Conan Interview with Jon Davis (Plus Curated Mixtape!): Threat Descending from Dead Skies

When I spoke to Jon Davis for the following interview, the Conan guitarist/vocalist was sitting on a rooftop on holiday with his family on the southeast coast of Spain. “Not far from Alicante,” as he put it. One imagines him, just weeks after Conan finished their first European tour, looking out over a Spanish landscape every bit the satisfied conqueror. Rightly so, as Conan — who followed performances at this year’s Roadburn and Damnation festivals with a slot opening for Sleep in Oslo — have done little else since the release of 2010′s Horseback Battle Hammer EP (review here) other than obliterate whatever lay in their path. If that happens to be the European continent this time, so be it.

Earlier this year, Conan issued Monnos (review here). What was ostensibly their first full-length — though I’d argue that at a little over half an hour, Horseback Battle Hammer had more than enough meat to it to be a complete album — the coming of Monnos was heralded by a split with Slomatics (review here), and when the album arrived, it did so via Roadburn/Burning World Records in Europe. The trio of Davis, drummer Paul O’Neil and bassist/backing vocalist Phil Coumbe returned to Foel Studios to work once again with producer/engineer Chris Fielding, and stripped their songwriting down to its essential parts even as they crafted their most expansive outing yet. For a “first album,” it was frighteningly cohesive, and it proved there was more to Conan than just the heaviest low end in the world.

This summer (July 31 to be exact), Gravedancer Records will release Monnos in the US, and it was to mark that occasion that I connected with Davis via Skype to discuss the development of the band, their conscious desire to keep true to their musical and epically-themed aesthetic, the show with Sleep, the overwhelmingly positive reception Conan has gotten from around the globe, the prospect of further touring, and finally, the relationship with his wife, Holly, that allows him to leave his young family every so often and embark on another quest to cleave skulls with volume. As has been my experience with every Skype interview I’ve done, the connection was rough — it cut out a couple times and then I ran out of credit and it was a big mess — but there’s enough here that you should more than be able to get a sense of where Davis and Conan are coming from.

To aid in that, I also asked Mr. Davis to curate a playlist to go with the interview, and much to my delight, he complied. On the player below, you’ll find that collection of classic metal and heavy rock — everything from Exodus covering AC/DC to Japanese sludge noisemakers Greenmachine, and a few surprises along the way. Given the era most of this stuff comes from, the word “mixtape” fits especially well.

Please enjoy:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

The complete 5,700-word Q&A with Jon Davis of Conan is after the jump, along with some photos from Roadburn. It might interrupt the player when you click through, so be prepared to resume. Thanks for reading.

Tell me about playing with Sleep in Oslo.

