Can you give us a brief history of your playing career?
Recorded four solo studio albums and 2 live albums. Composed/performed/recorded music that has appeared on “SNL”, “the Tonight Show”, “24”, “WWE Raw”, “Access Hollywood”, E!s “True Hollywood Stories” series, and the like. Three consecutive national tours for NBA Entertainment. Performed with and/or shared the stage with the likes of Cee-Lo, Reeves Gabrels, Richard Lloyd, Days of the New, and Clay Aiken. I’m also a professor at a college in Upstate New York where I teach courses in music theory, copyright law, music licensing/publishing, record deals, and performance contracts as well as guitar lessons.
What inspired you to start playing guitar?
Early MTV. Plus I started playing piano at age 6, which I believe made the transition to guitar quite natural. My mother and father were both musicians (she a vocalist/pianist, he a vocalist/guitarist), so I’m sure their influence rubbed off as well.
What was your first electric guitar?
It was a BC Rich Bitch knock-off by Mako. In true 80s rock fashion, I broke the headstock in half while practicing hula hoop guitar antics. Naive that I was, I thought packaging tape would do the trick..
What are your top 5 favorite records?
Incredibly difficult to answer…however if a gun was put to my head, I would assume that these titles would be blurted out (in alphabetical order by artist, of course):
Reeves Gabrels, Ulysses (Della Notte)
Jimi Hendrix, Band of Gypsys
Mike Keneally, Sluggo
King’s X, Dogman
Frank Zappa, Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar (triple-disc set)
What was the proudest moment and/or performance of your playing career?
I’m just happy doing what I do. I’ve been quite blessed with the experiences that have come my way and thank those that have offered the opportunities and support.
How did you hear about Reverend?
My friend Reeves Gabrels started playing the Double Agent (original model) and told me how much he loved it. Upon playing the DA as well as other Reverend models, I was easily hooked and swayed from the former guitar company I endorsed.
What Reverend guitar(s) are you using?
I currently play four models depending on the situation: a Double Agent I, a few different versions of the Reeves Gabrels Signature, a red Tricky Gomez, and Jetstream HB with a sparkly gold finish and Railhammer Gnarly 90 & Hyper Vintage pickups.
What do you like about your Reverend guitar?
They feel great, sound fantastic, are easy to play, and just damn cool. Plus Ken/Penny/Joe are the cat’s meow.
What amps and pedals do you currently use?
My main amplifier for a number of years has been a Randall RM100 into a 2×12” cab. The RM100 is all-tube and runs on the same premise as the Egnator module concept. I use the Plexi module as a foundation to create various textures via effects.
I am constantly switching my effects setup and trying new pedals and combinations, but I recently built a monstrosity of a pedal board that seems to work well for me:
ZVex Wah Probe > ZVex Fuzz Probe > Xotic Robotalk > ZVex Seek Wah > Soundblox2 Multiwave Distortion > Earthquaker Devices She-Fuzz > ZVex Fuzz Factory > Catalinbread Perseus > Blackstone Appliances Mosfet > Xotic EP Booster > ZVex Sonar > Electro-Harmonix Chillswitch > Korg Kaoss Pad > 6-channel Loop Master switcher (controlling the Way Huge Ringworm, Voodoo Lab MicroVibe, Red Witch Empress Chorus, Soundblox2 Orbital Modulator, ZVex Seek Trem, and MXR Carbon Copy) > TC Electronics Ditto > Boss TU-2.
I exclusively use Lava Cable for all of my wiring needs.
Do you have any unusual hobbies, skills, or pastimes you’d like to share with us?
I’m an avid Steelers fan. I was born in Pittsburgh and thus bleed black and gold. Other than that, life stays busy with music, teaching, and keeping up with my kids and their extra-curricular activities.
Do you have any advice for up and coming players?
I tell my music students that they really have to love what they do to even consider getting into this business. Trying to make a living in the arts is incredibly difficult, and the general “value-less” opinion of music by the public makes it even more so. However, it IS possible to have a rewarding life devoted to music as long as you are honest and respectful to the music you create and focus on your own direction. I heard dUg Pinnick of King’s X say that if you’re making music from your heart and soul, then “it’s alright, it’s alright”. Testify!
Please tell us about any of your current projects, tours, cds, etc. we should know about:
I recently recorded a solo album (released April 2013) entitled “Songs For The Phonophobic” that I’m quite proud of. It can be found (along with my other releases) at www.JasonDavisMusic.com as well as other fine online retailers. The CD-version includes 6 live tracks that are not a part of the download-only release and can only be obtained through www.JasonDavisMusic.com. I perform live with my trio Jason Davis & the New Philosophers on a consistent basis, and I’m always writing new material. Life is good.