DEVORA On Touring, Individuality, & Creating A Soundtrack For The End Of The World

“This is about a night in a motel gone horribly wrong.”

If you were ever wondering how a young indie artist could grab the attention of a sold out crowd of over 3,000 ‘90s rock fans who purchased tickets to see Bush, and Candlebox, that’s how DEVORA snapped everyone’s head around when she began performing her song “Bonesaw” at NYC’s Hammerstein Ballroom this past Saturday.

“Bonesaw” is off DEVORA’s recently released EP, God Is Dead, which features her unique mixture of country, goth, pop, and industrial rock. She calls it “Outlaw Pop.” Think Johnny Cash meets Halsey meets Nine Inch Nails.

Her music is clearly connecting, and crossing generations, as Candlebox frontman Kevin Martin wore a DEVORA t-shirt during his band’s set.

Before the show, I caught up with DEVORA to find out more about her music, her definition of being an outlaw, and what all of this has to do with the end of the world.

God Is Dead is your new EP, and the theme is – nothing is really ever as it seems. When did you begin to embrace this ideology? Was there a moment, a life event, or a culmination of life events that revealed this to you? 

I think during the pandemic, no matter what denomination you are, or what you believe in, or don’t believe in, everybody had a moment where they really questioned what was going on. If there is a higher power, why is all this insane shit happening?

It was definitely an existential questioning for a lot of people, and a lot of this music was made during the pandemic, all of it, actually, so there were moments of uncertainty where nobody was sure what was gonna happen.

Also, I love cinema, and old films, and I try to write from a perspective of a movie scene, where you’re in it, you can see, taste, touch, feel everything that’s going on, and in a moment of the heat of the pandemic, where nobody really knew what was going on, I was like – what if this is the end?

What if this is it? 

Yeah. This is the apocalypse.

So God Is Dead is kind of like a Mad Max style thing where it’s the end of the world, and we’re all gonna celebrate that, and whoever’s left on earth, God’s rejects, let’s all rise up, and enjoy.

Do you have an apocalypse plan now? 

I don’t, strangely. I should, I know, but I have been watching The Last of Us, which is fucking terrifying.

You’re calling your genre “Outlaw Pop,” and one of your goals is to inspire people to harness their own inner outlaw. What do you mean by “inner outlaw?” How do you define this? 

Just celebrating individuality, and going your own way, and taking the road less traveled, and it’s OK to be independent, and to be carving your own lane, even if you’re walking alone. It celebrates that. It celebrates independence, and fearlessness.

Why do you think that’s considered “outlaw” at this point in time? How have we gotten to a point where almost just being yourself is being an outlaw? 

That’s a good question. I think in a world that’s so reliant on technology, and we’re all just so hooked up to our devices, I think that because of that there is a greater sheep-like mentality. Everybody kind of stays in line, and follows after the other, so I think the people that stand out should be celebrated.

I know you consider the visual aspect of your work to be very important, from your music videos, to the comic book on your website that’s also available for sale. What makes these essential companions to your music? 

I’m really inspired by directors like (Quentin) Tarantino, and Alejandro Jodorowski, he does all those psychedelic Western movies, so when I write a song, typically it stems from – if this was a movie, what would it sound like? What’s the story? You’re in the middle of it, what are your surroundings? What can you see, what can you taste, what can you touch? So with the music videos, I try to bring out as much of that as possible, and the comic book is another medium, (it’s a way to) read about it, and immerse yourself through reading.

Going back to your youth, you grew up in the desert in Arizona. What do you remember about your earliest experiences with music? 

I was always involved in extracurricular music activities, whether it was singing lessons, dance, talent shows, chorus in high school, and middle school. It was like that was the main focus of my life.

With your proclivity for darker fare did you scare anyone during your talent shows? Were people like, “Is this girl picking this song to do?” 

{laughs} No.

There’s no sixth grade rendition of Nine Inch Nails’ “Head Like A Hole”? 

That would’ve been really cool. No, it was a lot of material either the singing teacher, or the chorus (chose).

What would you have chosen to perform in maybe fifth or sixth grade had it been up to you? 

Maybe some Johnny Cash, like “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.” {laughs}

That seems really sweet coming from the voice of a fifth grader. 


At what age did you move from Arizona to Los Angeles? 

I moved to L.A. when I was 19, or 20.

Were you prepared for the gigantic cultural shift? 

No. I had no idea what I was getting into, and I think that’s a good thing, because if I had known I would never have moved there. {laughs}

I feel like I grew up there in a sense, because from day one it was like school.

What were you least prepared for? What was the biggest surprise when you moved there, other than maybe the rent? 

Right? I think the people. I grew up in a small town, kind of sheltered. I was very naive, and trusting. I ignored red flags, because I didn’t know they were red flags.

You’ve toured with The Warning, and now Bush. These are two very different bands with two very difference audiences. How do you go about connecting with such disparate groups of listeners? 

It’s interesting because I really thought that the audience for The Warning – we all did, my label, my management – because the girls in The Warning are young, we thought that’s what the audience was gonna be, but they brought an audience very similar to the Bush audience, which is like people ages 30 and up, definitely a lot of older guys.

I think rock music is having a resurgence right now, and I think the ‘90s, it’s all coming back around, but I think rock in any form, no matter if it’s a 15 year old playing it, or a 60 year old playing it, it just attracts people that love that.

Have there been any great, or even little lessons learned during these tours? 

Definitely on the last tour there were a lot of difficulties. There were a lot of things that popped up there were unexpected. Vans breaking down …

Always fun. 

Yeah, and so you had no choice but to learn. I had never dealt with any of that stuff before, so you just have to go into action mode.

Speaking of your action mode, I know that outside of music you enjoy exploring abandoned buildings. What are some of the aspects of these modern relics that you love most? 

I love going into a building that’s like frozen in time, and you can see everything as it was, from the ‘50s, all the way up to the ‘90s. It’s especially different in different countries. It’s like a time capsule. I don’t know why some people don’t care about that stuff, but I LOVE it.

I love watching drone footage where they’re going through abandoned malls, it’s … 

So cool!

It’s amazing! 

Yeah, and there’s communities, like urban exploration communities, like this is all they do, go to abandoned places.

What’s been the most interesting abandoned place you’ve gone through? 

I was in Detroit in 2019, like right before the pandemic.

And unfortunately there are a lot of abandoned buildings in Detroit. 

Yes, there are, and that was crazy. Houses, churches, hospitals, you name it, you could just walk through. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of shit that’s graffitied and stuff, and run down, but there were some, just these gigantic structures, full on concerts halls, theaters, it was really crazy to go through all those.

You mentioned graffiti. Did the graffiti artists maybe leave the churches more alone than the other places? 

The churches did seem to be less defiled.

That’s interesting. 

Yeah, it is interesting.

When you’re in an abandoned building, do you ever sense what used to be there? 

I’ve always been really sensitive to other people’s energy, and stuff like that, and I pick that up going through some of these buildings. You’ll start to feel a certain way, and you’re like why am I feeling this way? Oh, that’s not me, I’m picking up whatever’s around me. So it’s interesting.  

Is there anything else you’d like to add about yourself, or your music? 

We are writing a lot more music, and we’re excited for the next chapter, whether that’s a full length, or more singles, and we’re excited to do more touring.

A lot of exciting stuff coming up.


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