Ten Minutes with John Devlin

Ten Minutes with John Devlin

John Devlin’s new album Next in Line has just been released. His music can best be described as 21st century garage rock.

John took time out to answer our questions

What are you up to?

I'm at my friend's place up West Belfast watching a rerun of Wolf Hall on BBC Four.

Which piece of music always sends a shiver down your spine?

Let Him Run Wild by the Beach Boys — check out Brian Wilson’s amazing lead vocal and the gorgeous arrangements – and this was before Pet Sounds

Which musician has most influenced you?

Has to be John Lennon. I’m not really into musicianship per se (although it is necessary, lol) but he was quite a punky rhythm guitar player and showed you don’t have to be a great musician to make great music

How did you get started in music?

My da had an old Spanish guitar. I learnt how to bash out a few standards on it and then graduated to writing my own songs. I found out I could write songs and used to rush home from school and record my wee songs onto a cassette recorder. I just continued from there I guess.

What are your Irish roots?

My mum and dad were from Belfast but moved down South when the Troubles kicked off. I was born in Limerick and grew up mainly in Blackrock, Co. Louth, just outside Dundalk. I went to live in London for twelve years in 2000. I had lots of aunties, uncles and cousins in London who were living there for donkeys years so it was kind of like home from home. My band John Devlin and The Revolvers played the circuit around London: Dublin Castle, 12 Bar Club, Hope and Anchor and so on.

What’s your favourite film?

Like my favourite song this changes with the weather. I was blown away by The Zone of Interest, but it's a pretty heavy watch tbh. I love the Big Lebowski. I think I was The Dude in a previous life!

What is your favourite place in Ireland?

The West

Have you a book that has been a major influence on you?

The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien

Which person from the past do you most admire?

Mohammed Ali maybe, but that’s a tough one!

Which trait in others do you most admire?


What would be your motto?

Have a good time all the time...

Have you a favourite quote from the box?

Heeere's Johnny!!

Have you a favourite quote from a book?

"No point mentioning those bats, I thought. The poor bastard will see them soon enough" Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson

What books are on your bedside table at the minute?

I'm lazy...I listen to podcasts! Am listening to the Rest Is History podcast currently – episode 420; Britain in 1974: Countdown to a Coup (nerd!!)

In terms of inanimate objects, what is your most precious possession?

My ego…joking! (or am I...!???)

What’s best thing about where you live?

Belfast: people are good craic and down to earth here, in the main.

. . . . and the worst?

I don't like some of the ould bitterness and sectarianism that still resides in some quarters up here in the North

What’s the greatest lesson life has taught you?

Be yourself and listen to your heart.

What do you believe in?

We're all one and love is the answer — ultimately!

What do you consider the greatest work of art?

OMG where do you begin? Guernica by Picasso then because it's prescient

Who/what is the greatest love of your life?