It was fucking amazing. We flew out on the Friday and landed sort of like 10PM-ish Oslo time. Then we got to the hotel and checked in and threw our stuff in, and then we went and found this rock bar that our promoter had advised us to go to. We found it down a street about 10 minutes’ walk away, and it was like the coolest, dingeiest, darkest bar we’ve ever been in. And they were playing Black Sabbath, Sepultura, Slayer, early Metallica, when they were cool, and stuff like that. We had some really expensive drinks even though they were quite cheap going by local rates. So we spent far too much on local beer and then we finished for the night, went home, got a kebab, and then next day, woke up, went for a walk around Oslo, and we decided to get to the venue for about half-four. It was only a mile’s walk, so we thought rather than walk to the subway and get on the subway and then go and take the subway up to the venue and then get off and walk across the road, we thought we may as well come out the hotel, it was one straight road. So we walked a mile uphill more or less with our gear. It was like The Beatles. We had our snare drum, cymbals, drum sticks, Phil’s bass, my guitar, my pedal board, and I think there was one other thing although I can’t remember. We wheeled all of that to the venue, and turned up at the venue and Sleep have got this big, huge, posh tour bus, as you’d expect. So we walked up the door, carrying our own stuff, soaked in sweat, and we said, “We’re playing here tonight,” and they said, “Oh, cool, come on in.” They showed us downstairs at the venue, and then all of a sudden, it was like, “Wow. We’re playing with Sleep.” We got invited into the dressing room, and we were in awe, because Sleep are a band that we listen to in the van quite a lot, and obviously we’ve been into them. I’m a big fan of Om and High on Fire and so are the other two, so they’re a big influence, really. Then we just walk in the dressing room, and they’re all there. They all stand up and shake our hands like, and it was like, okay. We shook their hands and said hello and had a few drinks and just chilled out. They kept themselves to themselves, really. We spoke to the tour manager, Tony [Aguilar] – who’s actually the guitarist and vocalist for Totimoshi – you’ve interviewed them. I think I read the interview. He’s really, really cool. When we first met him, we just said hello, and he was like, “Oh come on, come and have a drink,” and he made us feel very welcome. Our room was just off the main room that Sleep were sat in, and so we were a little bit nervous around them, to be honest, because they are, like, a big band, and we kept ourselves to ourselves, and then we went and watched them soundcheck. Then, slowly but surely, we started talking to them and after a while, we just felt really at ease around them, and Matt Pike in particular. I’m a massive fan of High on Fire and Sleep, and you just get to talk to him on a normal level. Just sat there. It was really quite surreal. The show itself went really well. We were first on, and I think most of the guys in Sleep may have watched most of our set. I didn’t notice them at all, and they came to watch most of the set and they seemed to be quite impressed with it. Matt Pike said two things that stick in my mind. First of all, he said that we were so heavy that he actually, literally had to go have a shit, which we were laughing at. Because we all just sat in the dressing room after the show, having a beer, and he got talking, and then he said, “What do you guys tune to?” and we told him and he goes, “We saw most of your set, and I could describe you as a herd of elephants being ridden by warriors swinging 20 foot hammers. Then he was doing this swinging action with his arm. That sticks in the memory. That was a nice moment. They were all saying the same thing. Then I got my pedal board out. I use a distortion pedal called the Sonic Titan. They’re made by a guy in England called David Main, and he runs his own website called Stompboxes.co.uk, and he’s quite well renowned as being an excellent fuzz pedal maker. A lot of people might be familiar with the Sonic Titan, or the Meathead Deluxe, and the single-knob Meatheads that he makes. I said to Dave, like, “I’ll show them the Sonic Titan,” because the Sonic Titan was designed with them in mind many, many years ago. I showed them, and they were all blown away, Matt and Jason [Roeder] and Al [Cisneros]. They were all taking photographs of it. I think Al wanted to take Dave’s number, so I gave him Dave Main’s number. I don’t know whether he phoned him or not, but when we got back to England, I gave Tony an email and said, “Do you want me to get Dave to go to the show you have in Leeds? I could maybe get him to make a couple Sonic Titans for Al and Matt Pike, because they said they definitely use one if they could.” I’m guessing they heard how it sounded on my board and amp – that’s what I like to think – and they thought, “Wow, that sounds quite good, I wouldn’t mind having that sort of thing in my pedal chain.” So Tony said, “Yeah, cool,” so Dave Main came to the show and he presented Al and Matt with a Sonic Titan each. I think he gave one to Tony as well, as a gift. I do believe some pictures have now surfaced of Matt Pike’s pedal board, and amongst other things, he’s using a Sonic Titan. That was a show he did in America. One of the last couple shows he did. Hollywood, maybe? I don’t know where it was, but that was one of the things that came up on the internet. It was like the egg and the chicken meeting. Really, really good. In terms of that pedal itself. And Dave is a huge Sleep fan, hence the pedal. It was really nice to be able to help get those two to meet, those people that inspired the pedal. But the gig was just great. Really nice venue, great promoter. I’ve been put in touch with a backline provider – a guy called Jan, who’s a teacher, who just collected vintage equipment, and he said, “What do you want to use?” so I turned up and he had six or seven amplifiers, god knows how many cabs, and he said, “What do you want to use?” So I ended up playing through my dream guitar rig. It was absolutely brilliant. Everything went really well. The set went really well, and we finished our set to quite a lot of people. I don’t know if it was quite a full house – obviously some people streamed in after that, come in later for Sleep – but it was probably 300, 350. 400 maybe. For us, we played to quite a lot of people at Damnation over in England, and you saw us at Roadburn. That was a busy room as well. So that was really the third show we’ve done to big crowd, and it was really, really nice considering who we were playing with. It was a really big occasion for us.

