Q&A with DAVIS: "Write Every Song Like It's the Last Song You'll Ever Write"
Nothing about Southern California rocker DAVIS is conventional. From his 2016 Crooked Finger EP, which was recorded all throughout the U.S. in a DIY studio built in an RV to even his newest single, "Los Angeles" a brutally honest ode to the two-faced city that he calls home, DAVIS has been turning heads, and that's exactly what he plans on doing as he continues to round out 2017 with even more new music. We're not sure what tricks DAVIS has up his sleeve, but judging from "Los Angeles" and the recently released "Hello," it promises to be game-changing.
We recently caught up with DAVIS to talk about the Crooked Finger EP, upcoming new music and the California music scene. Read more and watch the video for "Los Angeles" now below!
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself for any readers who might not be familiar?
My name is DAVIS. I make rock n roll music to binge listen to.
How do you feel your upbringing in Southern California and early influences from artists like Kurt Cobain have affected you as a musician today?
I started going to shows when I was 11. It was the local punk scene out in the desert where I grew up that really inspired me at a young age. It felt like such a diverse and open minded scene at the time. Everyone seemed to really appreciate all different styles of music. You'd go to a Voodoo Glow Skulls concert and meet someone wearing a Bad Brains shirt telling you that you MUST listen to The Smiths. I remember thinking "Wait, so there are no rules to this? I can listen to whatever I want?" As a songwriter, it's that kind of freedom you crave. Because you have to be open to any style of music that might inspire you to create.
Last summer, you released your EP, Crooked Finger. Now that it has been out for over a year, what are some of your favorite things about those songs?
The Crooked Finger EP is the mission statement: pure rock n roll freedom. Because it pulls from so many different styles of rock n roll, it keeps you guessing as you listen. I wanted to set the tone for listeners to be surprised by what songs I release from here on out.
The writing and recording process of the EP was really interesting because it found you moving from place to place as you were working on it. How do you feel this affected the outcome of the EP?
Recording the EP was hectic. We built a studio in an RV and traveled the country tracking parts along the way. But the process gave the EP a sense of urgency. The songs are frantic and chaotic. They have some danger to them, like everything is holding on for life, which is exactly where they should be.
Were there any big lessons you learned when working on Crooked Finger that you’ve taken with you while working on new music now?
When you're recording in such a chaotic environment (an RV studio) you learn to seize every bit of inspiration you can when it comes. There's no time to be calculated and strategic. You learn to write every song like it's the last song you'll ever write, to sing every vocal take like it's a final vocal, and to play every guitar part like you're Jimmy Page.
Speaking of new music, you recently released a couple of new songs, “Hello” and “Los Angeles.” Did you have any goals in mind for these tracks?
The goal for each song was the same: to further tell my story as honest as possible. Musically the songs are vastly different, but the level of truth I put into each one is the same. I want you to go on a journey with me. You might not know where we're headed but you'll be glad you got there.
You also released a music video for “Los Angeles.” What about the city inspired the song and accompanying video?
We filmed everywhere in LA: downtown, Hollywood, East LA, etc. The song is the soundtrack to driving through the city. The video is that drive, told in a Grimm fairytale. LA can be beautiful or it can be a sinister dream, I wanted to show both.
With these two new songs out now, can fans expect some more new music - maybe even another EP - sometime soon?
Yes! New music is on the way. The next single I release will be a whole other chapter to this story. You'll be surprised at what I drop next.
Do you have any other big plans for the rest of 2017?
More shows, more music, more videos! I want each thing I release to feel like a new episode from your favorite TV show. Where you say to yourself "Wow I can't believe that happened! But I'm so glad it did."
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Have faith in rock n roll. It's always one song away from changing your life.