Hometown: Hopkins, Minnesota
David spent his adolescence listening to his parents' old records: Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, Harry Belafonte's Scotch and Soda, and trading political lyrics with his Metallica friends. He sewed a peace sign to his shirt and staged a walkout to protest gulf war I. At age 14 he got his first guitar and started writing his first songs. He learned fiddle tunes at homestead pickin' parlor, while listening to The Red Hot Chili Peppers and U2.
Once he got his license, he and his friends began training to be musicians, and took roadtrips every chance they got. He drove 3000 miles to Atlanta with some friends to see the Grateful Dead, and later, another 3000 miles to Philadelphia, where he went to college at The University of Pennsylvania. On his first day there, he was introduced to Herbie Hancock, Tom Waits and Morrisey.
Taking a break from an eventual English degree, he enrolled at Berklee College of Music, where he studied songwriting, production and practiced guitar six hours a day. When he returned to Philadelphia, it was to study guitar with renowned Delta guitarist Philadelphia Jerry Ricks, and immerse himself in folk and blues- John Hurt, Gary Davis, Hot Tuna. He gained recognition in Philadelphia as a talented songwriter, and fingerstyle player, and was broadcast on WXPN Philadelphia. He booked a tour to Italy, where in one weekend he played before an Italian Princess in her private garden, and got ripped off in a bar fight while playing the oldest bar in Florence. He moved to Seattle, where he helped found The Shunpike. He produced and appeared on the Shunpike CD Sampler Vol I as bluegrass singer Frank Fortune. Since then he has produced, engineered and appeard on countless albums for other bands who've recorded at his studio Hercules Studios. In 2004 he began recording his first studio album, which became the first X-Ray Eyes record, Composite Sketches. Composite Sketches received wide praise and helped establish Lavin and The X-Ray Eyes in the Seattle music scene.
In 2007, the band began recording an ambitious collections of songs for the album Social Splash. Released at the end of 2007, Social Splash has gotten glowing reviews. The band played their packed CD release party at the famed Crocodile Cafe, shortly before its unexpected closing, and have been playing to rapidly expanding and exuberant crowds since.
When David is not fronting The X-Ray Eyes, he can often be found behind the console for another band at his recording studio, Hercules Studios. Every summer he teaches the wildly popular EMP Rock On guitar class at Seattle Center Academy, and the equally popular Music Production class. He developed and teaches EMP's Songwriting Curriculum, and teaches songwriting classes and clinics at many other places in Seattle. Lavin's byline can be found under freelance pieces in many well known publications, and his songs have appeared in several movie soundtracks.
Hometown: Ashland, Ky
Hometown: San Anselmo, California
First concert: Def Leppard (at the fabulous Oakland Coliseum)
Favorite concert: John Zorn & Mike Patton duets (at Slim’s in San Francisco)
First tape: Tower of Power – Live and in Living Color
First CD: The Police – Synchronicity
Favorite LP: Miles Davis – In a Silent Way (original pressing!)
Favorite Muppet: Ralph
Favorite ProTools plugin: Cosmonaut Voice
Favorite GForce virtual instrument: M-Tron
Last good book read: Njal’s Saga
Favorite Jet Li film: Fist of Legend
Brendan had the privilege of growing up in a very musical house. His dad played flute, alto, tenor and soprano sax, clarinet, piano and harmonica. He toured with Van Morrison. His mom played flute and clarinet. His grandma played piano and his granddad played banjo (a beautiful Bacon & May Sultana which Brendan now proudly owns). His brother played clarinet and sax for a while, then took a break from music. He has wised up and is playing the flute and Brendan is very happy about that.
Brendan plays a lot of trumpets (Bb, D and Eb piston valve, slide trumpet, rotary valve trumpet) as well as cornet, accordion, piano and bandoneon. He is starting to learn the aforementioned banjo.
Brendan has been playing music since he was a little kid. He has played trumpet since he was 10 and has studied with Phil Wood, Steve Salgo, Karen Baccaro and Warren Gale. He is also a composer, sound designer and music director for the stage, and has had the pleasure of working with Dominic CodyKrammers and Michel Roth, among others. Brendan plays klezmer music and you should hire him for your kid’s bar mitzvah.
Brendan moved to Seattle in 2002 with his wife, Samara, and enjoys it very much.
He also plays in Miss Mamie Lavona the Exotic Mulatta and her White Boy Band, and can be heard on the soundtrack for the upcoming production from CautionZero, What the Funny.