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Revocation’s David Davidson Talks Self-Titled Album, Keeping Sane on the Road + More

Revocation
Photo Credit: Tom Couture

We recently caught up with frontman David Davidson from the awesome technical death metal / thrash act Revocation. In this new exclusive, we talked with Davidson on all things Revocation, including the band’s new self-titled full length album.

Davidson spoke with us about the new disc, the band’s recent lineup change, working with Scion A/V, how to keep yourself from feeling burnt out while on the road + more. Check out our exclusive interview with Revocation’s David Davidson!

With your new self-titled album, what is unique to this record compared to your other works?

I would say that overall this is a darker record for us. It’s our darkest and heaviest record that we’ve done so far. That would be one main difference. As far as the guitar work, speaking from a solo standpoint, it’s my favorite stuff that I’ve laid down so far. I think it’s also the most technically demanding stuff that we’ve laid down to date.

That really says something. You’ve got four full lengths and an EP out, all with great guitar work. When it comes to Revocation’s chronology, why is this the right record to name after your band?

We had a lineup change and I think, through that, we’re better for it. I think this is the best incarnation of the band we’ve ever had. We’re all gelling really well as a unit internally and also musically. I think the songs we’ve written for this record are the best songs we’ve written to date. I think it’s a really good representation of what Revocation is in 2013 and it just made sense to self-title it.

Speaking of your new bassist Brett, has it been noticeably more fun or more rewarding to go on a tour like Summer Slaughter with him in your band?

Brett is a really really fun guy. He just brings a really positive attitude to the band. We toured with him before when he was filling in on bass with his band called The Binary Code and right away we clicked with him and respected him as a player. So when we gave him a call for the gig and he accepted, he fit right in. It was a pretty seamless transition. It was like he was in the band for years. It’s a blast having some new blood in the band and such a crucial dude like Brett.

He played on your ‘Teratogenesis’ EP last year. With that and with this new album, how much was he involved in the writing process?

He added his own touches to the parts, but as far as songwriting, it’s always usually the same. Whoever is writing the song, whether it’s me or Dan [Gargiulo, guitar], we’ll write all the riffs and then come up with the structure. Then from there, jam it out with the rest of the guys and make little tweaks. On a song like ‘Fracked,’ for example, he added this really cool tapping part over a section that was already written, so he’s able to add his own flare and personality into the already-established songs. But as far as writing whole songs, we haven’t gotten there yet with him just because we’ve had so much material backlogged in this band. We’re constantly writing. He’s definitely adding his own flare and personality to the bass parts. It helps the songs further come to life.

Was anything released on this album written way back when?

The intro and verse riff of ‘The Hive’ were written way long ago; years and years and years ago. But the chorus and the bridge section were written much closer to recording time. That was a song where it was a lot of old stuff; half older riffs and half newer riffs. It was cool to give some modern updates on some older material. It helps to make the older material feel fresh again.

The ‘Teratogenesis’ EP was released through Scion A/V. It seems like an odd partnership: Scion and underground, extreme metal. What’s the experience like working for a unique label like them?

It’s been great. We’ve worked with them before when they did the Scion Rock fest and different showcases. They’ve always treated us well. They’ve always flown us out, all expenses paid. So when we started doing the EP, it was a no-brainer for us. They basically said they’d pay for it, pay for a video and put it out for free, so it’s going to be no cost to us and all our fans will benefit from that.

Are they just taking boatloads of car money and bringing it into the metal scene?

I don’t know. I think they just have a business model that works for them. The guy that’s in charge of allocating that kind of stuff is just a big metalhead.

You mentioned the video for ‘The Grip Tightens,’ where you were all transformed into old men rocking out in a nursing home. Are there any other funny music video ideas that you guys are tossing around?

We just shot a new one that was a live video, so that was new for us. That was for the song ‘Invidious.’ We did a hometown show and it sold out before doors even opened. We had all our buddies there with a bunch of crazy fans and it was just circle pits and stage dives. At one point, half the crowd jumped on stage with us for the last song, just rocking out.

On the self-titled album, can fans expect to hear any fun experimentation kind of like you did with ‘The Watchers’ on ‘Chaos of Forms’?

Yeah, people seem to be talking about ‘Invidious’ because there’s a little banjo part on it, so that was different. Other than that, I think it’s probably the most experimental song on this new record; a lot of twist and turns in it, a lot of different feels. It’s heavy but it has almost, like, fusion or Latin grooves sprinkled throughout the tune. That is definitely more of an experimental song for us.

Revocation is truly a hard-working road band. I must have seen you at least three times last year. Do you have any secrets on how to keep going and to not feel burnt out on tour?

You have to have a good team. You’re only as strong as your weakest link. You have to make sure that everyone is getting along in the band and you bring out a solid crew who are going to help out. At a certain point, you want to save as much money as you can. It’s usually worth the investment to bring a merch guy or a sound guy out to help with the driving and day-to-day stuff. That helps prevent you from getting burnt out. Other than that, just have fun. You can’t take this too seriously. We try and blow off steam; hang out and party when appropriate to blow off some steam. Then when you’re home, you don’t want to tour. It’s good to have some breaks. It’s easy to get caught up in doing every tour that gets offered your way. You have to have time to write a new record, get some down time and recharge.

It has seems like you’ve been relentless with your career in Revocation. Has there been any point where you’ve had to say, ‘I’m feeling burnt out and need to take step back?’

Everyone has their days when they get burnt out or shot after a long night drive. Then you get on stage and play and the crowd goes totally f—ing nuts and it recharges your batteries, just like that. It’s the even flow of the road. I heard a good quote from the singer of Queens of the Stone Age. I’m paraphrasing, but he said something along the lines of, ‘When you’re on tour for a long time, nothing feels better than coming home. And when you’re home for a long time nothing feels better than going back on tour.’

Revocation’s self-titled album is now out via Relapse Records. To grab a copy of the album, click here.

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