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My name is Joe Davis. I have been in several bands over the years including The Far Look, Blood Of The Dragon, Pyramids On Mars, and Scalded Dog. Harts Horn is my solo home recording project. I play pretty much everything with occasional guests.
Why this name?
I wanted a really earthy name that referenced the wooded areas of Michigan where I grew up. Harts Horn is a leavening agent that they used to use in Nordic countries when baking - it seemed to evoke the kind of home and hearth feel that I was after. It is also meant to honor the old European god, Cernunnos - antlered spirit of the wild wood. In addition, I always wanted to be in a band that started with H.
Do you play live?
I prefer recording to playing live, but I do play out occasionally. Mostly locally at art galleries or bookstores. I'm not sure bars are the best place for this type of music.... well, not in the midwest anyway.
How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
The music industry? - Well hopefully it will kill it! Let's start with a look at how capitalism works: take the means of production out of the hands of the people and then sell the product back to them. We've seen this in the change from an artisan/craftsman based society to an industrial one. The internet goes a long way toward rectifying that situation. Suddenly cottage industries are springing up everywhere and art and craft people are able to circumvent the problem of renting a storefront and staffing. As it applies to music it is even better because it eliminates the need for distribution, which has always been the problem with independent music. In the past, you were always able to record and press your own record, but selling or even giving them away was nearly impossible (particularly in rural areas). The internet is a great leveler, when it comes to being able to record promote and distribute your own music. There has never ever been a better time to be a home taper than right now.
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
Of course not. If I wanted to work for a multinational corporation, I could just go get a job at Walmart... Seriously, it is rare when an interesting album is pushed by the majors these days - I'm a tax write off to them. I would certainly work with an independent label if someone were interested, but the majors in no way represent the type of world I want to live in and I pretty much regard them as enemies of art (from around 1977 onward). Not knocking the bands specifically here (that's a whole nother subject)......more the moneyminders. Basically, if you are in marketing, I blame you for much of what's wrong in this world.
I have played drums for many different bands over the years, ranging from jazz to punk rock and I am currently a member of a bass and drums / experimental band called The Far Look. At some point I realized that the type of music I really wanted to play (Kraut and experimental influenced space rock) had a limited audience and that there were no musicians around me that shared those interests enough to want to play that type of music specifically. Like a lot of American space rock groups, Harts Horn was formed after I attended the first Strange Daze festival. I guess it took seeing such inspiring bands as Alien Planetscapes and F/i (not to mention Hawkwind with Nik Turner) to make me realize that I could be a part of this music if I wanted to. Around the same time I had begun writing very elemental folk tunes on an acoustic that my wife had and I also learned how to use a 4 track that a friend loaned me. Things spiraled out from there and I now have 14 albums out: HEARSAY & HERESY, CERNUNNOS, THE HOLLOW EARTH, JETTISONED, SSSONGSSS, ANTHEMIC DIRGE OF COSMOS, QUIXOTIC UNDERGROUND, I WEAR DESIGNS, ETHER/ORE, EGG ASH SKULL GARDEN, PET NOIZES (split CD with Astro Al), BEGIN TO EXIST, DYSTOPIAN MIRRORSCAPE, and WHEN SNAKES HAD LEGS & WE WERE FREE.
Space Rock, Kraut Rock, Jazz, Punk.... Hawkwind, Can, Faust, Chrome, Guided By Voices, Ghost, Boredoms, F/i, Acid Mothers Temple, Heldon / Richard Pinhas, Jet Jaguar, Electric Eels, T. Rex, Ozric Tentacles, The Rabbit's Hat, Census Of Hallucinations, Sun Ra, Egberto Gismonti, Violent Onsen Geisha, Keith Jarrett, Nik Turner, Julian Cope, AcidGuitarKing, Z'ev, Budgie, Blue Oyster Cult, Thinking Plague, Jason Brewer, coffee, campfires, comic books, the woods, beat poetry, science fiction, independent zines, D.I.Y. culture, and homesteading....
The botanical gardens in Claremont, CA. Manitou Island in Lake Michigan. Anywhere with my wife and kids.
I can use anything that makes a sound. I guess you could say I'm partial to phase, wah, and delay...
I am always willing to trade for your CD, CDR, zine, art, or anything else that you make or do. Simply email me your idea and we'll sort it out.