “Pop Pop Pop” song here, on "Episode 4: Private Sector": http://www.adultswim.com/videos/decker

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