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Dave Yaden: Songwriting, Music Publishing & Pierce the Veil

This week we’re joined by LA based musician and Grammy award winning songwriter Dave Yaden. Dave’s written and toured with artists such as Lady Antebellum, One Republic, Josh Kelley, and our friend Tyler Hilton. He’s also performed on shows such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with Dave Letterman, Good Morning America and the Ellen Degeneres show several times over. His musical range is extremely eclectic – he’s collaborated on hip hop tracks, written and recorded with hardcore punk group Pierce The Veil, and as if that wasn’t enough, is also working on his own solo material. His latest EP “Move” is out now.

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  • Dave says he’s always been better at writing for other people than himself
  • Writing for others took so many self-directed questions out of the equation for Dave
  • Sometimes as artists we get worried that we won’t come across
  • We talk about writing in different genres and how heavily related western music genres really are
  • People don’t listen to music questioning the genre – we appreciate it for what it is
  • 2016 is a really exciting time for musicians, especially as genres are more open now
  • Dave believes that writing in various genres helps to make him a better writer
  • When writing a song, ask yourself “is this a good song?” rather than “is this good punk music?”
  • Dave compares the major label to independent experience, and tells us the pros and cons of each
  • Dave shares how he feels there is too much pandering within the major labels
  • Dave gives us some tips for getting songs in front of publishers – and there’s no quick fix
  • We hear how Dave wishes he could go back in time and dress cooler – your look is important in music!
  • Artists will dress up for a regular job, but won’t do the same for their music career
  • You have to enjoy your work in the music industry, otherwise you may as well be doing something else
  • “I should just be playing the piano with my dick – I’d have hundreds of thousands of subscribers” – Dave Yaden, 2016


  • “In songwriting, the more personal you get, the more relatable it is” – Dave Yaden, 2016
  • “When writing a song, think about what is going to make people want to hit play” – Dave Yaden, 2016
  • If approaching a publisher, make sure your demos are as good as they can be
  • If you want to do art for a living, you have to think like a business person
  • Go to where the music is – go to shows, networking events
  • The “ins” that people have are never a guaranteed route to success
  • If artists aren’t cutting your songs, FIND an artist to cut your song
  • Listen to the little kid inside of you – if that kid is excited, you’ve got a good song

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