Steve Davis explains existence in the ‘completely different worlds’ of snooker and music

Glastonbury Festival 2016 - Preparation

Steve Davis moves between the ‘totally different worlds’ of snooker and music (Photo: Redferns)

Steve Davis always has his Snooker and music live separately, partly so as not to scorn the two art forms, but also because no one else in the sport has the same niche taste in tunes as he does.

The six-time world champion has just released a new album – International Treasure – with his band Utopia Strong. Variously described as an ‘experimental psych-electro trio’, ‘Transcendental, ambient, prog-rock’ and ‘psych-prog’.

The 64-year-old has been involved in mainstream music for a long time, but has never really mixed the two great loves in his life, focusing solely on snooker or tracks.

“They’re completely different worlds, but I kind of like that,” Davis told Louder Than War’s John Robb. ‘Sporting, or doing something similar that is very controlled, it’s nice to have hobbies next to it and this was my hobby.

‘I’ve always been very interested in weird and wonderful music and also in repetitive music. It appealed to me.

“I would never play music and practice, I would keep the two separate. I never want to listen to music when I was playing.

“You’re immersed in the table and the balls. Even thinking about anything that distracts your mind would actually be disrespectful to either activity, I guess.”

Davis retired from playing in 2016, still pundits and commentators on the big events for the BBC, but seems to pay much more attention to DJs than sheets these days.

He admits that his style of music is not one that many – if any – other people in the snooker community like.

“I don’t think there’s really anything in the snooker world,” he said. “Everyone likes music, it just depends on the styles you like, but no one comes up to me and says, ‘I hear Art Zoyd has a new box ready!” Nobody does.

“The snookery world, they all have a mission. I’m still a snooker fan, but it’s nice to meet people who have the same passion as you.

“Occasionally you get a fan who is also a music fan, but no other snooker players.”

Glastonbury Festival 2016 - Preparation

Davis will perform at Glastonbury again this year (Photo: Redferns)

The Nugget remains one of the most important figures in snooker history, but says he feels more at ease in his musical world than next to his sporting friends and rivals.

“I feel much more at home with people who are music people than with people who are mine,” he said.

“I fell in love with snooker, but with the snooker woman who also likes football and horse racing, in a way I don’t feel like I have much in common.

“Sometimes you’re in the snooker world, I somehow have the same interests, but I don’t want to talk about football. I’m just not interested. I’m not interested in the game where people fall in the fresh air. I don’t care about a team, just not interested.

‘I don’t care which horse beats another horse, I don’t care. But when someone talks about music, I’m much more inclined to go out with them.

“Speaking of snooker, that’s our life. But otherwise, chat in the players’ room is about football teams and s**t.

“I love them too, I’m like them, but if I get the chance, I want to talk about music.”

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