Today’s new-to-you rockers are The Devil in California. Drummer Eddie Colmenares batters the living hell out of a keyboard to answer our questions along with bandmates Tony Malson and Jamie Cronander…
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
Eddie Colmenares – Oakland California.
How did you meet?
Eddie – I was playing for another band that went on hiatus. So I took a wild chance and ran an ad for a project I was envisioning. Jamie’s friends saw it and thought he ran the ad because it sounded so much like him. So, he replied and it went from there. I brought in Tony, Jamie brought in Matt, and then Snake joined when he was recording our demo.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
Eddie – 3.5 years. We crammed a lot into that time.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Eddie – I came up with it when I was visualizing the band.
What are your influences – individually or as a band?
Tony Malson – Our influences are broad for sure! Everything you can imagine. Each member adds his own flavor to the mix that results in The Devil in California… Rock, Metal, Country, R&B. You name it, it’s in there.
Jamie Cronander – Here’s a short list: Alice in Chains, Corrosion Of Conformity, Lynyrd Skynyrd, CCR, STP, Soundgarden, Stevie Ray, Kyuss, Allman Bros.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Tony – We specialize in blending familiarity with heaviness and harmony creating a hard rock uniqueness that can’t be denied.
Jamie – We are LOUD ROCK MUSIC! We play big heavy down-tuned guitars, and compliment them with soaring 3 part harmonies. It’s old school rock music, with a modern edge. We do big guitar solos. We’ll pull out a slide here and there.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Tony – Our lives and the lives around us tend to be a lot of our lyrical inspiration. Sometimes dark, sometimes touching and sometimes pissed off. But always musical with never ending hook appeal.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Eddie – Pro all the way, killer vocals, sound, the whole package. I’m not even sure how many we’ve played at this point.
Tony – A hell of a good time! Couldn’t even begin to count how many shows. Come on out and see for yourself!
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
The show at the Oakland Chapter Hells Angels St. Patrick’s Day Party was a sight to be seen… As well as our drummer Eddie’s drum set completely exploding that night hahaha… Good times!
Jamie – We take this music thing very seriously, so we don’t end up getting into a lot of stupid stuff. We like to hang out and drink with our fans when we can. That can often get pretty funny. Finding Eddie at the end of the night can be tricky, hah! but as of yet, no major incidents.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Jamie – Snake and I both play ESP Phoenix guitars with Jim Dunlop strings and picks. The Phoenix is a Firebird-like body style with a 25.5″ scale length. The longer scale helps with the lower tunings. All songs are in C# standard, or drop B tuning.
Eddie – I’m endorsed by Soultone cymbals. The shells on my kit are refurbished Tama Rockstars as far as the drums go, and they’re on a mix of DW and TAMA stands – that thing is just pounding loud.
What are your plans for 2016?
Eddie – Transitioning to a national act. We’re touring a bunch, and getting the next album ready to record this winter.
Tony – New album in the works… touring, new single release, new video. ROCK!!
If you could be part of any 3-band line-up (as support or headlining) who else would you have on the bill?
Jamie – Ultimately, we’re all gonna have differing answers to this. For me it’d be Alice In Chains, and either Soundgarden or Corrosion Of Conformity. We would probably all agree on the AIC part of that.
Tony – Alice in Chains, Corrosion of Conformity and The Devil. Done and Done.