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Davey Harris Rides in on 'Roles Roy’ and Delivers Honest & Eclectic New Single

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Davey Harris, aka David Muntner, recently invited 1120 Press writer Benjamin Joe and family to Mammoth Studios in Buffalo to watch him record a new track. “This had become a fairly regular activity for myself and Sage, my only child, but the experience was always rather exciting,” Benjamin noted. “I think I’ve always had a desire to be close-up on the production of things. Units. Blocks. Maybe starting from childhood watching factory machines and workers do their thing on the program ‘Mr. Rogers.’ I can’t say watching Dave fool around with synthesizers and get mic-ed up on the drums and vocals is a lot like staring at a sweatered host of a children’s program, but it is worth it to buy a pizza and politely sit for an hour or so while our hosts — Harris and Justin Smith of Mammoth Studios — talk bass lines and guitar loops.” Two days before the recording session, Dave unveiled to Benjamin the cover-art for ‘Roles Roy,’ which was just released on July 27 and can be heard on the streams including SPOTIFY HERE and Apple Music HERE. A few weeks later, Davey was then generous enough to speak at length about the song, and his music, with Benjamin for 1120. — STORY by Benjamin Joe ... Photo by Tristan Leyco)

1120 PRESS: Thank you for speaking with us, and congratulations on ‘Roles Roy’! Why is it named that?

DAVEY HARRIS: (The song) is about all the different roles that we play in our day. Obviously, I think of my own life and, y’know, you’re kind of putting on one mask versus another and you’re almost always hiding your truest essence. It doesn’t really fit into one role or one persona or one part. So, the theme of the song is having an identity crisis. And after a while, when you’re faking it until you make it with a bunch of different parts, whether that means a job that you don’t like or even a job you do like, you get to ask that question of ‘Who am I?’ and that’s why I wrote this song.

I guess the origin of the song is a few years ago actually, and it was a cathartic thing of wanting to please a lot of people. I had work at the time that wasn’t really fulfilling to me and as I sat with this song more … it’s been interesting, just thinking. It feels good every time and it kind of taps into where you’re being authentic and finally it’s OK. It’s a human experience and it’s good sometimes to not pretend.

1120: What kind of impact do you think this song is going to have?

DH: Right now, where I’m at in my career as a musician, in my journey as a musician, is caring less about the impact of each song, because I’ve been disappointed enough with different releases, and everything else, where the most impactful thing is: how it impacts me and it will just feel good to release another song without any pressure. I think this has been the most low-key release in that I was just like, ‘Well I have this song, I might as well release it. I like it. It’s a good enough experience for me.’

The impact for myself is I’m releasing something without pressure but wanting to build musical momentum. I want permission to release music and feel good about it because I really don’t have any control over anyone else or what they will feel with this song or whatever else.

1120: Now you also have a stage name. Why was Davey Harris the name you chose to write and perform under?

DH: I think it’s easier to organize myself when there’s different personas, different parts. And Davey Harris? My middle name is Harris. I use the name Davey because I’ve been called David. I’ve been called Dave before. But not Davey and I was thinking there aren’t too many Davey’s out there as musicians.

And it’s not even a good sounding word. I don’t even like the name and I was thinking maybe other people don’t like the name and maybe there was the opportunity where I could just take the name because it’s available. And it’s simple: DH. It means enough to me, close enough to me, and also distant enough to me that it’s a nice platform to step into. Then I also found out my grandfather — who I never met, who died in a Friday-the-13th water-tower accident many years ago — his friends used to call him Davey. He was named Dave and I didn’t know that until after I had chosen Davey Harris. I like to think that I got a little extra positive magic from my grandfather.

1120: What was the recording like for this song?

DH: It started in my apartment. I did a demo of the song, worked on sample drums, and wrote it really quickly. I would say 80 percent of the song was done there, then I went to Mammoth and rerecorded a bunch of things — added real drums, tweaked the arrangements, refined the lyrics a bit more and then sent it to Ted Young, mixing extraordinaire, to mix the song and give it a tighter sound, and then sent it to Jessica Thompson to master it and I have been sitting on the song for about a year. I mastered it recently, but it was finished a year ago. And it just felt like the right time to release it.

1120: How does it come out while performing it? Do you like people learning about your music by coming to a show, or do you want them to be familiar with it already?

DH: I think the dream is it doesn’t matter how people hear the music. The essence of the song will come through either in the performance or the recording and they will both be uniquely impactful experiences. The intention of every song is it can serve as a wake-up call, or catalyst, or bolt of lightning, for someone to see something differently, or feel something differently and awaken something new. That’s how I approach the performance and that’s how I approach the recording.

1120: Is there anything else you want to add that we haven’t asked?

DH: Thank you Ben for your willingness to interview. I would just say, ‘stay tuned.’ I have more music to come and am technically sitting on 40 songs. I write songs quickly, and release songs slowly. But I’d like to change that, so I’m excited by what’s to come… (Also) I attempted to do a self-made music video and if its good enough that will be released soon.


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