We sat down with Davis Fetter, a pop mod-rocker and guitarist based in L.A., to find out more about his musical influences and get a playlist of some of his current favorite songs.
Tell us about when you first got into musicwhat were you into back then?
My older brother used to give me his tapes. All of them were hip hop, like Beastie Boys and NWA. I was super young but it was my first exposure to "edgy" music, other than what was on the radio. My parents used to play John Lennon and Bob Dylan all the time in the house, but that didn't resonate with me until I started writing songs. I picked up a bass when I was young 'cause I wanted to play punk rock with my friends, but once I heard Nirvana I had to go buy a fender guitar. Nirvana opened the door to bands like The Pixies and got me thinking about rock & roll. So I bought a Gibson guitar and started going back to the beginnings of rock & roll and listened to Chuck Berry, Robert Johnson, etc. Once I heard bands like The Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, I wanted to start writing music.
How would you describe your taste in music now?
Since I play guitar, I always gravitate to guitar music or bands and artists that push the boundaries of popular music. Music has the power to influence culture in the most profound way. Personally, I want music to give me a visceral reaction and make me feel something. The best songs have always done this. I heard "Imagine" at a 7-Eleven and starting tearing up while buying a Slurpee, which was awkward to say the least. I've heard that song hundreds of times but it has the kind of power to emotionally move you even in the most humbling of circumstances.
Where/how do you prefer listening to music?
Live is the best way to listen to music. If not, then I prefer listening to music very loud.
What medium do you prefer to listen to music?
Vinyl is my favorite. I stole all my parents' old records and really started collecting singles. I went broke collecting all the original pressings of The Smiths singles, but they sound so good! Singles are my favorite records because you're able to really appreciate the message in one song. Every time I listen to "I Am The Walrus", it gives me goosebumps. Some songs are so powerful that they need to be appreciated one at a time.
Where do you go to find new music? What attracts you to a new song or band?
If a new band is really going for it, then I'm in! I love discovering new music. When I see or hear a band that really believes in what they're doing, then I'm sold. Beach House, for example, got me very excited when I saw them in Sweden. I bought their single "Gila" and was hooked. The singer reminded me of Patsy Cline. If I want to buy new music, sometimes I go online, but I like record stores/vintage stores. There's a little secret record store I visit often that has a secret stash of Morrissey records and rarities, and Britpop stuff like Oasis and Pulp. TONS of 80's and 90's rarities! The owner is really dedicated. The dude goes to England to buy Libertines b-sides! Crazy! For me, the vinyl world is the last remnant of a music scene: a small club of devotees that will do anything to find music and get excited about it!
Do you have any all-time faves? What makes them your favorite?
The Smiths are my all time favorite band. What they said musically and lyrically speaks to us all on the deepest and yet most obvious level. The guitar playing reminds me of Buddy Holly while Morrissey delivers Oscar Wilde worthy one-liners about the simplest observations of life. And the tunes have a Romantic quality about them. "Hand In Glove" is probably the most Romantic song ever written while "How Soon Is Now?" describes every nightlife experience I've ever had.
What's playing now?
Right now I'm listening to lots of Miles Kane and Pete Doherty.
T. Rex - "Mambo Sun"
Miles Kane - "Come Closer"
Arctic Monkeys - "R U Mine?"
Pete Doherty - "A Little Death Around The Eyes"
Kasabian - "Fire"
Queens of the Stone Age - "Go With The Flow"
The Jesus And Mary Chan - "April Skies"
The Smiths - "Ask"
Buddy Holly - "Love Is Strange"
Babyshambles - "Killamangiro"