Devon Allman’s Honeytribe | 10 and Counting

prof_devon_sm.gifBands like us that do it old school in a van, 300 shows a year, are enjoying much success doing everything we want to do without some jerk-off in a suit telling us what to do.







After 10 years and over 1,500 tour stops across the globe, Devon Allman and his band Honeytribe are coming back full circle to where it all began. Celebrating their tenth anniversary at Cicero’s October 9 and 10, Honeytribe revisits the club that launched their touring career.

prof_devon.gifSo, what can we expect from your anniversary show? It’s going to be really cool. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years, but it’s really a trip. I’m glad and it was definitely in the plan of Honeytribe to have a good, long run with it. I said I wanted the band to be together 25 years, so it’s an amazing milestone.

As far as the show goes, we’re not going to have any girls jumping out of cakes or anything crazy. It’s a tour stop for us. Being on the road all year makes it kind of hard to plan anything extravagant, unfortunately. We figure the cooler celebration would be more of the understated, poignant, coming back to the club where it all started. We’re coming back to our roots and to reconnect with our beginnings.

Where has Honeytribe’s tour taken you so far? We go everywhere. We tour 44 states and 14 countries. We do 300 shows a year and we’ve been doing that for almost five years.

It’s been three years since Torch was released. Is there a new CD in the works? We finally have the official date on the studio. We go in January 2 to Ardent Studios down in Memphis where all of the ZZ Top and Stevie Ray Vaughn records were made, and where we made Torch. It’s an amazing place. This time, we get five weeks instead of two, which is going to make a huge difference and we are so excited.

We’re looking to release the new record, Space Age Blues, in May of 2010 and will put out a full-on live DVD next year, as well. That will be cool.

Are you nervous about going back into the studio after three years? Not at all. Knowing that we have five weeks instead of two, and knowing that we’ve played 1,000 shows since we made our last record, we’re like, "Bring it the hell on!" We’re a much better unit than we were three years ago. We’re a sober band. Everything is clicking and jelling and I can’t wait for us to record.

Did you just start writing music for this new CD, or have you been writing ever since Torch? Well, I’m kind of a weirdo. I think there are two types of writers. There’s the kind that can write a little something, something every day, and there’s the kind that lets a little life get under their belt before they write, and I’m neither. I write in spurts, so over the course of the last three years it’s been like, "Boom, here’s one. Boom, here’s another one." I’m still writing for the CD so it’s about three-quarters of the way done.

Where does the writing inspiration come from now as opposed to ten years ago? I think the inspiration comes from the same place. I’m a pretty spiritual person and I think people draw from emotion: loneliness, sadness, happiness, joy, worry. Songs come from different angles of our existence and we just magnify them a bit. Riff-wise, musically, I like to think that we do this for the right reasons and that we’re a bit more sophisticated with the foundation of where the music comes from.

You know, it’s a very cool band, a very kaleidoscopic band. There’s R&B in it, you can hear the Al Green and Curtis Mayfield. There’s a jam band element and there’s definite blues and, if you listen closely, there’s a little tinge of Metallica way off in the distance. There’s all these little things. It’s an amalgam of what we like and what touches us.

How has the industry changed in the past 10 years, and how has that affected you? In my opinion, think the industry is finally coming to a critical mass and the business model of old is absolutely in shambles. People are scrambling to get a foothold on what a new structure is. Meanwhile, while they’re scrambling, bands like us that are under the radar, bands like us that do it old school in a van, 300 shows a year, are enjoying much success doing everything we want to do without some jerk-off in a suit telling us what to do.

It’s a beautiful place to be, under the radar like this, to be able to go and play in Rome and London and New York and L.A. and put out records, and it’s kind of a figurative, so-called industry. What we’re doing, and like-minded artists like Government Mule [are doing] is making our own industry, and that’s beautiful. That’s true art. | Amiee Shank

Honeytribe plays Cicero’s October 9 and 10. Show starts at 9 p.m., with doors open at 8:30. Tickets are $12 and $15 for those under 21. For more tour dates, video, audio and photos, visit the band’s MySpace page.

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