I spent the holidays listening to A LOT of CDs. When you spend that much time listening to music, you tend to get a little blase and jaded about the tunes you are hearing just due to the sheer amount of music you are listening to. But throughout all of these listening sessions, certain bands and artists literally made me sit up and take notice. One of those bands was Long Island, New York-based Gee Davey. With a sound that reminded me of a crunchier, harder Matthew Sweet, every song song on their CD “She Sells Smiles” had me reaching for the “repeat” button on the CD player.
I talked to DJ from the band to learn a little bit more about them.
1 Who are your biggest musical influences?
Well I was certainly raised on the classic influences. My parents had me listening to Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple before I could even walk. And then in my childhood I found AC/DC and Ozzy on my own (in fact, Ozzy’s “Blizzard of Ozz” was the very first album I bought with my own allowance). But I’d have to say that over my musical career the biggest influences I’ve had were bands that, in my opinion, just laid out some of the best songs, possibly, ever. Bands like Soundgarden and Stone Temple Pilots, Incubus and Green Day, I Mother Earth and Our Lady Peace are really the bands that I can credit with most of Gee Davey’s style and sound. But there are so many good bands out today, that influence is really everywhere and I find constant inspiration in the works of other bands like Weezer, The Killers and the All American Rejects, to name a few. And just because they deserve the mention, unsigned bands that we’ve worked with over the years like Colour Cold and The Headie Berrie have definitely been influence and inspiration to us, more than they probably know.
2 Is rock and roll dead?
No. It’s just buried under some unbelievably crappy pop music. I suppose you can’t get around the fact that kids, like 13-year-old girls, are now a target demographic. And they don’t like rock; they like “kids-bop 27” or whatever the hell that thing on TV is. I think we all hoped that Avril might be able to bring those kids over to the “rock” side, but then she released “Girlfriend” and that dream was over. There are certainly good rock bands out there for the liking, the world just needs to tire of the sugar-encrusted whitebread they are listening to now, and then music will right itself. Hopefully we can help with that, it’s not like we’re not trying.
3 How has the internet benefited you as a musician?
In every possible way. The internet allows us to do everything now: make new fans, keep in touch with them, promote shows, sell music, and generally push the Gee Davey product to places all over the world. And even all of the internet-based radio stations and podcasts have changed forever the way people hear new music. We get more fan mail from people that hear us on podcasts than we ever did from radio. It may have been the downfall of the modern record industry, but it’ll certainly be integral in the birth of a new one.
4 What’s the name all about?
“Gee Davey” comes from the Sunday morning claymation classic “Davey and Goliath”. Basically the only thing that was on for kids on Sunday morning (pre-cable), it was a morally-correct show about a boy, Davey, and his dog, Goliath. Their adventures always landed Davey in a situation where he would have to choose the “right” thing, and whenever he would waver towards the wrong choice, Goliath –he talked by the way– would always utter something like “Gee, Davey… maybe you shouldn’t do that.” And that’s were “Gee Davey” came from. If you check out our CDs, websites, t-shirts, stickers, etc. you’ll notice the stick figure dog, affectionately known as Goliath, on everything we do.
5 Why do you make music?
People make music for all kinds of reasons. I can honestly say that we do it because we have to. I can’t not make music, it drives me absolutely crazy when we haven’t played or written anything in a long enough while. I figure that I’ll always be doing this; it would be nice if I could do it for a living, but that’s up to the rest of the world, not me. (Btw, all Gee Davey CDs are available on iTunes now.. :o)
6 What are your plans for 2009?
We are looking to playing every single major festival, college and event that will have us. We are looking to promote our latest CD, “She Sells Smiles” to absolutely everyone that will listen. So I’m hoping to have been all over the Northeast, if not the entire country, by the end of 2009 at which point we need to head back to the studio and record all the new stuff we’ve written since …Smiles was released in July.
7 Why did the chicken cross the road?
To get to the Gee Davey show, duh.
And as a special thank you to readers of The Rock and Roll Report the band has agreed to make the track She Sells Smiles available to you absolutely free! Just click to download.
Make sure you go out and support Gee Davey if they come to a town near you and please, if you like what you hear buy their CD. Click on any of the CD covers below to purchase their music and support independent rock and roll!