Review: Davila 666. Montreal, Oct. 21 2011.

There was potential for a real interview here. I mean there I was, backstage with Davila 666 asking them questions and having a beer. All the elements for an interview were definitely there. But then, there was also beer. And the fact that the guys were so cool that the interview just turned into a chat about music more than anything else.  After all, this is the same band that simply responded, when asked about Lil Wayne’s “rock” project: “Lil Wayne shouldn’t do any rock…He’s really bad at that”. How cool is that? 

If you’ve never heard Davila 666, do yourself a favor and check ‘em out. Their last album, 2011’s “Tan Bajo” (released on In The Red records) perfectly sums up  what the band is all about: amazingly catchy garage rock from Puerto Rico (sung in Spanish, at that) that recalls what happened when the Ramones and Phil Spector joined forces. You need to look no further than their cover of “Hanging On The Telephone” to realize that they know exactly who their influences are and the kind of pure rock ‘n roll they want to make justice to. 

It’s no wonder that earlier this year, through Jack White’s Third Man Records,  Davila 666 released a vinyl-only live album, Live At Third Man – produced by Jack White himself. Ask them about it, and they’re really happy to have put it out – they just haven’t had the time to actually listen to it yet. These guys live for the music, for touring, and to go out there and have a good time. They are not as much a band, but a family – as they put it. And Friday, at Casa Del Popolo in Montreal, this is really what translated when seeing them in front of a crowd that was close to 100 strong: 6 guys just having fun, letting go of any mistakes or false starts. It’s all in good spirits, and very high energy – something rare these days, because there isn’t a single second of the show where you think that the band is putting on an image. 

And that’s probably due to the fact that the band has been 100% DIY from the very beginning. As I was told, they first decided to leave their home of Puerto Rico to tour the US with no management, booking all the shows themselves. One day, playing in California to a crowd of about 10 people, the president of In The Red records happened to be there, and the rest is history. Their first, self-titled album was released in 2008, followed by many vinyl-only releases. Tours followed with Black Lips, Acid Baby Jesus, and King Khan (who is, by the way, playing alongside Bloodshot Bill in the band Tandoori Knights – November 30th at Il Motore, with Crystal Stilts opening).   The band rapidly made a name for themselves and played many high profile festival shows, such as South By Southwest.

If you happened to miss this show – their 2nd this year in Montreal, they’ll probably be back soon, and then please mark your calendars. This is one of the most honest rock n roll shows you’ll see. No wonder they must have told me about 5 times during this failed interview that they were “so grateful to be doing this.” A new album, tentatively titled “Que Viva El Veneno!”, should be released by the end of the year.


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