The Nixons will reunite for OKC, Texas shows
With a pair of upcoming reunion concerts a little over a month away, the founding guitarist for Oklahoma City's The Nixons took time to reminisce about the glory days past and to come.
Jesse Davis and his bandmates singer/guitarist Zac Maloy, bassist Ricky Wolking and drummer John Humphrey will reunite for a hometown show at 6 p.m. March 31 at the Chevy Bricktown Events Center, 429 E. California in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City bands NICNOS, Life Lessons and MozKow will open the festivities. Tickets are available at www.ticketstorm.com.
The next day, The Nixons hit the road south for a festival lineup that also includes 311, Blink 182, Toadies, The Offspring, Chevelle and other bands April 1 at the 25th Annual EDGE-Fest at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. Get tickets here: http://kegl.iheart.com/features/edgefest-2792/.
Known for their high-energy (and often high-flying) live shows, Davis said the bandmates may be older but they're planning on living up to their legend.
"One of the first things, we really want to be what people expect," Davis said. "The OKC show is going to be quite a bit longer set list than EDGE-Fest. We're just excited about having fun, man."
The show marks a return long in the making. After breaking up in 2000, The Nixons went separate ways. But it was when they first came together in the early 1990s that a lifetime bond was forged, Davis said. They wanted to do something completely theirs.
"Everybody sets their own path," Davis said about the group's beginnings as a college band. "Our first rehearsal where I first met Zac, I remember turning to him and saying 'Let's write songs and record.'"
From those practices came the material for the band's debut album, 1992's "Green Cassette," released on Dragon Street Records. The music and reputation as a fierce live show was earned mile by mile.
"We hopped in the van and toured the region for a few years before a lot of people discovered us," Davis said. "That was such a great and fun period. I appreciate it for what it was, to be honest."
The early 1990s were a unique time for Oklahoma musicians trying to make it to the next level. I trudged my way in hopes of making the cut with one of my musical projects. While assisting as a sound guy for The Chainsaw Kittens, I got a front-row experience of high-intensity, high-energy alternative rock shows that fit into the realm of legends. With a good chunk of the recording industry descending on Oklahoma City and Norman in search of the next Seattle, there was an energy. The Nixons joined The Chainsaw Kittens, The Wake and The Flaming Lips in grasping the brass ring.
"Wow, man, some amazing shows," Davis said.
Check out a couple of videos from an amazing 1994 show at Dallas' legendary Trees: • The Nixons "Happy Song" https://youtu.be/4g6mmabjjuA.
• The Nixons "Head" https://youtu.be/SCdoAFegthc.
That energy is what carried them on stage to hold their own on tour with the likes of KISS, Sevendust, Slash's Snakepit, Brother Cane, Soul Asylum, Radiohead and Toadies.
Davis said he's still humbled to have been a part of a special moment in time. The band appreciated every opportunity, as well as the music of its local partners in rock. Remembering comments The Lips' Wayne Coyne has made about the individuality of Oklahoma arts, the guitarist said the state produces "a bevy of talent."
"We were big fans of music too; it definitely made an impression on us the scene here in Oklahoma," Davis said. "So, to me, any kind of art that comes out is really kind of genuine and honest from the heart."
In that time The Nixons joined The Flaming Lips, The Chainsaw Kittens and The Wake onto the next level. Davis said it was a crazy time. Seeing what bands starting out have to work with, it's a wonder that anything made it out of the studio. But magic happened there and it was captured raw and on tape.
"We always recorded to 2-inch tape in some cool studios," Davis said. "It's crazy now. Still, with all the tools that are out there, you have to write a song and put it together."
Known for their road work to play wherever they were called, the next level led to bigger stages for The Nixons. Signed to MCA Records, the band toured in support of three albums: "FOMA," a self-titled set and their final collection, "Latest Thing." From "FOMA," the band found radio success with this number: • The Nixons "Sister" https://youtu.be/pEG5PE5MEpw.
After parting with Maloy in 2001, the remaining bandmates performed in Huver before parting musical ways. Maloy moved to Nashville, Tenn., where he has made music solo while also producing music for Underwood, Our Lady Peace, Supercell, The Daylights, Hanson and others. Humphrey continues the rock and roll life on the road as the drummer in Seether.
Davis said he went into the private sector for a while, still close to home in the capital metro area. He has a studio and does some regional level producing. He's also playing guitar with the band Anchor the Girl, another really cool band that mixes pop, punk and r&b. Davis said the producer, Grammy-nominated Wes Sharon (Turnpike Troubadours, John Fullbright, Parker Millsap) is blowing his mind with his magic in the studio.
