UFest: Radio Rock Band Devour the Day's Joey Walser Talks Tacos and the Pressure for Perfection
Devour the Day might sound like a morbid name for a band; but that's because the members were going through some pretty dark times. The group was born out of another band's demise, and the uncertainty that followed.
When American rock band Egypt Central disintegrated in 2012, bassist Joey Walser and drummer Blake Allison decided to form Devour the Day and share guitar and vocal duties. In just two short years, the hard rock duo (touring lineup also consists of guitarist David Hoffman and drummer Ronnie Farris) has toured with Sevendust, Theory of a Dead Man, In This Moment, Sick Puppies and other well-known bands -- they've even shared the stage with Aerosmith. In 2013, their debut album Time & Pressure was released, and then was re-released in 2014 as a remixed and remastered format.
It's one of those success stories that comes as a pleasant surprise in the industry -- as well as to the band members. While Egypt Central had a strong following, it can be difficult for new projects to gain the respect of fans of the older group. Then again, Devour the Day's music presents catchy hooks, head-banging breakdowns, a mixture of melodic choruses and chanted or screamed vocals, and a touch of nu-metal-meets-alt-rock. They were even asked by Gus G [Ozzy Osbourne, Firewind] to collaborate on a track recently. It's pretty much a formula for success on the radio rock circuit.
Up On The Sun talked with Joey Walser about the end of Egypt Central (and beginning of Devour the Day) and the pressure for perfection.
So what exactly prompted the breakaway from Egypt Central into the concept of Devour the Day?
Honestly with Egypt Central we had our singer ... quit, really. I'm trying to think of the best way to say that but that's what it really was. The way that he quit was really unprofessional, is all how I could put it. So for us we didn't want to stop making music. We went back to the beginning of our goals as far as songwriters and musicians. When we started writing we didn't have a name for it and there was no concept behind the band we were going to start. We just wanted to be completely honest and transparent and try what we haven't done musically. It was the music first, then the name. Which I think is cool because it's usually the opposite for bands. It was therapy for us, though. In that, we wanted a name that inspired us, so we felt like Devour the Day was very carpe diem, seize the day.
You said before that the debut album was totally different than what you've done before and there was an enormous amount of pressure for perfection. Why is that?
I think one; it's because we are super analytical people and pretty hard on ourselves as far as making sure that [in] the music we put out, there's an evolution to it and a growth. We don't want to play the same music over and over again. And secondly, we thought we were done, you know? We thought it was over. We were very scared because we thought we could only have that one project and that nothing else would be successful. As a musician, that's just terrifying. You don't want to be done recording and sharing music and making artwork. We didn't know what we were going to do, if people were going to be into it or totally hate it. We feel very blessed that people like it.
So the album title is pretty self-explanatory then?
Yeah! I think it's the obvious connection with that pressure of making that record. But actually the record title comes from Shawshank Redemption, the movie adapted from the Stephen King novel? In that movie, [main character] Andy and his friends talk about how all life comes down to time and pressure. And you know, I think that the album ... we wanted to be as truly honest about what we were doing. The root of us. So that name and idea really spoke to us. And at the end of the movie, Andy climbs through a river to the other side. And we felt we had done just that in a sense. So the metaphor was really cool for us as well, and also the obvious.