David Bach is the VP of Business Operations for Brainwave Studios, a high-tech children's entertainment company. Previously, he was VP of A&R and Creative for both EMI and Sony/BMG’s Christian music divisions—where he oversaw music and video production, as well as brand development, for a diverse roster of Gold and Platinum-selling artists such as dcTalk, Stacie Orrico, Toby Mac, Michael. W. Smith and many others. He was also the founder and bassist for award-winning Christian rock group Guardian—with whom he recorded 13 albums and toured worldwide.
David attended the Sorbonne in Paris, France where he studied art and design—which prepared him for extensive work as an art director and graphic designer—with an emphasis on package design and print advertising. He holds a patent for an enhanced packaging design for digital media discs.
David’s diverse creative background includes assignments as a columnist for HM Magazine, music supervision on various film projects and a prolific songwriting catalog containing over twenty Top 10 hits on the Christian radio charts. He is the recipient of a Grammy® and has received multiple awards for point-of-purchase retail advertising design.
My “Real Story”
I was born in Arlington, Virginia in 1961. My father was a career naval officer who served at the Pentagon and my mother was an actress who appeared in films with Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney. To this day, I am thankful for my parents diverse skill sets—which taught me the balance of both left and right brain thinking. One of my earliest memories is that of my older sister propping me in front of the TV to watch the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. I think I subconsciously made the decision then and there to pursue a career in music. All of the hysterical screaming teenage girls may have aided in this decision but I can’t be sure. I got my feet wet in show business at an early ago as a child actor and model and when my father retired from the military, we moved west to Orange County, California where I began to pursue my passion for music in earnest.
I attended Orangewood Academy where I graduated in 1979. As much as I bucked the discipline of Adventist schooling, I received an excellent education there. After Orangewood, I matriculated to La Sierra University where I initially majored in music—only to soon realize that formal classical training and a career in entertainment were actually wildly divergent paths.
I was then fortunate enough to receive the rare opportunity to attend the Sorbonne in Paris, France. I would love to say that it was my outstanding scholastic achievements that landed me a spot in such a prestigious institution but it just isn’t so. My older sister had gone on to marry a tenured professor there and he was able to pull a few strings to get me in. My time in France included studies of art and design, extensive travel via both train and thumb, stints in avant-garde groups with some amazing musicians—and even time spent busking in the Paris metro. It was an amazing experience. Ernest Hemingway once wrote “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." How true!
Upon my return to the states, I embarked headlong into the booming L.A. music scene. I played with every style of band from rock to funk to country. I must even confess a stint backing up an Elvis impersonator. During this time, I formed a high energy—heavy theatrical Christian rock band called Guardian. In those early days, we did everything possible to stand out from the sea of rock bands on the Hollywood club scene—even wearing chromed body armor and playing our own unique style of progressive space metal. Suffice it to say that we were both marveled and laughed at by the other 80’s hair bands on the circuit. Our willingness to go against the status quo paid off when we were offered a record deal with Enigma Records.
It was during these “dues-paying” days in the clubs that someone sat me down in front on one of the early Apple Macintosh computers. It was a near-religious experience. I quickly dove into what was then referred to “desktop publishing”—and began utilizing my design background to crank out record covers and other artwork for my own band and a host of other newfound clients. Those were exciting times in the early days of computer-based graphic design.
Guardian released their worldwide debut album in 1989 and we expanded our regional touring to a worldwide level—playing more than 200 shows a year for the next 8 years and releasing many records. During these years, I continued to do freelance art direction and design whenever possible amidst our somewhat grueling recording and tour schedule.
In 1997, I felt it was time to hang up my leather pants and get off the road to spend more time with my family. I took a job as Creative Director for Pamplin Music where I oversaw all visual imaging for the company including photography, video, packaging and all marketing collateral. The release schedule was huge—with as many as 24 releases per quarter—but it was a great experience and my first real foray into the corporate world.
Good fortune again came my way when I was tapped for the position of VP of Artist Development for EMI-owned Forefront Records. It was the perfect opportunity to pull from my experience in both visual imaging and as a recording artist. I was blessed with the opportunity to work on many gold and platinum selling projects during those first few years and was then promoted to VP of both the A&R and Creative Departments—where I additionally oversaw all record production and artist signings. I loved my time with EMI. I learned a great deal about creative collaboration and the delicate nuance of managing corporate vision with creative output.
After five years with EMI, I accepted an offer to become VP of A&R for Sony/BMG-owned Reunion Records. This was great opportunity to learn different management philosophies as each major label group is ran quite differently based on its international origins. Many changes were occurring within the record industry. Independent labels were emerging—many of them flush with venture capital and armed with new business models that could possibly better address the rapidly changing music market.
I took the plunge into the independent music world when my long-time friends (and former Guardian producers) John and Dino Elefante decided to sell their Nashville recording mecca—the Sound Kitchen—to pursue new ventures in online music retailing, distribution and music production. I was tapped to become VP/GM for the fledgling group of companies and one of our first tasks was to raise additional venture capital and to secure distribution channels for the label imprints. Dino and I flew around the country making presentations to both investors and major music distributors. We were an excellent team. I would develop the presentation and Dino would deliver the pitch. I really learned a great deal about investment capital and the power of great presentations. (Thanks to Apple Keynote!)
After successfully securing funding through Weston Entertainment and distribution through Provident and Sony/Red, we set about to the development of quality content—with a focus on film/video production and web development. The next few years were a blast working with my long-time musical mentors.
In 2006, the winds of change blew again as Weston Entertainment transitioned the bulk of corporate assets into its real estate holdings and our happy creative team was sadly dismantled.
Ironically, through friendships built during my time with Weston, I met Rob Solberg from Brainwave Studios, who brought me on board to help launch Franktown Rocks, the world's first music-based virtual world for kids.
This brings me up to date. Currently, I’m VP of Business Operations at Brainwave Studios. I also serve on the board of directors for Hi-Def Entertainment—a film production company. I have been collaborating on movie soundtrack music with my long-time compatriots in Guardian—though there are no plans to officially reform the band as we now have 17 kids between the four of us!
My wife Laura and I have been married for 25 years. We have four sons, who range in age from 24 to 10. I definitely count myself blessed.