I was going to ask about Roadburn next and what your thoughts were to I guess the response you’ve gotten in general. Since Horseback Battle Hammer came out, it seems like the band his this crazy momentum building up.

Yeah. It’s taken us all by surprise, to be honest with you. We recorded Horseback Battle Hammer, as I’ve said in interviews before and probably in the first interview that you and I had, it was recorded really just to get a copy of those songs. We happened to choose a really good studio, just because we wanted to invest and get as good a version of them as possible. And yeah, they were songs that we’d had for a little while, and recording, it was only really toward the end when we were mastering it, that we thought, you know what? That sounds really cool. And we thought, we’ll release this, or we’ll try. So we sent it off to a few different labels, Southern Lord and Throne Records and a handful of others. A few got back, including Southern Lord, Throne Records, PsycheDOOMelic from Austria. We had a couple of offers, and we said, “Okay, we’ll go with Throne Records,” because they at the time seemed like the best option. Everything worked out great with Uge. He released it on vinyl, and he put us in touch with Andrew from Aurora Borealis, and I think because of their ability to hype it, because they’ve got good contacts in the media – magazines and whathaveyou – they were able to get it out there. I think that particular album was received really well. Probably because it came out of nowhere, and I guess when a band releases their first thing ever, it’s normally not a backorder quality recording. They probably thing, we’ll just do a demo recording and see what happens, whereas we said, “We’ll get the best possible recording of these songs,” and I think because we invested quite a lot – we speculated a lot on it, is probably the best way of saying it – we just thought, we’ll throw everything we’ve got into it and whatever comes whatever comes. I think everything about that record came out of the blue for a lot of people, and it tapped into a community or a genre or set of fans that previously I’d had no contact with whatsoever. I’ve been a fan of this sort of music, but I’d never been on Doomed Forever or any of these Facebook groups that seem to be talking about us now. I was totally oblivious to it all, to be honest. It’s not something that I’d ever really aspired to. But with the release of that album, we were obviously getting people saying really nice things about us from all different corners, inspired us to do the split with Slomatics, and then to do Monnos. And really, they’ve probably made people think of us as a bit more serious. We aren’t just gonna release one album and that’s the end of it. They can invest a little bit of their own emotion into the band. You can be into a band more if they release two or three albums, as opposed to if they release just one, I suppose. But then, playing at Roadburn was quite a big milestone for us, because we’ve seen other bands playing Roadburn, and we thought, wow, if we got to play Roadburn, that would be such a big thing. It almost seemed like it was unattainable, because we saw the bands getting asked, and we were like, “Look at what they’ve done, they’re so big,” and whatever. With each passing announcement, we were like, “We’re not gonna get asked. Sleep are playing it, and YOB, Church of Misery, blah blah blah,” and we thought, they’re not gonna ask us, why would they? When Walter [Hoeijmakers] asked us, that really took us by surprise, and when we actually got to play, it was such a big thing, such a good crowd, and we had such a good response. It was just fantastic. We played Damnation, as I mentioned, which was also a big crowd, but that wasn’t the same, because that was made up of metal fans, if you know what I mean. As opposed to fans of the genre the we fit into. But at Roadburn, almost every person that was probably into a particular type of metal, which I guess we would fall into, and it was really good. Really pure crowd. I think everyone was really into it. We had a few technical problems along the way. I didn’t have any amplifiers working with less than 30 seconds to start. Because I play through two amps, and when I started, they were like, “Let’s just do a quick line check,” then one amp cut out and the other amp cut out. And I thought, “Shit,” and I went and got the guy, and he fixed one, and it turns out the other amplifier went, which is what I put the leads through. A minute later I was sorted, but that was a very, very nervy moment, because we had to set up to a full crowd.

