Solo punks tread softly on the working road

The punks are here, and they’re armed with acoustic guitars.

New City Compound is hosting four punk rockers-gone-solo Friday night.

Dave Hause, who fronts Philadelphia pop-punk band The Loved Ones, is on the bill along with Tony Sly (No Use for a Name), Mikey Erg (The Ergs, Star Fucking Hipsters) and Ben Disaster of local punk favourites Let’s Dance.

Hause, who once roadied for the Bouncing Souls and has played with numerous punk and hardcore bands including Step Ahead and Paint it Black, is enjoying life as a solo artist.

“It’s a lot easier to get around,” he says. “You can say yes to a lot more opportunities. I’m more mobile. So in that respect, it’s easier to pull off.”

Hause’s solo debut Resolutions, released in January, is a collection of emotionally vulnerable, acoustically driven pop-rock that one wouldn’t expect to go over well with many punk crowds.

But Hause says tracks like Pray for Tucson and the touching Time Will Tell (see video below) are getting great reception on the road, whether he’s playing with a backing band, or on his lonesome as he will for the Edmonton date.

“There seems to be a lot of people who are aware of The Loved Ones or are fans of The Loved Ones at the shows. I guess it all just depends on what the specific show is and in what town,” Hause says. “I’ve been able to play some really great shows since releasing the record.”

Rocking the acoustic guitar is nothing new for Hause, though he’s still getting used to traveling and performing without a band.

He didn’t start playing solo shows until 2009, and the side project kicked into high gear just last year.

“I’ve been writing songs on an acoustic guitar for a long time. All of The Loved Ones material has been written that way,” he says.

“It’s hard to say when it started (taking off), it’s all kind of a blur.”

Other members of The Loved Ones are working on their own side projects as the band takes a short break– drummer Mike Sneeringer is playing with Title Tracks, while bassist Chris Gonzalez fronts Team Vibes.

Hause is equally devoted to each of his two main projects, but relishes the chance to get a little more personal with his solo work.

“When you’re performing with a band, it makes more sense to me, if you’ve got a lot of song ideas, to use the ideas that reach the broadest topics,” he says. “A band is like a team or a gang or something. So I think that I chose to put some more personal stuff on this record.”

Don’t think Hause has softened up, though. He has a new hardcore punk band in the works with a few friends, as well as a couple other projects kicking around.

In the meantime, though, his solo project is growing wings.

Following some west-coast dates with Alkaline Trio, Hause will gear up to tour Europe in September.

“I didn’t have any real expectations. I just wanted to get the songs out there,” he says.

“To have people excited about it, I’m very fortunate.”

Tickets are available here.