Lil Dicky is back on the tour. For the third season of his wacky, larger-than-life and sorta-true show about his life, Dave — Lil Dicky, real name Dave Burd, is winding his way across the continental U.S. on his first-ever tour, leaving chaos, condoms, and questionable fan interactions in his wake, all while searching for his one true love. It’s the series’ most ambitious season yet, with new environments, expanded side storylines, and a dazzling cohort of celebrity guest cameos. Already, it’s proven to offer fertile storytelling ground; the especially chaotic third episode involves Atlanta, Rick Ross, and a stolen chain, with the rest of the season slowly coming into focus — a shift from the inner-mind of a neurotic White rapper, to those of the friends and colleagues surrounding him.
Over a three-way Zoom one recent Friday afternoon, the leading men of Dave — Burd, Travis Bennett, and GaTa, who dialed in from Sydney, Australia — sat down to discuss everything about the show’s exciting season, from the true stories behind the events, fan interactions, and why Rick Ross was an above and beyond guest cameo.
The premise of the season is that you’re on tour. This is the first season where all the episodes weren't filmed in L.A. Can you guys talk about what that experience was like?
Dave: Well, we didn't go to the cities. But I'm happy that that's your takeaway. That means we did a good job as far as set design. But we did shoot an hour outside of L.A., and we went to the desert, and it was hot. I remember it being real hot.
Travis: I went to go see Black Panther 2 with GaTa while we were shooting in Lancaster. And then in the middle of Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever, they cut my [break] short and made me come to set. So I saw half of Wakanda.
Dave: We were like, “Where's Travis?” And they were like, “He's at the movies.”
Travis: Yeah. It was in the same parking lot though, so it was fine.
Dave: It worked out. But honestly from my end, it's so exciting for every episode to be like, "Oh, this one is set in Texas. This one is set in Philly. This one is set in Atlanta." It just makes everything have its own tone, and even as I'm scoring these episodes right now, as I'm finishing them, it's fun to be in a western world here and then be in a jazz world here.
GaTa: It was just dope to be able to tap into a different location. You know what I'm saying? And show people that we're progressing on the road. That the moves we’re making are becoming more, let's say national, worldwide, global. Because tour is just like that. Waking up in a new city, new place, changing locations. That's every artist's dream, to go on tour.
Dave: And all three of us, we've all gone on tour ourselves. So all of us know how it is. There are times where Travis would be like, “No, there would be so much more trash here.” So we all are able to keep everyone in check because we all have the experience.
What was the most important part of tour life that you wanted to capture this season?
Dave: In Season 2, there's a lot of inner character, butting heads, and bickering. I had it out with him. I had it out with him. We all had it out. This season, it's the opposite. When you're on tour, you're going as a team into a new place, where the only people are each other. It's always, not you against the world, but it's like we're all we have in these places. I feel like I bonded with GaTa so much more when I went on tour with him, and I'm essentially living with the man, and we have all these experiences. Every night, it's like a group sleepover with your best friends. I think tonally this season I wanted it to be less bicker-y and more like, “We're on the same team. Let's figure out a way to succeed together.” Tour is a great avenue for that because it's where great friendships are spawned.
Travis: I have so many crazy stories from tour, and when people are like, “How have you seen all this stuff?” It's like, “Dude. I was in Nebraska yesterday. Tomorrow I'm going to be in Austin.” It was good to be able to see how different people operate in different cities versus how we operate living in L.A.
GaTa: Everybody got a agenda on tour. Everybody want to... Travis might want to go thrift shopping. He might want to go look at watches. Everybody want to make something happen.
It’s a good way to explore the ensemble cast a bit more — everyone else's plot lines and characters.
GaTa: One of my favorite things about touring though — it doesn't always have be about the concert. Like me, I like touring for diversity. I like touring for culture. Every time I'm on tour, I might learn a little different language or something. I might see how people live. Right now, I'm in Australia. It's crazy. They over here putting mustard and mayonnaise on everything. They're putting cranberry sauce on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Dave: Whereas Season 2 was real psychological, this season gets more observational. We're able to go to places like Mississippi and be like, oh, we're in a totally different world here.
I feel like that's something you explore in the third episode when you get into Atlanta. How much of what happens is based off of real life?
Dave: I couldn't quantify it. I could tell you that never has Rick Ross put his chain on me and we walked outside and got robbed of the chain and end the night getting the chain back. But GaTa has certainly been involved in stories where chains got stolen and he would tell me the whole process and we would pick his brain about what would happen next. We really mapped out the plot based on true experiences, but never have we been in that exact predicament.
GaTa: Right, right, right.
Dave: He's been in situations that I haven't.
GaTa: Kevin Hart did put a chain on you though. A big fat Cuban link in Vegas.
Dave: He did, but then he took it back.
What about some of the fan interactions? In the first episode, a fan gives you a concrete bust of yourself. Is that a real gift you've received?
Dave: I think so. I mean, I've received things that are so adjacent to that. That is based off of the reality of, I've gotten fan art that I certainly appreciate, but when I look at the pictures or whatever, I look, like, mutated. And so I just wanted to have some fan give me something that looked kind of grotesque. I remember, GaTa, that we got things that I was like, “How are we going to transport this sh*t? How are we going to carry it around?” A big painting one time.
GaTa: Fan art is the best, man. Fan art is dope.
There are also a lot of special cameos from big celebrities in episode three. Who was the best guest to have?
