So Long Davey!

Having formed in San Diego, California in 2007, So Long Davey! is a
collaboration of two very unlikely friends. James Austin was an
acoustic singer-songwriter who had just moved from Hartford
Connecticut to pursue his musical dreams in California. While
performing at a small coffee shop in San Diego, he saw a “guitarist
wanted ad” for a local aspiring dance-pop singer, David Vaughn. James
joined David’s band and within the year they played giant shows likes
ones opening for Sum 41, Plain White T’s, and Say Anything.
On the ride to success, David and James became very good friends and
started writing music together. They mulled over influences of 80’s
metal, synthesized new wave, and the freshly risen hardcore and
pop-punk bands of the 2000’s.

The music they had wrote were very
different from what either of them has made before and David believed
the song would be hits in the indie dance scene. Having created his
own 18 and up club night in downtown San Diego, David booked the band
to perform. When the curtain dropped on their debut as the new band,
the crowd went wild for the guys covered in neon, sweating shirtless
on a foggy stage, with the old school strut of Billy Idol mashed with
the punk vibe of Fall Out Boy. As if by magic, So Long Davey! was
created that very night.

Since then, So Long Davey! has headlined their own successful tour,
supported successful festivals such as Vans Warped Tour, and played
shows all over the United States. The band has been featured with
Airwalk Shoes, sold in Hot Topic Stores, and featured in several
publications including Spin Magazine, Substream Music Press, and
featured on the popular industry blog, Kings of A&R. So Long Davey!’s
latest release, The Fashion, contains the critically acclaimed hit
songs “Love Hurts” and “Six Feet Down”. Now you get to check out their XXQs…

XXQs: So Long Davey! (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you stand out over the others in your genre?

David Vaughn (DV): I think a lot of people have a hard time putting us in one genre or another. We get called “glam rock”, “pop punk”, “alternative”, but we consider ourselves “dance rock”. Our sound is pretty unique to us, we’re not really following a leader at all.

PEV: What kind of music where the members of the band into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?

James Austin (JA): We listened to everything. David and I talk a lot about the Beatles, but the influences come everything from Michael Jackson to Jimmy Eat World. We let every vibe influence us.

DV: I saw No Doubt in 2002 and Gwen was running all over the stage, so charismatic. I think that performance sort of unlocked something inside me and I knew that’s what I wanted to do more than anything was be in a band and run all over a stage singing.

PEV: Having formed in San Diego, California in 2007, what was it like trying to break into the music scene when you first started out as a band? What was your first show like together as a band?

DV: Honestly, we were so fortunate when we started out to be well received by venues and radio stations. Our first show officially as So Long Davey! was opening for Family Force 5 and The Secret Handshake. The show was completely sold out. Radio also played us on request when we released our first single, “Another Planet” at the end of the year. We got off on a good start from the get go but it’s always hard work.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live So Long Davey! show?

JA: You can expect us to bring you a rock and roll show. But you can also expect to see David getting crazy and getting you into the music. He does stuff on stage I’ve never seen anyone ever do before and it’s always entertaining.

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?

JA: We just want everyone to have the best time. If that was the highlight of their week or even month, that would have been an accomplishment of ours achieved.

PEV: Tell us the story behind the name of the band, “So Long Davey!”

DV: This question again! What should I make up this time? Kidding! It was a screen name of mine on YouTube as sort of a self-deprecating joke. But it became a reality when my ex broke up with me and said “so long davey” punning off my youtube name. It sort of haunted me to have that turned around during a really depressing period of my life. James and I had both gone through break ups around that time. We were looking for a band name, and I threw that out there and everyone said they loved it.

PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for songs?

JA: Our relationships with people around us become the main inspirations for the songs we write. Usually, I’m thinking of someone while I make a progression, David hears it and he feels something. Then we sit and talk about the lyrics and get on the same note before David goes to write them. When we both have someone specific to write about, the meaning hits home and the color of the songs start to flow.

PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out do you ever look back at your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?

DV: Honestly, this is the thing we talk about the least. I think it’s because we’re still working so hard on getting to the next level that we don’t think about where we’ve been yet. It’s been almost five years since James and I met and started playing music together. But we’ve been through so much and played shows all over the US and all I can think about is doing more. The journey for us is just beginning.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of So Long Davey!?

DV: People are always shocked when they find that we’re best friends. They ask all the time: “do you guys hang out outside of playing music together?” And we laugh because we talk and text each other all of the time. We know what’s happening with each other every day, we’re brothers.

PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a goal for you?

We all said that this is something that we’ve always wanted to do but it all came to a reality when we met each other. There’s always a certain chemical reaction when things are right and we just knew it was the best team to be on once we started playing together.

PEV: What can fans expect from your latest release, “The Fashion” which contains the critically acclaimed hit songs “Love Hurts” and “Six Feet Down”? Tell us more about this album.

DV: This album was inspired by our emotions during the downtime before and after a show, when the lights aren’t so bright and the music is muffled behind the green room door. James and I sat there in the mirror

PEV: What is the feeling you get after a song is complete and you cansit back and listen to it being played the way you envisioned?

JA: Songs rarely come out the way you started. I think performing and producing are two separate things. We get so into the production that we add things and the song comes out so amazing when you’re done. It’s very satisfying and you just want other people to hear it.

PEV: With all your traveling is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?

DV: I’ve been dying to go to NYC and we finally are on July 27th, so I’m extremely excited to hit that city!

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What’s it like when you get to play at your hometown?

JA: We don’t play San Diego as much as a lot of the bands we know from there. Usually we’ll just play a couple of show in a row and then disappear and play other places for a while and then announce a big San Diego show again. Our last one, we headlined at the House of Blues and it was awesome to see our fans, friends and family there. We’re playing my hometown of Hartford, Connecticut this month and I’m excited to play for my family there.

PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

JA: I like video games like Call of Duty.

DV: I like going out and dancing when we have days off. We all like going to the beach together, too.

PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?

DV: As a band, there a mostly producers we’d like to work with. I think getting produced by Neal Avron or Ric Okasec would be mind blowing. I’d also like to see us do a song or two with The Neptunes. We think all of those guys are brilliant and get some great sounds that inspire us when we hear their work.

PEV:  Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

DV: I’m really into Foster the People right now. They are break out as of this year, but an amazing band and I think they have a lot of fans they will be gaining this year.

PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think each of you would be your career?

JA: We’ve had other jobs. I used to work in a restaurant and David used to train singers how to perform on stage and audition for TV and movies. I think one day we’ll do that again. We want to start our own label and I want my own restaurant.

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