An Interview With Jeff Kendrick of DevilDriver!

An Interview With Jeff Kendrick of DevilDriver!

You guys released Beast February 22nd [2011] earlier this year, how would you say you connected to it more so than Pray For Villains?

I don’t know if we connected to it more so… I think that they’ve embraced the record just like fans have embraced all of our albums. I think a lot of fans are pretty stoked on the album. It’s definitely heavy and technical and definitely pushed our limits and our boundaries. I think that they’ve accepted it across the board really well.

You’ve been in the band since pretty much since day one, correct?

Yeah.

Yeah. So, how would you say that you connected to Beast more so than all of your albums you’ve completed since you’ve been in DevilDriver?

Ok, I think that it’s our– it’s my best work, just as it’s everyone else’s best work and I’m really proud of it. So, I’ve continually– every record we have good songs and stuff and I get continually more happy with the stuff we have.

You grow with it.

Yeah.

That brings me to my next question then… How have you grown within the band over the last ten or so years you’ve been a part of DevilDriver?

Just play a bigger role and you know… We’ve all grown together and we’ve all just gotten better; individually, it makes it a better collective situation. So, we’ve improved on all fronts.

How would you say that as a band, DevilDriver has grown within metal though, if that makes sense? Because you guys definitely have made a pretty substantial mark.

I think that… I agree, I think that (pauses) the band’s progressively gotten better. We’ve obviously stuck in the realm of what we were doing and we’ve also not done the same thing over and over and over. We’ve picked a pretty decent amount of ground to, you know, write our music and exist in, and we’ve covered that well. It’s not too narrow, but it’s not too broad that it starts to lose people like crazy.

Yeah. When you were recording Beast; you know how you have your on stage energy and how you connect with the audience, how did take that energy that you feel on stage and try to translate it into the record? Or did you try to, as I know you are very isolated when you are in the studio.

Just trying to get like, good live takes and you know, get stuff on the spot, and nope hopefully taking forever to do everything. But just trying to get a really well produced sound, but a live sound that sounds like the band, you know? That’s what we’re going for.

Yeah. Are you guys working on anything else, album wise?

Ummm… We have some riffs flowing around, but we did two records so fast that we may not do another record for a bit. We’ll see what happens. I mean, if we need to write, we’re always ready to do it. We always like, dabble around with riffs and ideas.

So, it’s art in progress!

Yeah, exactly. It’s always consistently an onward thing. You always have to just be writing and improving yourselves in music and your abilities, and the way everyone works together.

How would you say that your connection with your fans has progressed throughout the duration of being in DevilDriver?

Connection with the fans… I think we all pretty much stayed the same people that we were when we started and we’re all very friendly people, and we’re all on the same level as everybody else as working a normal job, even though it skips nine-to-five. There’s nothing– there’s no super-fame or super money. So, we’re all pretty much normal people.

Well, it is a business after all. That’s what a lot of people don’t understand…

Yeah, it is a business, but we’re still normal people, you know? Just doing our thing, making music, and I think people recognize that.

Yeah. And obviously over the last few years, especially this year with the economy the way it has been, illegal downloading has been increasing, record sales have been decreasing… I’ve noticed many artists, very recently, have really been speaking out again on Facebook, Twitter, as well as in interviews, about this matter too… What is your take on this?

Yeah, it’s bad. I mean it affects an industry that affects musicians because it’s a record contract. There’s a record deal, but there’s a record business, and a band is a small part of the record business. You have the record company and you have their set-up, then you have the band and there’s a deal between that. So, when you steal the record, you essentially steal from the record company, which steals from the artist. But now, at this point, it’s so far beyond it; I do think they will eventually come out with a platform that’s going to work, where people get paid. I don’t think– I think there will be a period of time where there’s going to be unrecoverable losses, but there will be a point where it gets figured out, and then they’ll go from there. It’ll be hopefully improved.

I asked kind of asked Dez this question a couple years ago when I interviewed him… It’s interesting to me because there’s almost a misconception with the name of DevilDriver, some people think it sounds evil, or something it totally isn’t, but from what I remember, the meaning of the name means pushing evil away… How do you feel that DevilDriver is symbolized through your fan base or people in general?

Yeah. Well, I think it more translates back to the music. I think that we’re guys that love making metal and we’re all about it, we like to hang out, have a good time like everyone else; that’s kind of how we symbolize ourselves. Just sticking to what we started with, never deviate from it.

Yeah… Everyone goes through a musical journey whether it be a guitarist, vocalist, drummer, bassist, etcetera… Would you say your musical journey of what you initially envisioned it to be, what it is now, or has that vision that you first had changed throughout the path you’ve taken?

Hmmm… It’s both… I envision it and then learn along the way. You can never really fully paint a picture about an experience until you experience it. But you can always visualize what you think it’s going to be, but you never know until you walked in the shoes and walked in the experiences. It’s definitely things that I thought and things that I didn’t. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve enjoyed it a lot more, I have a great time. I enjoyed a lot when I was younger, but just [is] a different place for me now.

What would you say is something that really impacted you throughout the time you’ve been in DevilDriver that really changed your perspective as a musician?

Hmm.. Just probably touring for many years and just– we tour a lot through a lot of the same places, a lot of the same venues, and just becoming familiar with everything. It’s like I’ve been to so many places, so many times I’ve become familiar with it. So I guess familiarity and everything is what that’s all about.

Ok, well those are all of my questions.

Cool, they were great questions!

Thank you! Would you like to say anything else?

Thanks for all the support over the years and we’ll be here for as long as you guys will have us!

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