MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Dave Simonett’s “Revoked”

Due out March 13, Red Tail (Thirty Tigers) is coming from a much different place than 2017’s Furnace. That’s because Dave Simonett is in a much different place these days. “I would hope so after three years,” says the Trampled By Turtles frontman with a chuckle. “I went through that whole cycle of writing these really plain-spoken, personal songs, and it was kind of exhausting, to be honest with you.”

And those three years went by fairly quickly, thanks to 2018 Trampled By Turtles release Life Is Good On The Open Road and the prog-bluegrass outfit’s heavy touring schedule. “I feel great right now—life is good,” Simonett says from a TBT tour stop in Pittsburgh. “The work with Trampled is really fulfilling, and I’ve been writing a lot. Red Tail has been done for eight or nine months. It’s just been a matter of finding the right time to put it out so I could do some shows behind it.”

It’s fitting that the Minneapolis artist chose to ditch his Dead Man Winter moniker for the first time with Red Tail. Its predecessor strived for catharsis by sifting through the debris of a failed marriage, so you can hardly blame Simonett for wanting to distance himself from such harrowingly personal stuff. Red Tail is a casual, convivial collection that suggests a more stable state of internal affairs and a brighter outlook on life in general. “Lots of things have changed for me, but a lot has stayed the same,” he says. “I know that’s ambiguous.”

Even more ambiguous is Simonett’s explanation of “Revoked,” Red Tail’s haunting leadoff track. “I had this vision of making it as much about the instrumental part as the lyrics,” he says. “For this album, I had these bits and piece of songs, but instead of trying to write more words, verses or a bridge, I tried it with instruments.” 

And the origins of a line like “The child of dawn and the paper wings are feeling fine now”? “Oh, I don’t know,” says Simonett. “It’s really just working with language a bit. I don’t mean to say that it’s about nothing, because that sounds kind of sad. But it’s more of a subconscious approach.”

—Hobart Rowland

Tour Dates
3/19 – Grand Rapids, MN, Reif Performing Arts Center
3/26 – Chicago, City Winery
3/27 – Cincinnati, Taft Theatre
3/28 – Nashville, City Winery
3/29 – Atlanta, City Winery
3/30 – Asheville, NC, Grey Eagle
4/1 – Washington, DC, City Winery
4/2 – Philadelphia, City Winery
4/4 – Providence, Upstairs At The Columbus Theatre
4/5 – Boston, City Winery
4/17 – Denver, Bluebird Theater
4/18 – Boulder, Bluebird Music Festival
4/19 – Fort Collins, Fort Collins Armory
5/9 – St. Paul, Fitzgerald Theater