It was something to watch as you guys wheeled in the amps toward the front and had to part the sea of people to get through the room.

It was terrifying. That was the worst bit of the whole thing, to be honest with you, because, like, it was exciting, but I thought, oh shit, I’ve got to set up in front of all these people. Setting up is the worst part of the whole thing, because you’re scratching around with leads or something, or you’re struggling to get your levels right and get yourself ready. I guess that’s most bands don’t have that huge backline wheeled through the crowd and you lose a bit of that magic when the fans see you set up your own pedals. But yeah, we got in there and no one left after End of Level Boss or whatever the band was before us. They were like lambs to the slaughter. Got in there, set up and there was loads of people in the front who we recognized from England and a few that we recognized from overseas. It was nerve-wracking, but once we started, it was fine.

For Monnos, in terms of writing, were there things you knew you wanted to do differently in these songs after Horseback Battle Hammer?

I wanted to use more of the actual Conan stories, in terms of the lyrics, and I wanted the songs in general to be less rangy, a little bit more concise. We didn’t have any particular lengths in mind, and we knew we wanted to write an album that was about 40 minutes, but we didn’t really know how many songs we wanted to do. We just thought that was how long we wanted the album to be in general. During the recording process of Horseback Battle Hammer was really the main period when I started reading the Conan stories, so a lot of the stories I’d read, I started to form ideas. I’d pick out a certain phrase or a certain scene in one of those stories and try and use them in Monnos, or at that point, in “the next album.” In terms of the songs themselves, we wanted them to sound as heavy as Horseback Battle Hammer, but we wanted songs that were a bit more like “Satsumo” rather than “Sea Lord,” if you get me. We thought, we’ll, we’ve got a setlist now of four songs, and we wanted the next album to have more songs that we could play live so we could fatten our setlist out a bit. What actually happened was we ended up writing the songs that went on the split first of all, but in the background, we always knew the release after that was gonna be a full album. So really, we didn’t give it a great deal of thought, it was just a case of we wanted the songs to be a little more accessible. We didn’t want to write too many big, long tracks. We knew that we wanted to work with the same producer, and we knew that we wanted to have it mastered by James Plotkin, so in terms of the actual sound on the album, in the early stages, we envisaged it to be just the same as on Horseback Battle Hammer. But in the interim period, obviously, we released that split with Slomatics, and the recordings were a lot clearer than we expected, so one of the decisions we made during Monnos was to try and get it somewhere between the clarity of the split and the fogginess and lo-fi sound if you like from Horseback Battle Hammer. I think we did that quite well.

Was there something in particular that made you want to work with Chris Fielding again?

I think we’ll always want to work with Chris, to be honest with you. We don’t want to have massive changes in the way we sound. At the risk of sounding samey, a lot of the bands I like, I’ve gone off them for a few albums because they’ve tried to change too much. Like, well, I won’t name any of them because I don’t want to offend anyone, but there’s some bands I absolutely loved the first two or three albums, and then the albums that come after that, they’ve changed amps, or they’ve changed producers or whatever, and I’m stuck with the first album, my favorites. I think obviously you change a little in how you write and record, but I’d like to stick with Chris, because any changes you do can counter the soul. If you’re forever changing studios. I’d like to keep putting out our type of album, and I’m not sure you can do that if you keep changing producers. When we recorded the split, it was a really easy decision to work with Chris and the same with Monnos.

