Q&A: The Sonics' Rob Lind on working with Jimmi Davies and the split 7-inch with Mudhoney

By Nikki McCoy on April 17, 2014

This week, I chatted with Olympia coppersmith, motor head, artist and musician Jimmi Davies about his experience recording with quintessential Northwest band, The Sonics. You can read my story here.

Last night, I had the opportunity to chat with Rob Lind, saxophonist The Sonics, who shares what it was like working with Davies, where you can find their split 7" with Mudhoney and an update on his own projects. Enjoy.

WEEKLY VOLCANO:  How did you hook up with Jimmi Davies?

ROB LIND: I became friends with Jimmi a couple years ago when we played at a theater in Olympia and his band, The Dirty Birds, opened for us.

To begin with, The Birds were very good and I immediately noticed that their sax player played just like I do ... sort of hard to describe, but dirty, growling rock sax. There are many beautiful sounding, pretty jazz sax players around, most of whom are far better musicians that I am, but for the type of straight ahead, hard rock and roll as played by The Sonics ... dirty, "Attack Sax" like Jimmi and I play, is much more appropriate. I also noticed that he's a wonderful blues harp player. I play harp on several songs as well, but Jimmi is a far better harp player than I am.

He and I got to talking after his set and as The Sonics got to the end of our set and started our last song, "The Witch," I noticed Jimmi standing in the wings, holding his sax and looking tentatively like he wanted to come out on stage and play, so I motioned for him to come ahead and the two of us combined on "The Witch."

Jimmi is a good friend and great to work with.

VOLCANO: What are your thoughts on "Bad Betty," the song Davies collaborated with The Sonics, which ended up on a split 7" with Mudhoney, an exclusive release for Record Store Day?

LIND: Last spring, as we were preparing to do the new album, I put word out to some of my musician friends, that if they would like to submit music to us, we'd consider it for our new album. Jimmi and some friends worked up "Betty" and submitted it. When I heard it I knew the core of a Sonics song was there. I wrote a different riff and the solo section to make it drive a little harder, in line with our way of playing. Jimmi wrote the words, which are inventive and also write in line with Sonic's sounds. Jim Diamond, our record producer from Detroit, loved the combination and we put it on the album. Muddy Roots Records had all our album songs to choose from for the single and they chose "Betty." Not bad for a couple sax players!

VOLCANO: If folks miss the 7" on Record Store Day, will they still be able to get their paws on a copy of the split?

LIND: I'm not real sure about how to get a copy outside of Record Store Day. We will be selling them at our shows as long as our supply lasts.

VOLCANO: Is there an anticipated date for your upcoming release that includes Davies on harmonica?

LIND: As far as a release date, we're hoping by August. Our lawyer is doing negotiations with a label right now and God only knows how long that process will be! The music is done, however.

VOLCANO: Anything else you'd like to add?

ROB LIND: On the song "Leavin' Here," the band wanted me to play a harmonica solo and I immediately remembered how good Jimmi was, so I asked him if he'd like to come to the studio and play a solo. He graciously consented and then proceeded to play an amazing solo in one take! Geez ... I hate that guy!!