Interview – Devyn Anthony on music as a life-saving force
A lifelong musician and a divorced father of three, it’s safe to say Devyn Anthony has seen some stuff in his time. Turning pain and trauma into a constant flow of inspiration, he writes his tunes in GarageBand not only as a form of therapy but for the sake of making genuine and heartfelt art. His interview answers are as rich with dry wit and sarcasm as they are honest and informative. Let’s hear the man speak…
Hello! Tell the world about yourself. How did you grow up to become the musician you are today?
God gave my dad the gift of musical ability, passion and stage presence! God gave my mom the gift of artful creation, passion and a highly supportive nature! I get a sense of remembering not only banging on the pots and pans stripping our cupboards bare but also, jumping around on my parents’ bed performing for them in song, before they even had a chance to get out of it in the morning, at a very early age, 6 or so. These three souls gave me a leg up in the industry despite my falling into that snare of seeking the limelight and stardom during my teenage years. Today, it took, the destruction of my identity and confidence, through painful life experience to kick my passion into overdrive! I am not really all that thankful for the pain and trauma, but I am very thankful for the inspiration that has overrun my banks.
Introduce your current musical projects and tell us what makes each one special for you!
Primarily, I have been going through my catalogue remixing and mastering the material contained therein. From the onset of this recording career which began in 2015, I have sought the “radio-ready” sound for all my songs. I have a ton to catch up on and learn for sure! It would be quicker, as well as, way more expensive to assign the task to someone way more qualified, but, it will be rewarding personally when I finally reach what I set out to do.
Aside from that, I just released a single entitled “To Mind the Bleed” which was inspired by the Drooble Community! I made an addition to its description in that song’s info section this morning which reads, “Drooble and I had an affair and our love child is this song.”
You have been playing music for a long while! How do you find the drive and inspiration to keep going all this time?
It isn’t really, and but, still seems so… I have nothing left! I was truly busted up in Divorce and Family Court, which first reared its ugly head in the Spring of 2012! I am still recovering to this day in every facet of life from this transgression, or, as I sometimes put it, “the knives that were plunged into my back”.
God saved me but music was, life-saving, and so it is, my drive! The ex-wife claimed I had nothing good to offer, I aim to prove her wrong and watch her choke, I mean, lol, eat those words!
How is your local music scene in your perspective? Do you feel like you belong there?
I remember my days as a young adult touring the cover band bar scene. Those days are long gone just as so are most of those venues to perform in. I don’t get out to include myself in what’s left of the scene too much anymore. I do the occasional karaoke thing and I did do an original solo acoustic 2 song set at an open mic in a little café near my living quarters but this practice is very new to me, I am so more used to performing with a band, so, I have to settle some nerves before I get out and do anymore of that sort of thing.
I really don’t know where I belong. Drooble seems to be the best place for me right now as well as for, evermore, lol, you guys are stuck with me, I hope my sarcasm and dry humor are being gotten used to by now because I don’t see that changing anytime soon, lol!
What is your all-time favorite record and how did it change you as an artist?
Hands down it has got to be, “5150 by Van Halen”! Eddie has such a strong sense of fluid! Everything he does mystifies me as well as sends shivers all through my spine! This album just blew me away!
Highly notable mentions in this category include, “Goat by the Jesus Lizard” and “Disco Volante by Mr. Bungle”. These other artists really shaped my chaotic style.
What are your favorite software and hardware tools for music production?
Unfortunatly or, maybe not, lol, I am a “starving artist” in a literal sense, not that I am using the Food Bank mind you, just that, finances are tight and even if they weren’t, I am too impulsive to handle my own money, lol. I use the freeware version of both GarageBand for recording and the Final Touch app for mastering. I haven’t had the luxury to upgrade but I would like to try Pro Tools for one.
What is your songwriting process like?
Chaotic as well as life threatening, lol. I really shut out the world as well as the normal daily needs my body requires to remain healthy when I begin the process! No one song ever truly starts out the same. Primarily, I, merely open the DAW and pick an instrument that I feel I wish to begin with and then I let inspiration take control while I go out for coffee. Earlier on, my acoustic guitar, a pen and my notebook started most of the songwriting off, but, since around or about the beginning of my 3rd collection of songs, I haven’t even tracked my acoustic at all, and, all the instrumentation has been virtual.
Out of all the live shows you played, which one was the most memorable, and why?
There are so many highlights from that era, but, the one that immediately comes to mind, which despite at the time I don’t believe it affected me as much as it does today in the retelling of it…
We had a family band while I was about 13 to roughly 15 years of age that consisted of myself on lead and rhythm guitar. My dad sang lead while one cousin played keyboard, another cousin played bass guitar and his girlfriend played drums. We gigged at a hospital for the mentally challenged or ill out in Ponoka, Alberta. This crowd was probably the most appreciative I’ve ever come across.
What is your biggest musical goal?
Right now, I would love to just make a reasonable and modest living from it, being able to support myself as well as provide for my 3 adorable children without having to bust my hump at some dead-end job! I am not opposed, however, to appearing in Rolling Stone nor having one of my songs on the Billboard charts. Touring the world might be a little much, but, I would entertain the thought if I could drag my kids along or, be home every night to kiss them goodnight.
How has being on Drooble helped you as a musician?
In too many ways to count! Friendships being cultivated! My tunes receiving feedback! Confidence growing as a human as well as an artist! Having a voice, lol, I’m sure you all know I can ramble on, lol!
Drooble has returned much of the hope that was lost inside of me and I can’t thank you all nearly enough… if I could buy you all a Crown and Coke, I would!