After high school he pursued more time in the studio and with various bands, co-producing a short lived project with friends in order to gain more studio experience. "I spent four or five years working odd jobs, playing music with various musical groups and just absorbing as much info about music as possible." He honed his chops on just about anything he could, doing everything from jazz improvisation to African reggae and working with rock bands. In addition, he spent some time doing freelance composition for BFA dance performances at the University of Colorado. One of these compositions ended up accompanying a performance to the 2003 American College Dance Festival. "That whole experience was a good lesson in professionalism. Performing several nights in a row and then getting it up for a Sunday matinee was a real education." Ultimately, it was situations like these that led Davies towards looking at his creative process more objectively.
"Really, I think I reached a certain point in my life where I tried to take everything and apply it towards creativity, whether it was a looking at a painting or at the lights passing by while I was on the train."Davies cites his musical influences as everything from John Coltrane to Black flag. "I really love David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed and that kinda stuff. I think Bowie was one of my earliest influences. I also remember being totally obsessed with Ritchie Valens and Jim Morrison." When pressed on the subject of songwriting Davies takes a somewhat esoteric stance. "Usually, I will just sit down with a guitar and start playing some chords and get this sort of energy rush when stuff just clicks. Sometimes I write on a piano and then transfer it to guitar, or sometimes words come with a melody which insinuates the chords that should accompany it."
This last year has seen Davies in prolific form, playing constantly as a solo act and with his backing band The Eccentrics. He has shared bills with various acts such as Totter Todd & the Well Tempered Players, Slow Rosa, Mannequin Make-out, Strangers Die Everyday, The Paper Stars, Lava, Gregory Allen Isakov, Danny Shafer, members of the String Cheese Incident and The Motet, Dechen Hawk and the Old Souls, and others. He has sat in on guitar and bass with various musicians namely acoustic troubadour Clay Rose, with whom he contributed, amongst friends and compatriots to a recording Rose did in April at Boulder's Immersive Studio. April also saw the commencement of Davies's solo record entitled Fear in the Backseat; slated for independent release in the summer of 2005. Recorded in a largely unorthodox manner, the album, produced and composed by Davies, is a blend of electric/acoustic guitars, live and electronic drums, synthesizers, and various other instrumentation. "I see this album as a culmination of everything I've ever done musically. It is definitely an exercise in pushing myself and everyone involved to the edge of our abilities." Basic rhythms tracks were recorded live on University of Colorado campus in the Old Main theatre. "I wanted to try and preserve as much of a live feeling as possible, so the most logical course of action was to record live in an ambient theatre, tracking bass, rhythm guitar and drums live." The choice to record live may seem a bit atavistic these days in contrast to today's often super isolated studio protocol. However, Davies upholds that the process was relatively gremlin free and quite laid back. "Things really couldn't have gone any smoother, given the time we had and all the gear we hauled into that place. The room sounded great and there was a definite historic vibe there. You could almost feel the history emanating off the walls. I went to great lengths to ensure that we did this recording on some of the best possible equipment available, even though we did it in such a transient fashion." All tracking and mixing was done on Digital Performer. Musical contributions were made in-part by members of the group Hamster Theatre: Jon Stubbs and David Willey. Stubbs also engineered and mixed the album. In addition, bass was contributed by Slow Rosa bassist Chris Mustain-Wood. Drums were contributed by Sean Merrell, drummer for Tin Tin. "Everyone added their own vibe to these songs." Having taken on the often sticky role of producer and musician, one may wonder if Davies felt inclined toward self-indulgence in the making of this record. "Yes, frequently. It is a difficult situation not to want to cater towards the egotist in oneself, especially being in the producer's chair. However, I think there is a fine balance between self-aggrandizing and a healthy ego. I think the modus operandi I functioned under this recording was; what makes the song sound the best? Does this guitar solo serve the song or just my own desire to play a bitchin' lead? Hopefully, people will listen this and hear the songs first and foremost."
Check out the artist's website:
1. Emissary for a Future Self
2. Phantom Tears
3. Enter Shadowplay
4. Fear in the Backseat
5. John's Song
6. Have a Clue
7. The Floor
10. Schiele (As in Egon)