David Davidson of Revocation: The Heavy Blog Is Heavy Interview

david-davidson-revocation-interview

Revocation are easily one of the site’s favorite bands collectively. Many of these writers listed their self titled record from last year in their “Best Of 2013”  list, and one writer even cites Chaos Of Forms as their favorite album of all time. Recently, the band completed their tour with Whitechapel, Devildriver, Rivers Of Nihil, Fit For An Autopsy, and Carnifex. I was back home and had the chance to stop by their show in Fort Lauderdale, so naturally I caught up with David to talk 7 string guitars, the new record, and Trick Daddy’s favorite seafood restaurant. Check out the interview in full, after the jump!

So the obligatory first question: how has this tour been? You guys are nearly done with it at this point, right?

Yeah, I think we got, like, four more shows, not counting tonight. But it’s been really great.

So I know you guys have toured with Whitechapel before, but other than that have you toured with any of the other bands?

Actually, no, this is our first time touring with everyone. It’s really cool. We’ve gotten to meet a whole bunch of new people and make tons of new friends, which is always great.

That’s awesome! So your self-titled record has been out for nearly a year at this point. Now that’s had time to kind of gel and resonate with the fans, how do you think the overall reaction has been?

It’s been extremely positive. Critics were very kind to us and our fan base really seemed to get behind it in a big way, so it’s been great. Always good to hear that people dig the records we do.

The record has many longer songs on it, which is something you guys never really did to such an extent previously. Was there a certain frame of mind going into the writing for that album, or did it just happen organically?

Well, I think on our first record we had some longer songs, but I think we just tried to make a concerted effort to make the best songs that we possibly could. With every record I think that not only do we get better as songwriters, but also as players. It’s sort of the natural evolution of the band. It’s definitely the darkest and, maybe, most heavy record for us, but that just seems to be the direction that this band is moving in, so I guess it just kind of happens.

Now I had heard some stuff through the grapevine that you guys were already recording a new record and trying to get it out as soon as possible…

Well, the new-new record is done, and we’re looking to release it this fall, another full-length LP. We signed a new deal with Metal Blade Records; we were on Relapse before, so this will be our Metal Blade debut. We had some down time during the winter, so we wrote the record and recorded it a couple of months back. We actually just got the final mastered version from Alan Douches while we were on this tour, actually, so we’ve been listening to the finished product while we were on the road driving between shows.

So Alan mastered it, who did you guys record with?

We recorded it with Zeuss and he absolutely crushed it. He really just did an awesome, awesome job with it. We’d worked with him on the Teratogenesis EP and he did a fabulous job on that one, so we’re really happy to have been able to work with him again. He really knocked it out of the park.

So what details, if any, can you give me about the new record?

Basically nothing. [laughs] We’re playing a new song from the record tonight called ‘Madness Opus’. But as far as release date and title and artwork, all will be revealed in time.

How would you describe the new song to someone who didn’t have a chance to catch you on tour to hear it?

It’s really really heavy. We did a lot of touring with Misery Index and Dying Fetus and there’s a definitely a little bit of that vibe to it in terms of the opening riff and the verse riff; it’s heavy, death metal vibe with some groove. But there’s also the sort of signature Revocationisms that are in there as well, but overall it’s just a really heavy song with some atmosphere.

Can’t wait to hear it! So did you write most of the music for the new record or was is a collaborative effort throughout?

I wrote 8 of the songs, and Dan wrote 2, so it’s basically the same thing like the self-titled record. But we all collaborate together and jam on stuff in the practice space. Me and Phil live in the same city so we get together and jam together and really flesh out the details and stuff like that. We make sure everything’s flowing well, for the most part. I work out all the stuff sort of in my head, and then I’ll get together with Phil and we’ll start jamming and that’s when we kind of bounce different ideas off of each other and stuff like that.

Do you program your parts onto a DAW and send it off to different guys in the band?

Well, essentially, I record all my songs with guitar and bass all the way through, with no drums under it, so I can send it to Phil so he can start thinking of drum beats in his head. Then we get to the practice space and just kind of hash it out. I mean I’ve been playing with Phil for so long that we can click really easily. If I’m thinking “Oh, this riff really needs a thrash bit,” I don’t even have to say it to Phil. There’s an unspoken chemistry between us since we’ve been playing together for so long. But at the same time he’ll definitely surprise me with some different stuff. Or if I get a very specific beat in mind, I’ll sort of verbally explain it to him and I’ll be like “Ok, so the riff is in 5? Here’s what I’m thinking about with different accents”. I never program anything when it comes to drums. Once in a while I’ll mess around with that stuff but because Phil and I live so close we tend to just jam it out in the studio instead.

You guys used a 7 string on a few songs from the last record as well as your EP. Will we see the return of the 7 string on the upcoming release?

Yeah, actually the new album is mostly on 7s. I think there’s one song that’s a 6 string all the way through, but everything else has 7 strings. The Teratogenesis EP was the first time…essentially our introduction to 7 strings on the title track. And then on our last record, the self-titled, we used them a little more and more, and this is like our transition becoming complete on the newest record. We don’t really like to limit ourselves. We try to hopefully use the 7 string in a way that is unique and doesn’t simply rely on the lower strings. A lot of the parts…even though we’re using 7 strings, a lot of the songs don’t have it the whole way through; a lot of the songs could be played on a 6 string until, say, the bridge or the chorus, where we’ll go to the 7 string just to add a different contrast to the music, add some depth to it. We try not to exclusive write using the low string for every riff; we try to mix it up and keep it varied.

Of course! So after this tour are you guys looking to take some time off, or will you hop on another tour before the end of this year after rehearsing songs from the upcoming record?

We have some time off. We’re going to be doing Gwar-B-Que, which is awesome. It’s a real honor to be able to play there. Then we’ll be doing a couple of dates around that as well; not a full-fledged tour, but just a few dates here and there just so that we’re not just driving straight to Richmond and back home. We’ve got some things planned for the fall, but nothing is confirmed yet, so I can’t really say anything about them. However, I can say that we’re going to be direct support for Cannibal Corpse in Europe in October, which should be incredibly awesome. We’re all huge fans. We’ve only played one show with them at a festival in Montreal, so we didn’t really get the chance to bro down with them that much, but this tour we’ll have plenty of time to all hangout and talk with everyone.

So did you guys do anything today in Fort Lauderdale, or did you guys just kinda get here, load in, and chill?

I follow Trick Daddy on Instagram and he swears by this place Crab Man 305 which is in Opa Locka. So we roll up, Brett [Bamberger] and I, on this ridiculous mission to get this huge seafood feast, and we each dropped like $40 on this giant snow crab plate and it was pretty ridiculous, to say the least, so that’s how my day has been spent [laughs].

I’ll have to go try it some day; I love some good snow crab. Well, before we go I have one more question for you: describe the new album in one sentence.

Uhh….shit. This is hard, man. It’s heavy, it’s dark, progressive, and pissed. Oh, and there’s guitar solos! [laughs].

-SS

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