Devon Allman’s band Honeytribe stopped in Des Moines back in February to be the headliner for the 2012 Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival. If Allman’s last name sounds familiar to you, it should. Allman is the son of legendary rocker Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band. Recently, Allman was able to squeeze in some time between tour stops, recording sessions, and promotional appearances to talk to Examiner about what it was like for him growing up the son of a famous musician, balancing a music career and fatherhood, playing a bacon festival, and more.
Examiner: What was it like growing up the son of Gregg Allman?
Allman: I grew up in the suburbs away from the madness with my Mom. I’m grateful for my typical American upbringing because it allowed me to find my own organic path to music.
Examiner: Does having a famous father make the road as a musician an easier one or a harder one?
Allman: Touring is something I do because playing music is what fulfills me. I don’t concern myself with who I’m related to. I only concern myself with being the best musician I can be and putting on a show that people will remember and feel.
Examiner: Who were your favorite bands to listen to while you were growing up? Who are your favorite bands to listen to now?
Allman: I loved the Beatles and Kiss growing up. Later I discovered Hendrix and the Stones and the Cure. Lately, I listen to a ton of R&B: Curtis Mayfield, James Brown, the Stax records stuff, Motown.
Examiner: How did Honeytribe get its name?
Allman: It’s simply a description of dynamics which are a cornerstone of the Honeytribe sound. Sweet as honey, fierce as a tribe. Silence the wild cosmos with a whisper, then kick you in the teeth.
Examiner: The band’s Facebook page states that you disbanded the band for awhile early in your career to spend time with your newborn son. Tell my readers about that decision.
Allman: I was told it was career suicide. But the 5 years I spent laying a foundation with my son, Orion, were a magnificent investment. I’ve had to work 3 times harder to make up for the lost time, but [it was] totally worth it. Family first, baby.
Examiner: What advice would you give your son if he decides that he wants to be a musician someday?
Allman: Treat music as you would treat a person or friend. Worry not about what you can get from music only; be concerned with what you can give back to music. It’s a well, and if you are going to pull from that well to feel good or get through your day, then make sure you replenish the well.
Examiner: Honeytribe played the 2012 Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival here in Des Moines on February 18. What was that experience like for you?
Allman: Seeing as how I’m a vegetarian, it was quite an aroma to contend with. But the people were fantastic, and it was a pleasure to play.
Check out pictures from both of Honeytribe’s sets at the 2012 Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival in the slideshow to the left of the this article.
Examiner: What is the funniest story that you have from all your years on the road?
Allman: You’ll have to wait for the book!
Examiner: Talk a little bit about donning NASA spacesuits, turning Studio C into “the Mothership”, and recording Honeytribe’s last album, Space Age Blues.
Allman: The studio environment can be very sterile. For that moody record, I felt it was important to bring some vibe. Having that spaceship feel really enabled me to channel my inner Jedi and get into the spirit of the album. Huey Lewis guested on the album, and his jaw dropped when he entered the Mothership.
Examiner: What does the rest of 2012 hold for Devon Allman? Are there any plans for a new album, either solo or with Honeytribe?
Allman: I’ve been fortunate to take part in a new band I’ve put together with Cyril Neville of the Neville Brothers. It’s called Royal Southern Brotherhood. The album drops May 8 worldwide, and we are touring all year. I’ll also be recording a new Honeytribe album this year with a late 2012 release date planned.
Check out music from Devon Allman’s new project, Royal Southern Brotherhood, in the video box to the left of this article.
Want to to learn more about Devon Allman? You can follow Devon, Honeytribe, and Royal Southern Brotherhood at the sites below:
Royal Southern Brotherhood’s website
Royal Southern Brotherhood’s Twitter
Royal Southern Brothernhood’s Facebook
Devon Allman/Honeytribe Twitter
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