[Skype interference]

You were saying…

I was saying about Chris Fielding. We’d like to have as many constants as possible in our recording sessions. Chris is one of them. As a producer, he’s very good at telling us when things don’t sound good, or that’s not a good idea because, and we trust his opinion and see him as a friend and that sort of thing. He’s very good at criticizing what we do constructively. He does it such a way that we take it on board the right way. Plus, the studio there, we love recording to Foel, and that happens to be where Chris works. The quandary would be what would we ever do if Chris moved to a different studio. I don’t even want to think about it (laughs). We like working with Chris, and we’ve used pretty much the same amps on every recording up till now, and pretty much all the same cabs, and the same distortion pedals with one change during the split, really, which is a clearer sound on the guitar. We’d like to evolve slowly. We don’t want to make wholesale changes to our recording style, because we just like to feel comfortable while we’re doing our recordings. Other bands go overseas or record in a cold shed or something really extreme or whatever. We just like sticking to what we know. Our recordings up till not have changed between one and the next, but we’ve probably changed less drastically then they would’ve done if we’d gone to different studios and used a different producer each time.

Obviously there are differences between the releases. There’s a development there, but you can hear at the same time that you’re trying to keep some consistency.

Yeah, that’s it. We want to write good songs, whether they’re long or short. We want to write about similar sort of themes. We’re still turned on by like medieval warfare and Conan stories and mythology, things like that. That’s what we’ll always write about, because that it is what we are. You’ll never hear a Conan song about politics, or about starving people in Africa. There are people who can do that much better than us. I read a review of Monnos recently which was very complimentary. He said it’s up there with what Sleep were doing, or Earth, which surprised me, and then in the same breath, he said, “I wish he’d cut out all the Tolkien bullshit,” and I’m thinking, you can’t be called Conan and not write all that sort of thing. That is really what we’ll always write about. We just try to find interesting ways to do it. We’re writing some songs at the moment for a new album which we’re still miles away from, still in the very early stages, but we’re working on that as we speak.

You’ll go right to doing another full-length, then?

Yeah, we will be. As I said, we’re miles away. We haven’t ever booked any studio time. It’s very, very early stages, but we are, because we’re playing so many gigs, not having to practice so regularly. We’re playing every other week or something like that, so when we do go into the rehearsal space, normally we’re working on new songs, which is good because we’ve got like a handful of ideas on new tracks already. So it’ll probably be maybe towards the end of the year we might start thinking about booking some studio time. I don’t know when, but we’ve certainly got plans for a new one, yeah. You’re probably going to ask me now what will it be like. It’ll be similar sort of stuff to what we’ve written before, as you’d expect, but we’ll try and make it a bit more darker sounding, like Horseback Battle Hammer, rather than the relative poppiness of Monnos. We’ve got some ideas that, at this stage, sound quite good, but we’re still miles away.

And in the meantime, you have the US release of Monnos coming out on Gravedancer Records. How did all that come about?

I do believe that Jurgen [van den Brand] and Burning World Records have been in contact with Josh Eldridge from Gravedancer Records, and had discussed the idea of putting it out through them, and we were more than happy to do that. So Jurgen just pressed ahead and did whatever he needed to do behind the scenes. We knew of Josh in his previous role with Century Media. I wasn’t aware that he’d opened up his new label, if I’m honest, but from what I’ve heard and from speaking to Josh on email, he seems like a really headstrong guy and I think he’ll do a good job for over in America. But then again, did we ever think we’d get an album with its own independent release in America? Nope. We’ve got no experience with it. This record label stuff is all really new to me and Paul and Phil. So we’re trying not to let it all go over our heads. We’re trying ot gain an understanding of what’s going on, so we speak with the labels quite often on email. We’re good friends with Jurgen, and we speak to Josh every now and again on the email. But it’s cool. I don’t know if it’s normal to get your album released in America as well as Europe. I just don’t know. But we’re really happy it’s getting a release over there, because when we’re sending albums to America through our own BigCartel site, it costs a lot of money. We have got a lot of fans in America, people who want to buy our albums, and we’re getting asked to play America all the time by people on Facebook, so it’s nice that we’re getting released over there, because it makes the album easier to get ahold of. It’s being distributed through EMI, so I guess that’ll do some good in terms of getting it into the shops and into people’s hands, but as to how it’ll work, we don’t know, to be honest. We don’t really know much about it. Obviously we know the deal that’s in place, but we just know basically that Josh knows what he’s doing and it’ll be marketed quite well. But it’s something we won’t really have a hand in. We sell our copies at gigs, and we don’t even know about this whole marketing side of the business. We’re just excited that someone thinks it’s worth putting out over there. That’s really cool. We never expected that. that wasn’t something we’d ever aimed for, but now the fact that it’s happened is really, really good, obviously, and I guess there’s a lot of bands that if you asked them, “Would you like to have your album out?” they’d love it. So we’re really happy about it all the way. I may not sound like that because I’m a bit tired, but it’s quite big news, having a record label in America wanting to put your album out. We’re just excited about seening the response to it over there, because the response in England has been really good, and in Europe in general. We had a really great review in Pitchfork, by Kim Kelly, and obviously one by yourself. So there’s people over there in America who do like it already, and it’ll be interesting to see if we pick up any extra fans as a result. It’ll be really good.

