The Dead Space App (An App Beyond Description) and Interview With Dave Braeger
It’s been a few months since I joined the Dead Space App and downloaded the app on my iPhone. I haven’t been using social media as much lately because it’s been so divisive and completely irrational. I was looking for a way to connect with some of my fellow jam band fans and wallow in the anguish of not seeing live music for such a long time. I was immediately impressed with the layout and the complete focus on music and the community that the Dead Space App offered. The Dead Space App is a social media platform that is solely based around the Grateful Dead and its fans. One of the most powerful and enduring aspects of the Grateful Dead is its fans. I think that is what makes the Grateful Deads legacy a bit different and this translates to the internet like no other musical enterprise.
Dead Space is a place to share your thoughts, memories, pictures, or whatever seems relevant to you. Its an app beyond description but I will do my best to describe it. While there aren’t as many people posting lately, this is probably due in part to the lack of shows during this Covid-19 pandemic. Yesterday was Ron "Pigpen" McKernan's birthday, a founding member of the Grateful Dead who shaped the early sound of the band's bluesy roots. There were many posts dedicated to him on the Dead Space App and this is just one example of the things you will see on Dead Space on any given day. Some other posts from other members reminisce on their first shows or, past experiences. Since one of my favorite apps, fans.com switched over to being a live streaming service, I have lost touch with the community. The Dead Space App has helped me gain some of that feeling back. I hope that many of you reading this join me on Dead Space so that we can rekindle the vibes that we once felt. I know live music is coming back with social distancing rules, masks, and lots of drive-ins. I don’t think this will last forever but these have been some great options for those of us who are dying to see live music. Let’s use the Dead Space App as a way to share our experiences and hopefully gain a better understanding of what the future is for live music.
I got to speak with Dave, the founder, and creator of the Dead Space App for a short interview. It’s always a pleasure to have new entrepreneurs within the community come talk to me so that we can learn more about what they’re trying to do. I am still working hard to get my Podcast/VLOG (Out Of My Mind) fully up and running. It has been quite a journey so far. I’m afraid I might need some editing help. If any of you know anyone willing to help with video editing, please contact me. I am also still looking for advertisers, sponsors, or anyone willing to help me bring honesty and change back into the jam scene. Thank you all for hanging in there and enjoy learning more about Dave and what makes Dead Space special.
Interview Questions for Dave Braeger from the Dead Space
JBP: So, I have to start at the very beginning and ask you when you first fell in love with the Grateful Dead or what experience with the band changed your outlook on life?
Dave: I fell in love with The Grateful Dead when I was about 14. I am the baby of 7 kids and my older sisters turned me on to The Grateful Dead. I still remember hearing "Morning Dew" for the first time and it was the turning point that brought me deep into the band. My first concert was in the early ’80s at Alpine Valley. It was a two-night run and the music, as well as, the fantastic community at the show really changed my life. I have now seen 125 or so shows when including The Grateful Dead, Dead, and Company, Further, Jerry Garcia Band, Phil, Mickey Hart, and Bob’s various other connecting bands.
JBP: When did you initially get the idea for Dead Space and how long have you been working on it?
Dave: I founded Dead Space App and the game company in late 2019 and brought the app live in February of 2020.
JBP: What can people who download the app expect to see?
Dave: I created the app as a “one-stop-shop” for Dead and jam band fans to go to for their social media sharing, media coverage, access to Dead and jam band music, ticket purchases with Cash or Trade Tickets, and benefits such as merchandise and blog from famed Dead photographer Bob Minkin.
JBP: What has been your biggest obstacle in developing the Dead Space App? I once heard that some aspects of the internet were created because of the Grateful influence on some of the developers. What are your thoughts on the continued legacy of “free trade” and technological innovations coming from this realm of improvisation and even tape sharing?
Dave: The biggest obstacle has been the lack of concerts and festivals due to COVID 19. I brought the app out in time for concert season in which we would have been at all Dead and Co. shows. The Grateful Dead engaged, whether that was their goal or not in the best marketing of any band ever with the many years that taping was allowed as the music spread across the country like “wildfire.” Although not surprising due to the move to licensing restrictions, the days of taping and the sales of fan’s merchandise have deteriorated over the years which has taken away from the “environment” that gave so much enjoyment to the fans and added so much “community.” It is great that we have access to sites such as Relisten and Nugs.net now.
JBP: What is your ultimate goal?
Dave: The goal of Dead Space App and our game company is to bring the best experience we can to Dead Heads and jam band lovers. Facebook and Instagram simply do not work well as a social media platform anymore. Due to the algorithm that does not allow for all posts to be seen by the entire community, as well as, all the negative content, politics, and advertising. (we only allow approved advertising) I want the app to have the success that the other apps my developers have created. (The official Rolling Stones App and Official Luke Bryan App). Those apps have over 750,000 subscribers. This will lead to live streaming, merchandise, and other great features.
JBP: What’s your craziest concert/festival/musical experience?
Dave: In 1987 I had the ability to go backstage for a Grateful Dead show in Dallas, TX. I was able to meet the members of the band as well as have a fantastic time during the show. I also had a fantastic experience traveling the country on my first Dead summer tour in 1987 and once again in 1988.
JBP: The Grateful Dead, at its core, has always been about community. What about the Dead Space App is likening to this community aspect?
Dave: The only goal of Dead Space App is to create the very best and largest community for Dead Heads and the app and desktop version offer a great scrolling fan wall for the subscribers to post photos and content as well as have easy access to so much media content and music content all in one location.
JBP: Any thoughts on opening up the platform to new jam bands and other acts in the vein of The Grateful Dead?
Dave: Although Dead Space App was created for Dead and other jam band lovers, to date the largest percentage of subscribers has been lovers of The Dead. In the future, we plan on creating apps focused on other jam bands just like has been done with The Rolling Stones and Luke Bryan apps.
JBP: With so many other social media platforms becoming increasingly negative, politically driven, and all-around abhorrent, how does the Dead Space App look to change this?
Dave: The beauty of the Dead Space App is that we consistently monitor all content and posts every day and have keywords that will block political and negative content. The subscribers can also report posts or comments directly to the administrators and after “three strikes” the subscriber can be blocked from using the app. We will not allow the app to become another Facebook or Instagram “group” as it is the very reason we created the app: To get Dead fans off of the large social media companies as they offer a very poor experience for the fans.
Thanks so much to Dave and the Dead Space App for the informative interview.You can find the Dead Space App here:
or at Apple App Store:
Or Google Play:
I am sad to hear about the passing of Jerilyn Lee Brandelius, Author and Producer she was a big part of my Grateful Dead experience. Her family photo album was one of my first introductions to the Dead. Not only were the nude women interesting to a 10 year old mind but the images within evoked freedom, music, and expression, something that I always held onto. I remember thinking this must be some heavy metal band! 20 years I became friend with Jerilyn and got to tell her this very story! Sleep in the stars
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Editor: Robert (R.A.) Fadley
Freelance Writer, Musicologist, Music Journalist, Music Critic, Music Writer, Author, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Guitarist.