home Jim Davies interview

Many of you will recognize Jim Davies from The Prodigy's Electronic Punks video when he was their live guitarist in 95/96. he then left them as a live guitarist, but contributed guitar to tracks like Firestarter and Fuel my Fire on The Fat of The Land. He's also in his own band Pitchshifter, but has recently rejoined The Prodigy as a live guitarist. I've had the chance to interview him to find out more about his work with Prodigy!



neko: How does it feel to be back with the Prodigy?

Jim Davies: Its amazing, I'm really happy about it. When I wasn't doing the guitars live I was still in touch with the guys and saw them regularly to play them what
I was doing with shifter and just to say hi, they've always been really
supportive and cool. I'd also been doing guitars for Liam and Maxim quite a
lot in that period when I wasn't playing live.
It had been in the back of my mind for some time that I might get the
chance to come back to the band as I knew it wasn't going too well with the
other guitarists so it was great when it all fell back into place again. The Big Day Out tour was such a laugh, I'm incredibly proud to be part of such an important band.

neko: You used to play live with Prodigy some years ago, then joined Pitchshifter and toured heavily with them. Do you think your live performance in Prodigy has changed with your experience in Pitchshifter?

Jim: Definitely, before I started playing with prodigy the only gigs I had really
done were very small pubs and clubs and no tours at all, I'd basically been just learning to play the guitar but had very little experience overall, I think I took it all for granted when I played with them the first time, to go away and join pitchshifter and tour for 9 months of the year for 3 years definitely opened my eyes a bit! It also made me appreciate just how huge prodigy are and how much work goes into getting a band to that size. But on a personal level from doing the pitchshifter thing I made abit of a name for myself, baring in mind no-one really knew much about me before then even though I'd played with the prodigy for a year. I think it gave me a lot of confidence which I probably didn't have before. It feels right coming back now after going away and achieving some very cool things with pitchshifter.

neko: In Pitchshifter you and Jon Clayden write all of the songs together, does working with Prodigy influence you on how you write your own music?

Jim: Well it was the prodigy that got me into dance music really, in particular
playing guitar on dance tracks, which is what I'm best at, so that sort off
led me to wanting to work with pitchshifter because they used a lot of dance
influences on albums like www.pitchshifter.com. Of course prodigy has been a
massive influence on me musically but I'm not sure if it has influenced
pitchshifters music as such. I use the same guitar sounds with both bands as
that's my sound but hopefully pitchshifter sounds like pitchshifter.

neko: How does playing with Pitchshifter differ from playing with the Prodigy?

Jim: Its a big difference, I feel like wurzel gummidge sometimes as I need a
different head for each band! obviously playing live with pitchshifter is
very different as I play a hell of a lot of stuff, some of it very complicated. With Prodigy I try to play parts that compliment Liams music and don't cloud or interfere with it, even if that means playing quite simplistic parts, and I'm fine with that.

neko: Your single 'Shutdown' is gonna be released on 17th June and Pitchshifter are playing a few one-off shows. What else is planned for Pitchshifter in the near future, is there a tour coming up at some point?

Jim: We are doing a few European festivals in june and july and hoping to do a
full u.k
tour in september.

neko: Your personal opinion on 'Baby's got a Temper'?

Jim: I really like it, its gone through quite a lot of chances but I think its classic Prodigy, if somethings not broken why fix it!! Live the tune is incredible, really heavy.

neko: Do you still remember your first ever show with Prodigy? When was it and what was it like?

Jim: Yes, it was a small club in paris france 1995, I remember just taking it all
in my stride and it was only when I got home that my friends made me realise
just how cool it was to be doing gigs with the prodigy in paris after playing the 'dog and trumpet' the week before! if I remember correctly I only played on 'break and enter' and 'their law'. I have some photos which I can't bring myself to look at due to my horrendous student haircut!!

neko: What was your favourite show you ever played (with any band) and why?

Jim: With shifter it was the main stage at reading a few years ago, I have a
video of it and its amazing. With prodigy I think it was all of the Big Day Out gigs from this january, it was such a cool tour and great to be back with the guys. The recent cochella festival was also amazing but I have a feeling this years Reading festival will be something very special.

neko: Very little is known about your biography. We know you joined The Prodigy as a live and studio guitarist, before then leaving and becoming a member of Pitchshifter. But what did you do before joining The Prodigy? Were you in any other bands? Tell us about your past.

Jim: No bands worth mentioning, I'd only been playing guitar for about 4 years
and had done nothing else apart from practise for those 4 years. I played in a few silly punk bands and small college bands before giving Liam a demo of me playing over the jilted album . After which I started playing live with them, I was really thrown in at the deep end!!!!

neko: Who influences you musically?

Jim: Helmet, rage, pumpkins, jam, pistols, dead Kennedy's, some drum and bass and hiphop , a lot of breakbeat and funk.

neko: What was the last CD you bought?

Jim: Jurassic 5

neko: How do you handle playing with two bands at the same time? Was it difficult to manage to do the Prodigy live shows and the new Pitchshifter album at the same time?

Jim: Well the Australian tour was at a time when pitchshifter weren't touring so
that was fine, and luckily the last american gigs fell at a time when p.s weren't touring, so I've been lucky so far. the album was finished in decemeber of last year so I didn't have a problem of choosing between finishing the psi album or tour with prodigy. Also for the last 2 albums pitchshifter toured for like 9 months at a time, I think we all felt we couldn't do that again for this album which has given me space to do the prodigy gigs. So its all working so far.

neko: You have played guitar on some tracks on The Fat of the Land. Can you
already shed some light on whether you are involved in any of the new Prodigy studio material?

Jim: You never know!!!!!

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