Interview: Guy Davis

We enjoyed listening to your song “Waste Land”. What is the story behind the song and how did you create/write it? Also, what inspired the song title?
The song was written a couple of years ago. I realised that nearly all my songs are about girls/relationships (which is true for a lot of artists and is still the subject of most of my other songs). Having been a Bob Dylan fan for a while (not many who aren’t), I wanted to try writing a “protest song”, but found that it was actually quite hard to do without sounding a bit corny. Of all the issues out there, I felt that the current state of the news/media (in particular its connection with the environment and its use by companies/Governments) was the one I could most accurately put into song. “Waste Land” as a title comes from the rather disgusting images of landfill sites across the world. I wanted something punchy.

The music video seems very relevant at present. What is its message? What ideas went into the video, and how was it filmed/made?
The music video was actually made back in January, before I’d even though of starting my own Instagram channel or of making my own videos. It is a collection of stock footage clips that I found of London and the school climate protests. I thought they were spot on for the video. The school protests in particular were incredibly inspiring and actually quite hopeful, as there is a whole younger generation that is growing up with climate issues at the forefront of society – which certainly wasn’t the case when I was at school. It’s really great.

If you had to describe your sound, how would you do so? Furthermore, what artists (or other sources) do you cite as influences?
I always start describing my music as indie-rock, which has then been influenced by synth-wave, Americana and/or classic rock. More than anything, I’d like my music to sound cinematic – to really feel as if the narrative is playing out. I’m a bit of a sucker for coming-of-age film/tv, usually because the music is always so spot on. Whether or not I actually sound like these artists, my main sources of inspiration are Bruce Springsteen, The Killers, The Vaccines, David Bowie, The Who, The Kinks, The Cure, Alex Cameron (to name a few). I listen to a pretty weird mix of music though so it’s hard to pinpoint the exact source all the time!

What have been career highlights so far? And what is on your bucket list that you’d want to achieve?
I like the idea of calling it my career haha. To be honest, I’ve really kept this music to myself until recently. I haven’t even played that much live (although that’s something I’m both terrified and buzzing to fix). It may sound very small, but the career highlight for me so far was being played on Islington Radio. It’s a London-based, local radio station that I’ve been following on Instagram for ages and always wanted to be on. Having one of the hosts select my track, just talk a bit about it and play it on their show was really cool. The bucket list is pretty long but, as previously hinted, I would really really love for my songs to feature in a new tv show or film – that’d be awesome. Otherwise, playing some smaller, more intimate clubs in London (as well as headlining Glastonbury – obviously!)

If you could be the main support for any living artist, who would that be for and why? Alternatively, what would be your dream live booking?
Springsteen. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a tough question, and there are a lot of people I would like to open for, but I’d have to go Springsteen. He’s too much of an inspiration to me not to want to be part of his show. I’ve seen him live once and it was just phenomenal. Although I don’t even think he had a support act for that – he just played 4 hours straight by himself!! Pyramid stage at Glasto has got to be the dream booking!

What artists have you been listening to? Additionally, who should others be listening to?
Alright, recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Bleachers, Wolf Alice, Sam Fender, Journey(?!), Ben Howard, Alex Cameron, Phoebe Bridgers, Rina Sawayama, New Order, Oasis (I saw that Super Sonic documentary on Netflix!). Honestly, I’d recommend all of those (plus any of the artists I’ve referenced above as my influences… and Pulp! Can’t forget Pulp).

Guy Davis: Instagram | Spotify | YouTube

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