EMQ’s with THE DEV
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Orlando, FL based Heavy Rock/Metal band, The Dev. Huge thanks to guitarist, Barrett Jones for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Hi, I’m Barrett Jones. I am one of two guitarists for the band.
The band was put together around December of 2018 by our other guitarist Ryan Danley and bassist John Panaccione. Our singer Nikollaj Lleshi answered a Craigslist online add, put out by Ryan and John, looking for a singer. They knew right away she was the one after hearing her belt out the first song they threw at her. And after several drummers they found Chris Caruso to complete our rhythm section. Chris actually joined right in the middle of the recording sessions for our first single “Broken Lies”. Our first official public appearance was February 28th 2019 opening for “Beasto Blanco” (Alice Cooper’s daughter, Calico Cooper’s band) Interesting story, I wasn’t in the band when we were formed. I didn’t join until June of 2019. But, I was at that first show in February. I was social media friends with Nikollaj and she invited me. So, I have kind of felt like I’ve been part of the band since the beginning. Long story short, things were not going well with a band I was in at the time, at that same time one of their other guitar players left, I auditioned and then two weeks later they brought me in as a full member. And here we are. THE DEV family. Almost feels like something helped push us together at the right time.
How did you come up with your band name?
As the story goes from our bass player John, they were sitting around at rehearsal throwing out names and he just blurted out “Let’s just call ourselves THE DEV!” Well, what’s that stand for, everyone asked. And he said Desired Evolutionary Vision. And the rest is DEVistry.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We are from The United States. And we base ourselves out of Orlando, Florida. The scene here is thriving. There are plentiful venues for live shows. Our House Of Blues venue here actually has showcases called “Orlando Rocks”, where they allow local Orlando Rock/Metal bands to perform. Those shows are always awesome with amazing turn outs! Also, our local Rock Station 101.1 WJRR has an hour long show every Sunday night called “Native Noise” hosted by the awesome Supa Dave that showcases local area band’s songs on the radio that is broadcast on the iHeart Radio Network. So, the scene here is definitely going strong and all the people that are helping keep it alive are amazing!
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
On 6th March 2020 we released our new single and music video titled ‘Queen Of The Damned’. It’s available everywhere in all digital and streaming markets. Also, the music video that was shot by the awesome Aaron Berkshire, can be found on YouTube.
Who have been your greatest influences?
For people, I would have to say anyone that wants to get up every day and make a difference, be different, follow their own path, follow their dreams and never give up. I definitely have to mention Matt Starr (drummer for Mr. Big and Ace Frehley). He has been a tremendously positive influence in my life and career and is also a great friend.
For music, personally, I’m a classic rock guy. Everyone tells me that I should have grown up in the 70’s haha. But I do like current Rock, Pop and Alternative as well. My greatest influence of all time is KISS. But others that are just as influential to me are: Led Zeppelin, Hall and Oats, Elton John, Creedence Clearwater Revival(CCR), Nicki Minaj, Blink-182, A.M. Taxi, Boston, Harry Styles, Five Finger Death Punch, The Rolling Stones, Ratt, Adam Lambert, The Beatles, Buddy Holly, Foo Fighters, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, Little Richard, The Police, Eminem, Motley Crüe, Rush, Black Sabbath, Nirvana… I mean I could go all day.
What first got you into music?
I think it’s always been with me. In my blood, you know? But I remember being very young and seeing the music video for “Blackhole Sun” by Soundgarden. While the video freaked me out, at the same time I was like, “that’s what I want to do!”
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Brendon Urie, that guy can wail! And writes killer songs. I would love to collab with several but that’s the first one that comes to mind.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Man…do I have to pick just one??
If so, I would have to choose the Reading and Leeds Festival. I mean, to perform in front of that many people at once would be a dream come true! Not to leave out that you would be among some of the biggest artists out there now.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
To me, gifts from fans are always welcomed and never feel weird. If a fan puts that much thought and heart into wanting to give me something personally, I’ll never judge them for being weird no matter what it is.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
THANK YOU! You’re the reason we get to do this and the reason we continue to do this. You keep showing up and we will too.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Kurt Cobain for me. Such a talent and visionary gone far too soon.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I enjoy that when you come together with the right people you can feel the energy. I also enjoy that it causes me to think outside the box in everything I do. Plus, to be able to bring a positive message to someone or help someone through a difficult time through a song you wrote is just an amazing feeling!
I don’t hate anything about it. I guess the only thing that I can’t do, because of it, is listen and hear music the same way non musicians can. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing either. Haha!
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Honestly, I wouldn’t change anything. I think the industry has had some rough times in the last few years. But that just leaves room to excel. Nothing is going to stay the same and change is good. You just have to keep rolling with the punches and moving forward.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Boston’s first self-titled album from 1976. Sonically, I feel that album is amazing for the time and still holds up and even sounds better than some records today.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Digital Downloads for me personally. They’re just convenient and I can take all my favourite albums and songs with me anywhere.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
So far it would have to be the House Of Blues show in Orlando, FL.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I couldn’t picture that at all haha! But if I have to choose, I’d go with a Paranormal Investigator. It’s so fascinating to me. I’d love to be right there and could see myself investigating with the “Ghost Adventures Crew”.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Tom Cruise, Bill Gates, Gene Simmons, Tom Hanks and Mila Kunis.
What’s next for the band?
We are currently working on booking fall US east coast runs, releasing a new single before the end of the year, heading back into the studio to work on new material, continue to bring our fans online social media content and just keep rocking and rolling our way to the top of the game!
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
This is our “FAN LINK” to our current single and music video. It’s kind of like a one stop shop for everything THE DEV. This has most platforms where you can hear the single or watch the video. Also, underneath, you can find our Facebook and Instagram links.
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Personally, I haven’t had them. They do look amazing though and I would say a cake? I definitely need to try them to find out though! Lol
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
No problem! And thank you for the opportunity!
I’d just like to add a thank you to our current fans and future fans to come. Stay positive and stay DEVoted!
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