Davis Fetter and the Matters of Euphoria

          Davis Fetter is a rock 'n roll artist that has both a beautiful and optimistic outlook on life and living life to music. His influences run deep with the roots of rock music (from Chuck Berry to Kurt Cobain) forming his unique sound. You can quickly see and hear his influences in his style, his lyrics with dark undertones, and his Little Richard-esque screeches. If you like The Smiths, you'll like this guy. Davis has the drive to reach people with his music, and you can tell right off the bat that he puts his heart and soul in each of his songs. Each of his singles have been inspired by personal experiences and scars that everyone can relate to and want to hear about. This is the kind of passion that separates the men from the boys in our music world. Davis Fetter has released five singles and has more on the way in the month of May along with a music video. We had the chance to catch up with Davis Fetter and to get to know him both as a talented musician and a brilliant person. 


 Tunage: You have a really unique sound and style that seems to blend the influences from the 50’s with your singing. Who was your biggest influence for your music? Who are your favorite bands that you look up to?

Davis Fetter: Probably my biggest influence for singing and writing songs was The Strokes. Cause I’d always play guitar but when I heard them, I thought, “Aw, I could try to write songs and sing too”, you know? Somehow their music made sense to me, it was something inspirational that I could do or even want to do. And before that, I was just a guitar player. But the way The Strokes play guitar was different too, ad the way they sang too; everything seemed so accessible, like “I could do that too”.  Some of my favorite bands would include probably Nirvana.

Tunage: How long have you been playing guitar? Is there a story on how and why you picked it up?

Davis: I picked up guitar because I heard Nirvana about, oh like, 12 years ago. I heard Nirvana and I thought like “hell yeah!” I was going to play bass. For some reason when I heard Nirvana I wanted to play bass. But then my guitar teacher was like “How bout you try learning guitar first, and then bass will make more sense”, and then when I played guitar for the first time, that was it. I wanted to be like Kurt Cobain. So recently I wanted to play bass, because I liked Sex Pistols and Sid Vicious a lot because he’s a bass player. Yeah, so about 12 years ago, I guess.

T: What’s your favorite Nirvana song?

Davis: Oh, damn. Actually, there’s a song on Nevermind called “Something In The Way”.

T: Oh yeah, that’s one of my favorites too!

D: Yeah, it’s so eerie and cool, and there’s a cool solo in there, it’s super vibe-y, so unique sounding. His voice on that song is one of my favorite vocals.

T: If I had to choose a bass song, it would have to be “Love Buzz”.

D: Dude, that is like one of the coolest…”dat, na na na nerw, dat, na na na nerw”… Yeah, that’s like one of best. That record is Bleach, right? That record is so good, cause the guitar is super heavy, but slow and punk rock sounding. Yeah, that riff is so cool. That’s the thing about Nirvana that’s so cool, every single song was sick. There are few bands like that. The Smiths was a band too that I liked every single song. 

T: After you picked up the guitar; did you go through being in several different bands growing up?

D: Yeah, when I was in junior high, I was in a punk band, called Far Fetched. That was probably the best time in my life, because I was in 7th grade and we’d go to high school parties, and we’re like super young, we’re like 12 years old playing for 16 year olds and 17 year olds. We’d always be playing punk rock and not giving a fuck, and everyone though we were really cool. That was the most fun basically ever, because I feel like it was completely pure. Just picked up a guitar, started a band and just started playing. I was in a bunch of different band s throughout high school, and then I played in a band more recently for about 3 years, I had a band that I started called Venus Infers, and we played all around Orange County, Southern California and Los Angeles for about 3 years. That was pretty cool because that band was the first time I toured, so we went on a tour with Blondie. That was a really cool thing, because I got to meet them, I brought all my vinyl records and she autographed them, she was really cool. That was probably one of the most surreal moments, opening for Blondie. That’s the kind of music that my parents put me into, my parents were really into Blondie, so I listened to them growing up. I toured with Blondie, another artist named Peter Murphy, who was actually in a band called Bauhaus, which is like a late 70’s, post punk band. We played on MTV and stuff, so that was fun. The solo stuff, is kind of brand new, I’ve only been doing it for about 6 months.

