We caught up with Nashville based singer-songwriter Devon Gilfillian after his Forecastle Festival Main Stage set where we discussed a little about the band, their new release “Troublemaker” and their upcoming new album among other things.
All In: Devon, thanks for taking a few minutes today to talk to us. Let’s talk a little bit about the band, your new single and the tour.
Devon Gilfillian: Yeah, totally. We have been together for about 2 ½ years. We recorded our EP back in February 2016 and we have been rocking and rolling since. We’ve recently been getting on the road a bunch, we are on the road right now, we are in the middle of recording a record.
We are recording the record with Shawn Everett who was engineering on the Alabama Shakes Sound and Color record (which earned the band 6 Grammy nominations) as well as the War on Drugs last record and he is like a wizard, a crazy awesome wizard. It’s been really fun, we get in the studio in August.
All In: So how many songs do you have written or are you going into the studio to work it all out?
Devon Gilfillian: They are all written. I would say we have at least 12 songs that are ready and could go on the record. I’m still writing so we might have another song or two that will come out that we will be like “Yeah, this needs to be included in the record”. We have August and October set aside for studio time and we will be releasing next year, early next year.
All In: Not to bring up a bad time but we are all following you on the social media platforms and the serious accident you had a few weeks ago at this point. We were all feeling for you so bad. (On June 29th, the band was involved in a head-on collision with a drunk driver while on tour that left their van mangled and left the band shaken to the bone while their driver and “brother” Jesse suffered multiple broken bones.)
Devon Gilfillian: It was insane, it was very traumatic. At the end of the day, we are very lucky and grateful that we are able to be here playing music. The biggest thing is our homie, our sound guy Jesse was very much injured. He is healing right now but it could have been way worse.
The Biggest thing is that I try not to be mad at the guy who was drunk and hit us. At the end of the day, he was probably more sad and hurting than we were. He definitely, physically is hurting more than we are right now and I hope he gets better. He is in a world of hurt.
At the end of the day, I think, somebody was looking over all of us and really I’m grateful to be here.
All In: Changing gears a little to something happier, your new single “Troublemaker” is fantastic. That particular song just resonates (The song just went over 1,000,000 streams). It’s got the whole package, it’s got the blues vibe, it’s just a great song. Where did the inspiration for this song come from?
Devon Gilfillian: Thank You. I wrote this song with Drew Ramsey and Shannon Sanders. We were just kinda talking about relationships. I had just gotten out of a relationship and we were just talking about getting into trouble that we knew was a bad idea but you just do it anyway sometimes. In this situation, it was a lady that you go, “Oh, this probably isn’t a good idea.” She probably looks like she is going to break your heart or just drive you crazy but you jump into it anyway. It was kind of the backstory for the song and kind inspired it.
All In: Well, it definitely rocks! Where are you headed from here?
Devon Gilfillian: Tomorrow we perform at the Red Wing Roots Music Festival in Mt Solon, Virginia.
All In: Wow, from Louisville to Virginia tomorrow, kind of a long haul. It’s crazy sometimes how you hopscotch across the country, you spend lots of hours in the van.
Devon Gilfillian: Oh yeah, tons of hours in the van. All the hours in the van.
All In: Nobody understands any part of what it takes. They see the performances but there is a lot of downtime traveling from place to place.
Devon Gilfillian: Tons of time thinking, listening, reading, trying to learn. There is a lot of time in the van that people don’t see but you know what, it’s all worth it!
All In: One of the questions I always like to ask is what are you currently listening to, what motivates you as you are listening to other music.
Devon Gilfillian: Right now, I’m listening to a lot of alternative dance music, a band named Washed Out and some psychedelic rock.
All In: Kind of a little different than what you are singing and performing on a daily basis?
Devon Gilfillian: Yeah, I’m all over the place, I listen to a lot of Hip-Hop, a lot of Common. I think he is one of my favorite lyricists right now. I’ve been all over the place lately, we’ve actually been on a big Bee Gees kick over the past 24 hours. It’s funny, you are so surprised by what people listen to and what they are influenced by, like a complete opposite to what their genre is.
All In: Sometimes you need to decompress a little, be fresh to keep yourself square, right?
Devon Gilfillian: Absolutely!
All In: Devon, I really appreciate your time today and the great set this afternoon. In closing is there anything you would like to say or leave with the fans reading this?
Devon Gilfillian: Stay Woke and love people who are coming from different areas and different backgrounds. Have faith in this crazy world we got going on right now. Spread love!