Revocation – Anthemic ObliterationSunday, 9th September 2018
Dead Rhetoric: Now at 32, where do you see the greatest differences in your life and career compared to your twenties? If you were to look back, do you have any specific wishes or regrets that you are working harder on now to course correct?
Davidson: I’m more mature as a musician and as a person in general. In the early days, you wanted to go out and party, this and that- and there are times where I still enjoy letting loose and having a few beers here and there, but it’s not like every night that we have to go on this raging adventure. I am more focused on the set and playing. As far as regrets, I don’t think I have any regrets. Maybe certain things business wise that I could have done better- a tour here or there, better decisions taking one tour over another. At the end of the day, all of these things have led us to where we are now and we are in a very good spot, so I’m very happy about that.
Dead Rhetoric: How did the listening party go for your new album at St. Vitus the other evening – and what were some of the highlights relating to metal karaoke?
Davidson: It was great. It was funny, because the label told us going into it, ‘you know – its just a listening party but nobody is actually going to listen to the record.’ And I kind of figured that was what was going to happen myself – people would come out for the cheap drinks and the hang more than the actual listening of the album. Our fans came in and surprised me – they made sure the album was playing in the bar, and the other part of the club, they came to listen. The label was really taken aback by that, people were really listening to it. It’s super rewarding to see that, people were literally moshing to mp3’s, this is crazy. Normally when I see people moshing, I’m playing – guitar and vocals. It was cool to be a fly on the wall and watch these people experience these new songs for the first time and I could relish in that moment and not focus on anything else. It was great seeing these people enjoying these songs and having sort of a sneak peek at the music.
As far as highlights from the karaoke – there was a great rendition of “Shoot to Thrill” by AC/DC, very shrill and amazing. I loved every second of it. One of my students got up and did a very in your face, abrasive version of “Enter Sandman” which was quite fun to watch, with some extra added emphasis on certain words here and there. The whole thing was cool, it was great to just watch the people go up and have a good time. There was this extra added bonus that seemed like it made everyone happy.
Dead Rhetoric: Do you think that sort of metal bar vibe from Europe is starting to come over into the United States more?
Davidson: I don’t know. It depends on the area. St. Vitus is located in Brooklyn, and New York in general is such a great city – the sheer volume of people makes it such that you are going to have so many people into the counterculture of things like death metal. Maybe if you did it in a city without such a vibrant scene, it wouldn’t do as well. Metal has always resided in these dive bars for a lot of us that like to hang. You don’t see a lot of people wearing Cannibal Corpse shirts in the sports bars – it’s more of these dive bar environments. It would be cool if it took off over here, it would be an interesting experiment to see but I think it has more to do with what is the vibrant scene that’s cool.
Dead Rhetoric: Can you discuss some of the sacrifices that you make as a recording/touring metal band that maybe the average consumer doesn’t really process or understand – especially when it comes to the decisions you make to balance the music and business end of things?
Davidson: Sure- we sacrifice goats, mainly! (laughs). No, I mean as far as time away from your friends and family. You sort of live and die by your next tour and what’s the reaction to the album that you are going to be putting out. If you take a bunch of risks, there may be a different payoff- or people may think your last record was better. There’s a different sort of pressure there, at the same time what’s cool is I think our fans are open-minded and they go along for the ride of every record that we’ve put out. We’ve been on an upward trajectory for every record we’ve put out. The shows are better, the merch is better, the response is better. There’s an intensity around the whole performance that feels good.
Sometimes it’s tough to be away from your family and your loved ones for a while. Certainly it can feel like life can pass you by in a different way, people, family, houses, they have the stability there that isn’t present in this touring lifestyle. There’s all the non-glamorous stuff that people don’t tell you about – being in the van for a 12-hour drive to the next venue, and not feeling it one night, something goes wrong, having to deal with someone being an asshole, you have to suck it up and deal with it. I get to make music and bring people enjoyment in different ways, so that keeps me going.
Dead Rhetoric: Looking at the metal scene globally, are there specific areas where you are very impressed by the level of talent for the DIY/unsigned acts that you’ve been able to take in? Do you believe younger musicians are at an advantage now with all of the instant communication and technology tools at their disposal?
Davidson: Yes. In the punk rock scene, that whole DIY attitude is so inspiring. That’s one of the things we took away playing with punk bands in the early days when we were playing basement shows in the Boston area. Get in the van, go, print your own merch sort of thing – we certainly took inspiration from that. As far as the modern technology that is at people’s fingertips – with it you can utilize it in a really great way, but the other thing is, it’s oversaturated more so than every before. It’s never been easier to mass produce things cheap with a laptop and a little Pro Tools set up to put out demos and put yourself out there.
Sometimes the quality control isn’t there, and that’s because the market is just so flooded with all these bands, so that even if you are a great band and write great songs, it may be even harder to get noticed because someone else might have worse songs but be better at social media. Sometimes it’s the people that can focus really well on their craft, but they aren’t really good at the social media aspect. You could theoretically be a really shitty band and get really popular because of social media. It works both ways – but if you have talent and you know how to navigate that stuff, people will pay attention at some point and come on board.
Dead Rhetoric: What’s the game plan for Revocation going into the next twelve months- more videos, more playthroughs, more touring, and special surprises down the line?
Davidson: Definitely more touring. We are just getting started with this record cycle – we don’t have any other videos in the works, but we will be dropping some more tracks before the record comes out. As the cycle progresses there will be more press things with interviews and videos, we have an initial first blast of press leading up to a record release, but there will still be other things here and there down the line. I was shocked to see that we made it into a Power Rangers movie on the last record, so who knows- maybe we will be in part two this year! You never know what’s around the corner once a record comes out, there could be more opportunities for cool stuff.
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