T: Each of the singles you’ve released, stand beautifully on their own, but they have a reoccurring theme of love, what inspires your lyrics?

D: Oh man, I mean experience. Every song is true, I’ve written songs in the past that were more embellished; these songs are all true stories; Definitely a lot of heartbreak, despair, moments of euphoria. There’s always a moment in all the lyrics where I’m thinking about something that actually happened.“L.O.V.E.”, that song is really weird because I wrote it in one try, like one go, and I just sang whatever came out. I was struggling with some other songs for months; sometimes it can be labor-intensive writing a song and sometimes might get it, maybe you don’t. This song was weird cause it was super late at night, and I was really frustrated, thinking “fuck it”, thinking of what’s going on, and I started strumming, and all of the sudden it happened. It was one of those rare moments where it was exactly what I wanted. It’s an acronym for moving on. That one is pretty solid.

T: My personal favorite song of yours is “You Know Better Son”. What’s the story behind that one?

D: That one, haha that one’s like the moment where you were with someone, or you have this feeling like all you’re doing is being negative, like you never told me what’s wrong, you never spelled it our for me, I had to learn the hard way. It’s a happy song but with dark undertones. There’s a specific moment where, I found out something that basically ended everything and that she was basically cheating on me. I was thinking, “oh my god, this whole time, you told me all this shit I’ve done wrong, and I was the one doing right”. Yeah, definitely that one is the one where I learned the hard way. It’s kind of cheeky because it happens the best of us, and you just have t move on. There are some songs where they’re so sad and tragic, but there’s humor lying underneath it all, it’s almost like Shakespeare where underneath the darkest moments in humanity, there’s humor. Somehow it’s therapeutic to laugh about it and kind of pick yourself up and dust yourself off. 
T: Do you have a favorite song that you’ve written?

D: Probably one that’s not released, my favorite song is always the one I’m working on at the moment. There are new ones kind of floating about that are really exciting. I just recorded 30 news songs in Nashville, Tennessee, I just got back a week ago, they’re just demos right now, they haven’t been mixed. Other than that, probably “I See Love”, because that was the first one I wrote as a solo. I had to do it alone because it was so personal, then you people know whom it’s coming from. Doing the solo thing, it’s cool because you get to talk to people this really happened to me, I went through this shit.
T: What’s your favorite song that you’ve covered from another band or artist?

D: Man, there are so many. I’ve done “Helter Skelter”, Daniel Johnson songs... Probably James Brown, “Please, Please, Please”. I play that one live these days, I think it was written like in the 50’s , and I really loved the earliest James Brown stuff, like his most rock n’ roll stuff. A lot of people like the funky stuff, which is cool, but I’m way more into the rock n’ roll sounding stuff. That was fun to sing, that and Little Richard, “Lucille”. They’re just fun to sing and super fast. I love the blues and the early roots of rock n’ roll and those voices. Elvis Presley is another favorite of mine too. I just kind of learned the blues and learned that way. The cool thing about rock and roll is the origin of pop music, as we know it. Everything has come from that.
T: Is there a band you’d love to play with one day?

D: Oh my god, yeah, there’s tons. Aside from The Strokes, one of my favorite bands, I think probably Arctic Monkeys. They’re also one of my favorite bands. They just keep getting better; they just keep getting more and more rock and roll. I’ve always bought everything they have. I recorded my latest single in Joshua Tree where Arctic Monkeys recorded one of their records. I really love rock and roll so much that I want to know about all the aspects, what where they like, what was the studio like, how did they get this guitar sound. I really want to learn and soak up everything. I really believe that rock and roll is one of the purest forms of expression, and there’s so much that you can do with it. That’s what I love.

 T: Now some fun questions, tell us a random fun personal fact about yourself.

