Monday, November 29, 2010

Facebook Interview #30: Dave Davies of The Kinks/Solo/The Aschere Project

Amplify’d from www.facebook.com
Facebook Interview #30: Dave Davies of The Kinks/Solo/The Aschere Project (November 21, 2010)
by Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications on Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 6:39pm

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

For this edition of "The Facebook Interviews", I'm chatting with DAVE DAVIES discussing THE KINKS...his SOLO work...and latest projects "DAVE DAVIES KRONIKLES - MYSTICAL JOURNEY" DVD and "THE ASCHERE PROJECT".

Dave Davies created a revolutionary guitar sound in the early 60's that turned Rock'n'Roll guitar playing on its head when he slashed the speaker cone of an Elpico amp with a razor blade and fed it into a larger amp...thereby 'inventing' pregain and a raunchy guitar sound that changed the face of rock music forever. It was featured on The Kinks first major hit 'You Really Got Me' in 1964.

As lead guitarist and co-founder of The Kinks, Dave was one of the most unpredictable and original forces in rock, without whom guitar-rock styles including heavy metal and punk would have been inconceivable. A member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, his massive guitar sounds have inspired countless bands and players. In addition to his dozens of albums with The Kinks, Dave has released a series of respected solo albums over the years.

Fans of Dave's 1996 book "Kink" already know his evolution as a musician, songwriter and recording artist has paralleled his passionate pursuit of spiritual knowledge. That aspect of his life is at the heart of a new DVD, "DAVE DAVIES KRONIKLES: MYSTICAL JOURNEY". The feature-length documentary is a personally-charged memoir of Dave’s long-running quest for enlightenment. At the same time, Dave has also released, with his son Russ Davies, The ASCHERE PROJECT - "Two Worlds"...a futuristic new concept album described as sounding like "Art Of Noise meets Pink Floyd".

Today, Roch and Dave tackle some of the big dualities...love vs. hate...old vs. new...sex, drugs & Rock'n'Roll vs. spiritual journeys.

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

 Ok all, we're ready to start...thanks for joining us everybody...and welcome Dave! Let's start out with a couple of questions I Iike to warm up with...What was your first single and/or album that you bought as a youth with your own money? And what was the first concert you attended?

 

Dave Davies

The first single I ever bought was “Ballad of a Teenage Queen” by Johnny Cash. My first album was a Buddy Holly album…I can’t recall now which one. The first concert I ever went to was Duane Eddy in Finsbury Park, North London…

 

Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Who would you consider your most influential performer at a formative stage?

 

Dave Davies

The most influential performers would have been Duane Eddy and Eddie Cochran, along with a host of other guitar players including Big Bill Broonzy, Leadbelly, and Barney Kessel…there were loads of them!

 

Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

You were the youngest of eight...from what I understand, you were also greatly influenced by the music you absorbed at home from your parents and older sisters?

 

Dave Davies

Yes that's right. My sisters all played piano and sang; my dad played banjo. I was greatly influenced by my family and other family members.

 

Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Dave, you were regarded as the "rocker" of the family and The Kinks...were you just as comfortable with the more "pastoral-observational" English period in the later sixties and the more "theatrical" period of the '70s Arista albums, or were you more at home, musically, with the initial rock/R&B of the earlier '60s, and then the "arena rock" successes of the '80s?

 

Dave Davies

You have to remember that we grew up with all sorts of music, The Ventures, Doris Day, Al Bowley. As a young boy, I used to mess with the wireless and listen to Beethoven and Cesar Franck. I was ready for all things music. That was a misunderstood thing about The Kinks. No one could pigeonhole us, because our music kept changing. The record company executives wanted to play the first two or three tracks on an album...they wanted all the popular tracks to be reproduced. We always felt that wasn't a creative thing to do. One has to explore things as a musician...it could be a pastoral piece, or a rocking piece. With the right intent, it doesn't matter what sort of music it is.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Terry McGregor asks:

In virtually everything I read about The Kinks, they are invariably described as the "quintessential" English rock band, presumably on the heels of "The Village Green Preservation Society", etc. But isn't that tag somewhat misleading? I mean, that dirty guitar riff in "You Really Got Me" – still powerfully resonant today – is, if anything, "quintessential Rock'n'Roll" full stop, regardless of point of origin. And songs like "Dead End Street" paint a fairly nightmarish picture of life and society in general, a million miles from "Waterloo Sunset", the village pub and freshly-mown lawns. This label, I feel, undermines the music of The Kinks, who could be every bit as down and dirty as The Who or The Stones…

 

Dave Davies

That is a poignant observation…thank you!

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Do you still bear some regret that more of the Kinks catalogue was not credited to "Davies/Davies" given the contributions you brought on the music side?

..and Terry Flanagan asks:

Dave, do you feel you haven't received the credit you are due for inventing the power chord?

 

Dave Davies

I do feel I should have been given more credit for my involvement and work for the Kinks. It really wasn't a one-man band.  And yeah, I invented the power chord…

 

Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

With the success of your solo single "Death of a Clown" in 1967, there was talk of you doing a solo album. That got put on the back burner when subsequent singles fared less well on the charts. Do you believe there might have been a very different trajectory for you, if you had persevered with a first solo album in the late '60s?

 

Dave Davies

While I enjoyed the success of “Death of a Clown”, it didn't feel right to go off on my own. I felt more at home with the Kinks. It felt more like family.

 

Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Roger Clarke asks:

Which Kinks song is your favorite and which Dave Davies solo song is your favorite?

 

Dave Davies

"My favorite Kinks song is a big contest between “Dead End Street”, “You Really Got Me”, and the ‘Phobia’ album. My favorite Dave Davies song is probably “Visionary Dreamer”. From the new album, The Aschere Project, my favorite is called “Blessed of All Nights”.

 

Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Stephanie Whitlock asks:

If you could go back to any time in your life and give yourself one piece of advice like something you should do/shouldn’t do/someone to not meet/someone you must meet etc., when and what would it be?

 

Dave Davies

I wish I would have realized when I was young...I don't know what to say....we can all look back on our lives and see things we should have done differently, but not dwell on the past. We should focus on the present, which serves to create a new future...the more we look back on the past, the more we tend to just repeat it....

 

Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Dave, you've stated before that you began investigating spirituality at a very young age. At the same time, your 1996 book "Kinked" offers up the "sex and drugs and Rock'n'Roll excess" side of life. How did you reconcile the two at the time, and also later as you started getting more involved in your spiritual journey?

 

Dave Davies

I started my spiritual journey the day I was born. There isn't a difference between sex and lifestyle and spirituality. The problem is to bring them into balance. In all of our lives, we have to pull in the reins, as it were, and we have to control ourselves and bring things into balance so we can explore our spiritual lives, and bring that into the fore.

 

Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Dave Corbett asks:

As a survivor of "Sex, Drugs & Rock and Roll" who among the casualties do you feel would have had the greatest contribution to make if they had lived?

 

Dave Davies

There are so many...John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones. George Harrison fulfilled a mission, in my view, trying to inject spiritual ideas into people through his music.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Dave, as all your friends and fans are aware, you suffered a major stroke in 2004 that has required years of dedicated and painstaking recovery on the physical side. What is the current state of your health? And what accommodations have you had to make, if any, in terms of your singing and guitar playing?

 

Dave Davies

I feel fine. I did have to persevere after my illness and I feel back to strength now. You can hear my singing and performance with my new album. I did this with my son, Russell, called the Aschere Project...www.aschereproject.com

 

Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Harald Stahl asks:

Do you see yourself returning to live performance again in the near future?

…and Ron Lancs asks:

 Many of us hope to have the pleasure of seeing you play live again…do you have any plans to do so, and if so when?

 

Dave Davies

Yes, I expect to do future shows and hopefully tours in the near future. Nothing is confirmed yet, but we are looking at some venues in London. I hope to be playing live fairly soon.

 

Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

You also view the stroke as a concrete spiritual experience, can you elaborate on that?

 

Dave Davies

While I was ill, I realised that all the spiritual lessons and instruction and knowledge that i learned had stirred up to that point. My illness was a redefining of everything I believed in. All that I previously thought could be true, was actually true.

 

Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Jeremy Samuel Gluck asks:

Given your interest in healing, what do you feel about the healing power of music? Even pop music? When I interviewed Brian Wilson, he spoke for a while about how music impacts the spirit.

