Artist of the day: Davy and the Gods
Davy and the Gods could be considered a local supergroup of sorts. The three integral members hail from Win Win Winter (Tommy Simms, guitar/vocals), Tres Bien (Ryan Metcalf, drums/vocals), and Mouse Fire (Shane Schuch, bass/vocals).
Having recently shared the stage as the touring/backing group for Simms’ sister’s act, Automatic Loveletter, their charisma prompted them to take things a step further. Simms explains: “My sister needed a band, so we got the best musicians we knew that we played with together, then quickly decided to start our own band.” Adds Metcalf, “We’d kinda jam at soundcheck and (were) like, 'Huh, that sounds good, let’s do that.’”
They decided to get into the recording studio to see what they could conjure. Having only been together for 4 months, they had already created a buzz through word of mouth and online video updates of their progress. As a result, in November, they landed their first gig, opening for Tim Kasher of The Good Life and Cursive at Crowbar.
“We really got our s--- together five days before the Kasher show,” Metcalf says. “We had some songs written, but the three of us hadn’t played together as a live act. We were in the mixing room of the studio (when they got the call) and we go, 'Wait a second; we have five days to do this. Ok, you play guitar, you play drums, you play bass, right? Ok, we’ll do this.’”
Davy and the Gods rounded out their sound with the help of friends Drake Sweet on keyboards and Spencer Bradham on aux instruments. With easily hummable melodies and sing-along choruses, they evoke sonic images of My Morning Jacket, and the Crazy Horse-esque thickness of Neil Young’s electric outings.
Here’s some insight into their process:
Davy and the Gods named themselves after a Fender Telecaster of Simms’, Davy being one god among many:
Schuch: “The gods represent the other instruments in the band. We aren’t really playing the instruments, we’re manipulating them.”
Simms: “We aren’t making the sounds, the instruments are: They’re the gods that make the music.”
Metcalf: “Tommy is not Davy and the band isn’t the Gods.”
Simms: “This isn’t Hootie and the Blowfish.”
Schuch: “We’ve all played and watched each others bands for so long, and know each others music so well, I have full trust in whatever they write. This band is more of a brotherhood than I’ve ever had in a band. It’s so easy going, it feels like a little musical family.”
Simms: “Usually some one writes a song, or brings in the melody and chords. These songs, for the most part, were written in the studio. We trust each other all enough to grow these songs into whatever we se fit. Whoever brought the cords and ideas brought that, and everybody just did their thing to it.”
Simms: “We’re currently mixing an EP tentatively titled Songs for the Songbirds at Clear Track Productions studio in Clearwater.”
Schuch: “Our record is being produced by Andy Jackson from Hot Rod Circuit and Terrible Things.”
Simms: “Terrible Things opened for the last Automatic Loveletter tour. We got to know 'em very well. We got friendly with Andy, and he loved what we were doing and asked to produce it. We’re gonna go to his house in Alabama and do the record.”
Once the albums are pressed, the boys plan to take their act on the road. They already have tour dates booked and are slated to play festivals around the U.S. You can catch them this weekend at the Pelican Pop Festival 2, and say you saw 'em first.
Davy and the Gods will perform along with Automatic Loveletter, Faux Furs, Future Now, Sleepy Vikings and others. The show is at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Tickets are $6-$9. (727) 258-4829.
-- Aaron Lepley, tbt*