Watch Listen Tell, live music everywhere [Dave Tree Interview]

Watch, Listen, Tell. Is the last gift that Youtube along Dave Tree –a cinematographer showing a remarkable taste– has given to the culture. A channel that has made one step back on the music scene. Walking backwards our steps to take a detour, an alternative which will lead the music closer to the its lovers. Without walls built by multinationals moved by Mr.Money which have treated their clients as forced receptors and, too often, criminals.

In WLT we find a video selection produced and directed by Dave Tree, also a live music director apart of cinematographer, convinced about the audiovisual’s value. They aren’t the typical clips where the electronic helps turning the singer’s voice into a marvelous symphony, those where the computer become the main character producing effects that diverts attention from the main point: music.

They are clips filmed non-stop, in one single scene, in some of the most beautiful nooks of the English capital. Within this clips a band or a singer bring their A games with an acoustic version of their hits, just with the honest help of their instruments. No additives. It usually sounds pretty different from the original…


The chords, or the singer’s voice, transport us to the place where the concert takes place. The photography, the subdued colors and the camera moves escorting the rhythm seduces you to undisclosed feelings.

When the clip comes to an end you have already watched and listened, tell in any social network or in Youtube itself will be just matter of time. Something that you do willingly as those four or five minutes have shaken the stress and malaise out of you.

A deep walk through WLT shows a set of art pieces within reach everywhere in the world and, furthermore, for free. Yes, those two words that have been producing headaches to the big companies’ CEOs. Youtube copyright detecting system doesn’t work due to it is live music in public places. Additionally, there is no intention profit from Dave.

WLT is a window to a free future without the GEMA.

Convinced and totally in loved with this channel I didn’t hesitate to contact Dave to know more about the WLT secrets and origins.

–    What is WTL for you? 

Watch Listen tell is, basically, a hobby. I am a passionate about music, I feel like I am very privileged to be able to enjoy music and spend time with artists doing something really unique. I got to share that on the internet and luckily for me people like it. For me it’s my favorite hobby.

– What’s the goal?

For me the goal of Watch Listen Tell was showing young people that music doesn’t have to happen in a studio, it doesn’t have to happen with fancy equipment or lighting or studio recording equipment. If you have talent, you can make music everywhere and really good music too. And also wanted to show young people that all good music starts from very simple beginnings.

– Why did you start WTL?

I used to be a live music director, directing multi-camera music suits, for many years… maybe… I think it’s about ten or probably twelve years. And I enjoyed it but a very large productions that I worked on: there were on studios, with lighting and many cameras… For me, I believe live music shouldn’t be that way. I think that live music has struggle because is trying to have that, it can’t never looked as good as the music video because that what the music video does and live music can’t never sound as great as the album, because that’s what the album does so it’s important that live music is separated, doesn’t do a thing. And one of the things that I love most about live music it’s being there and experiencing it and so for me I felt that live music should be one camera and very special audio involves the environment and it sounds different to the album as well. So I started because I felt that live music should be done or could be done in a better way so I just did it as an experiment and now it’s what it’s.

–    And how? Was it difficult when nobody knew you and the project?

Yes, it was a little bit difficult but not really, because it’s surprising how easy is to speak to new artists, artists that are just coming through, they like an eye, before the records companies get involved, before the become really big. It’s quite easy to talk to a band and to suggest to them that you are going to do something for free and you are going to make something. And I guess, if you sounds intelligent and you sound like you have something in common with them and you understand the music, it’s not that difficult. And the internet is an amazing tour and allows you to create anything you want to create and to put it out to the world and allow them to see it. So actually I think now it’s easy than it have ever been.

–    Your first video was uploaded in 2008, with an awesome performance by Florence and The Machine. That means that you knew the band before nobody else, before being able to listen to them every day in the BBC1. How could get a meeting with them?

It’s pretty much the same as the last question. Florence was playing concerts in the park for free and I was thinking that’s amazing I was very surprised that other people, at the time, weren’t seeing or hearing what I was hearing so yeah, it wasn’t difficult because she was unsigned. If you get involved in music in a very early stage it’s quite easy.

–    After that, tens of videos arrived to Youtube: Bombay Bicyle Club, Peggy Sue, Two Door Cinema Club etc… let me ask you, how do you choose the bands/artists?