D: Something that most people don’t know about me is that I have an eye disease, so I have really bad vision. At this moment, I can get by but I have trouble seeing at night. I’ll be in a dark venue playing and people will come up and say hi to me, but I can’t see you! I don’t know who you are right now! They would get so offended saying “Davis, how could you not recognize me!” and I’ll be like “Let’s step into the light very quick! I have no idea who you are!” People who know me will know “Oh you’re not trying to be rude”. I wonder how many times people think I’m snubbing them, like “Oh my god, he’s such a dick!” I just cant’ see you right now. We’re friends, let’s just come to the daylight.

T: Who is your favorite Beatle and why?

D: Oh, John Lennon. It comes down to because of his outlook and approach on music. The things that he said are some of the most rock and roll lyrics ever written. They’re all great, but John Lennon… when I was listening to him as a kid, I thought, “Oh my god, he sounds like Kurt Cobain, he’s the same kind of guy”. He had such a youthful edge, and a very pure sentiment. Paul McCartney was very talented but he was more show tune-y. John Lennon’s songs, I could instantly understand, thinking, “I get it”, kind of like a children’s book.

T: My favorite is George Harrison.

D: Oh totally, and he’s one of the best guitar players ever. He was super underrated, because he wrote some really cool songs. For me, music is about trying to find that visceral kind of reaction that you had when you were young, because when you’re a kid, you don’t think about the chorus or any of that, it’s just visceral, you just like it. I believe the best songs are usually the simplest ones, because they cut the bullshit and get right to the point.

T: Gibson or Fender?

D: Oh, Gibson, definitely. I started off playing a Fender Stratocaster. I still have it, sometimes I use Fenders in the studio, but my Gibson is so comfortable, it’s so easy to play with, and I bought it because I was looking up the king, Chuck Berry, and they played Gibson guitars. They’re my favorite and they’re the best, so I better just play what they play.  I wanted to be like Jimmy Page at one point, so I bought a Les Paul and learned a bunch of Led Zeppelin songs. My guitar is kind of weird, because it’s usually used in blues and jazz, but for rock and roll, it sounds like Chuck Berry. He’s my most favorite guitar player of all time, cause he had this sound that made you want to dance. So I always think about him.

T: I remember the first time I hear Jimmy Page’s guitar solo with the violin bow, I just B lined to the closest music store to buy a bow and try it out. It’s not as easy as it looks.

D: Totally, I tried it too. It really is harder than it looks. That’s the sign of a true genius that can approach the guitar with a totally different mindset. That’s what I love, no matter who you are, if you make a great guitar sound, you just want to stop and stare.

T: If you were stuck in an island for the rest of your life, what album would you bring to listen to?

D: The first thing that came to my mind was The Queen Is Dead by The Smiths because I’ve listened to it more than any other album. From start to finish, I think it’s flawless. It’s really hit me, every song made me want to either laugh, cry, jump up and down, want to dance, groove, whatever. It’s just a perfect musical piece.

T: Any upcoming projects for the fans to look forward to?

D: Definitely, new singles will come out in May. I’m really excited about it, because it’s completely different from what I’ve done before. I love just doing one song at a time, because I like to keep people guessing. So by May I’ll probably have a new video and single coming out, it’s a song with a feeling that I haven’t done yet and I think everyone needs to have; then of course, tons of shows.

T: Is there anything else you want to say to our readers and your fans?

D: My thing is just; I really am trying to give people a sense of realism. There’s so much fake out there today, that I hope people can see that these songs are real, that they’re real experiences that I’ve felt that I think everyone’s gone through, be it love or whatever you want to call it. It’s experience; it’s life experience. If they want something and honest, then please check out my stuff!

If you dig Davis' music, here's the link to his facebook page where you can give him a thumb and keep updated on his work. And check out our exclusive poster design for Davis Fetter at the poster gallery page! I'd keep an eye on this guy, because he's going ti be doing some great stuff soon.

- Tunage

Written by Deanna Trombley

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