Walk into Long Wong's at the Firehouse on any given Wednesday night and you'll most likely hear Page Davis singing about Jan Brewer and teenage plastic surgery. Davis performs under the Page the Village Idiot moniker and is easy to spot thanks to his handlebar mustache and fanny pack. He looks like he could have been an extra in Detroit Rock City, but his music sounds nothing like that. He uses an acoustic guitar, a synthesizer, and a ukulele to sing about important issues like west side girls and Apache Junction methheads.
Page the Village Idiot is releasing a new disc, PTVI III on Saturday, March 31 at Long Wong's at the Firehouse in Tempe, and we asked him a few questions about the disc.
Up on the Sun: What inspired you to start this project? Page Davis: I'd been playing around the Valley for gosh, like two decades now. I've been doing it as one piece probably for the last 10. I just wanted to continue doing music without the hassle of always changing members in bands and bands splitting up, so I became a solo act. I saw other people doing similar things like that around the time I started and thought that was a good starting place.
You've been a solo act for a good 10 years and you are releasing your third album. Is there any reason there has been a delay between releases?
It's probably harder to motivate yourself to write that much when you're one person. That's my guess, that's the way I can explain it. It did take awhile, so this is what I do for a living it's not always easy to get enough money invested into a CD too, so I theory I would have released it awhile back, but because I waited so long, it ended up being a lot longer of a CD too.
What did you set out to do with this album?
Obviously what I'm doing is satire. It's inspired by the environment I'm around. Whatever makes me laugh or whatever seems to make others laugh that are going out to shows and stuff. That's kind of the skeleton.
It's rare to see someone make these jokes and play instruments like the ukulele. Did you set out to play all of these instruments?
I guess so. When you're a one man band, sometimes you want to do things like make the most racket you possibly can. Other times you want to show the diversity of instrumentation, and so you put it all together, I think it makes a pretty good show. If I just played acoustic guitar all night, it would get monotonous for me, so it keeps it interesting for me to jump genres and jump instruments like that.
I thought both "Westside Girls" and "Tweaky Pete" were pretty hilarious. What would you consider the lesser of two evils in Phoenix, the Westside or Apache Junction?
I've made the joke before where you can blindfold somebody and drop them off at a strip mall and they wouldn't know where the hell they were at in this town. If it wasn't for the mountains, I really don't think there's much of a difference. I joke that if it wasn't for the west side, the news would be about five minutes long. Whereas Apache Junction does their own great job of stereotypes too. You know, it's just something everybody seems to recognize. It's tongue-in-cheek, but there must be some truth to it also.
I love your songs about politicians. Have you ever had any feedback from any of them?
Let's hope that they have better things to do, but you working at the New Times, you know that some musicians have gotten shit for doing songs about Joe Arpaio and having him doing things to dogs and stuff, and that's a bummer. I wouldn't be surprised if I am somewhere under their radar but they probably don't go after me for the same reason they don't go after meth labs. There's no money in it.
How did "Dead Rockstars" end up on the Dr. Demento show?
I actually sent it into him. Within a week or so, he started playing it and it went into the funny five shortly thereafter. It was really cool just to hear his voice announce one of my songs after growing up listening to his show. It was a pretty amazing moment.
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What can we expect out of your CD release show?
We're looking at like four other bands including myself playing it. The objective was for me to jump on stage and hijack their shows for a couple of songs too. Friends of mine like The Allen Barton Project and TKLB? are people I have worked with a lot. The same thing with Japhy's Descent and Future Loves Past, too. They know my material well enough that they're willing to sing a few songs with me.