Q&A with David Davidson of Revocation
When it comes to modern technical trash metal, you have to take your hat off to front-man Dave Davidson of Boston based four piece thrash unit, Revocation. His knowledge and expertise in the field is what it takes to bring the genre to new levels and horizons. Four albums released, members of the Relapse Records family, multiple tours around the world and the new material is just flowing. It’s as challenging making the kind of music Revocation creates as it is listening to it. You almost have to have a musicians ear to appreciate what they’ve accomplished and what the genre is accomplishing. With the boundaries and limitations that Revocation is pushing, it should be interesting to see what kind of new listeners will approach this sound. We had the honor of interviewing David Davidson of Revocation this year and it has become one of our most rewarding interviews and a true privilege. With that being said, we want to invite you to dive head first with ears open wide into the dialogue we shared with David. We hope very much to see Revocation sometime here on the West Coast! Enjoy.
Interview with David Davidson of Revocation
Conducted by Clark Fuller
Sound Colour Vibration: We wanted to first thank you for your contributions to music as we all feel you are, among many, one of the most important musicians out today. We have been listening to your music for years and it has been inspirational to see where your career has gone over the last decade. To start this interview we wanted to first ask, where would you like to see thrash technical metal head within the next five to ten years?
David Davidson: I would like to see bands further push the genre in new and creative ways. I remember when I first heard Extol’s “Synergy” and was totally blown away by how inventive it was while still being rooted in thrash. That record really inspired me when I was younger and opened my ears up to what thrash could be when approached a little differently. Currently I think the band Vektor is really putting a unique spin on thrash metal by bringing a Voivod influence to the table along with some other progressive elements.
SCV: Why do you think it is that a majority of people associate hard music/metal with Satan or evil? What does it represent to you?
DD: I think a lot of people associate metal with evil and Satan because that is sort of the purveying imagery that is often involved with the genre whether lyrically or visually. It can even be associated from a compositional standpoint with Satan because many times metal riffs often contain the “devils interval” also known as the tritone which was considered too dissonant for church music and was thought to be the work of Satan. Metal represents rebellion to me. It is never afraid to express subject matter that goes against the status quo and pushes boundaries that are often found in other types of popular music.
SCV: At what point in your life did you begin to get serious with the guitar and what are some of the things that attracted you to the instrument?
DD: I got serious about guitar about a year into playing it when I first started writing my own songs and riffs. I wanted to pick up the instrument because I saw Joe Perry from Aerosmith rip a solo and knew that was what I wanted to do.
SCV: Metal has been putting it down in the North East of the United States for the last two decades. Who would you say are some of the heavy hitters in the Boston scene that have helped make that dent.
DD: Well everyone knows bands like Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall and Unearth since they have gotten really big and put Boston on the map in terms of popular metal in the past ten years but there’s also a lot of bands that don’t get as much attention that hold it down such as Ramming Speed, Sexcrement and Razormaze.
SCV: The definition of Teratogenesis is a wild one, did you see some type of diluted imagery or see a crazy mutation that made you pursue its title?
DD: I had that title kicking around in my brain for awhile and I really liked the meaning of it. It’s a medical term but I applied it to more of a supernatural meaning for the purposes of the song and theme of the EP.
SCV: What was your most challenging song to play on your new album Teratogenesis?
DD: Probably “Maniacally Unleashed”, that song is a ripper for sure!
SCV: How do you like being a part of Relapse Records and what have they afforded that you feel is invaluable and critical to how you guys present your band to the world?
DD: Well the biggest thing with Relapse is the fact that its a name that people trust. They also have good distro and promotion which are essential for getting your music out there.
SCV: If you had to switch roles with a band mate, who would it be and why?
DD: Probably drums, I would love to be able to tear it up on the kit.
SCV: If you could name one of the more important aspects of metal, what would it be?
DD: I would say that having good technique is a very important aspect of being in a good metal band. Metal can be very demanding from all players in the band so having your shit together is definitely a priority.
SCV: I’d like to know, over the years we’ve seen so many bands split over finances, styles of playing, drugs, time, etc. What would you say are some things that keep Revocation tight, on track and a well oiled machine.
DD: We’re all really close friends so I think that keeps us together. I’ve known Phil since I was in eight grade so there’s a lot of history there. Of course there’s always gonna be little disputes here and there and people are going to get on each others nerves but when you’re with each other for 24 hours a day there’s bound to be some bullshit from time to time. Playing shows every night can be very cathartic though so that helps keep moral high.
SCV: What are some of your most essential metal albums? How about non-metal?
DD: Just to name a few:
Pantera – Vulgar Display of Power
Martyr – Warp Zone
Exhorder – The Law
Guns n Roses –Welcome to the Jungle
Aerosmith – Pump
Pat Martino – Think Tank
Gonzalo Rubalcaba – Trio
SCV: What kind of things besides music do you like to indulge in?
DD: I would consider myself a foodie for sure. I do a food blog called Altars of Fatness were I review places I’ve eaten at on the road.
SCV: What should us Revocation fans expect from the band in the upcoming new year?
DD: We’ll be recording a new album soon that should be out in the summer that we’re really excited for.
SCV: We want to thank you for your time and for accepting our questions. You’re an inspiration to us and many other metal heads. Good luck and hope to talk to you again in the future, cheers.
DD: Thanks so much for the interview!
Download the EP ‘Teratogenesis’ for free at http://www.scionav.com/revocation