Dave Schneider Interview
Big D and The Tasty Café

They've become a popular Syracuse group earning the approval of serious blues and R and B fans, while building a respectable reputation with other musicians.

Outside the Syracuse area they've won over even more listeners, performing from Alexandria Bay to Norwich, and from Rochester to Utica.

The name of the group is Big D and The Tasty Cafe.

"Big D" is Dave Schneider who serves as the group's guitarist, singer, and songwriter.

Dave has shared the stage with such headliners as Blue Oyster Cult, Southside Johnny, and Blackfoot.

We recently spoke with Dave Schneider about Big D and The Tasty Cafe.

Q - I realize that Rock 'n Roll and Pop music's roots can both be traced back to the Blues, but tell me what it is about the Blues that so fascinates you.
A - What I like about the Blues is it gives me a release. It's an emotional release, to me personally. To listen to the Blues is even emotional. When you hear somebody do it right it's an emotional release for me.

Q - You've been playing guitar for 25 years now?
A - Probably closer to 30.

Q - During that time you've been in quite a few bands. Can you give our readers a rundown of some of these bands?
A - A while ago, when I first started I was doing more country. It's something I've been trying to shake so I'd just as soon not mention it. I played with Steve Webb out of Utica. I actually had my own band before that called Abraxas. We played around quite a lot in the 80's. We were doing more rock 'n roll. We still did some Blues at the same time. Then I did a duo thing for a while with Steve Webb, in the mid 90's. We formed this band back in '95, and I've been doing it ever since.

Q - What's the significance of the name Tasty Cafe? Is that the name of a bar you played?
A - No. It was the idea of our original drummer. We originally started out we were going to do more jazz and blues. We tried it. It wasn't what we were. Unfortunately it took us so long to get then name around. We've been thinking of changing the name, but, we decided to keep the name for the time being. It's not really a cafe. It's just that we try to sell the fact that it was gonna be a tastier type of music. It really doesn't represent what we are right now.

Q-You'll probably still keep the Big D.
A - Oh, yeah.

Q - How often does the group work?
A - Two or three times a week.

Q - Do you see a different reaction to your music outside of Syracuse?
A - A little bit.

Q - Are they more enthusiastic about hearing your music in Rochester or Utica than say in Syracuse?
A - You know in that line I guess it's actually about the same, all the way around, although in Rochester, we haven't played there that much, it seems like they're really into hearing our originals. And, they are here in Syracuse too, but it just seems like its a little more animated response. A little more enthusiastic response to the originals. We get a good response with our originals in Syracuse too. It just seems that when you say you're going to do an original song, you see everybody perk up.

Q - Does the group have a CD out?
A - Not yet.

Q - You're probably working on one though, aren't you?
A - It's in the computer. We just got to mix it down.

Q - Why did your original drummer Ken Hart leave?
A - He had other things pulling him out, taking his time up. The band really started taking off last summer. It seemed like it was getting harder and harder to line up work that was good with his schedule, and so we made a change. He didn't necessarily leave the band, we sat down and talked and we had a discussion and we all agreed. I wanted to work more and everybody else wanted to work more, so, we got a drummer that wanted to work more.

Q - When you think about the time you've invested in your musical career, what goes through your mind when you see an eighteen year old Britney Spears or a nineteen year old Christina Aguilera headline the New York State Fair grandstand?
A -I think about the money that's being spent on her. I mean she's very talented, (Britney Spears). They're both very talented. They struck a nerve. It's probably no different than what The Beatles were when I was younger, or the Monkees. If you have those dollars behind you, it just seems like things roll a long a little bit easier. (Laughs). I think they're great at what they do. I wish 'em well.

Q - Is there anything else you'd like to say?
A - Yeah, the one thing I do want to say is we plan on going into rehearsal in November and December, and playing only a few gigs in town. But, we plan on jump-starting what we're doing and coming out with a little fresher thing and maybe a total recharge of songs we're doing. Not necessarily change the type of songs we're doing, but change everything just to make it fresh, so we stay fresh in front of people. We're aiming for next spring to come out as a fresh, new band, and possibly a fresh new name. It’s gonna be Big D and something. We may just come across with a new name. You know, it takes so much to get things going, so much effort and so much money. I wish club owners would realize some of this stuff, and how much work goes into making this happen. I’m not complaining because that’s the business I’m in. It’s a labor of love for everybody in the band. It’s not for the money obviously. It’s because we love doing it.

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