Interview with Josh Devine - One Direction - with Podcast
After four years of playing in the biggest band in the world, this month sees the end (for a while) of One Direction. I sat down with drummer Josh Devine to discus his journey, and find out what is next.
You have been doing the One Direction gig for four years now. How did you get the gig?
It was through word of mouth. I got contacted by a fixer/songwriter who had been told about me and contacted me via Facebook (laughs), and it was originally for a TV mime appearance on "Red or Black". From there, the MD contacted me to say that they were putting a band together and would I like to come along and audition which I did... and it''s been non-stop ever since.
Did you know of the band before? Your background was more rock and metal.
Not really. I knew of them through X-Factor but did not know their songs or what they were about, but yes my background was always more rock, and I still love playing in that style.
Did anybody expect the band to be so successful?
No, nobody did. Not the boys in the band, or the management. We all thought it would be one UK tour and that would be it. We finished the tour and then we were told to get visas as we were going to America... then onto Australia... then we''re going back to America. And that''s how it continued and never stopped.
What have been the highlights?
Well, there''s been too many, but I guess Madison Square Gardens was a highlight. Selling out Wembley Stadium for so many nights, doing the US TV shows like SNL, playing on the Eastenders set in the UK. Just so many fun memories.
After doing it for four years, have you got blasé about it?
After playing the same places more than once, it does become part of the norm; getting on airplanes, tour busses and staying in hotels around the world can be a drag, but I have loved every minute of it.
It freaked me out the other day that we played the last stadium date of the tour, and I realised that we had just done two years of stadium tours, playing in front of 70,000 to 80,000 people a night! If I had thought about this four years ago I would''ve been losing my mind, but yes you do get a little desensitised to it after all this time, but there are special moments that make you just realise how lucky we have been.
I know you are a big fan of social networking with over 3.6 million followers on Twitter. Do you think this is an important part for today''s musicians?
Yes, 100%. Just the way that the music industry is going now, everything is online and digital and it''s a great way of staying in contact with fans. People like to tap into what you''re doing all the time, and it''s a great and important marketing tool. I try to interact with my followers as much as I possibly can while I''m on the road.
I have been so lucky with the One Direction guys who have always been very good at social networking right from the beginning, and some of their early success is down to that, so I have just learnt from being around the guys.
The band has become so big because of the fans and social networking has played a major part in that. It''s a great way for us to reach out and interact with them, which makes everything more on a personal level.
I remember when I was a kid that there was a huge separation between artists and fans, where now there is that bridge when you can look directly into their lives and have that connection, which is very much part of today''s society. I also like to follow people, find out what they''re doing and have been lucky enough to meet many of the people I grew up respecting.
Let''s go back to the beginning - your dad was the singer for the band "Seven". Do you think that had an impact on what you do?
Absolutely! I was always into music and very proud of all that my dad achieved. He was always a music lover and he guided me in the right direction, musically. I don''t really remember seeing him perform with Seven but I just have flashback memories of hearing him on the radio or seeing him perform with other bands. But it was just his love of music that was a major influence on me.
Was there a moment when you decided that is what you wanted to do?
I can''t remember the particular moment, but I have memories of when I was three years old and just jumping on the drums in the studio while my dad was recording, and playing and thinking this was fun just hitting things. I could always keep a beat from an early age, and I went through school knowing that was what I was going to do for a living.
You have been recently working with the band "Wheatus". How did that come about?
That was through Twitter. He reached out to me after one of the fans sent Brendan (lead singer) a video of One Direction playing "Teenage Dirtbag" which is one of their big hits. Brendan sent me a message saying how much he enjoyed my drumming on it and so we just stayed in contact. He then came along to the New York gig and it just went from there.
Brendan is very passionate about music and also a awesome guy. We get on very well, so we just decided to go into the studio and write some music together.
We have written a couple of tracks and released one of them to test the water, and we are currently writing some more material, so who knows what will happen?
You also launched a solo career this year?
I have always played guitar, piano and I sing so this is always something I have been interested in. I still feel very uncomfortable singing in front of people even when its just five guys in the studio, but I''m getting better. I have been writing with a friend of mine, Ollie, who I met on the very first 1D TV show we talked about earlier, and we have stayed in contact. We started written in 2014 for other artists, but we had to demo them and thought it didn''t sound bad, so we decided to release them and see what would happen. Again with social media, the EP did very well and we are currently writing more material and maybe doing a few live shows in 2016.
So the 1D gig comes to an end this month after 4 years. What's the plan?
I am moving to LA as a lot of my friends and business network is all there, so I am going to try and make a go of it there. I am going to get some writing done and get my chops and playing back up there. Its one thing I've noticed on this gig that after four years of playing a similar style of music, other things suffer so I'm going to get back into the studio and work on that again.
Words by Mike Dolbear
Here is an early “2 minutes with Josh Devine”
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