A&E » Arts

NewMusicWest a learning experience for Davy’s Locker



WHO: Davy’s Locker

WHERE: Moe Joe’s

WHEN: May 18, 19

Davy's Locker has done a lot of things to support itself in the pursuit of music: car washes, cover shows and cutting firewood – even the full monty! (You can check out the proof on their Web site, www.davyslocker.com.)

But most recently the Squamish quintet has been learning how to support itself from within the music industry.

Davy's Locker just returned from Vancouver's NewMusicWest festival. The three day event showcases over 220 musicians and draws the top names in Canadian management and promotions. Davy's Locker played to a packed house at Studebakers Friday night, and more importantly took in as many conferences as the event had to offer.

"Basically what we learned is that we're doing everything right. We just have to do more," says guitarist, Jared. "One of my favourite seminars was A&R in the Round. It's a quick and easy way to get your package to a lot of different record companies. You get a chance to sit and talk with them and a few asked me 'What do you guys want to do?' A lot of starting bands tend to answer 'I want to be famous.' And yeah, that's our goal too. Well, maybe not famous, but we'd like to do it for a living. And I would tell them that I just wanted to start touring and that sort of thing. And they told me we were on the right track, which is encouraging."

Touring is one thing that the band has not been doing. Davy's Locker plays the Whistler-Squamish-Vancouver circuit, but hasn't broken away to explore the rest of the country. Being five guys leading very busy lives – Jared himself is a full-time chemistry student at SFU – they have yet to develop a driving business force in the group to take charge of the challenges of booking and promotions as well as pushing for more air time on local radio. But the band has made the vow to start and that began at NMW.

"We met almost everybody at CFOX last weekend, including secretaries, just everybody. They are really good people. It was neat to meet them and see how friendly they are and they're more than willing to listen to your stuff," says Jared. "Of course, everyone is out for their own, so if your music isn’t good, they'll be nice about, but they’re gonna tell you. So far we've never had anyone say 'just give it up'."

Next on the to do list is a new CD. Three songs have already been laid down. The rest will wait until June when they can corner the talents of producer Joey Moi, who is currently involved with Nickelback. The new project is an exciting one for Davy's Locker, especially after the hardships surrounding their first release. The band admits to making huge mistakes the first time around, and is anxious to make the next album with new insight and new focus.

"We really screwed it up," confides Jared. "We didn't know the roles people played. We didn't know what a producer was or what a manager was. And we made some bad choices in picking who assumed those roles. And it was our fault because we didn't do enough research. It took us a year to record our first album, whereas, you can usually do an album without tie-ups in two months. Ironically enough, the problems we had led us to the people we've found."

The band has also found new growth in their song writing, learning how to express their concepts more clearly and confidently. So much so, in fact, that their initial self-titled effort isn't totally representative of what Davy's Locker has become.

"Being in the band, I only hear the change as gradual, but if you listen to our present CD and then some of our new stuff, you will hear a difference." Jared says there is always the pressure to turn out commercially viable music on a premiere CD. And, he says the preferred style of Davy's Locker isn't far from that radio-friendly rock. Indeed, their music would sound comfortable between the likes of The Watchmen and The Tea Party. The difference now is that they're trusting their own likes and dislikes and applying a year's worth of learning.

"The music we play is a big market. And it does worry me a bit, getting lost in that crowd. We're striving to find that little something that sets us apart from other bands. At NMW, for example, we all went out and bought the same T-shirts and black pants. It was just another way to get people to say, 'Hey, look at those guys...’ We’ve got five guys in this band who are just nuts. We're not rebels. Unfortunately, we're kinda geeks, not in the nerdy sense, but we like to have fun. And people see us smiling at each other and having fun on stage and hopefully they're into us because of that."

And if that doesn't work, there's always the full monty!