Will you do vinyl?

Yeah, it’ll be coming out on vinyl and CD. It’s already out on digital download, on iTunes though Burning World, but I do believe we’ll be doing vinyl and CD. I guess the shipping cost of those things from Europe is quite high, so I’m sure there’s a demand there for it.

Is there any chance you guys would come to America for shows?

We’ve not had any discussions about it, and of course we’d love to, but we don’t know anyone over there. That would be between the people who could sort some of the promotional thing, because we don’t know anyone in America, or any festival organizers, and I only did my first tour of Europe ever – in my life – in April. And that took a little bit of planning. But we’d love to, and I dare say that once the album’s out, we might get an offer or two from somewhere. We just have to wait and see. It would be great if we did. It would be quite expensive because we’d have to get gear, and get a van, and get a flight, and get a visa, and just from speaking to others, I know it’s not cheap to get over to America, but I think it would be worth it. We’ll just have to see if the labels can sort anything, do some sort of promotional thing for the album if necessary. That’d be great. I’ve been to America, to Las Vegas once and Florida twice – and I know that doesn’t make me an expert on America (laughs).

[More Skype trouble]

I had to buy more Skype credit.

(Laughs) No worries.

Obviously a real professional operation I’m running over here.

Don’t worry. I’m sat on top of a roof in bloody Spain, so actually it’s a miracle that we’re able to talk to each other at all.

Quite a future that we’re living in.

Oh yes, definitely.

With all this stuff going on, the US release, touring for the first time and all that, does it change at all how you think of the band and what you’re doing?

I guess it makes it all a little bit more real. More than just a couple of lads who’ve made an album. We’ve gone out and played shows in Europe and been invited to Roadburn and things like that. I guess it makes you think, wow, there are some people out there who actually quite like us, when up until then, we just thought of it that we’d sold a few albums and a few t-shirts. But in terms of how we view ourselves as a band, probably not really. We enjoy playing shows in England. We feel as though we were spoiled going over to Europe, because we were treated much better than we are used to being treated over there, if you understand me. For us, the norm is going to a show and being given just enough money to cover your petrol and maybe a couple glasses of lemonade, and you go home after the gig. In Europe, you get your own dressing room, and you get paid a lot more than you expect, and you’re treated differently. So it’s made us realize now what is possible in terms of touring. But it hasn’t made us think about ourselves any differently. It’s just made us realize that actually there’s a lot more to it than just going and playing in a pub in England. If we wanted to get out to Europe again, we could, and we’d have all of these fun things happen. So I guess going to Europe really expanded our horizons on a personal level, but it won’t change how we write the music or what style we go for or whatever. We fund everything ourselves. We sell merchandise, and those merch sales pay for our ferries when we’re going to Ireland and things like that. That’ll always be the same. I don’t think we’ll ever change the way we write music, really, because we’re quite singular in our musical goals. We just want to write songs about the stuff we like. As long as that’s popular, cool, but I don’t think we’d ever change anyway. We’re all too long in the tooth now. If we were 21 and all of a sudden the things that happened to us in Denmark and Sweden happened to us, we probably would change, because you’re still growing as a person. But I’m 36. Paul’s 37. Phil’s 29. We’re not kids anymore, like. So I guess we probably are excited by the prospects of going back to Europe again and maybe America if it happens. It’s exciting because all of a sudden it’s possible now, but it won’t change our approach to the music, because we still rehearse in the same place. We still buy shitty old amplifiers. I’ve just taken delivery of a really old Peavey bass head which I’ll use. It’s just really cool that people like us and we feel as though maybe things are Thee Monnos art.a little bit worthwhile. Because a lot of bands fizzle out if they don’t get to go on tour and play decent shows and they’re playing shitty pub gigs. We feel like we’re really lucky to get this opportunity to make music and go play in Sweden. Who’d have thought of that when it was just me and my old mate Richie [Grundy, former drums] back in 2006? We’re just going to enjoy it. I’m a family man. I’ve got a very nice home life, and the band is like my only pastime outside of my family and work. So I want to make it as much fun as possible and make it as worthwhile as possible, because every night that I’m away with the band, I’m not able to put the kids to bed or have tea with my wife, things like that. It has to be worthwhile, so we just put a lot into it now and enjoy literally everything we do as much as we can. Because we realize that the cost of being in the band is not being in our homes with family, so we’re just going to try and make the most of it.

