Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Colby Davidson

Colby Davidson. (Photo by Daniel Godes – Courtesy of Reckoning PR)

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

California Folk Rock artist Colby Davison released his latest single, “Capture The Wind” on Friday, Sep. 20, 2019 along with a music video.

The song was written in a time when Davidson hoped to get back with an ex-girlfriend who didn’t feel the same way. Upon realization he could’ve been a better boyfriend in the course of their relationship, he attempted to converse with her again. Once that proved uneventful, he used the song as his way to say to her, “The ball’s in your court. You send the first message.” He imagined as if he spoke to her through his music, something he likes to do often in general.

Family also played a big role as his father introduced him to plenty of music. Even when his father left the family for a period because of depression, Davidson used those tumultuous times to influence him as an artist and the subjects he’d sing and write about. It made him who he is today.

 

 

Music Bugle – How would you compare your days as a solo artist to that of being the Analogue Spirit frontman? 

Colby – They are very similar in that I am the primary songwriter for each act and that I am the creative direction of each. That being said, Analogue Spirit, I do ask the members more what they think of a song and take in their opinions. In this solo act, I’ll ask, but I have ultimate say as to which way a song is going to go. It’s more or less the same role.

 

Music Bugle – What are your thoughts on the overall reaction people have had to your single “Capture The Wind”? 

Colby – I have been very pleased with my fans. I have had a lot of them reach out telling me how much they like it, which is great to hear! I just want to be able to share it with even more people.

 

Music Bugle – Who are some of your musical influences? 

Colby – For this act, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, The Lumineers, Bob Dylan, The Barr Brothers, Jack Johnson, Rayland Baxter, Jamestown Revival, Jeff Buckley, Fleet Foxes, The Band, everything that came out of Muscle Shoals, Van Morrison, Houndmouth, John Mayer, James Bay and Gregory Alan Isakov. I also love The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Olivier Messiaen, John Coltrane, Death Cab for Cutie and a lot more. 

 

Music Bugle – What do you consider the biggest challenge of standing out in your particular genre? 

Colby – I think standing out in this genre isn’t about competition with others. Standing out I think comes with time and consistent quality of music. I didn’t love Nathaniel Rateliff until I heard probably four songs I loved over a period of two years and then I was hooked. You have to establish that trust with the listener and then you become something more than just that song they listen to. The genre has been around forever and you can argue it’s been done a thousand times, but I’m not necessarily trying to be original, nor worried about it. Ninety-nine percent of everything is not original, even if you perceive it as such, but there’s too much focus on being original and not enough on refinement. A lot of artists that have come after a pioneering artist did it better and captured more of the essence of the music. I know everyone’s unique and brings a special perspective to the table and as someone that has a very eclectic taste, I think I will stand out when I have more of my catalog released. 

 

Music Bugle – What are some of your future plans? 

Colby – My drummer Nathan Kingsley and I are currently mixing and mastering our next release “Silverado.” I am working on other songs in our home studio both for this act and Analogue Spirit. I plan on releasing an EP because I have so much material ready, get on SXSW and maybe a tour this summer. I’m hoping to get on a tour with a more established act in my genre and get some of my fans from them.

 

Music Bugle – What is your biggest frustration with today’s music industry and can anything be done to fix it? 

Colby – My biggest frustration is how pirating and Napster have devalued art. That happened some 20 years ago or so, but that changed our world for the worse. Streaming is better than pirating, but now artists are not making that extra revenue stream. I think it also goes subconsciously in the mind of the consumer/listener that music is now only worth $15 a month. Your value of something is basically equivalent to the time, money or effort you put into it. This also puts record companies in a tricky financial situation where they can no longer take a chance on artist that may or may not sell. They have to know that artist will make them money, which then makes popular art more homogenous and quite frankly, boring. Variety is the spice of life. 

 

Music Bugle – What do you feel is your most meaningful song or set of lyrics? 

Colby – This is a great question. I am a lyrics man and often a song won’t make it to release if I am not pleased with the lyrics. It’s a very hard decision, but I’d have to choose my song “Keep On Chasin’ Rainbows” that’s unreleased. I wrote this song sitting on the deck of the house I was living at in Northern California while the beach was about a quarter-mile away covered in fog. I was post-breakup with my ex and in between “I miss you, come back” and “You’re a fool for leaving what we had.” There’s a lot of spite in it and a lot of symbolism. The second verse is my favorite part and it can really only be interpreted by me and her, but I think it can also resonates with listeners that have lost someone they loved. It goes, “Do you remember the way in which we swayed/While Norah sang us away/Well honey how could you forget that/I wouldn’t trade it for the world/For all the victories I’ve toiled/and all the blood I’ve spilled to get by.” 

 

Music Bugle – What’s something you feel people should know about you? 

Colby – I can’t tell if this is a deep introspective question or a “fun fact” one, so I’ll answer both. First, the fun fact: I love making pizza and pizza-making parties. I think cooking with your friends and loved ones is a great way to bond, feel connected and make something delicious. My serious answer would be I have gone through a lot to be where I am today. A lot of hard work, mental health issues, perseverance in the face of others doubting you and doubting yourself and hardships. I believe we all go through these things and it helps define us. Unrequited love, death, joy, friendship and all the dimensions of life I have faced surface in my lyrics and music I convey. We can have fun and I will write songs to do so, but if you want to come along with me, we can explore the real aspects of life and emotional growth. Let me put into words what you’re feeling inside. You’re not alone. 

 

Music Bugle – What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your time as a musician? 

Colby – Humility. You break your back, spend hours in hot practice rooms sweating it out, spend thousands of dollars and all that doesn’t guarantee your song is going anywhere or you are. People owe you nothing. They don’t owe you their time, their ears, etc. It’s the most frustrating thing in the world that you build up this song and you invest so heavily in it and it flops. You have to let that part of yourself go or at least acknowledge it’s there. Music is such a personal thing and just because your friends share so much in common doesn’t mean they’ll dig your music. I get sad when a song doesn’t have a lot of plays, but that’s just the way of the world. I think these songs are good and I turn to friends I can trust to confirm that. They just need to find their audience. 

 

Music Bugle – What feelings would you say are conveyed through your music the most?

Colby – Melancholy, Etherealness, Love, Pride, Contentment and Fun. I have made a conscious effort to write happy and uplifting songs because growing up, the majority of my songs were sad. There’s a quote from my favorite author and book series “Lord of The Rings” that has shaped my approach: “The world is indeed full of peril, and in it, there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands, love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” – Fellowship of The Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien

 

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