for his fabulous work with his band The Devlins, the Irish singer and
songwriter Colin Devlin just released his debut-album "Democracy of
Interview with Colin Devlin :
Led by Colin and his brother Peter, The Devlins are an alternative rock band originating from Dublin.
Their first album, "Drift" (1993), received a four-star review in "Rolling Stone" magazine.
The songs "Waiting" and "World Outside" from the album "Waiting" (1997)
were used in dozens of film and television productions ranging from
HBO’s Six Feet Under to the film Closer (2004). Their song
"Crossing The River" is featured in the soundtrack of Batman Forever
(1995). So they have released through a decade four albums
characterized by beauty of melodies and lyrics.
As part of The Devlins, Colin has headlined several world tours and
toured both North America and Europe with artists such as Sheryl Crow,
R.E.M., Sarah McLachlan and Tori Amos.
Produced by Pierre Marchand (Sarah McLachlan, Rufus Wainwright) and
featuring drummer Matt Chamberlain (Tori Amos, Morrissey, Kanye West),
with assists from Tom Sokoloff, Fred Bouchard, and Emm Gryner,
"Democracy of One" exhales with brightness and elegance all the talent
of Colin Devlin.
S: How and when did all begin
My favourite early bands were electronica based, Japan, early Human
League, John Foxx, Kraftwerk. I began writing songs at about 16 and got
a record deal at 20.
S: What are the positive and
negative sides of being a musician in Ireland?
People really love music in Ireland and are willing to listen when you
make it, it’s small though so you need to get out and explore
other markets and areas.
S: Do you feel anxious before a
Not as much now, I feel calm when I do solo shows, the power of what I
do is in my voice and in the songs.
S: What musicians or artists had
an influence in your life and in your work?
David Sylvian, Paddy Macaloon (Prefab Sprout), Mark Hollis (Talk Talk),
Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell.
S: Do you remember what was the
first CD you bought?
It was probably a reissue of "Secrets Of The Beehive" by David Sylvian
S: Do you think the emotion is
different between a song in English and in another language?
You feel it differently if you cannot understand the words definitely.
Sig Ros for example, it becomes a more ethereal experience, a different
S: How could you define the
music of Colin Devlin?
I’ll leave this one up to you.
S: Do you agree with Victor Hugo
who said :"Melancholy is the pleasure of being sad"?
Yes there is a certain pleasure in the feeling of melancholy and
perhaps that answers your last question, sometimes the sad feeling you
get when you listen to a great piece of music is the very thing that is
by the same token healing you simultaneously.
S: When you write a song you
follow your heart, your brain or your hand?
: I follow
my instinct as much as I can, and the belief in my own taste, ie if I
like it then other people will too.
S: What is your favourite song
of Colin Devlin and why?
At the moment it’s "Refuge" from the new record, the words
and music came together in a very powerful way I think.
S: As musician, what is your
feeling about Internet?
As with many musicians I have mixed feelings, it’s a great
tool in getting your music heard and getting it to unexpected places
but I love a complete album it’s like a book, that’s
kind of dying. And of course the obvious file sharing issue is
difficult to come to terms with, but you just have to find a positive
way of dealing with all of this and for me I think it means I want to
get out there and play more live etc.
S: Was there a particular moment
that led you to decide to immerse yourself in a solo album?
I had written a couple of songs that just seemed to fit with the idea
of a solo album and it went from there in a very organic way.
S: Did you go into this solo
project with a clear vision of what you wanted it to sound like?
: No not
at all, that developed in the studio with my producer Pierre Marchand.
S: For this album you worked
with the great Lloyd Cole on "Strategies" and "What Good Is Love", how
was this collaboration?
and I collaborated more on a lyrical level on these songs, he is an old
friend and an artist I admire, I have always loved his lyrical approach
so this was a good opportunity for us to work together.
S: What are the core
ingredients, to you, that "Democracy Of One" and The Devlins albums
have in common?
songs, the feeling, the production
S: Can you describe what is a
typical Colin Devlin's day?
: I seem
to be traveling a lot these days so there is a lot of movement! I like
to get up early if I can, I enjoy the stillness of early morning before
the world wakes up. I live in LA now so it’s easier to do
this. This is when I’m inspired to write a lot of the time.
Are You Tonight?"
In LA but I leave for Sydney in the morning.
S: What are your hobbies aside
: I love
you venturesome person?
I would like to think so...
S: Where would you like to play
in the future, is there a place in the world you would love to visit?
: I want
to tour as much as I can next year and play in some far away places if
I can, lets speak in a year!
there any things, which you are afraid of? Do you have any fears?
I’m afraid of not being able to write great songs and having
to stop making music as my full time occupation and get a real job,
that would be disastrous!
S: What is the best moment and
best place to listen to your music?
night time I would suspect. Somewhere where you can really listen to
it, it’s good on headphones too of course, the production on
this record is great.
our website is related with Manic Street Preachers maybe can you say
some words about them?
I love their commitment to their art and their ability to continue
without Ritchie but to not forget his legacy. A great band, my
favourite songs are "A Design for Life" and "Motorcycle
know it’s a difficult question, but if you would have to keep
just one album from your CD collection what album would it be?
Talk "Spirit Of Eden"
S: What was the last song you
listened to before the interview? And, if you know, which one will be
: I am
listening to genius mix at the moment which includes Thom Yorkes solo
album, Sigur Ros and Nick Drake
S: Can you tell us the name of
one French song, or singer, or band?
Dutronc “Dans mon slip, j'ai mis des
S: And say something in French?
Rien ne pèse tant que un secret.
S: What are your plans for the
I'm playing at the Sundance film Festival
in Utah in January, but
tomorrow I will be sitting on a beach in Australia using their
waterproof money to buy a beer…
S: And finally, what’s
the most important thing in life for you?
music, my family, happiness.
MANY thanks to Colin for the interview!
More informations about Colin Devlin:
- on his site:
- on his Myspace: