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25th November 2014
METAL DISCOVERY: Hello! First of all, thank you for this opportunity. 7 years, 5 albums; how do you manage to have so much inspiration?
DAVE: I'm constantly inspired by different bands and artists so writing has never really been an issue for me. I've also gotten better over the years at recording and organizing my ideas so I can arrange things quicker now that I have a good system worked out.
(Dave Davidson on the jazz influences in his songwriting)
"I don't want to say it's more emotional per se but I think it brings in a different emotional element to my sound."
Interview by Salomé Sequeira
Official Revocation Website:
Summon the Spawn (2006)
Albums & EPs
Just eight years in existence and Revocation have already eructed no less than five full-length albums and two EPs from their technical death/thrash gut. However, despite amassing such a prolificacy of work in less than a decade, the US metallers have managed to infuse their material with a consistency of quality and fresh ideas that has compelled both fans and critics to take serious notice of this fast-rising act. With their fifth album, 'Deathless', recently released on Metal Blade, their debut for the legendary label, frontman Dave Davidson answered a few questions for Metal Discovery...
Revocation - promo shot
Photograph copyright © 2014 Uncredited
Official Revocation Facebook:
Thanks to Andy Turner for arranging the interview.
Empire of the Obscene (2008)
Existence is Futile (2009)
Chaos of Forms (2011)
Teratogenesis (2012)
Revocation (2013)
Deathless (2014)
MD: Do you think this abundance of albums helps to keep the fans interested or do you ever worry that it might create the opposite reaction by presenting so much new material in a relatively short time period?
DAVE: I think it's a good thing, it keeps your band relevant and always on people's minds. However, I think that if you're putting out records just to put them out without really working on crafting the best songs you can then it could definitely create a negative reaction. Even though we've put out 5 full lengths at this point we always focus on songwriting and really work on making each record better than the last.
MD: On the previous albums you’d already used 7 string guitars, and it's even more noticeable on ‘Deathless’. What made you use them in almost every song this time?
DAVE: I've gotten really comfortable with the sevens because they're my main guitars that I use live now, so they get a lot of play time both on and off the stage. I enjoy writing with them because they have a wider harmonic range so they inspire me in a bit of a different way than the traditional six strings.
MD: The jazz influences are also evident in your sound which, coming from a jazz-based musical apprenticeship is natural. Would you call this the more emotional part of your sound?
DAVE: I don't want to say it's more emotional per se but I think it brings in a different emotional element to my sound.
MD: With all the different influences and usage of 7 strings, would you say that Revocation can attract a new line of fans with this album? I could imagine the djent lovers starting to look at Revocation with some interest.
DAVE: Yeah, I definitely think so, judging from all the reaction it's gotten and sales so far, this is definitely our biggest record yet.
MD: Was Brett more present on the writing process? What did he add this time that was not present on your previous, self-titled album?
DAVE: We had a little more time to work on the material for the newest record so I think Brett felt more comfortable on ‘Deathless’ than on our past couple of releases. He added a killer solo on the instrumental ‘Apex’ and brought his signature sound to the album in general; I think it's his best bass performance with this band so far.
MD: What would you say is the main theme on ‘Deathless’? Do you think lyrics are one of the main things people should go for when they listen to your music? The guitars already give you a long, interesting journey!
DAVE: There isn't a main lyrical theme on the album as a whole, each song is about something different. The lyrics are definitely very important for me but if people just want to listen to us for the music alone than that's fine with me as well. I find that it really differs from person to person, some people download the record on iTunes and don't ever read the lyrics, other fans will read and memorize every line.
MD: The artwork for the album’s very effective, and looks like some kind of Sam Raimi/Evil Dead inspired piece. What’s it actually supposed to represent?
DAVE: The artwork was inspired by the paintings of Zdzislaw Beksinski and was painted by my good friend Tom Strom. The art symbolically connects with the music and title in different ways; musically it's a dark record so the overall color scheme fits with the atmosphere of the record. I think the most interesting connection is the coin hanging in the eye of the tombstone which represents Charon's Obol. The first track on the record is inspired by the myth of Charon; however, I never mentioned that to Tom when he was working on the piece , it was an unspoken connection that made its way into the artwork.
MD: How has your acceptance been in Europe so far? Anything lined up for the UK in 2015, perhaps?
DAVE: We're on tour right now with Cannibal Corpse and Aeon and the crowd reactions have been extremely positive every night. We don't have anything lined up yet but I'm sure we'll be back to the UK again in 2015.
MD: You must be extremely focused to deliver your extremely complex songs live, so how do you manage to interact with the crowd during songs? Do you find it overwhelming or is it something more natural?
DAVE: I grew up in the Boston DIY scene playing shows in basements and warehouses so, from the start, I've interacted heavily with the crowd because the audience was so up close and personal. We try to play as tight as we can live but we also like to rock the fuck out and engage the audience; it's just a natural response to feeling the energy of playing live.
MD: And to all the guitar fans! What is the best advice you would give to someone that started learning the guitar and wants to evolve towards something more complex, but seems be stuck in limbo?
DAVE: Transcribe other guitarist's riffs and solos, it's great for ear training and you also gain insight into another musician's approach to the instrument.