If you haven't listened to
anything Devon Williams has been associated with, then your ears are very deprived. Not
that my opinion is of much value, but to me, Devon is definitley one of the greatest
song-writers of recent memory. His words and vocals are mesmerizing.
If you know him for anything, then it's probably for the late and great, Osker. There is
something about that band that i cnanot put to words. Before breaking up in early, 2002,
Osker released two records, Treatment 5 in 2000, and Idle Will Kill in
2001. I don't want to ramble about perosnal stories, but Idle Will Kill is
seriously a record that I hold close to my heart. I'd definitely put it on my imaginary
list of top ten favorites.
Fans were left dazed and confused when the band suddenly called it quits. I remember
asking myself, "What's next?" Lung Fa Tang is the answer to that question.
After some time out of the spotlight, Devon has returned with a new band, which is
obviously titled Lung Fa Tang. Devon has also been playing guitar off and on in Roscoe, a
hardcore band featuring former members of Osker. Roscoe is definitely an interesting
project, but Lung Fa Tang is Devon. After only hearing a song, I can honestly say, this is
Devon at his best.
So, here we are months later, and I was able to ask Devon a few questions via email about
the new band. Don't even bother comparing Lung Fa Tang to Osker. The two bands are in a
completely separate world. However, the song-writing is still extremely personal (even if
Devon wishes it wasn't), in the same vein that Osker was.
I felt so thrilled to hear back from Devon when I asked him to do this interview. It's not
everyday you get to ask random questoins to one of your favorite musicians. I kinda felt
like a nerd though. It was almost as if I was one of those annoying kids at a show dying
to ask, "Can I have your autograph?" Anyway, a big thanks to Devon. I'm tired of
typing, let's get to the interview...
Huey: Ok, so the new band is Lung Fa Tang. You have a site up at http://www.lungfatang.com and there is an mp3
available for download. I downloaded the song (Testament), and I really enjoyed it. I was
wondering, will all of the band's songs be acoustic?
Devon: I don't really know what all thesongs will be like, but as of now I really enjoy
playing my acoustic guitar and how they sound. It's a richer texture.
Huey: Would you describe Lung Fa Tang as a solo project? Who's playing drums?
Devon: I don't really like hte idea of a solo "project." I want ot be in a band,
but it's hard to meet people that you "gel" with. That's also a plus about the
songs being acoustic is that I don't have to wait for anyone, I can go do shows by myself.
Huey: I read that there is supposed to be a compilatoin on Bankshot Records coming out,
with a Lung Fa Tang song on it. Do you know the status on that release, as in, when it
will come out?
Devon: Bankshot Records is supposed to put the comp out in October. Our sing will be
"prove me wrong." Their website will have updates on it, I'm sure.
Huey: In general, what are your favorite bands and musical influences?
Devon: Influences? Favorite bands? I dunno. Maybe that's a little personal, or maybe I'm
just being dumb, but I think it's irrelevant. Interesting music: Storm And Stress, Arab On
Radar, Talking Heads. Completely different, however from what I'm doing.
Huey: Is "Testament" the only song recorded so far, or are there more? When can
we expect a release of a demo or something along the lines of that?
Devon: Testament is not the only song recorded. I have a bunch of demos. We will be
releasing a CDEP maybe in September (hopefully) with 5 songs on it.
Huey: If you haven't been signed yet, have you approached any labels, or do you have any
idea of how big of a label you would want ot sign to?
Devon: The cool thing about Epitaph was that it was huge. It has the credibility (to some
people) as an indie, with a lot of the pull of a major. I don't think they are all too
interested in what I'm doing. Maybe it's for the best. Right now I need to work on getting
my shit together.
Huey: How would you describe yourself one year ago, and how would you describe yourself
Devon: A year ago, I was in San Francisco waiting to go on tour. Osker was kind of a cloud
hanging over my head of something that I wasn't completely happy with. On the other hand
it was a vehicle that a lot of people believed in that allowed my really good friends
(Dave, Matt and Ryan) the opportunity to do shit we couldn't other wise have been able to
do. Today, I'm excited about having complete control over the musical output. I want to do
all the band things, but on the other hand I need to not have an ulcer about it.
Huey: The thing that has always hit me hardest about oyur music is your wriitng. Your
song-writing is incredible, and has definitely inspired my own writing. Is your writing
autobiographical in a way? Also, I kind of feel that writing is a form of self-therapy,
would you agree with that?
Devon: I resent that my writing is so pe rosnal. I realy don't have the ability to be
vague I guess. I'm stuck at a place where I don't want other people to know how I'm
feeling, and even more importantly I'm not that important in the larger picture. My mom
used to say that music was self-therapy, but I wouldn't know cuz I've never not played
Huey: What exactly does Lung Fa Tang mean?
Devon: The main point of Lung Fa Tang is that people need to educate themselves and make
their own opinions rather than compromising themselves by using pre-existing terms.
Anyway, Lung Fa Tang is a place that I thought was interesting.
Huey: What are your hopes and expectations for Lung Fa Tang?
Devon: I just hope that this band will be successful so I don't have to hate my life for
the rest of my life.
Special thanks to Aggravated Music
for the picture.
Location Is Everything...