EYAL: That seems like the most sensible way to go about life, does that ever through you off? I mean you might be used to it now. Does it ever like baffle you or what is your reaction when you get questions from fans that obviously you have no answer to assuming that you are a higher power or something.
DEVIN: I think that a lot of times when people assume that a lot of the time they end up being younger then you. I remember when I was like nineteen years old and there was this forty year old who was like hey dude you are going to grow out of that and I was just like fuck you man, who are you to tell me that? It’s almost like you are wearing a badge you know? But dude like as soon as I started to get older I was just like well shit he was right. So there will be people saying like you know I am hung up on the positive and the negative like the three and the two there is this duality. I am like will dude have you ever done acid? Dude I did acid like last week and I am just like well there you go know what I mean? Like there are no real support network for drugs a lot of the time you just end up in psychosis or some sort of like turning those some sort of universal truth around so that in some sort of way they relate to you as a person. It’s like you have one of those periods were your high or whatever and oh I am the center of the universe and then you come down and you are like oh, I am the center of the universe. Then people just realize that you are just a goof
then they get disappointed and there is this martyr thing that comes in. So when people assume that I know more I am just like dude the basic way for me to just like do it is like man I am an artist I am a work in progress and I don’t have any theories or any answers and they change like weekly.
I look at art that really meant something to me, like THE RIGHT OF SPRING by STRAVINSKY or like you know THE DIVINE COMEDY or DANTES INFERNO or like DORA did the wood carvings I mean it’s the same thing you know like observations on life rather than theories it’s not even a hypothesis it’s just an observation. So I think that a lot of times like when I quit drinking or when I quit taking drugs and people are like you are an inspiration. Now I think I am going to quit doing drugs and quit drinking too. But then what happens if I start again? Then all of a sudden I am going to become like a traitor and the only reason why they even know that I do it is because I can’t shut my fucking mouth you know what I mean? Part of my process artistically is to babble on about shit and so letting people in on that cathartic release helps me deal with my problems better. But I mean shit I cannot figure out women, I get bad with confrontation. I was raised as a child to be very subversive with my humor that ultimately ends up back firing on me in business situations and it’s like fuck dude so anyone who says they have the answers is subject to fucking intense suspicion.
EYAL: You know I feel like what you said applies to the music business now more than ever. People that think that they have all of the answers like what we were talking about on a grand cosmic scale. But that got me thinking about the music business industry and where it is all headed and how people supposedly know all of the answers to that. The moment that I hear that come out of somebody my suspicions go up and my spider sense is triggered.
DEVIN: Ha you know not only that but now I don’t even want to hang out with you either because I am going to make a joke or fart or something and al of a sudden I will not be heady enough to talk about rather or not banana peels dream or something. Basically the relationships that I value most man dude I want to go to the beach I want to hang out with my kid with my friends and family. I play music dude I am a musician which I try but sometimes it comes out in non productive ways. So hey I am a musician hooray but I mean the relationships that I have are with guys that I can get together with and watch stupid movies. I mean man I don’t know shit about hockey I don’t know anything about sports. All I know is that when my buddies get together to watch hockey and I am there even if I am just sitting there eating a bag of chips I am going to have a blast because I don’t have to sit there and wonder if I am smart enough to talk about the mysteries of the universe because I am not I am out man. And now that I have come to the conclusion that I am as dumb as a sack of wet mice it makes it so much easier to watch dancing with the stars in my underpants cause I am not thinking oh dude this isn’t smart but man that girl is wearing a cool outfit.
EYAL: So do you think that your music making is as free as ever now from internal barriers?
DEVIN: Ya ya because it is not as important as it once was, you know it is not as precious you know? And again when I was younger I had so much and again not being cool in high school or whatever then all of sudden people are putting you on the cover of a magazine. Then they are saying that the hyperbole of my music people are making these outrages claims of your music. Then when that happens you start taking it to heart and then you are just like “oh wow” I truly know that I am not that smart and I know that I am not that crazy and I know that I am not that cool. But if I lose that then I am not going to be in magazines anymore and people are not going to think that I am Zeus you know? I have never been Zeus before and it feels pretty fucking good to have complete strangers and women that are out of your league come up to you and think that you are actually good on stage right.
So it’s like I had so much invested in the music and I remember doing records when I was like twenty five years old and listening to them incisively for like years after they were finished. And then all of a sudden not to put too much of a point on it but the kid came out, and I was just like oh shit I am no longer the center of the universe. And in hind sight I was never that interesting anyway. I was struggling with things that were not that good for me. It used to be so natural for me to write about life and death or funny things or whatever. But now I am not so interested with that anymore so what gets me to that point now is o.k. let’s drink a bottle of vodka and smoke an eighth of weed and you know let’s torture ourselves.
And then all of a sudden I am just like dude you are becoming a martyr and it almost seems like the martyr thing has become such a commodity in the public eye where it’s just like dude that is SOUTH PARK or that is BRITNEY SPEARS is the martyr and they need that because again religion just isn’t appropriate anymore for people to publicly proclaim anymore and if they do it is with this self righteousness. So it’s like well o.k. we can’t have god then we will have this manufactured artist or this carefully constructed record or you know this thing that is like an exaggerated version of this persons neurosis. So I think that if you put yourself in the position of being a martyr then I mean sure then that’s what you are going to get. But again is that fair to your family? Is that fair to your buddies? Is that fair to your girlfriend? Fuck no they may put up with it because they like you but sooner or later they are just going to be like dude I just saw you try to build a birdhouse and you sucked at it. And wouldn’t the king of the world be better at building bird houses? So again humanity is just looking for a person to be a martyr I mean look at OBAMA or whatever. You know I am not American so I don’t really have any like views but I do observe it. And I saw him and I saw the political system and I tell you the one thing that I did see if I may be so bold was that people were putting him up on this pedestal and like dude then he’s got nowhere to go! The guys done great in like six months and he is only human or whatever. So in terms of policies or whatever it’s not me because I am just not like a political minded person but just watching somebody get put up it’s like it’s going great this guy had a good rush right? How the hell do you feel about it?