 

Dave Davies

Of course, music has always had the major potential for healing and serves as a vehicle for the most significant healing power of all: love. Look at all the composers who have inspired and healed people throughout the centuries because of their music…

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Jeremy Samuel Gluck asks:

A great many people think that a major planetary shift is due very soon. Do you think your own journey is wrapped up in reaching that time having been through your musical career and then stroke? How would you sum up your mystical perception? And how do those who know you only as a musician access that?

 

Dave Davies

Good question. I believe that that the planetary shift has been happening...and we are all involved in this change that is happening on a day to day basis. I don't believe it will happen in one swoop. It has been happening by degree over the years.

 

And I don't agree with 2012 indications that something is going to happen all of a sudden. The change will happen beyond 2012. We are all connected psychically and spiritually…what we think and feel will affect everyone and everything around us. For all we know, will affect time and space itself. That is why I am so energized by the Aschere Project, which is science fiction, but much of the information may be true, who knows?

 

Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

The Aschere Project: "Two Worlds" – is quite a departure and doesn't appear on the surface to have a lot of antecedents for you. How did the project come about, and I assume it’s a case of son influencing father as much as vice-versa?

 

Dave Davies

The Aschere Project was a joint venture and collaboration. It started off with a few musical ideas and we started to see a vision, or a movie happening. Once we got started, the story basically unfolded before us. The project was a spiritual and emotional one. It was one of the most pure collaborations I’ve been involved with. The more we helped each other, the more the music and the story grew. That is the perfect way to work – when you support others, and it is reciprocated. Something else takes over…something higher.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Dave Fuglewicz asks:

I’ve only listened to the preview clips of The Aschere Project and am amazed at how fresh and vital it sounds, yet still carries your unmistakable sound. I've listened to your music as a youngster from back in the 1960s to now and you've covered an incredible territory in 46 years. Will you be taking The Aschere Project forward into the future with more releases and possibly live performances in the USA?

 

Dave Davies

Russell and I hope to take the Project further because when we were growing into the story, we realized it would be a perfect stage musical and/or film. I expect to expand the ideas into bigger and more elaborate ones, and hopefully live performance. Even with a smaller ensemble of musician/performers, and both Russell and I can be involved in it. This is what I hope to see for this Project in the future.

 

Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

The DVD "Dave Davies Kronikles: Mystical Journey"...was produced with the involvement of another son...

 

Dave Davies

“Mystical Journey” was a collaborative venture with my oldest son Martin. He is also a filmmaker, and it was wonderful being involved and wanting to make a film and program about my spiritual journey. This was a wonderful way to start the process. We hope to make a “Part Two” in the near future.

 

I would also really love to work with my son Daniel, who has a band called "Year Long Disaster". Hopefully this will happen in the New Year as well…

 

Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

The DVD strives to balance (and connect) musical journey and spiritual journey...do you think you achieved the right balance between the two, and is it possible to appeal equally to both "audiences"?

 

Dave Davies

My intention was to try and show that there are parallels between different sets of belief systems and concepts and spiritual ideas. We need to take each other’s ideas and bring them together if we are to go forward as a spiritual race. I hoped the musical people would like it because of the early years; I discovered many of these people during the Kinks years, such as Madam Blatavatsky, Rudolf Steiner, Carl Jung....

 

Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Klaire Delilah Bennett asks:

Have you found since releasing your solo albums and latest works (“Mystical Journey” and “The Aschere Project”) you now have interest in your work from people who aren't and never were Kinks fans?

 

Dave Davies

Yes...this is really exciting. I am meeting and connecting with people who have various ideas and different areas of expertise…people from many walks of life...from abroad...different landscapes of ideas and cultures....we are all one people. It is refreshing to meet those who have interests other than music and who I have never crossed paths with before. They are very inspiring.

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Jutta Hammer asks:

Do you still have the aim to reach millions of people with your music? Or has music become more a vehicle to transport your spiritual ideas and thoughts to perhaps a more select audience?

 

Dave Davies

It’s for anybody who wants to listen, haha!

 

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Sophie Stillwater asks:

What is your relationship with your children like? Do you see them often and feel involved in their lives or has your career made it difficult to stay in touch with them?

