On the telephone Dave Davidson sounds like an ordinary guy. You’d never guess his was the booming, guttural voice of Boston death metal band Revocation. Davidson laughed when the contrast was brought up. “I have to work on my voice. Especially before a tour with vocal warm-ups. But I’ve been in bands since high school. You build your own voice and find what tones work for you.”
Davidson’s love of music began even earlier than that. In the fifth grade he caught an Aerosmith video. His fellow Bostonian Joe Perry’s guitar chops had Davidson begging his Mom for a guitar and practice amps. Davidson’s taste in music got progressively heavier as the years passed, moving from Aerosmith to Guns N Roses to Pantera. And then his guitar training went an unlikely route for the Revocation frontman. He studied jazz at Berklee College of Music.
“I went with an open mind. I wanted to put myself out of my comfort zone. A lot of the schooling was focused on improvisation and harmonics. I learned to put together chords and melody. All of it applies in a subconscious way with Revocation.”
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We couldn't help but picture Davidson as a character in the movie Whiplash, with its insane portrayal of the drive needed to survive higher musical training. Was there any truth to that? “That was an extreme portrayal," he says. "That was the Hollywood version of it. When you’re slacking off though, there’s something about getting that kick in the ass to get that next level. I was told — and I tell the people I teach — practice makes perfect is a lie. Perfect practice makes perfect.”
That perfectionism will be on display tonight at Culture Room as Revocation bring headbanging to Fort Lauderdale, promoting its fifth and newest album Deathless. “Musically, it was inspired by a lot of death metal. Lyrically, it’s about life on the road. It’s about touring non-stop as a band of brothers and getting deeper connections as we write.”
So even with their latest record coming out less than a year ago, does that mean the four piece are working on new music? “I’m always writing. I don’t like to save it for a month before we get in the recording studio. We’re not going gung-ho, but if something pops up when we’re sitting in a parking lot, I record it and save it for later.”