The road to reunion for the Kinks has been fraught with in-fighting and bitter sibling rivalry, but despite it all the band has made its way back in the recording studio.
Dave Davies confirmed to Rolling Stone Tuesday that he and his brother have been recording new songs and re-recording older unreleased tracks.
“This has really been going on for a couple of years,” Dave Davies told the magazine. “We keep going backwards and listening to a lot of old stuff. Some of that is very good, and some of it needs a bit of work.”
The band has been working on a reissue for the 50th anniversary of their concept album “Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire).” Dave called the venture “virtually done.” The band has revisited unreleased songs for touchups. Dave said, “Some we recorded but never used. Others don’t have finished vocals or they need other embellishments.”
In addition to re-recording previously written songs, the band is working on new material written by Ray. “The songs are really just in demo form now. But good demos. Ray is still dissecting various other material we might use. The intention is to get the work out, but it’s not a done deal,” said Dave.
Original Kinks drummer Mick Avory and replacement drummer Bob Henrit (1984-1996) have both attended recording sessions, but the band has yet to find a bassist. The original Kinks bass player Pete Quaife died in 2010, and his replacement Jim Rodford (1978-1996) died in 2018. The Kinks and the Davies brothers last performed together in 1996.
Ray Davis hinted at a “new Kinks album” and mentioned the intra-band quarrel in an interview with the BBC last year. “The trouble is, the two remaining members, my brother Dave and Mick, never got along very well. But I’ve made that work in the studio and it’s fired me up to make them play harder, and with fire,” Ray said. “So if I can recapture those moments…”
When asked if the Kinks would ever tour again, Dave gave what Rolling Stone described as a “long, deep laugh.” He said, “I think its possible. It’s not out of the question. But at this stage, it’s far too early to say. It would be fun though, wouldn’t it?”