EYAL: I don’t know how I feel about it man, some days it’s fun but some days I just assume be left alone. I really just want to make music to perfectly honest with you. And sometimes I feel like that you have to do all this other stuff just to be able to make it at a non local level. That to me is like the enemy because I want my whole life and the fruits of my labor to be thru my music and so I work very hard to make sure that it can support me. So however that is sometimes you have to do these things that do put you in the spotlight so to speak and I am always so comfortable with it and it sometimes is like an necessary evil. It’s like one of those things were if you are on the outside it’s easy to be like yeah whatever luck of living the dream but the way that I see it is just a sacrifice that sometimes has to be made in order to be able to make music.
DEVIN: Yeah man I hear you, there is this jam spot and there are some great people down there and there are one or two guys that are there and all they do is come down there to smoke weed right? And then all they do is sit there and complain about how hard they got it. Like honestly I am up at like eight and I go to bed at like two in the morning and I like work the whole time I mean I am signed to a record label, I got family, I got bills and I got a band. Life it’s a job regardless of how good a job it is it is still a job and it is funny that sometimes I will meet up with somebody and they are like well fuck if you don’t like what you are doing then get a real job. And I am like is the criteria for a real job a job that you hate? Because honestly I could go out and get that job but I chose to get this job but I am not complaining about this job. But just because we are making vibrations with pieces of wood and metal we are all of a sudden out of luck when discussing whether or not it is a difficult job. The rebuttal is “you got it easy” and I am just like hey man I am not the one who is sitting around smoking weed and talking about his boss!
Shit almost the whole time you have been sitting here bitching about how easy I got it I have been humping in like four by tens. Really what I want to do is play bass in a quite band. I would be more than happy I mean that is what I have been going for man. It’s like I got fifteen years of records and this division that I am in now being able to represent it is like fun it’s a good band there is good opportunities and I am going to go for it right? But ultimately the goal is I want to make furniture out of driftwood and I want to play bass in the background for a band that’s kind of mellow.
EYAL: I mean you have already made quit a few non mellow statements and I kind of have this view point that creating art is like that saying that lightning doesn’t strike in the same place twice. Once you have made a statement it is very hard to update it like a two point o of it or something. It is said it’s done and there it is it’s out there and it’s not going anywhere.
DEVIN: I agree and almost because it’s out there you become accountable for it and by leaving it open ended can sometimes be a bad move. For an example, A lot of the stuff that I have done over the past ten years was influenced by a frame of mind that I wasn’t in complete control of. And am I proud of it? Absolutely! Was it accurate to what I was stating at the time? No! So now with a new perspective with what I take inspiration from in terms of my cathartic outlook is saying not apologies but more of clarifications. Like why was what I was trying to say at the time clouded by this. So am I standing at the podium saying don’t cloud yourself with this? Absolutely not! It is a personnel choice but however to make a two point 0 of something is ultimately the lesson I learned. Like when CITY came out by STRAPPING YOUNG LAD It was like I was twenty three years old I maybe smoked like maybe two joints in my life and I was pissed of at everything and so the way it came out was natural it was what I felt like doing at the time. And by the time I got around to doing the album ALIEN by STRAPPING YOUNG LAD everyone was just like CITY, CITY, CITY, CITY I was just like well o.k. I need to go back into that mindset.
So as a thirty two year old I tried to do whatever I could do to reconnect with that. So it did not come naturally and became more of this forced chemical version of it that was indicative of this honest frame of mind. But that frame of mind was very much a martyr frame of mind right? So now I am in this four record thing and at first it was kind kind of mellow but definitely the point of it leads into the second. The second one is very commercial in a very ironic way. It’s heavy but it is very optimistic but it is almost going to seem sadistic when the third one comes out. When the third one comes out and everyone is just like well all we want is heavy all that we want is chaos. I am just like well o.k. but just so that you know the only way that I can connect with making chaos now is for me to find something that really upsets me. And the only thing that upsets me is confusion as to why you demand that. And so maybe the reason why you demand that is actually the different than what you think. Some people may just think well I just like that and I am just like well what is beneath that? And I am not trying to pry and I am not trying to make a statement and just for my own sake it would help to understand why are we surrounding ourselves with this chaos? In terms of our environment is truly indicative of? Is it indicative of a frame of mind that is hurt on some level or is it because we are just that aggressive as a species.
EYAL: I have an idea but I am not sure if it is right, or perhaps it is partly right. When an audience demands something like that, here is a cliché example, METALLICA. When the audience demands that an artist go back to something on a new record that is like something on an old record. I almost feel like that it is the audience that is chasing that first high. And when that happens it is just like get over it, the band has moved on. If you want that feeling then go listen to that album. But don’t go and judge them for moving on as people.
Stay tuned for the final piece, part 4!