DAVE TOWERS - Fed. of the Disco Pimp
I was overwhelmed to discover the amazing sound and feel of your mouthpieces. I have truly
found what I have been searching for. I love the freedom of expression I get and the amazing
flexibility and clarity of the Mantra. Your mouthpieces really encourage me to get creative in
I was raised in a small country village on the outskirts of Glasgow and started
playing saxophone age 11. Following high school I studied music at The
University of Strathclyde where I graduated with BA Applied Music, 2:1 Honours.
Through this time I developed an interest in alternative forms of music as a sax
player and began playing live techno/house/r+b/drum and bass with International
DJs and also with various Punk/Ska/Rock groups.
These days I play primarily with my band Federation of the Disco Pimp who
play a mix of old school funk/jazz/disco. I am also currently working on my own
compositions that blend Jazz, Hip-hop, House and Traditional Scottish music.
Why did you choose to become a musician?
As I grew up surrounded by good music and good musicians in my friends,
I quickly found this was where my interest and natural ability lay. Bruce
Springsteens’ Born in the USA was the first album I owned and Clarence Clemons
and Richie Cannatta/Mark Rivera (Billy Joel) are the reason I took up the
What is your experience when you feel connected into the music?
When the band are locked in the pocket, there is a feeling of controlled-freedom,
which seems like a contradiction. However, that is the best way I can describe it.
Simultaneously bound by the focus of playing tightly together but also feeling
effortless freedom. When things come together the groove just flows and playing
becomes one of the most addictive experiences.
What is your experience of when you don't feel connected to your music?
I find this is usually brought about by either tiredness or inability to hear myself
which can be really frustrating. This is when music becomes a job and you have to
just grit your teeth and get through. However, the huge sound and projection from
Theo's Datta and Mantra pieces means I’m hearing much more of myself these
days ; )
Where does your inspiration comes from? What does it feel like?
I am constantly inspired by my beautiful wife and the support and love she
provides without question on a daily basis. I am also truly blessed to have received
endless love, support and encouragement from my parents and brother since the
day I first picked up a saxophone. I was raised in the countryside and live in that
environment to this day so I am always able to draw inspiration from the stunning
beaches, mountains and forests of Scotland.
What is your experience while improvising? Does it relate to any spirituality you may practice in your life?
I am a keen surfer and recently have begun to draw comparisons between ocean
waves and sound waves or my improvisation and surfing. At the best of times the
feelings of freedom and expression provided by both are very similar. An ocean
wave is like the rhythm section backing your solo; no two are the same, they can
change at any moment and both provide a canvas for you to play over.
The surfer/improviser has the freedom to take this canvas provided by the pulse
of the band or ocean and choose how to approach it with no right or wrongs. The
rises and falls of a solo are similar to the flow and glide of surfing. I feel at my
most free and liberated when in the ocean or improvising with my sax.
Where does your inspiration while composing come from? What is your experience of that inspiration like?
My wife, my family and my gorgeous country are a constant source of inspiration
for my composition.
Do you have any fun stories of inspirational moments to share?
I was out surfing one summer evening, miles from the car or any shelter when a
dramatic thunderstorm sprung up from nowhere. Black clouds, rain so heavy and
fork lightning. I had to tread water and hold my board over my head. While this
was going on I started humming a riff in my head (3 bars of 4 then a bar of 2).
I didn’t record or write it down, but for a while couldn’t get it out of my head.
Years later while sitting in the studio a huge dark cloud came over the building
reminding me of the experience. The riff came back and became a key theme of
my album, recorded for my honours degree.