Hailing from Marietta, GA, Davin McCoy has been heating up the Atlanta music scene for quite some time and recently released his sophomore album, Whiskey Sexy, which was recorded in just two weeks. Davin will be returning to Eddie’s Attic on Saturday, Dec. 27 for what is sure to be a very special, intimate performance. We spoke with Davin about how his experiences have shaped his music and the beauty of performing in front of a live audience. Read on and be sure to get tickets to his show!
You started playing guitar at the age of 11. What was it about the guitar that attracted you to the instrument at such a young age?
My sister got a guitar and started playing it, and it was one of those ‘there’s no fucking way my sister is gonna play guitar and I’m not’ and of course it turned into something way beyond that, but that was initially what made me pick up the guitar. I don’t remember having any spectacular draw to the guitar before I played it, it wasn’t like one of those I always wanted to, it became that way of course when my sister had one.
How did growing up and being a leader in the church shape your music today?
It taught me how to perform in a lot of ways, because there’s a certain expectation in terms of performance. Of course it’s taboo to say that you were the one doing it, as a worship leader, you know when you’re in that ideology, every worshiper comes off as ‘Well I didn’t do it, that was God working through me’ or all of that, but the reality of that situation is that in order to be a good worship leader and have people request you as one, there has to be something that you’re aware of in some performance aspect that gets people, that moves people, that they believe you and they wanna be involved in whatever it is that you’re feeling and that frequency that you’re vibrating on. I think that it shaped my songwriting in kind of a cynical way sometimes, I have to really kind of step back and re-evaluate if I’m being condescending or judgmental or prickish, so in that way it’s good because it’s a source of reflection but it also can weaponize itself.
Who are some of your main influences in your music?
Big time growing up was Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, Van Morrison and Sam Cooke, those soul guys were influenced by my Mom, and my Dad was really into Cat Stevens, James Taylor, all of those guys, a mixture of folk and soul. I really liked the way soul singers sing, but I liked the way folk singers wrote. That was probably my biggest influence, to always kind of write a folk song and sing it like a soul singer. I guess they call that blue-eyed soul these days.
How do you think growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta has influenced your music?
Well I had the best of both worlds, I grew up in inner-Atlanta at first and then we moved out to the suburbs after my mom got re-married, so I got to see two different paradigms and was able to understand at an early age that there wasn’t a set reality, and that reality changes with each socioeconomic divide and ideologically it changes with all these things. So I think I was influenced more as a thinker than anything, which of course goes into music just because I wanted to search to find out what other types of lives were being lead and all that.
Were you able to go see a lot of live music when you were growing up?
No, not really. My mom worked really hard and the big thing for us to was to go to the movies, but as I got a little bit older my mom would occasionally allow me to go with my friends in middle school or something, then I started going to see live music, and then when I could drive I’d go to everything. But when I was young I just didn’t really have the money or the time. Unfortunately my first ever concert will always be, I’ll never forgive my mom for it, but it was New Kids On The Block at GA Tech. It was free because I was at the age where I could go for free and my older sister wanted to go so instead of getting a babysitter she dragged me along, so now and forever if somebody asks me [what my first concert was] I have to say that which is terrible.
How do you think taking a year off after high school instead of going straight to college changed the way you view the world? How do you think that time influenced the direction of your music?
It was a great thing because it was really a year, I mean it’s such a silly thing to say and I hate hearing myself say it because in reality we’re constantly trying to find ourselves anyways and you obviously never will, but, that year off was a chance for me to really kind of organize, collect and analyze everything I had learned up to that point in life. That year was spent on couches in different colleges that my friends had gone to and just reading books that I had collected and wanted to read. I really kind of figured out how to organize my thoughts and analyze them and write, so not only was I collecting information but I was taking it a step further and figuring out what it meant to me or what I took from it and all these things, which is the beginning of decent song writing. So it’s good to have a year to do that and I was able to find my own creative voice rather than just ripping off other people.
What is your favorite part of performing in front of a live audience?
It’s the collective experience. It’s when I feel the least alone ever is on stage and I just feel so connected. I can be kind of a lonely person even though I’m social, but I just feel like that’s how it is with a lot of musicians and entertainers, you’re kind of constantly entertaining and you’re still lonely, but on stage is where I feel like I’m supposed to be entertaining and in that way it alleviates any of that loneliness or that sad cloud or whatever you call it and everybody’s just vibrating together and you look out and you see somebody closing their eyes or singing your words and you know at that moment you’re both right there together in that same place, and to have a whole room full of that, it’s quite an addiction. I think it’s the best buzz that performers get is that feeling that everybody’s just vibrating together and it’s wonderful. It’s the only time I’m not overanalyzing anything. It’s the only time I’m just kind of operating on alpha waves; it’s like meditation almost. Even during sex I’m thinking about ‘I wonder if this looks weird’ or something, but in a performance it’s never like that when it’s a good show. There’s no overthought, nothing, it’s just you exist. After a good show I love the fact that you really don’t remember any of the details, you just remember how it felt.
What can we expect to see from your show at Eddie’s Attic?
It’s gonna be an intimate performance, it’s gonna be very kind of interactive and stripped down; very much storytellers and kind of a therapy session I think. We’re actually doing a promotion online where we’re letting people help join in the architecture of the playlist, so it should be interactive and hopefully with the playlist promotion we can kind of cultivate a couple stories and stuff like that for it. We’ll have the full band soul-rock show the 31st of January at Buckhead Theater, but for the Eddie’s show, I think that we’ll just be doing a three or four piece. I’m still working it out in my head, it’s in my peripherals but I still can’t quite look at it yet. It’s like there’s this great Bukowski quote about trying to catch a bug in your living room, if you chase it around it’ll just stick to the ceilings, but if you just sit still real quietly and let it come to you, it’ll happen and then you can either kill it or make it your pet forever, it’s up to you. So it’s kind of like that I think with Eddie’s shows, because Eddie’s has such a rich history and is such a great venue with an incredible vibe, that I always feel like I’m kind of approaching like a hallowed moment when we play at Eddie’s because it in itself is part of the show, the venue and that’s why I love it so much, and that’s why I always kind of try quiet myself with an Eddie’s show and not overthink it and just let it come around.
We’re also going to do a live recording of Eddie’s, and the thing about that is that I know we said we did a live recording of the last Eddie’s show, or two shows ago, and we did but we never even opened it, mixed it and put it out because of all sorts of shit that happened afterwards, so I swear that this one will be released and available one day after the show. The great news is that is that it’s not in my hands to come out this time so I think it will actually come out.
Tickets are $12 in advance, $16 at the door. Doors open at 7pm. Receive a free download of the live show when you purchase tickets in advance!