Dave Davies speaks about his upcoming tour, sibling rivalry and today's British rock invasion. 

Working Out the Kinks

The foundation of any great classic rock song is its guitar riff. The artists who created these memorable licks helped lay the foundation for the rock we listen to today.

One of rock's premiere riff chiselers, Dave Davies, created the quintessential classic-rock guitar riff in "You Really Got Me." Davies, a founding member of The Kinks, will be kicking off his summer tour at the Canal Club this Friday.

Although most media attention has been heaped upon his older brother Ray, who fronted the band and wrote most of the songs, Dave has been touring regularly and putting out solo albums since the '80s. Widespread critical and commercial success has largely escaped him, but Kinks fans will find his show is a mix of rock and acoustic, story and song, classic and obscure material.

Style: You've been playing live and touring for the past five decades. Are you still enjoying touring?

Davies: I'm enjoying playing more now than I ever had, although it was obviously nice playing with the Kinks. But you know it was very stressful towards the later tours. I'm having a great time, I've got a younger band and there's a really good vibe, and I'm getting to do the songs that I like to do.

Style: In the past you've cited bands such as Buddy Holly, the Venturas and Leadbelly as some of your important influences. What are some groups that you listen to now?

Davies: I think Travis is really a standout band, the songwriting is really mature for young guys. And their influences remind me a little bit of our influences, you know, like country and a bit of pop music and blues, and all different elements that they've fused together which I really like. I like the surrealness of Radiohead, which I find amusing but also interesting.

Style: What was the last concert you made it to?

Davies: Oh God, I really can't remember the last I went to.

Style: Must have been a good one.

Davies: Sadly, I haven't been to a concert. I've been really busy, I'm organizing a tour for Europe and I'm writing. I want do another solo album. So there's a lot going on, and I run two Web sites as well. I've got one that is www.davedavies.com, and what I call a sister site to that, which is linked via the Davie Davies site, its called Spiritual Planet. It takes on board all my metaphysical interests.

Style: You and your brother were a prolific songwriting duo. How did the sibling rivalry dynamic affect the music that you made?

Davies: Well, apart from all the negatives that always happens in those types of relationships, I think our relationship ignited a lot of really good ideas, new ideas. Without that chemical interaction between Ray and I, I don't think the music would have been half as diverse or half as interesting. When Ray and I were functioning really well together, I think the music was really at its best.

Style: You've already accomplished so much in the music business. What is it that keeps driving you to write music and tour?

Davies: Well I think it's just what you do, isn't it? It's like a job that I know how to do. Not only that, but I'm just really interested in communications. Communications have changed a lot in the past five years, with the internet and digital music, it's a very exciting time, I think the technology is really helping the creative process now, so I see myself as a communicator, as well as a musician and a performer.

Style: There have been a lot of successful bands with siblings. Do you have a favorite among them?

Davies: Obviously one of the most famous, and the first one that comes to mind, is the Beach Boys. And I think throughout their ups and downs they produced some tremendous music over the years, particularly in the early days. But also obviously the Oasis band, which kind of make me smile because it does remind me more of Ray and I than any other band that I know of. I think they're playing the game very well, having a lot of fun with it, it gets them a lot of media attention, so if they really don't start killing each other they'll be OK.

Style: You're starting your tour in Richmond. Have you ever played here before?

Davies: A long time ago, we used to go to Richmond quite a lot as the Kinks, but I haven't done any solo shows there. I've got fond memories of shows there. It's very green, and it reminds me very much of parts of England. We'll have some fun when we get into town.


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