If the name Daniel Davies has a ring of familiarity to it, there's good reason. The son of the Kinks' Dave Davies, the guitarist/programmer/songwriter cut his teeth in bands including Year Long Disaster, Karma to Burn and CKY, before settling in with his godfather — and one of the godfathers of horror-movie scores — John Carpenter, as a primary member of the director/composer's band. Traveling the world and performing iconic cuts from the soundtracks to Halloween, Assault on Precinct 13, Escape From New York, as well as from Carpenter's Sacred Bones albums Lost Themes and Lost Themes II, led Davies to the conclusion that he wanted to break out on his own. Enter the Events Score LP, a new solo effort from Davies that could be the score to yet-to-be-produced movie. The first single "Shadows Alive" is a horror classic waiting to happen, drawing from giallo soundtracks like Suspiria to create an eerie, ethereal yet primitive sonic backdrop. You can practically see the shadow of a knife before you while listening to it.
His latest single is "One 60 Clone," a more sci-fi–leaning effort that maintains a classic feel while leaning on elements of power electronics and ambient music. It's cinema for the ear, and incredibly beautiful and sinister at the same time. Check out the track for the first time above.
But Davies is not only prepping fot the release of Events Score on August 31st, he's also readying a new Halloween soundtrack with Carpenter at the helm. We recently caught up with the busy musician to talk about his past bands, personal mentors, solo music and the big upcoming horror score.
YOUR EARLY DAYS WERE SPENT WITH HARD-ROCK BANDS LIKE YEAR LONG DISASTER AND KARMA TO BURN. WHAT WERE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE BANDS THAT LED TO FORMATION OF THE FORMER?
DANIEL DAVIES I love all different kinds of music, but some of the rock bands that inspired me are Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and The Faces.
YOU GREW UP AROUND THE CARPENTER HOUSEHOLD AND AROUND YOUR FATHER DAVE DAVIES. WHAT WAS THAT LIKE?
It was great — they instilled a love of music and movies in me. In the early part of my life I grew up on tour with my dad and got to experience life on the road. As a teenager I was able to watch John on set directing. I always knew I wanted to be part of the film making process, I just didn't know how yet. When I started to learn music both of their unique styles has a major influence on me.
FOLLOWING THE FORMATION OF THE JOHN CARPENTER BAND, WHICH YOU ARE A PART OF, WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO PLAY THESE CLASSIC TRACKS? AND WHAT WERE THE CHALLENGES IN RECREATING THE SOUNDS AND THE MOODS?
It has been an amazing experience getting to play John's scores and Lost Themes live. Seeing the fan's reaction to John's movies/music has been very rewarding. The main challenges were re orchestrating the music to work in a six-piece band. We use a mixture of computers, synths, guitars, and drums to achieve our sound.
YOUR OWN WORK DEFINITELY TOUCHES AND EXPANDS UPON JOHN'S WORK. WHAT ARE SOME OTHER TOUCHSTONES OR BANDS OR SOUNDTRACKS THAT YOU CALLED UPON IN THE MAKING OF YOUR DEBUT RECORD?
A few of my favorite scores/albums are Wendy Carlos's A Clockwork Orange, Vangelis' Blade Runner, Tangerine Dream's Risky Business and Johann Johannsson's Englaborn.
A GREAT MOVIE SCORE ISN'T BUILT TO STAND ALONE, BUT TO ALSO SERVE THE FILM, WHICH WHICH IT IS PAIRED. WHAT IS THE HALLMARK OF A GREAT SOUNDTRACK OR THEME TO YOU?
The hallmark of a great theme is what serves the film best. It's all about telling stories. For example, the "Blade Runner Man Titles" by Vangelis — it supports what you're seeing, perfectly. Sparse, lamenting, uncertain ... the future. Not to mention, I'm a synth junky so the sounds truly connect with my sensibilities.
CLEARLY, YOU WERE UP TO THE CHALLENGE WHEN IT COMES TO REVISITING AND REIMAGINING A CLASSIC SOUNDTRACK LIKE HALLOWEEN, BUT WHAT WERE SOME OF THE HURDLES THAT YOU ENCOUNTERED PERSONALLY AND HOW DID YOU FACE THEM?
Working with John and the new creative force behind Halloween has been an unforgettable experience. What more could you ask for than writing music with the originator of Halloween and David Gordon Green, who has done an incredible job carrying the torch?