Revocation are one of the most exciting metals bands on the planet right now. Showcasing a blend of thrash, death and top-shelf musicianship, the band have been able to go from playing local halls in their home town of Boston, to touring with Children of Bodom.
We recently spoke with frontman Dave Davidson, bassist Anthony Buda and drummer Phil Dubois-Coyne about topics such as their new and critically acclaimed album ‘Chaos of Forms,’ their experimental jazz-fusion bridge in ‘The Watchers,’ the musicians who inspire them the most and much more.
Check out Loudwire’s exclusive interview with the face-melters of Revocation:
What was the recording process like on ‘Chaos of Forms’ compared to the last albums?
Dave Davidson: It was a little bit different because we recorded in between tours ‘cause we were so busy. It was just tour after tour on the road so when it came time to do ‘Chaos of Forms,’ we had a bunch of other tours lined up. So it was like we recorded the drums, left for tour, came back, recorded some guitar and bass, left for tour, came back and finished it off. It was kind of a unique process, we got to step back from it each time and really listen to the performances and spend more time with the record, so that was definitely a different thing. Other than that it was recorded with Pete Rutcho from Damage Studios, so that was a familiar aspect of the record.
It seems like a really natural progression. I totally dig ‘The Watchers’ and how it just goes into infinity. How did that come to be?
Phil Dubois-Coyne: Marijuana.
Davidson: I like horns a lot and I listen to different types of music whether it’s jazz or big band. I played in a big band growing up as a kid. I had experience hearing those types of instruments in a live setting so I think it naturally crept it’s way in and it was like, “How can we put this in a metal song?” So it starts off super brutal and then it kind of goes into a weird seventies prog-rock thing with the horns and the Hammond organ solo which was recorded by our engineer Pete. I think it’s just the blending of a couple of different genres and branching out and put in some diverse influences within extreme heavy music.
I had written that part with horns in mind ‘cause the guitar parts there are really really laid back and just more open dominant seventh chords. I composed the horn part at my house once I had the riff idea in mind to make sure nothing would clash and then we actually brought in… we had three sax players and a trumpet player come to my house to record in my living room, which was pretty funny. It’s definitely never happened before. [Laughs] So they were just crankin’ away in the living room, they had the mic set up, they had the headphones on and we just let it rip. We’re just happy with the way it came out — doing something a little bit different. It got people talking that’s for sure.
Were they saying good things?
Anthony Buda: Seems like it, everyone seems to really like that song.
Davidson: I read a couple of reviews. I think it kind of went over some people’s heads. It’s the horn part, it was supposed to be fun. We take ourselves very seriously when it comes to music and this and that. It’s also cool to inject some humor here and there.
Dubois-Coyne: That part is just so douchey — it’s clearly tongue and cheek. I mean it’s awesome and rockin’ and it’s kind of an ode to Aerosmith or Extreme. It’s definitely not a pretentious vibe to that part. Some of them were very closed minded and “Metal is suppose to be extreme!”
Buda: I think when we did the promo for that song and it was like, “Horns are featured on the new Revocation album,” I think people thought we were gonna take this Eson approach to it. Which is cool — I love Eson, I’m a huge fan of him. Then it just came out and it’s like, “Heh heh heh heh!” It’s suppose to be lighthearted.
You were talking about those open chords and you’re just thinking, “Where are they going with this?”
Buda: That’s exactly what we wanted to happen ‘cause the transition, it’s like a walking bass line, chords are super open — we were all joking in the studio like from the listeners perspective – “Aww man, they don’t know the curve ball right around the corner that’s coming.” Like, “What’s happening? This is a pretty brutal song.” It’s fun to interject little bits of elements of surprise and play with little elements of humor or different styles to add some dynamics to the music.
MetalSucks listed you [Davidson] as the best modern metal guitarist in the world right now. What does that feel like when you’ve beaten out people like Alexi [Laiho] for instance or Alex Skolnick?
Dubois-Coyne: He makes sure that he tells everybody on tour with him.
Davidson: [Laughs] I mean, guitar playing is obviously not a competition. At the end of the day you gotta make music for yourself first and foremost and it just happens to be an awesome bonus that other people can connect with it and dig your playing. It was an honor, obviously very humbling, but I don’t sit around waving a badge of honor from that. It’s not about competition or anything like that, it’s just about making music that hopefully other people can connect with. I was happy, any title aside, that people dig my playing and were able to connect with it in that way. Also, props to Phil [Dubois-Coyne]. He just got on the drummer’s list.
Dubois-Coyne: Number 23 — which is not as good as number one, but 23 is Michael Jordan’s number and he’s the greatest of all time, so I can read between the lines.
Who are your guitar and drum idols?
Davidson: Guitar for me, well I met one of my idols the other night Jeff Waters from Annihilator. He came out to the show in Montreal, so that was really cool. He was a big influence on all of us, but solo wise Marty Friedman from Megadeth — I love his playing. Dan Mongrain from Martyr, love that too — give them a shout out. Jazz-wise I like Pat Martino a lot, Scott Henderson for the fusion stuff he does. There’s just so many. I’m forgetting a million — Luc Lemay from Gorguts. There’s a million out there. Those are just a couple off the top of my head. He [Dubois-Coyne] just watches himself in a mirror.
Dubois-Coyne: Yeah, I just watch myself get better. I don’t know, early-on John Bonham — that was probably like when I was a teenager or when I was like 12 — that was the big one. All-time probably Gene Hoglan, a lot of guys — Patrice Hamelin from Martyr is f—ing outstanding, John Longstreth I’ve taken a lot from, Dave Haley from Psycroptic is nasty, Troy Fullerton of Severed Savior — love that dude’s playing. A lot of dudes, even outside of metal. I love gospel drummers like Dennis Chambers and Aaron Spears and Thomas Pridgen – those guys are f—ing ridiculously nasty. It’s extreme in its own right, they’re outstanding players but it’s not all linear chops — they just got the groove.
Buda: As far as metal bass players I would say Roger Patterson from Atheist — rest in peace. Henrik Drake from this band from Sweden called Anata — he’s one of my favorite players. I don’t know, I find myself less inspired by big musicians and more by bands and compositions that I enjoy. I try not to focus too much on the technical aspect and focus more on the vibe.
Revocation are set to embark on a 10-day headlining tour with Cannabis Corpse and Ramming Speed. For tour dates, click here.
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