Davis joined Maloy and Humphrey last year for the first Oklahoma Songwriters Festival in 2016, founded by Maloy. It set the upcoming concerts into motion.
"It's something we kicked around the past couple of years," Davis said. "During breaks, we've all thought about it; we've stayed somewhat in contact. This brings back memories, good memories."
It'll almost feel like the late 1990s when the band joins the EDGE-Fest lineup. Davis said the festival has always done a good job putting on the annual event. He looks forward to meeting up with The Toadies and remembered a tour with them and The Rev. Horton Heat as being one of the most fun.
"I could tell you stories, man," Davis said. "I remember an early show with The Toadies at UT at Arlington and, I swear it was like in the cafeteria and there's 20 people, maybe, in the audience. It was my first time to see the band and it was an awesome show."
For the quartet, the upcoming shows are purely for the music. Maybe something will come from it. Maybe it will be a moment captured in time. Davis said he's happy in this moment.
"The band just got together for fun," Davis said. "We're not overthinking it."
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Monday was the 50th birthday of grunge godfather Kurt Cobain. By 27 years old, he and his Nirvana bandmates changed the world. Seriously, kids. I remember the rock radio world before "Smells Like Teen Spirit." It wasn't pretty. Nirvana made pretty rock music ugly and, well, rock. Equal parts Beatles and Black Flag, the game changed behind its wall of distortion and catchy hooks. Love 'em or hate 'em, you can't deny 'em: • Nirvana "Lithium" https://youtu.be/pkcJEvMcnEg.
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Brad Good stopped by the studio for this week's edition of "Today's Best Soundemonium ... for Now!" with Steve Carr, a.k.a. Steve-O, and yours truly to shoot the breeze and sing some songs. With this week's release of his first single, "Poor Man's Son," in anticipation of Monday's release of his latest album, "One Red Light," Good was great. I hope you tuned in and heard it for yourself. A song written after a conversation with his grandmother proved inspiration for the touching "Other Side of a Dream" that was performed.
An early listen to the album proves Good is hitting his prime. His lyrics have grown introspective and he's found an inner depth as a writer that reveals his Oklahoma-born character. Named after the iconic stoplight in Apache, the album carries at its core the artist's connection with his Caddo County hometown.
Kicking off with the acoustic-heavy track "Highway," Good and company set a tone. "Whiskey & Rain" has the high-points of a great John Cougar Mellencamp song, but Good's voice takes it into warmer waters. Fusing all influences, the music is unique and captures the best of Good and his longtime bandmates Brandon Diveley, guitar; Brandon Gibson, bassist; Shyloh Powers, guitar; Ryan Joyce, drums; and Shane Hicks, keyboard and piano. It's as if Willie Nelson fronted The Silver Bullet Band, and that's how Good always wanted it. It's best epitomized on "Isabella."
"Not country, not rock, not red dirt, not blues, not jazz, not Americana, not folk, not pop, but all of those wrapped up in every verse and every chorus," Good said. "We're our own animal."
Good said the love of a "Good" woman, his wife Holly, gave him the anchor to right his abilities and write his heart. In her namesake song, he's as vulnerable as anyone I've heard in a while. The closing track, "Shinin' in the Night," closes the album with a ton of heart. It marks the making of exactly what Good was seeking.
"It's what we were as a band, and I'm glad to have record of that sound," Good said. "I strived for 25 years searching for the sound that we got our of that project, and out of this record."
The album will be available for purchase Monday online through iTunes and Amazon as well as other avenues. You can visit Brad Good Band's Facebook or Reverbnation pages or visit: http://bradgoodband.com/.
Good also offered a pretty chipper guest joke to close out this week's radio show. Here's the punchline:
"Because he's thinking about getting married and I promised him a demo."
Turn your dial to Magic 95.3 FM Radio around the 4:40 p.m. drive each Thursday or stream it online: http://s1.phx.icastcenter.com/start/kmgz953/, on the Apple or Android apps or on the TuneIn app, or: http://www.kmgz.com/. Visit and "like" our Facebook page where we will be posting extended podcast versions of the show soon. Good performed a couple of extra songs that will be podcast-only, so like the page and be watching for it: https://www.facebook.com/steveoandthescribe/.
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Visit the column's easy access features each Friday at swoknews.com and click on any of the video links. Visit the column's YouTube channel and check out the exclusive videos from the column's video archive featuring some of the best past local (and visiting) talent that's graced Southwest Oklahoma's stages:
Soundemonium Musaic Lawton music archive homepage: Scott Rains https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPw__GedGPOUD-wROFcuZ8w.