In a time where artists with a history in music tend to try to revitalize a long work career doing the same old song and dance, it is really refreshing to see an established artist do something new, vibrant and unique. For those of us who were there when Babylon A.D hit the streets, we saw a powerhouse of Rock hit the ground running, taking the Music World and Hollywood by Storm.
However, like many, when the Music Industry changes direction like a leak in a windstorm, some of the most talented fall from view, and even though they never left the spotlight and continued to entertain fans and rock the world, obscurity can fall upon even the mightiest. But one very strong and resilient artist, the earth shaker named Derek Davis has created a new vision of what Rock will be, aptly named REVOLUTIONARY SOUL.
For those of you too young to know the legend, let us reveal the tale-
From His Bio:
Derek Davis, a natural-born singer/songwriter/musician and gifted performer, Davis began his life in music very young, finding his place with vocals and guitar. He began his professional music career at the age of 15, writing songs, fronting bands, and headlining clubs, bars, and other music venues in the San Francisco Bay Area. After relocating to Los Angeles in 1989, Davis and his newly formed rock band Babylon A.D. soon caught the attention of the legendary music mogul Clive Davis, who signed the band to a recording contract with Arista Records at a private showcase.
While at Arista Records, Babylon A.D. released two critically acclaimed CDs: The self-titled Babylon A.D. in 1990, which reached gold status, and Nothing Sacred in 1992. The band’s first release produced three Top 10 songs on the A.O.R Metal charts: “Bang Go the Bells,” “Hammer Swings Down,” and “Kid Goes Wild.” The last track was the trailer track featured in the Orion Pictures film RoboCop 2. The band’s sophomore release Nothing Sacred produced two more Top 10 metal rockers: “Bad Blood” and “So Savage the Heart.” With strong video rotation on MTV and constant touring, Babylon A.D. soon became one of hard rock fans’ most popular bands.
Over the past 28 years, Davis has showcased his extraordinary singing, songwriting, and musicianship in several areas. He has had several songs placed in films and TV, and has recorded eight albums with Babylon A.D., one with his band American Blues Box, and one with the band Moonshine.
Derek Davis has just release his new solo album Revolutionary Soul! A new soul/funk/rock–inspired CD released on January 21st 2017. He also has several live concert dates set with his new band The Revolutionary Souls and with Babylon A.D.
The Derek Davis Interview:
IPM: When did you decide to put the Revolutionary Souls project together?
Derek: I had a vision of what I wanted to do after I wrote a few songs that had a similar soulful vein running through them. I started working on the songwriting and production a little over two years ago and I’ve always wanted to do a soul/funk type record because that is the music I grew up on and still enjoy to this day.
IPM: How does the new band’s sound differ from the music you made with Babylon A.D.?
Derek: Very much so, No screaming guitars and pounding drums. It’s lot of soul with many different instruments like, Sax, B3 keys, Piano. It’s just a whole different vibe.
IPM: Talk about some of the tunes on Revolutionary Soul.
Derek: The songs are very diverse in nature but all have a common thread running through them, sort of like a Lenny Kravitz meets Al Green, and he and brings the Isley Bros over to jam and make a record.
There’s a couple up-tempo funky type songs like Revolutionary Soul’ and there’s some very cool ballads like Vicious Heart’ and King Of Fools’ but I believe they all have some really good story backdrops to them and include some infectious melodies.
IPM: Who are some of your own favorite musicians and/or bands, and why?
Derek: Wow that’s hard because I am influenced as a songwriter/musician/singer and a producer by so many different styles of music. I enjoy different bands and artist for different reasons.
For instance how do you compare Sade and Aerosmith, or James Brown and The Beatles. You can’t except to say they all are great and the best at what they do or did. All of them leave a place in your heart for the rest of your life once you hear them and that’s what I have always strived for.
Most people know me from Babylon A.D. but I’ve had some killer bands and played with some great musicians and released records with bands like. Moonshine, American Blues Box, and now my new band The Revolutionary Souls, I just love to create, I live and bleed it!
IPM: Are you someone who has to be dragged by the neck into the studio, or are you a studio junkie (which most aptly describes you)?
Derek: I am in the studio now as I answer these questions; I’m always in the studio. You have to drag me out kicking and screaming out of the studio because my damn brain has too many ideas running around I want to record.
IPM: What are the main changes you see in the music business, as it exists now, from when you first started playing and recording?
Derek: I don’t even know where to start. I guess the Internet. The demise of MTV, the record companies A&R department collapses, Clear Channel taking over Radio. It’s just not the same and yet there are more bands and musicians doing it themselves more than ever. It’s a double-edged sword some good and some bad.
IPM: If you were to pen a politically-termed song, what might it’s title be called, and why?
Derek: Well I did write one REVOLUTIONARY SOUL’ the title track from the new release. ‘Welcome to the Revolution, I’m a revolutionary Soul”. I’ve always been told by people who know me I am a non- conformist and sometimes it gets me in trouble but I don’t care, I am who I am!
IPM: Let’s discuss your history with Arista Records legendary mogul, Clive Davis. How did that come to be?
Derek: Very long story but I’ll try and make it short, The bottom line is he heard about the band through his west coast A&R guy Randy Gerston, We were getting very big in the San Francisco Bay Area and we moved to Hollywood as a band into a one bedroom apartment, 7 guys total. And it was mayhem. Clive called our manager less than a week after we moved to L.A and secured a rehearsal studio for us to do a showcase for him and the NY branch of Arista Records. We kicked his ass with a seven song set. He stood up off the couch and said, “Welcome to the family boys.” Done! We had a record deal; we went to the Rainbow that night and got hammered and had many good fights.
Clive and I had a very good relationship up to the release of our second album but we had disagreements in respect to songs and such on Nothing Sacred.
He used to fly me to New York to listen to new songs by other artist at the A&R staff meetings and I’d give my input, it was very cool. But once you don’t agree with Clive, YOU’RE OUT!
So once again I did not do the politically correct thing and suffered the consequence. My “authority problem” as my wife calls it!
IPM: Will you be able to maintain both bands; should Revolutionary Souls grow to a level where it’s obviously a success?
Derek: I sure hope so, this new band is so cool and it’s every bit as good as Babylon A.D it’s just a different style.
IPM: Any plans at the moment to take Derek Davis & the Revolutionary Souls on tour?
Derek: I am talking with booking agents now as a matter of fact, so stay tuned.
Find out More about Derek Davis, Revolutionary Souls and This new and phenomenal experience at Derek’s Website http://www.derekdavismusic.com and follow him and revolutionary Souls on his Facebook http://www.facebook.com/derekdavisrevolutionarysoul .