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The Northerner

Jed Davis (Extended interview)


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Jed Davis is a man who has wrote more songs in the past ten years than probably every single person on the TRL countdown to date. He has played solo and as lead in his band Collider with the likes of Brian Dewan, Quiet Riot and the late great punk rocker Joey Ramone . Collider is a regular in the New York city club scene and even the legendary CBGB’s. Davis is currently working on three different Collider albums and recently wrote and recorded a tribute song to Joey Ramone with the help Tommy, Marky, and CJ Ramone. You can order and listen to his music at www.Collider.com.

So who are you? I’m Jed (explicit) Davis, (explicit)! That’s who I am and who I think I am. It’s also all I am.

What are you doing now? At this second? Answering your question. Today? Deciding whether Collider should put out one album or two and working out how either or both can become possible. At this point in my life? Having committed to one last big lunge for the musical brass ring, trying to figure out if I have time for things like freelance work and a girlfriend (probably yes on 1 and no on 2).

Where are you heading? Towards satisfaction. Hopefully that will involve success, but as long as I do the best I can I’ll be satisfied.

What are you trying to achieve? I’m trying to be the best, most relevant and vital songwriter, performer, artist, and human being I can be. That’s all I can really ask for … if other people like what I do, that’s a bonus.

What do the ramones mean to you? Personally, they are proof that anything can happen. Musically, they are a reminder that sometimes the simplest approach is the best. Ideologically, they mean that anyone can make music. That’s both a good thing and a bad thing, since it makes them unwittingly responsible for the last two decades’ decline in musical quality and innovation. Saying that “anyone can make music” is not the same thing as saying that “anyone can be a musician.” I mean, you can force music to come out of an instrument, but being a musician takes a lot more than that. The Ramones may not have had any formal musical training per se, but they did have lots of talent and perspective, and they worked VERY hard. It is too easy to use the Ramones’ lack of education as an excuse to not learn or perfect your craft, but the fact is, they DID learn and perfect what they did. You may think that learning a power chord makes you a “musician,” but chances are you’re still not going to operate on the Ramones’ level. Still … I guess the bottom line is, whether you’re a guy from Nowheresville who miraculously got to sing for your favorite band, or just some dudes rocking out on power chords in a garage somewhere, no group has ever made as many dreams come true as the Ramones.

What is the coolest thing that you own? It’s a tie: one of the only existing prints of the first Ramones poster ever, signed by the original four … and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction program autographed “To Jed, Love ‘ Peace, Phil Spector”.

Will you stay a new yorker for life? Absolutely. No matter where I go, I will always be a New Yorker.

What is your favorite cereal? Smart Start. A close second is Kaboom!, which tastes like (explicit) but was once banned because it turned milk black.

Tell me a Story. Okay, here’s a college story: My friend Sputnik and his roommates lived on the 13th floor of the dormitory tower, and they liked to drop (explicit) out the window. One night, they decided they were going to throw down a broken television set they had. It didn’t fit through the window. This guy Dan had a collection of medieval weapons, so they set about chopping up the TV with a big metal axe to make it fit. Meanwhile, I was hanging out at my place with my roommate Paulie, a computer whiz; I was watching Paulie mess around with some electronic gear. Our friend Chris came by and begged Paulie for any spare, useless circuit boards he may have had lying around. Chris was working on some sort of art project and he wanted to glue circuitry all over it. Paulie didn’t have anything, so Chris left to walk around campus and collect his thoughts. Chris came back ten minutes later – carrying an armful of smashed circuit boards and proclaiming, “THERE IS A GOD!” He told us that he’d been wandering around brainstorming, and he mumbled out loud, “God, I just need a couple of circuit boards …” when a whole mess of electronics suddenly FELL OUT OF THE SKY and landed at his feet. We were astonished. As we gawked at Chris’s miracle circuitry, there was a knock at the door. It was Sputnik. He ran past us as we opened the door and hid in the corner. “Dude! I have to lay low here for a while. We really did it now, dude! We just dropped half a TV out the window!”

Do you want a huge fan base? Sure, I would love one. Anyone who says they wouldn’t is full of (explicit). And anyone who HAS a huge fan base and complains is spoiled and stupid. How about they give their fans to me and go languish in the obscurity they deserve?

Who is the coolest person that you know that would recognize you by the sound of your voice if you called them? Tie between Mike Keaney and Sean Gould, both of Collider!

If your life was a movie…what genre would it be? Definitely not a light romantic comedy. And I would hope that neither Robin Williams nor Billy Crystal would play me.

A Happy ending? Well, we all know that at the end I die. If you don’t like me I guess that’s a happy ending, right?

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Jed Davis (Extended interview)