Don't be fooled by Moot Davis's twangy, charismatic drawl and country love songs. He may appear polished in his custom suit and tie, but the truth is: he's as wholesome as rotten apple pie.
Judging his cock-sure gait and posture, we pegged him for an actor, and we were right; acting is something he pursues when he's not touring with his band. His other favorite things to pursue are married women--or at least they were--we're not sure if he's fully reformed.
Davis, who splits his time between L.A. and Nashville is releasing his fourth studio album, Goin' In Hot, on April 15. The album contains the romance of Chris Issak mixed with the classic, country sounds of Woody Guthrie. Davis's past work can be heard on the soundtracks of over 20 movies and TV shows.
We met up with Davis at one of his favorite haunts, Viva Cantina in Burbank, to chat over beers and dessert.
Davis refuses our Tex/Mex apple dessert burrito, but confesses he takes pleasure in watching other people eat dessert, but not in a sick way.
He tells us about his first affair, which got him expelled from a performing arts college because he was skipping classes in order to court his English teacher who was over 15 years his senior.
"I started seeing another married lady and I had a year and half affair with her. I went cross-country with her. We [left New Jersey and] went and visited her son who was in prison in Colorado. She was the first person who brought me to L.A.," Davis speaks candidly. "I liked [the affairs] because you get the best part of people, and then... run."
No matter how many awful things Davis tells us about himself, we are still charmed. His slight egotism is counterbalanced by self-deprecating humor. Davis is quick-witted and always prepared to accept or deliver a comeback.
"The last time this song was popular was in a 1920's German whorehouse," Davis says of the song the Country-western band is performing. "Is that woman getting shorter? She looks like a midget Kathy Bates in Misery."
By this time, we learn that Davis has dated the bar owner's daughter. He then leans in with a serious look on his face, "Does that man have a mustache?" he asks.
Clearly, Davis should be wearing glasses, but is too conceited to wear them.
Between jokes, Davis explains how his upcoming album narrowly escaped a studio fire which left everything charred, including the hard drive containing his new tracks. Ironically, the cover art, which was chosen months before the fire, depicts a burning building. Even the title, Goin' In Hot (also selected months prior), has become freakishly relevant to the unfortunate event.
Davis shares an intimate quirk: whenever he's feeling low, he likes to visit Errol Flynn's grave at Forest Lawn. We question whether Flynn, the most infamous Hollywood playboy of his time, is Davis's idol; or if Davis is actually Errol Flynn's soul reincarnated. Either theory has yet to be proven wrong.
Davis begins to compare the love of his life and himself to the main characters of Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom.
"The little girl with emotional problems and scissors?" we ask. "Exactly."
He shows us a risque photo of his girlfriend, a gorgeous Columbia woman with dark hair and a model-like gaze. She looks nothing like the little girl from Moonrise Kingdom, and we wonder if his girlfriend would be insulted by the comparison.
At the end of the night, Davis makes sure we participate in one of his traditions: making friends pose with the giant promotional shark head that sits in front of the stage at the Catina.
He shows us embarrassing photos of friends' heads between the shark's jaws, to instruct us how to pose for the photo opp. We humor him by following suit; then we lift the hollow shark head from the floor and place it onto our shoulders. This blows Davis's mind and, for a moment, Davis's cool exterior is disrupted by a dastardly chuckle. Apparently no one has ever thought to lift the shark head.
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A week later, Davis sends us a photo he shot from the Cantina of a friend wearing the shark head on his shoulders, with a straw hat resting atop the shark snout. A new tradition has been born.
Worried about the repercussions from management if we were to publish our interview verbatim, Davis schedules another meeting to discuss which stories can not be published, which includes nearly everything else he told us at the Cantina.
We suggest you catch Davis at The Mint in Los Angeles this Friday, March 14, to form your own opinion of this country Casanova. Maybe he'll tell you some of the stories we weren't allowed to publish.
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