Charles Brownstein talks a bit of life and music with Devin Williams.
CB: The Euphoria record seems to be a bit more layered and a bit more jangly than your last record, was that a conscious decision going into the recording sessions?
DW: No, but I think I thought the whole time that they were really similar like I felt like it was just an extension of that record but then I worked on it for so long and I obsessed over it for so long that I think it just became more dense which I appreciate and I am glad and it made me think that I should take longer working on music than I normally do and in retrospect now I think where as before I thought Carefree was a pretty okay album now I just don’t find it listenable because like this more layered dense thing speaks more to me. I think that there will be more for me to revisit over the years.
CB: We chatted a bit about Devon’s personal life, whether it crosses over or into his music or not as well as working with different producers and engineers.
DW: I don’t really equate the music I make with the attitude I have in life in general. T he guys that are in the band, I think we all get along well because we are little bit loose in spirit like we’re just like hey whatever and it’s not because we don’t care about anything it’s just that we have to have like this sense of humor to deal with you know? So I think that’s how we are together now and so in that reflection the shows when we play shows now there’s no way we can make the record sound, the live shows sound how the record sounds, we try to but we don’t we’re not holding ourself so close to that and so with that everything’s a little bit more loose. It may seem a little silly but I like really separated the two at some point and I think that’s probably like a causes me grief sometimes because I think the music on the record is as close as I could get it to how I wanted it to sound and it’s kind of like a lot of work. So there’s nothing really that I take lightly about it but sometimes I think that this other attitude that I or we have maybe diminishes or takes away from that, the seriousness of the music. I’ve always worked with someone that’s recorded me and actually this time is the first time that I did most of it myself but Dave Carswell he is responsible for like the sound of the record like I recorded a lot of it at home or like at my friend Carl’s studio who like Carl is also really did a crazy amount of editing and work with me but most of the tracking and mixing stuff was something that Dave did and he did a really good job there are things I would do differently but I would definitely do the next record with him.
CB: Next we chatted a bit about the music industry as well as if a record can be be good from start to finish.
DW: I worked in a record store for a number of years so that’s like my real experience with like the record industry, working at that record store it was like a really good time to see that because that was like when blogs really started to influence the record industry and like where bands like Beirut would get really big and then you know just based off a blog post and then I kind of stopped being a I kind of maybe don’t really know what’s relevant I think and I maybe think that no one really does because people keep going to the same sources to figure out what music is good and popular and I, you know what I mean? I don’t really know how I’m not really sure how people find new music and maybe that’s why I don’t really enjoy new music ‘cos I don’t really trust the internet world. I don’t remember a record that I was a great record all the way through, I mean there are records you know but we have the luxury of choosing those records over like a span of 5 decades. I don’t know if I could name 2 in the last 5 years that are great records all the way through.
CB: We chatted about being signed at such a young age, just out of high school as a matter of fact as well as how he’s evolved as a songwriter.
DW: I don’t know, I don’t think it was anything other than a lot of absorption of other music, just like always listening to music and I’ll you know I’m always looking for different feelings that music gives you, I think that just opened me up to a lot of different feelings and musical realms. I was thinking about this earlier also is that the reason I enjoy writing so much is that it’s something I do by myself and I’m not interested in doing it with anybody else. Things don’t really move as fast as we think that they do er in Storyville so that was something that happened and it took a long time to actually sign anything and it only actually officially happened when I was out of high school and so some of things we talked about for so long and we were like yeah it happened, it was still really cool but when it finally happened I was also going to school and trying to finish that record so, but it was good, it was fun to have that outlet, it was a unique experience.
CB: Tell me about the quote I read “I’m Devon and I have 5 close friends, the rest of the world is divided into the helpless and the clueless” which I like by the way a lot.
DW: I think that um that was from a long time ago but I don’t really feel that way anymore I mean I think I was trying to talk about how I kept my friends really close and i think I felt like I had 5 really close friends ‘cos at the time I really did but now I don’t feel that way well maybe I do I think I have a few friends I really trust and everything else I don’t trust.