I think that’s a really reasonable way of looking at it.

I’ve not really spoken about it much, because I’ve the odd email interview and I’ve not really felt comfortable talking about it on email. But I’ve got a young family at home. Recently married to Holly – we’ve been together a few years now – and Holly’s always been very supportive of me being in the band. When Holly and I first got together, I think we’d been together a month, she brought me sandwiches when we were recording Battle in the Swamp, me and my old mate Richie back in the old days when we did that demo that a lot of people have spoken about. Since then I’ve had my ups and downs in terms of the band. Richie and I didn’t work out, and then I met Paul, and then I had to knock that on the head because I work too far away from home to drive a lot and I didn’t have enough time to practice, blah blah blah. Holly’s always been really supportive of it. She’s not given me as much grief as other people might’ve done when I’m going away and doing shows and stuff like that. I’ve been afforded this opportunity, really, and she deserves a bit of credit, without being to soppy about it. Because we have got kids, and if I’m away doing tour, that means Holly has to look after the kids on her own, and that’s not easy. She’s chirping in the background there. What’s that? (Laughs) She’s saying “Flights home,” because after Roadburn and the subsequent tour, we were in Spain in this place, and we were here for a week, and I left on the Tuesday and Holly was still here with my family until the Saturday. I went on to Roadburn on Thursday and played on the Friday, so things like that really would, if I had a wife who was an utter bitch, then I wouldn’t be able to do it. Fortunately I haven’t. I’m trying to score a few points here, can you hear (laughs)? She knows it though. I’ve said it in private, so I don’t mind saying it openly as well.

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6 Responses to “Conan Interview with Jon Davis (Plus Curated Mixtape!): Threat Descending from Dead Skies”

  1. Dane says:

    Really great interview with a guy who – seems very sincere and friendly!

    “If we were 21 and all of a sudden the things that happened to us in Denmark and Sweden happened to us, we probably would change, because you’re still growing as a person”.

    It would be nice to hear more about the things, that went on in Denmark and Sweden. They looked very happy in Copenhagen, but maybe i’m wrong.

  2. Jon Davis says:

    Denmark and Seeden were awesome – we loved both places. I think I meant ‘being made to feel so important / appreciated’ in Denmark and Sweden (and Holland, Germany, France, Norway etc). That sort of thing might give a person ideas above their station if you they were young or immature at the time.

  3. Dane says:

    Thanks for the answer. Nice to hear you guys enjoyed Copenhagen – it was sure great to have Conan in Copenhagen as well! I hope we will see you at next years Heavy Days in Doomtown og maybe even before.

  4. Gaia says:

    Great Interview! I talked to the guys when they came through Bristol a couple of months back, great band live and very friendly.

  5. Jon Davis says:

    Hey Dane – cheers mate, hopefully we will see you soon!

    Thanks Gaia.

  6. goAt says:

    SOOOOMEBODY loves the early 90′s! :)

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