by Royce Davis
I started playing with bands in 1997, and all I cared about was playing live, seeing people see and hear me. I wasn’t concerned with whether they liked it or hated it, so long as they felt something. Here we are, 20-something years later, and not much has changed for me, but the rest of the world is a different animal entirely.
Listen to the EP while reading the text.
I’m not shy exactly, but I am fairly quiet, relaxed, and prefer to go unnoticed unless I’m on stage. I have been addicted to performing since I did a school play in the third grade. When I perform, I get to be someone else – the person I want to be, instead of the person I happen to be. Yeah, I try to be the best version of myself that I can, but humans collect so much baggage – mistakes, regrets, responsibilities, blah blah blah. It can feel like we’re drowning at times. I take all that self-disappointment and wrap it up into some sounds that I can throw at an audience, and they can relate to it in their own way.
I love playing the drums. I always have. I’m not opposed to singing or playing other instruments, but drums will always be my favorite. I don’t think about anything when I’m behind a drumset, my life, who I am, my to-do list, everything just melts away for a while, and I’m just wrapped in music. I’m someone else. Someone new without failures, obligations, debts, worries. I’m free. I’m innocent. I may be covered in sweat and smeared makeup by the end, but I feel clean and energized. I think that feeling is what has kept live music around. Before recording was possible, and in an age where every recording is in the palm of our hands, we all long to go to that place where we leave ourselves at the door.
The music I write is mostly inspired by the feelings caused by the worst parts of my life. I think it’s cathartic to put those thoughts out there for people to hear, even though they are things I never talk about. Feelings are pretty universal; you at your lowest point in life feels like me at my lowest, so we all share those highs and lows of emotion. Admit it or not, you have social anxiety to some degree, you have regrets and failures, loss, and pain. So do I, so do they. Yeah, some of the most commercially successful songs are braggadocios and narcissistic, and that can make us feel powerful, but nothing resonates within like pain laid bare. Some songs are felt so deeply it’s uncomfortable, and I guess that’s what I shoot for when writing solo material.
That’s the advice I give when asked about inspiration. Take a moment to feel something from a moment of your past you can’t forget but never talk about. Once you have that feeling, start creating. Sing, draw, play an instrument. Record it. Let others listen or look. They’ll interpret it however they do, that’s fine – we all taste things differently, but as long as we’re digesting we’re feeding ourselves.