There are many ways that I find new bands. Sometimes friends suggest music to me, sometimes companies or bands get in contact with me. I use the internet a lot, many different blogs and music websites and sometimes even artists’ bands recommends other bands to me. When I listen to new music I don’t… I think if I walk away, and I think about that song I listened to and maybe during the day I am start thinking about it or I whistle it or I want to hear it again then means to me how I measure it. That’s how I choose the music for Watch Listen Tell.

–    Many of them are worldwide known and have a big company behind them. Has the companies any problem with your videos? anything related with the copyrights?

I don’t have copyrights issues with Watch Listen Tell because it’s free, there’s no money with Watch listen Tell, there’s no advertising. I do it just because I have a passion for music, I don’t want to make money with Watch Listen Tell and I just want to do it because I love it, the fans and the people who support it, they like it because of that also, there’s no product, there’s no commissions…  it’s just about the music.

If someone doesn’t like the music right now it’s probably they are getting old.”

–    What’s your opinion about the present music scene?

…I think it’s good, it’s healthy. I think as long as you keep an open mind music is always part of culture and a very important part of popular culture and if someone doesn’t like the music right now it’s probably they are getting old. Music is for every generation but popular music is mainly for the young. I think. You know, what was popular when we were young or apparently were young, it stays with them, and it becomes the music they love, they like it. I think music it’s very important in our lives because it’s like a chapter in a book.. It’s the soundtrack to our lives, and so when we get older it’s what we like when listening to the music. We listened to when we were younger and it helps remember some of the best times of our lives.

–    Right now, WTL has 43099 subscribers and more than 11 million views. What’s your plan now you have reach a very good position in the network?

I don’t really have a plan, my “plan” is to continue with Watch Listen Tell as I have always done, and I think the most important part for me is to keep the passion, if I feel like I am doing Watch Listen Tell for any other reason then it’s not right. It has to be about that. So my plan the same as always has been, that is keep listening to new music, music that I like and share with people that hopefully they will like it also.

–    I don’t see any advertisement in your channel. Is this your main job? If not, is it too expensive to maintain the channel updated?

No, there’s no advertising on Watch Listen Tell. It’s all for free and I said I am a director of live music but I am also a cinematographer, I shoot commercials and so Watch Listen Tell is something that I do in my spare time and sometimes, unfortunately, it’s really difficult for me to do it because of work or our live commitments, like moving house or locations. So sometimes Watch Listen Tell is quiet for a few months, sometimes there’s just not music, there is no music that I really like so I don’t do video. And sometimes there’s a lot of spare times and a lot of music and so Watch Listen Tell is very busy. I think that’s not the important thing, I never make videos just because I have to make them, I make them because I want to make them, so yeah, it’s not my main job, Watch Listen Tell is myself, I think many people thinks it’s a big company but it’s not, and luckily because I am a cinematographer I have all the equipment that I need to make Watch Listen Tell and I have a lot of experience in cinematography but I also have a lot of experience in sound, so I do the sound according everything else. It’s my favorite hobby.

–    Which are your others passions apart of films and music?

Well as you know, I am motorcycler. I have a couple of bikes. I think, as creative person, freedom is very important feeling and not only using your creativity in what you want to do, I think that’s representative in Watch Listen Tell.

The internet give us the ability to be creative and to share with the world and WLT is my and my to share with everybody. I am passionate, I am free to express myself and I am passionate about motorcycling as well, I live in a city, I live in London, and it’s very difficult to move and to get away, and I very passionate about motorcycles because not only are wonderful technical, because I like technical, cameras, motorbikes… but they represent freedom to me. That’s it really.

I think If could have one wish for Watch Listen Tell I think that I hope that one day when I am a lot older I would be able to look back on my hobby, my life and see many many beautiful recording seasons that I’ve done with bands who some nobody knows where they’ve gone, some they would be very big that I wish and I hope I will have a body of music and work, that could look back on and be very proud of and I am very privilege to have an audiences or subscribers of viewers who share the same passion that I do. Thank you very much Carlos.

In Spanish | 1001 Experiencias


2 thoughts on “Watch Listen Tell, live music everywhere [Dave Tree Interview]

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