Innerview : Dave Davies of the Kinks

By Steve Zuckerman

The Music Paper - November 1981

At a time when heavy metal and mainstream pop-rock and roll are attempting to keep things as simple as possible, a rock band such as The Kinks has always kept its music complex.

The Kinks have always kept a continuing, massive appeal among various age groups through their eighteen-year history. Their music ranges from heavy metal songs such as "Superman," "You Really Got Me" and "All Day and All of the Night," to acoustic ballads such as "Celluloid Heroes" and their ever-so-popular hit of the sixties, "Lola."

Over their almost two decade history, this legendary British rock band has kept its music as diversified as possible. Dave Davies, lead guitarist of The Kinks, explains why :

"If this band were to constantly play the same 'sort' of music for our eighteen years, things would get rather boring, for us and for our fans. It just wouldn't work out for us. We have to keep things changing for us or our music would get real 'drab.' If we didn't change our sound constantly, our fans would get very bored with us and it wouldn't be any fun to perform. You've got to perform not only for yourself and for the band, but if you don't please your audience, you'd be wasting your time. By keeping our music as diversified as we do, we simply will never run into the problem of being a 'non existent' in the pop music field."

Dave's brother, Ray Davies, acts as leader of the band, carrying out a majority of the songwriting for the Kinks, and also the lead vocals. Though Ray is constantly overshadowing his brother Dave, in concert and on vinyl, Dave Davies has no complexes over that fact.

"It never really did faze me much," said Dave recently at a hotel in California."Some people may think that having my brother as leader of the Kinks would bother me terribly. But at this time, I feel I have to let the public know that I am existent also so I released my second solo album, Glamour. And I hope that the record company (RCA) has enough confidence in my work to promote the record properly.

"I've never left The Kinks, and I have no plans to do so. I just wanted to do a solo trip for a while. I will play some of the songs on the album in our live show, though."

The Kinks are on tour to promote their new record, Give the People What They Want, which brought the band to Madison Square Garden in October.

"Though we tour a lot, we're not really worried about money. We are all comfortable in our own rights, and doing concerts is not just for the money. I feel that we have to visit local arenas and concert halls to show the public that we're still here. It's been almost twenty years that we've been around, and we never want to turn into a band that you can find all of our records in some bargain bin in a record store for a few bucks."

The Kinks are a group that shows that you can survive in the record industry for two decades. It's tough to stay around for almost twenty years, and The Kinks have proven to be one of the strongest but most overlooked bands in these past two decades.

When a person is asked to name the supergroups of rock and roll, automatically that person will name the Beatles, the Who, the Stones, and Led Zeppelin. But nine of the ten times, The Kinks are overlooked in that category. Time has proven that The Kinks are one of the most artistically diverse rock bands in the history of pop music, and will remain so as long as they're around.

By Steve Zuckerman - The Music Paper, November 1981

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