A small crowd began to form in front of the stage, all somewhat patiently waiting for Devour the Day’s arrival. The lights dimmed, hinting it was their time to rock the stage and blow the concertgoers away. As soon as Blake Allison (vocals/guitar) and Joey Walser (bass) appeared, they did not hesitate before beginning their set with “Get Out of My Way”, quickly followed by “Handshakes to Fist Fights” and the first track from their debut record, Time and Pressure, “Respect”. With every beat, Devour the Day’s energy intensified and washed over the crowd, waking them up and preparing them for the main event, Hinder. They continued their set with “Move On” and slowed it down a bit with “Reckless”. Afterwards, Devour the Day completed their set with “Blackout” and their hit single, “Good Man”. They left their now new fans with a strong hunger for more of their killer songs.
Earlier that evening, I had the opportunity to sit down and interview Joey Walser. We discussed everything from the band’s beginning to Walser being a father.
UM: How did you come up with your band name?
JW: My father came up with the band name from a few different books that he was reading at a particular time but he’s always been great at naming things…he’s been my go-to guy forever. Blake and I were spending too much time making up names that were funny, like horrible band names…so yeah, my dad came up with the name and Blake and I were looking for something that felt like compelled us everyday when we woke up. We didn’t just want to be “Triggerfinger” or…whatever, some stupid name, that didn’t have any challenge to it, like Carpe Diem with some teeth, so we went with Devour the Day.
UM: Did you use any particular inspirations on your record while working on it, if so what were they?
JW: I think the idea, because it started mostly therapeutically, it wasn’t necessarily like an agenda to make a band or make a record, is what really separated us because we’re being honest. Because an artist, when you’re trying to fit somewhere in between being creative and being a business man, a lot of that convolutes your final product and we didn’t have much of that in the way in the other one. There wasn’t a producer with an agenda, a manager with an agenda, label with an agenda, just Blake and I wanting to write honest music about all the horrible things that we were going through in that year. Mostly therapeutically, so that’s what I think it translates.
UM: How did you come up with the album title?
JW: During the course of the recording process, we were watching a movie called Shawshank Redemption, which was originally a Stephen King short story, and there was the idea that, obviously if you know the story or the movie, he widdles his way out of prison, not on some grand one time get rich fast type of metaphor, he has to literally with the smallest hammer he has, just time and pressure over years of cracking away one stone at a time to get out. As they say, he climbs through a river of shit and comes out clean on the other side. Blake and I just felt like we were Andy Dufresne, like we were that character, as the metaphor goes. It just made so much more sense with the essence of what that story was, time and pressure that no matter what, if you keep pushing forward, you’ll get there, no matter how long it takes. So we, obviously, aren’t where we want to be, but we’re on our fucking way.
UM: What’s the story behind “Good Man”?
JW: “Good Man” is written from the perspective of the fact that I think that lyrically, I came to a point in life that everything had fallen apart, my wife had left me, the band had broken up, Egypt Central that is, and I think Blake was in the same place. I think I started to ask myself the question that if there is a God, if there is someone out there looking out for us, then what did I do, in my life, that made all of this negativity come back to me? Like if there is somebody out there looking out for me, why isn’t he helping me and at the same time, kind of airing the honesty that it’s okay to be a spiritual person and have absolutely total doubt in everything that is spiritual. I think like for wanting a rock band to conquer, a concept such as that or to even attempt it I think was really risky for us to kind of be a secular band, bridge the gap of asking the Christian question is risky and I think we did it in a tasteful way. Ultimately, there’s a story of a man on his knees crying out to whoever will listen to him, God, Allah…it’s like the opportunity that you’re so down on your luck that anyone listening is what you need, that came from a real place. That’s on us and that has a special meaning as the rest of them do but I think that was from the spiritual side.
UM: If you had to choose a quote or a line to describe what motivates you from day to day, what would it be?
JW: Oh, that’s so easy! Devour the Day! I really feel like at this point in my life being an artist, being a father, being a friend, all of those things are kind of encompassed in that idea that you never know when the last day is, so you better treat it like it’s your last. I think Blake and I both appreciate that so much because we did lose everything we’ve worked for, know that you’re not guaranteed that everything is going to continue being around, and at the same time being positive because we came from really negative, and still have somehow turned this thing around…the attitude not the circumstances. We’re happier than we’ve ever been in our entire lives, Blake and I as artists, just being the two of us, and having the ability to have all the say-so, it’s really, really great for both of us, a lot of fun!
UM: If you were not a musician, what other career would you want to have?
JW: I’d be a stay at home dad, without a shadow of a doubt. Being with my kids every second of everyday would be awesome. That sounds good because I travel but all the stay at home dads are like, “oh it’s so hard”, and it is, but I would do it. And I would teach myself how to cook, it’s like a 1950’s housewife, but that’s about what I’d do…and work in a movie theater maybe.
UM: What does music mean to you?
JW: Music, honestly, is what creates balance for me, I feel like for whatever reason for whatever circumstances, that happened to me since the day I was born till now. The impulsive and quick creative release that is music is that it happens so fast. It’s what keeps me sane, so I mean it’s like I need it, I need it like oxygen, I need it like love, or all of those things. Music is that important to me, I think it’s because of an addictive personality, this is one of the healthy addictions, I need it so I don’t get bored and fall into other bad habits. I know that about myself at points.
Be sure to check out Devour the Day‘s tour dates on www.devourtheday.com. They put on one hell of a show and it is one you will not want to miss!