INTERVIEW: The Devyl Nellys

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Funk Is Free”?

“Funk Is Free” is a groovy rockin’ good time pop song!  From a writing and arranging standpoint it was an exercise in blending saucey guitar hooks with some rock/funk/r&b sensibility over a song that naturally drives and bounces along.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

It felt really good to play!  I demoed the earliest Iteration of the song August 2014. Other than showing it it John Oates at Crown Of The Continent in Montana I didn’t do much else with it before we started putting ideas together for the album late 2015. The actual words “Funk Is Free” kept rolling off Will’s tongue and Nelly always finds inspiration lyrically, to get people to loosen up and live in the moment. We jammed on it and it made us feel so good we wrote more sections right there including the chorus. We had it structured and largely arranged for our Blackbird sessions in January.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yes. We have plans to shoot videos for “Funk Is Free” … “Blood Merry” … and “Rodeo Qween”.

The single comes off your new album Delicious Business – what’s the story behind the title?

We wanted a name that would feel good to say out loud and be representative of our creations. That was one of the combinations of words nelly came back with.  It sort of shows credence to our funk roots by feeling cool and ridiculous.  The artwork is equally cool and ridiculous. We’re acutely aware of the Age of the Artist-Preneur that we are working, living and creating in right now. Delicious embodies the art. Business embodies the device.

How was the recording and writing process?

With this band The Devyl Nellys, You have creation and production uber moguls. You have the band out in front, who love the writing and recording process in the genres we infuse. Then we have studio veterans of magnitude who have been immensely kind and generous lifting our concepts up to the sky. John Oates, John McBride, Jim Devito … Our efforts galvanized us into a frighteningly efficient collaborative machine.  I’d attribute that much to how we planned as well.

What was it like to work with John McBride and how did that relationship develop?

He’s incredibly gifted as he ran parallel the entire time we were down there, producing us and educating the session students. We bonded and we actually caught him a few times absentmindedly humming our hooks!  That felt great.

He insisted that Ben use this nifty 60s p bass for one of the songs and he said multiple times “you mothers can play.” He was there to have a good time and make good music the same as we were.  We spent January and August there. Martina thanked us for coming down the New York. Surreal.

How much did he get to influence the album?

He made us feel really good and other than that, he let us make our own decisions when it came to how we handled our agenda. He was minimally invasive and maybe that’s because we were so efficient. It’s rare to have three chiefs at the helm, with the space and respect we all granted each other. Very Rare. God Damn Magic.

What’s like to have John Oates as a fan?

On John Oates, It’s quite the affirmation to send off the latest thing we’re excited about and have someone so accomplished respond with encouragement or advice.  It’s validating too because we get mostly encouragement and enthusiasm from him. He’s half of Hall & Oates for goodness sake.

How did Nashville and PA influence this album?

All of the extra travel and planning encouraged me to be very prepared and ready to track and commit quickly. There’s a lot to be said for that. We’re laser focused and so far, people like what comes out of that.

Any plans to hit the road?

The Official “Delicious Business” Tour kicks off July 1. It includes Opple Topple Festival, Floyd Festival, Rhythm Roots Reunion Festival, and 35 Cities from Boston to Indianapolis to Atlanta, Athens and Philadelphia, New York Homecoming. A Couple Times.

What else is happening next in The Devyl Nellys’ world?

Thanks Again VENTS for always covering us, supporting our releases and spreading our funkelicious gospels. Love, Peace, Music ~ Nelly Levon, Max Feinstein and The Devyl Nellys.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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