 

Dave Davies I try to keep in touch with my kids as much as I can, because I love them and they inspire me. I love to see them as much as possible, and the older I get, the more I love spending time with them. Each has a gift of their own. It’s difficult not to interfere with their lives; I try to be cautious, haha!

 

Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Dave, speaking of family relationships, when you wade into a public forum like this, you know a number of fan questions are going to touch on brothers and reunions. Let me try posing it this way: do you think the ongoing psychic/emotional battle between you and your brother Ray involves something karmic, or is in some other way intended/destined to develop the two of you spiritually?

 

Dave Davies

Yes, it is of course, but any powerful karmic relationship is put there for us to work with as a valuable lesson. We must never lose sight of our own personal spiritual evolution. Our own spiritual sovereignty is the most important. We are in an important part of the spiritual evolution of the planet, so that karmic relationships are on many levels. We have to deal with our own spiritual lessons for our own self-realization. We mustn’t give up our own spiritual sovereignty…not on any level. We must find the place to make our own compromise, find our own balance.

 

Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

In a 1994 interview, you stated that "if you look at the work as the most important thing...hopefully all the personal stuff will dissipate with time, while the work will live on for years." Do you feel it’s working out that way?

 

Dave Davies

Everything we've done, we've done, and it is more important than what has happened on a personal level. But it doesn't mean we could compromise our self-expression. One of the biggest problems is the inability to grow into our own potential. Indirectly, we put limitations or restrictions on those around us.

 

Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

In a recent interview in The Guardian, you state: "Ray sucks me dry of ideas, emotions, and creativity...it's toxic for me to be with him." Surely he can only have this power if you give it to him? With the level of spiritual awareness you've achieved, are there not personal barriers you could erect to manage or deflect this? Or to provide for enough acceptance to absorb it?

 

Dave Davies

I hope that I am managing it as well as I can. It is difficult. I cannot be someone else and we cannot do other people’s spiritual work for them. If someone else's program is to take, then sometimes the only course of survival is to remove oneself from that toxic situation.

 

Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

What do you say to those who would suggest, if two brothers – especially ones with such a strong creative bond – can't find a way to make it work, what hope is there for the rest of us? For example, how could anyone even glimpse for hope in the Middle East, of any kind...ever...when blood and creative brothers cannot find a way?

 

Dave Davies

The more psychic we become, the more sensitive we become to others' life conditions, needs and wants...so we need to develop our means of meditation and spiritual practice to manage the energies around us in some way.

 

The reason why there is so much tension and complexity involved in the Middle East is because the working relationship between peoples is out of balance. The same is true of me and Ray. It’s like a man walking lopsided....one leg wants to go one way the other wants to go another way – the man topples over.

 

Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

You said upon his passing that Pete Quaife never really received his due for his contribution to the Kinks. Would you give it to him now for us?

 

Dave Davies

Pete Quaife was the essential part of the Kinks. In fact, if Pete hadn't been there...he was the glue that brought me and Ray together, with his humour, his creativity and his sensitivity. He balanced the dynamic between us. He was crucial for The Kinks, and was just as important to the start of the band as me and Ray.....

 

Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Folks, our time is up, so we must reluctantly let Dave go!

 

Dave Davies

I would just like to mention the Aschere Project one more time, and yes, we do hope to take it to its next stage. And thanks to Roch for this opportunity on the Rocon Communications page and hopefully, we can do it again sometime. Thank you and bless you all for coming to this interview!

 

Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Dave, thank you for the time you took with us today. And thanks to Rosina Mostardini for facilitating this interview session. If you attended the interview or are reading later, I've posted a message at the top of the page for your comments and feedback...also, do check out all the links to vids, audio, and information posting further down the page...scroll and enjoy!

 

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Browse transcripts for previous Facebook Interviews here:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=104735619580753

 

For more information on The Facebook Interviews:

http://www.suzemuse.com/2010/02/music-journalist-finds-clever-use-for-faceboook-comments/

http://humanfacebook.com/2010/09/03/a-completely-random-friend/

 

For more information on Dave Davies:

http://www.davedavies.com/home.htm

http://www.detune.tv/

For more information on The Aschere Project:

http://www.facebook.com/Theaschereproject

 

Follow Dave Davies here on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dave-Davies/12499331267

 

Read more at www.facebook.com
 

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