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- Posted on Nov 9th 2009 2:00PM by Robin Milling
"When I was a kid making music, I did it to please myself and the world would have to come to me and listen to what I was doing," he continues. "Now I think people write songs just because someone like Simon could enjoy them but his taste isn't everybody's taste. Music represented freedom to me when I started out but I was lucky -- I got hit records but still remained I think to a degree, free. I think there's a danger that musical aspirations might get trapped in a bubble of mass media acceptance. It's the desire to be on TV over the fact that you want to say something and be an individual. I think if it's accepted that it's just a popular TV show ['The X Factor' in England and 'American Idol' in America] that's fine. I'd like to think that there are young musicians growing up and evolving all over the world, that they're not influenced by it and are just going to do their thing."
Davies has done just that, taking Kinks songs for a new generation to appreciate and reinterpreting them for 'The Kinks Choral Collection,' which features the 65-member Crouch End Festival Chorus. "One of my big rule of thumbs at the beginning was not to make it a karaoke record," he says. "I think 'Lola' might have ended up a bit like that. I didn't want to show just the famous songs but a broad breath of what I'd done, like the six-song suite from the 1968 album 'The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society.' which artistically has made a big impact and has built fans over the years. To the real Kinks followers, it's uppermost in their collection of Kinks records."
Davies returned to his roots, recording the CD at his own Konk studios in London and rehearsing with the choir at his boyhood school. "It was the school where I went as a teenager," he recalls. "It was called William Grimshaw in my day but now it's called Fortismere. It's the last school I went to before I went to college so it was quite a mind-blowing experience going back into that school and walking down the halls. It felt weird because I still expected some of the friends I knew then to open a classroom door and expect them to be there but it's all changed."
Davies is embarking on West and East Coast tours in support of 'The Kinks Choral Collection' with the Vox Society Choir. He will perform in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York starting on Nov. 12.