Blesok no. 43, July-August, 2005
Interview with Devon Allman
Playing in Skopje is probably your first gig in this part of Europe, your impressions?
– Well, for only being there a little over 12 hours, I found the people too warm and generous and very much appreciative of the music… that is all anyone could ask for.
Something about your musical beginnings, what got you into music?
– My mom would play Beatles records when I was a child. By age 5 I had to have my own record player, I was hooked. By 13 I decided it was time to learn to play guitar and make my own music. Music completes my soul I can't really describe it, it is inside me.
Being a son of a famous father, does it feel like a heavy burden for you?
– It does not feel like a burden at all. I don't put any of that pressure on myself, I leave that to other people. The only pressure I put on myself is to be the best singer / guitarist / writer / performer that I can possibly be. To open my soul and share it with others and make quality music.
Do you think that about fact opens the doors for you easier?
– It may in some areas pique people's interest to see what the next generation is capable of. But the fact is, doors only open for people who work hard and realize their potential. Related to rock stars or not.
Does father help you in your career in any way?
– My father (when I was 18 and 19) paid for some studio time which was super helpful and which any good father would do who believes in his son's abilities and talents. I have gone on the road with him, not so much to help me but for us to actually spend time together, those are some of the best of the best moments of my life.
How would you define the music of your band “Honeytribe”?
– I would say we are a rock / blues / soul band that is based on feel. We have attributes of a jam band that also encompass dynamics from an ass kicking old school blues band to a nice vibey island feel.
Your early influences were…
The Beatles, Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, The Cure, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, B.B. King.
Who would you regard as your biggest influence so far?
Tough to say since I like so many artists and so many different styles. Lindsay Buckingham would be a huge hero.
Is there anyone you would like to work with?
– Since I'm also a producer, I would love to work with my dad. I would freak at a chance to work with Buckingham as well in any capacity. And Alicia Keys.
What unfulfilled ambition you have?
Acting, I did it all through school in the plays and musicals. Perhaps after many more years of music.
What was the first record you bought?
– Wings, Greatest Hits
What was the last record you bought?
– Coldplay, X & Y
Five desert island albums of your choice would be…
Wow, this is hard… 1) The Cure (Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me) 2) Rolling Stones (Sticky Fingers) 3) Fleetwood Mac (Greatest Hits) 4) Ray Charles (Greatest Hits) 5) Gregg Allman (Laid Back)
Beside your material, which covers you usually do on stage?
Old blues like “Checkin' On My Baby” by Junior Wells, “Bell Bottom Blues” by Derek and the Dominoes… mostly original music, but it's nice to revive some great songs.
What do you think about contemporary blues scene?
– In my opinion, it's in a transition stage with the older generation (BB King, Buddy Guy, etc.) getting older. The newer blues material seems to need time to ripen, so that the people playing it are a bit older and have more soul in their fingers and throats. Should be great though with people stepping up to the plate to work in that genre and keep blues alive and well.
You have shared the stage with some big names, any particular experience worth mentioning?
– Oh, there have been many great experiences… Any time you open a show and the next band on is an idol of yours it's truly mind blowing. Really just too many to mention.
Something about your future plans?
– I'm currently writing the new Honeytribe record which I will produce and record in the fall in Memphis, Tennessee. Then hitting the road, hard. Another European tour is coming this fall and I'm also recording a live DVD with Vargas Blues Band in Spain which should be a fantastic time. Check with honeytribe.com and vargasblues.com for happenings.
What fact about you would surprise the fans?
– My most favorite thing to do in the world is watching Spongebob Squarepants and other shows and movies with my 5 year old son, Orion Gregory Allman and my wife Susie. We eat gummi bears and popcorn and just chill out together. I'm truly blessed to watch him grow into a young man and to have an amazing family. It keeps me grounded in the midst of my gypsy rock and roll life.
Devon Allman's music is available on his web site (www.honeytribe.com)