“It resonated the way I felt at the time,” Dave Davies says of his signature guitar riff on The Kinks’ seminal power-chord pop masterpiece “You Really Got Me,” which, in an instant in 1964, forged how artists could harness distortion on studio recordings. Davies literally set the template for the mood, tone, and sound of heavy metal, hard rock, and punk in one fell swoop when he used a razor blade to slice up the speaker cone inside the Elpico amplifier that was slaved into the Vox AC-30 he was playing through at IBC Studios in London on that fateful July day a half-century ago. “I wanted something that I felt would help with the interpretation of my anger and my emotions, and that’s what did it,” he explains.
Davies also has a deep affinity for hi-res audio. In an interview with me over on Digital Trends, Davies noted, “High resolution is something that’s really quite powerful. There’s something about older music that works in that form because it sounds, sonically, of its time — and high resolution enhances it rather than changes it. It allows for the more pristine elements in the music to come out.”
I also asked Davies for his opinion about the remastering of The Kinks catalog on SACD in 88.2kHz/24-bit PCM that started back in 1998, and if he likes surround sound. “Yes. I think it’s all right,” he replied. “I tend to want to hear things in their optimal format. It’s nice to experiment with new ideas using that material. It has its pros and cons, but I like listening to the older songs when they have a different kind of sonic value to them.” When I told Davies I like surround mixes that give me a sense of being there with the musicians, he added, “Like you’re literally in the room there with us, yeah. It makes you feel more intuitively connected with the music in some ways.”
Read more of my interview with Davies on Digital Trends, where he also talks about his wonderful new solo album Rippin’ Up Time (Red River), and what it’s like working with family members — both sibling and offspring.