Experiencing the Davis Experience
By Z. Greenberg
The Davis Experience, consisting of originally vocalist Davis Burton, guitarists Mario Garraffo and Sam Segal, bassist Will Snyder, keyboardist Coby Levit, and drummer Jake Diamond-Reivich, is one of Harriton’s very own, and very impressive, student bands. With a “rotating cast,” their most recent show featured Jon Diamond-Reivich in the place of his brother. Feeling quite a bit like William Miller of Almost Famous, I had the pleasure of meeting with Jon, Davis, and Mario over Lunch and Learn to talk about just what ‘The Experience’ was, and how it came to be.
How did the band come together?
Davis: Of the original six members, four of us did Mr. Harriton, and two of them helped out with it. So, we were all hanging out at Mario Garraffo’s house one night-
Mario: -Yeah, and we just got an idea, and we were like, “Why don’t we go play at Open Mic Night at the New Leaf in Bryn Mawr?”
Davis: We just kinda picked up some instruments and songs started coming out. Jon’s brother was actually drumming at first so it’s really like one big family. And we sort of rotate the cast a little bit, and that’s how we started. There’s some stuff like off the record we can tell you, but, like… not right now.
Mario: Before that night, we wrote a song in like 45 minutes, and we just had an instant band chemistry. We performed that song later that night.
Do you write all your songs, or do you mix in some covers?
Mario: We wrote about three songs and the rest are all covers.
What genre would you classify your band as?
Davis: This is actually a big debate. I say Soulful Rock, a little West Coast vibe. We do Blues, Jazz, Rock Fusion, it’s a big debate we have as a band.
Mario: If you were to mix them all I guess you’d say like a Blues-Jazz-Rock Fusion. There ya go.
Are there any artists that inspire you guys when making music?
Davis: It’s hard to think of an artist on the spot, but what we really like to do is to take the classic rock sound, and incorporate in some jazzy elements to it. Sam Segal is primarily a jazz guitarist, Will Snyder plays the horns real well. So we like the classic rock covers obviously, we did the the Stones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns N’ Roses, Lynyrd Skynyrd- last song of the night was Free Bird. But then we also did some newer kinda stuff, like Better Man by Leon Bridges, Jack Johnson, Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah. Yeah, we’re all over the place.
What is something you want your listeners to feel when they hear your music?
Mario: Personally, I’d say, I’d like them to feel amazed. I want to blow their minds, like, “What did they just do?”
Davis: So, you know our name, we’re ‘The Experience,’ and I want people to listen, and have a full experience- we’ve got a distinct sound, they know who they’re listening to; they hear it, and they’re like, “Yeah, that’s them.”
Jon: I’d say that I want people to feel like it’s genuine. We’re just five guys getting on stage and playing music together, so I don’t want it so seem like we’re trying to sound like anyone else. We kinda have our own sound and we’re just having fun so I think that’s what I want people to get from it. A unique sound.
Anything else you want to say?
Jon: Mario William Garraffo is the next greatest guitar player of all time. I’m going down on record saying that right now- if you didn’t see him play Free Bird... you would’ve cried- it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life.
Davis: Also, just something else: The Davis Experience, as we know it, might be over because a lot of our bandmates are graduating. But we’re still going to be looking for more projects next year, and so if you’re down and a musician feel free to come talk to us. We’re always looking to perform.