Deever are taking the slow and steady route to rock and roll stardom and this summer’s shows should convince the doubters that quality trumps quantity every time. Simon Rushworth quizzed main man Wil Taylor ahead of the former Inglorious favourite’s welcome return to gigging.
Rushonrock: Does it feel good to be getting back on the road and finally meeting the demand for more Deever shows?
Wil Taylor: Totally. I’ve always been very careful about the best ways of getting the band out there correctly. I’ve learned that it’s not necessarily the gigs you say yes to but the gigs that you say no to which make all of the difference. People want us to come and play in their town and that’s an amazing feeling but logistically and financially you can’t always make it work. You’ve got to try and put it together and make it work for everyone. We’ve worked hard with Daxx & Roxane and King Creature to put this tour together and make it work and there’s a collective will for it to be a success. We’re doing it ourselves and doing it together – and hopefully all three bands will grow together in the future.
ROR: How do you feel about being the headliner?
WT: It’s going to be nice to get out there and do a bunch of gigs and do a tour where it’s our tour. We’ve played supports and we’ve played festivals and they’re a lot of fun. But it always feels good to play your own gigs. We did the tour last October which was great and we got tons of people there. We had a couple of other great bands on with us then too. We’re hoping to repeat the trick but this time the album is out and people have heard the new music.
ROR: You were spotted down the front at Daxx & Roxane’s Borderline show last month – did you know the band well before then?
WT: I’d met them but I was actually there first and foremost to see my old mate from Inglorious, Col Parkinson, play his first show with Temple Of One. It’s a while since we played together with Inglorious but all of the guys who have passed through that band have continues to support each other and I said to him a while back that as soon as he had a show I’d be there like a shot. So I drove down to London and it was a great night. It was the first time I’d seen Daxx play live and they were fantastic. We have a few mutual contacts and there’d been talk of doing a show together. It’s the same with King Creature. We all know the same people.
ROR: Was it easy to put the tour together in the end?
WT: Social media made it so much easier. There’s a lot of bad stuff and dangerous stuff associated with social media but this tour – and these three bands working together – is an example of how it works well. The connections you can make and the work you can do via those platforms is invaluable to bands like Deever. This tour is a prime example of that.
ROR: How excited are you to play the debut album now fans have had a chance to dig deeo into You Need This?
WT: Me and the lads are all really looking forward to getting out and playing this stuff. We put a lot of time and effort into the album which is why things from a gigging perspective might have seemed quiet until now. But we’ve been rehearsing constantly, for the past couple of months, and initially not for anything particular. It was just to get a good feel for the songs live and to know that we were primed and ready for when the shows did fall into place. We want to make sure that when we do play the album, it sounds as good as it can do. We’ve made every effort to make sure we can do that. We’ve spent money on the gear that we need and we’ve learned from the gigs that we’ve done already. We know what we need to change – whether that’s from a performance perspective or whether that’s from a technical gear perspective – and we’ve put those changes in place. No stone will be left unturned when we play these shows.
ROR: The majority of Inglorious’s former members continue to reinvent the wheel and make exciting new music – was that always going to be the case?
WT: We were all experienced and ambitious musicians before Inglorious – I’ve been playing gigs since I was 13. Col and Phil [Beaver] were signed by Mick Fleetwood when they were kids. They were making music in LA long before Inglorious came along. We’re all musicians and we’ve all chosen this career for better or worse! We’ll be doing this forever in some way, shape or form. Inglorious was the right band at the right time and those of us who have left the band have remained good friends. We went through a lot of stuff together and most people won’t be as fortunate as we were to have an experience like that.
ROR: You’re all making very different music in 2019 – does that surprise you?
WT: I know how good they guys are as players. So I knew Temple Of One was going to be great. I know how talented Col is as a songwriter and as a singer. I saw all of the stuff that nobody else really got a chance to see during the early days of Inglorious and it’s cool to see how everyone has moved on. It’s great to see the variety of music that we’re all making – it’s like separating out all of the ingredients that made up the Inglorious cake and making something new. We had a good run in that band. We wrote some pretty good stuff but it was restricted to classic rock. I love that stuff as much as the next guy but I also listen to Slipknot, Killswitch Engage, Reel Big Fish and Goldfinger. With Deever you get little bits of everything that influences me but it was very restrictive as a musician in Inglorious. We were only allowed to go down a certain route and I think that’s the difference with bands like Temple Of One and Deever. We can all do what the f**k we want! You Need This is everything I wanted it to be without limits. It sounds exactly the way I wanted it to and it was mixed and mastered by the right people at the right time.
ROR: Was Deever a project that had always been bubbling under and if so why did you put it on the backburner to join Inglorious?
WT: Before I joined Inglorious I’d just moved to London and I met a guy who told me about this theatrical rock project he was working on. I was working full-time to pay the rent and it was at a time of my life when I needed to take everything I could get. I was asked to audition for a tour – it was never meant to be an audition to join a band. Loads of people auditioned from across Europe but the guys who got picked became Inglorious. And as soon as we got together it became clear that we were more than a bunch of session musicians. We hit it off and we realised we had the makings of a great band. I had to ask myself ‘do I join this band or do I stick to doing my own stuff?’. It was a good move at the time and I learned a lot from that experience – from being in the band at the very beginning to working with an A&R guy, and meeting record labels and doing showcases. I was learning about the music business and learning my trade. Deever is the product of that but this is different. I’m making music with lads I’ve known for a long time and it’s music that I have control over. We decide what happens and we’re doing things exactly how they should be done.
ROR: And how should things be done?
WT: As musicians we all want to play every day. In an ideal world we’d do a gig every day. But you’ve got to restrain yourself from doing too much, too soon. We want to play the game properly but that’s the point – it’s not a game, it’s a business. There are better ways to do things and there are things you should avoid. We could get a gig every week and we’d give it 100% but in a few weeks we’d be broke. We’d be playing for playing’s sake and that would hold us back in other areas. We have to make sure that everything is moving forward in the right place and at the right time. We’re still a new band and we just don’t have the budget that a major label band might have. We have to think hard about how we spend the limited amount of money that we have. Do you spend all of your money on time at the biggest and best recording studio or do you invest it in the right producer? We made some tough decisions but I think they were the right decisions. You might call it a more mature approach to making music but it’s just a sensible approach in 2019. It’s tempting to rush things and I guess that’s the natural instinct. It’s much more difficult to take a long term view and ensure you get it right.
ROR: Do you feel as if Deever – and the bands that you’re taking out on tour – are part of a growing DIY rock and metal scene?
WT: This summer’s tour looks like that. You’re getting three very different bands on the same bill with one thing in common – a desire to work together and play to as many people as possible. There’s classic rock, biker rock, punk, metal, pop – the lot. But as a fan I’d rather see three very different bands on the same bill. Our fans might like Daxx and their fans might like King Creature. If that’s the case then great. There’s a collective will to make this a success and there have been emails flying about between the three bands with different guys offering to do different stuff to ensure we have all bases covered. We’re not rivals within a scene. I don’t see those guys as a threat. As a whole I see all three bands – and more – making a positive difference to live music in the UK. And so maybe that is how a scene starts and grows. It feels like live music is booming against a backdrop of some of the country’s better known venues closing their doors.
New single Waves is out now.
Catch Deever at the following shows in July:
1 Newcastle 02 Academy 2
2 Manchester, Night People
3 Cannock, The Station
4 Bridgewater, Cobblestones