16 Sep 2019

iNews interview with Steve Davis about The Utopia Strong

They say:

On the list of things sports stars are supposed to do after they retire, releasing an ambient synth album won’t appear. After hanging up the boots, gloves or, in Steve Davis’s case, cue, the orthodox path is into property development, coaching, representation or punditry.

DJing at Glastonbury and putting out an album of woozy, wonky left-field music on a record label that hosts bands with names like Gnod, Goat, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs and Hey Colossus is indeed uncharted territory.

But then again, not all retired sports stars are Davis, the six-time snooker world champion, die-hard music fan and latterly modular synthesizer aficionado. This is a guy who arranged for one of his favourite bands – Magma, the French prog leviathans – to play in London so he could see them live.

Now he and two collaborators, Kavus Torabi and Michael J York – both professional musicians – have formed a band, The Utopia Strong, who released their self-titled debut album on 13 September.

“It is off the scale isn’t it?” Davis tells i. “I am sort of quite chuffed in a way because there was no plan to do this.

“There was no plan apart from me and the other two guys in the band getting on like a house on fire, hanging out and having a laugh, me getting into modular synthesizers and finding it a fascinating world and a total rabbit hole as well, then wanting to get better at playing at it.

“We hung out just so we could have a laugh together. But we made some music, improvising and jamming just for the fun of it and it was recorded by Mike, who had the presence of mind to record the sessions. We listened back and went ‘bloody hell! This is exactly… we would like to listen to stuff like this, why don’t we make it into something more?’ It was all arse-about-face in a way. Because there was no plan, it has been a surreal journey into the unknown.”...

Read the rest here: iNews