Ahead of Tuesday's season 9 premiere, Shay and Davies spoke to PEOPLE about what fans can expect. And according to Shay, newcomer Davies is more involved in this season's drama than she is.
"It's more [about] him than me, which is crazy," says Shay, 36. "I've never had my partner more involved in the drama of the show than myself."
"It's actual genuine, rooted, deep issues that people have with each other," adds Davies, 31. "And when somebody else wants to try and do a new business venture, or they want to try and do something else, those deep-rooted issues are going to come up."
"Throughout the season, you'll see that happen — and it's not fun stuff," he continues. "My kids [from my previous relationship] get brought back up. It's definitely deeper than superficial arguments."
In addition to Davies butting heads with his new castmates, fans will get to see how the couple navigates parenthood after welcoming their first child together, daughter Summer Moon, in April. The season will also feature their respective careers, including Shay's podcast and content creation endeavors and the launch of Davies' HOMEBODY app.
"Filming a reality show really helped us. It was therapy, pretty much, on all fronts," Davies says. "You just have to sit there and talk about your feelings and how you felt in certain situations. So I definitely did that over and over again, which was fun."
Davies is joining the long-running Bravo series alongside OG cast member Shay in the wake of major shakeups. Last year, fellow OG stars Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute, as well as newcomers Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni, were fired from the series for past racially insensitive actions. And in December, Jax Taylor and his wife Brittany Cartwright announced their departure as well.
The cast exits "definitely" resulted in "a different season," says Shay.
"I'm just in such a different place in my life, with [Brock] and with having the baby, that I was really focused on that. But their presence is definitely missed," she continues. "It was very different not having people that I'm still friends with in real life not be able to come to events that they would normally be at."
"That was the hardest thing — we're having these different parties and themed events and birthdays and launch parties that some of our friends can't come to."
Vanderpump Rules premieres Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.