Dave: It's hard. I don't ever want to pick favorites like that. They were all good sports. Usher and Rick Ross... Usher was very cool for me because the first concert I ever saw in my life was an Usher concert. So to be able to tell him that, and in the scene I tell him that, it was a full-circle moment. Now Rick Ross, there's no better team player than Rick Ross. That man went so above and beyond what was initially even desired. And we were using his real chain. There was a time where I'd be like, “Hey, we're shooting a scene and you've already shot your scene. Can I hold onto this chain tonight and give it to you tomorrow?” He said, “Sure.” Letting us hold his expensive chain overnight, and we needed it because you can't fake that chain. He and his friends who were in the show too, they were all so easy to work with and so nice and really were giving with their time.
GaTa: Rick Ross was my favorite. I was a big fan of his since day one. I love old school cars, so I remember the last day he was working, I drove my old school to set, just hoping that I could talk to him about it. He was sitting in this car when I got there. I'm like, “Yeah, man. I got the '86 Camaro.” He’s like, “Yeah, I see...you don't got the original paint, though. I see how you changed it up and put the pin stripe and you got this with the…” I was like, “Man, this was so cool.”
That's cool. You can meet all your heroes.
Travis: Yeah, that's how I'm on the show. Dave told me I was his hero and he said, “Come on over here, my friend.”
Who are some big names you’d like to see in future seasons?
Travis: Anybody in the NBA is on my wishlist.
Dave: LeBron would be a great guest and he's a fan of the show. To me there are certain guests, like a LeBron, who I wouldn't want to just have show up in a random party scene being like, “Yo, Dave.” I want to have the perfect episode.
This season also has the most new original music. Dave, what was it like for you to write these new songs? I know your fans are waiting for a new album.
Travis: Yeah. Where's the album at, my boy?
Dave: I'm lucky where I can write music I'm not necessarily thinking about the TV show for, and then it's time to make the season and I'm like, “What song?” And then I'm like, “Well, that fits perfectly there. That fits perfectly here.” There are times where I do have to create something totally original for a scene, for sure.
The song that immediately opens the season feels hyper-specific to that scene. Was that one that you fit for that scene?
Dave: No. I just wrote that song and I was like, "This is funny."
Travis: Which one was it?
Dave: It's the song about me losing the condom in a girl. I'm not sure you’ve ever heard it. It's good.
Travis: I think I'd remember that.
Dave: I wrote this song, and I liked it. I like having good openers and I thought it'd be cool to start with the music video, but I didn’t want to start with any music video. So I wanted to have a kind of sexual mishap experience. Did you enjoy that song?
It was pretty outrageous, but I did enjoy it.
Dave: Cool. [Drinks from an Evian water bottle.]
Travis: You drinking Evian?
Dave: That's tap water.
Travis: I thought you needed to borrow some money. You put tap water in the Evian? You gave out reusable water bottles as like a wrap gift, dog. You have more than one, I know. What are we talking about here?
What was your favorite episode to film this season?
Travis: I'll say either, oddly enough, what's funny is the one in Mississippi was kind of my favorite for my own special reasons. And there was the episode, I don't know what I was supposed to say... You guys remember when I couldn't get the f*cking words right and [Andrew] Santino kept making fun of me? That day was so f*cking fun. It was the dumbest, but we were having the best time being idiots.
Dave: There was an episode in the desert that I think we all had fun doing where it was just so hot, making us sweatier every second. It's nice to be able to intentionally look bad and not have to be like, “Does my hair look perfect right now?” I think I kind of agree with the ones that he mentioned. I'll also say the season finale, but I can't really explain why, but the season finale was the moment of my life.
GaTa: Honestly, I like filming every episode because sometimes I'll just be catching myself on set, like, “Damn, is this my life? Am I just really making a TV show all the time? Am I really just living my dream?” So I appreciate every episode, you know what I'm saying? Even if I'm only in it for a split second.
Travis: He's in Sydney shooting a movie that is a big-ass movie.
Dave: I'm going to revise my answer. I love episode two, which was the music video one because all those long takes were so thrilling to have to get it right. It's a two-and-a-half minute shot. Shows that do those types of things rehearse it three days in advance and we didn't do any of that. We had 30 minutes of rehearsal like we always do before the scene and I was like, "Are we setting ourselves up for failure?" It was a little nerve-wracking. I think there was a level of focus that day where you just knew if you f*ck up, you f*ck up the entire scene, even if you stuttered, and everyone really rose to the occasion. I love the way it turned out.
Travis: The cast and crew together, it was a beast that day. It was a real machine. That was the most efficient day I think we ever saw throughout four years of production.
Dave: I agree. We were really efficient and we filmed 10 minutes of the show in one day. It was genius. I was saying we should do this all the time.
Travis and GaTa, what are your favorite parts about working with Dave on this show?
Travis: I will say very openly that in the beginning it was rough for me because I just came from a different form of work. It was just a lot of ego involved for myself. And then once I let all that sh*t go, it became the easiest thing to do. How collaborative [Dave] is, it's very amazing. There are things where I'm like, “I don't know about this.” And he'll be like, “Okay, let's talk about it,” and you figure it out and there's a better option. I am beyond grateful for this man — if he asked me to hide a body for him, I would, without a doubt. I know that for years I was so difficult, so now to not be difficult, I really feel kind of unstoppable. When I'm the least difficult one on set, it's like I'm just in a forest of flowers running around naked. That's how I feel.
GaTa: That was a great answer, bro. That was a great answer, dog. Bro, your interview skills, man.
Travis: I've been tapping in, bro.
GaTa: My favorite thing about being on set with Dave is laughing, learning, growing, you know what I'm saying? Just being able to just share our dream. We've been doing this for a long time together, as far as being on tour and stuff. So to be able to share the moments that we've actually had in real life, it's crazy, man. It's dope to be showing people how it was because there's a lot of people that just know us from the TV show. They don't really know us from ground zero, being out there at all these different crazy places. So it's just dope, man.