Herman Dune is David Ivar’s musical project. It was started in 1998 in Paris, France. David is a French/Swedish citizen who began playing antifolk in Paris at a time when no DIY scene existed, let alone with songs performed in English. In 2001 he started the MOFO music festival in Paris which featured acts like Daniel Johnston, Bonnie Prince Billie, The Silver Jews, Dinosaur Jr., and The Moldy Peaches.
After spending years in Lo-Fi territory with the label Shrimper (The Mountain Goats), 2006 found Herman Dune signing to EMI/Source (UK Virgin) and releasing two albums. The album “Giant,” was certified Gold in France and both records had Herman Dune touring non-stop for the next two years. Herman Dune played 42 States in the USA and many festivals including; SXSW, End of the Road, Green Man, Benicassim, Primavera Sound Festival, All Tomorrow’s Parties, and Central Park Summer Stage festivals.
In 2008, Funny Or Die produced the video for the song “Tell Me Something I Don’t’ Know,” featuring John Hamm and a puppet made by Jim Henson’s Studio.
Through a “Never-ending” life on the road, Herman Dune has toured with Arcade Fire, Jolie Holland, Kimya Dawson, Of Montreal, and opened for Sleater Kinney and Wanda Jackson. Whenever in the UK, he was always welcome at BBC1 to record exclusive sessions, and holds a record for tracking 10 John Peel Sessions with the mythical British DJ.
David Ivar has also been recognized as a visual artist and his work has been seen in Playboy, Flaunt, and Spray magazines. His art has been shown at the FIAC in Paris, Art Basel in Miami, Triennale in Milano. He’s had multiple exhibitions in galleries in Paris (Nivet-Carzon, Agnes B), New York City (Cinders Gallery), Los Angeles (Small World Books), and institutions and galleries in Europe. David Ivar has written and recorded the soundtracks for theatrical movies like Mariage A Mendoza (Edouard Deluc), Blockbuster (July Hygrek, a NETFLIX film), and Chasing Bonnie & Clyde (Olivier Lambert).
David Ivar - On writing the album:
"Sweet Thursday" is the third volume of the Cannery Row trilogy by John Steinbeck. After leaving France in all kinds of clashes and hurries, I felt that in my new home in San Pedro, California, I had found my own Cannery Row. I moved to Santa Cruz Street, by the harbor, where life starts at 4AM. The nine songs of "Sweet Thursday" were recorded live with my band (Kyle McNeill & Lewis Pullman) and produced by myself and Kyle. It was then mixed by Adam Selzer (M.Ward, Langhorne Slim).”
Now an Immigrant in California, I set up a studio in my back yard, gave up my phone, stopped touring and started working intensely on music and art. I also drove around the South Bay in my 1992 Toyota with its old cassette deck. Most songs on “Sweet Thursday” are inspired by this new life, and the doubts and fears of being an alien resident in the shift of the US during this current administration.
At a recent show of Mike Watt & The Missing Men in a warehouse on the docks near my house, Mike shouted out to the audience, “Release your own stuff! Put out your own music!”. I felt like the King of the San Pedro Punk Scene was pointing at me to inspire me in my process of going back to doing things myself, my own label, my own everything!
The album has strong visual themes to me and I decided to work with video artist Brett Sullivan of the NYC antifolk band American Anymen to help realize music videos for the entire album. I really dug his editing style in connection to music, so when he came up with the idea of a video campaign for “Sweet Thursday”, almost a movie, I really jumped on the idea and we got to work filming music videos about San Pedro that inspired the album so much.
The full album “Sweet Thursday” is set to be released on MAY 17th.