« Listen to Rag'n'Bone Man's collaboration with Gorillaz, "The Apprentice" | Main | Little Steven shares title track from 'Soulfire' album »

Ray Davies talks about "slightly off-kilter" America

Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty ImagesThough a quintessential Englishman, Ray Davies has plenty to say about the U.S.A.

The Kinks frontman and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer even titled his new album Americana, inspired by his 2013 autobiographical book of the same name.

Davies recorded with acclaimed alt-country band The Jayhawks, which required a little fine-tuning. Ray tells the BBC, "At first, they were trying to sound English in their backing vocals, but I deterred them from that…I picked them is because they just play the songs. They don't embellish too much unless I ask them to, which is great."

Things went so well, Davies says there are “another 20” songs waiting to be finished, adding, "It's a big work, but I hope it'll be put together for a deluxe record later on."

Davies lived for a spell in New Orleans, including a harrowing 2004 incident in which he was shot in the leg chasing a purse thief. He ended up in the hospital under heavy sedation, a situation he describes in the new song, “Mystery Room.”

Another track, “Rock 'N' Roll Cowboys,” compares ageing rockers to long-in-the-tooth gunslingers. Davies muses, "Every day I wake up and say, 'I love writing songs but do I want to do this?' and the answer is I do. I love making records. I love playing in front of people."

As for the country of inspiration, Davies says, "I do hope America balances itself out. It's slightly off-kilter at the moment. (President Trump) has still got to face Congress, and it's still a democratic country. I think the will of the people will be heard, and America's constitution is strong. It's a difficult time of re-adjustment for them - but I think in time it'll balance itself out.”

ABC News Radio