Devin Lima Interview

(As published in RAG Magazine)

Devin Lima & the Cadbury Diesel
By Logan Lenz

Before you go and make your assumptions about Devin Lima and his stint with the boy group LFO, perhaps you should take the time to look deeper into the man, while refrain from your judgments of the boy. Since the 2003 break-up, Devin Lima has been slowly transforming his being, in preparation for the creation of his own music project, Devin Lima & the Cadbury Diesel, in which he would combat songwriting for the first time. Almost five years later, his first-born baby Mozart Popart is ready for release, complete with eleven well-crafted songs that lie somewhere between pop and “indie dance rock..” RAG Magazine exclusively spoke with Devin Lima about all of the excitement in his life, while strategically avoiding the dangerous and obvious questions about his former boy-band experience.

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RAG: How did your new project, Devin Lima and the Cadbury Diesel, come to life?
I’ve always known that I wanted to do something like it. I knew that I had to continue doing music. I got too many tattoos and became this creature that could never work behind a desk. The last few years, I met people and wrote songs with what I had. I had rock guitars, but wanted to make a great pop record. The new album is something that I am very happy about.

What is a Cadbury Diesel and why did you choose that as the name for your band?
Because of the whole “pop” thing, I thought about the presentation of everything. So, I thought about what is attractive to me. I ended up taking two things that meant something to me. My girl always loved Cadbury eggs and I went through a phase wear I loved Diesel Jeans.

What have you been doing since 2003? What took so long to get this project going?
After all of my previous work, I decided to analyze everything completely. Why did I have certain tendencies? I pretty much tried to create a new being. I never had “garage years” like most bands do, so I had to go through all of that as well. And it took several years.

What does the album title Mozart Popart mean?
One of my favorite bands is the Red Hot Chili Peppers. In a song off of the album By the Way, they use that line. That’s always stuck with me. At that point of my life, I was trying to see what certain signs meant. While we were recording the album, we used a Mozart soundboard and then one day we all ate at a Mozart Café. It was just one of those freak things.

What are you hoping to achieve with this record?
I don’t “hope” anymore. I only think of what I would like to make happen. I don’t like to think negatively anymore. I know that this album is the step that I need to take to make things happen for my music.

What’s your favorite track off of the new album?
That’s a hard one! Let me back away from it for a second and look at it from the outside…. (Pause)…. I really wanted to write a song about ice cream. I didn’t know how it was going to work, but I didn’t care about the whole corny thing. “Rocky Road” was born, and it sounded good. Right now, I would say that is my favorite.

Has it been a drastic change going from the choreographed and aesthetically important world of LFO to a full-out rock band setting?
(Laughs) No, not really. The entire band is rooted in rock. As for me, I still do my dancing on stage, but it’s more of a B-Boy style and spinning. So, it’s not completely out of my comfort zone.

Where do you think this group falls compared to other artists that are out there right now? Do you think you could handle touring with a rock act or are you hoping to pick up the same younger “poppy” boy group demographic?
If you step back and listen to the music with a free mind, there is no doubt that everybody, no matter their background, will find something that they really enjoy. There are so many different types of songs on the album, even though they are rooted to the same idea. In today’s world, I think we are going to have to create our own market somewhere in between pop and rock.

I’m assuming that LFO didn’t write any of their own songs. Has that changed with Cadbury Diesel? Are you penning everything yourself now?
In LFO, all I did was sing. That was always a dream for me, to be a singer. That dream was fulfilled. Then, I asked myself what do I want to do next? I wanted to be a songwriter. With this record, I got to do that myself. It took me almost five years to be comfortable with writing, though.

Briefly take us through the songwriting process.
A lot of it is just speaking to your self. Let’s say I wanted to write a song about this interview. Your name is Logan. Everything that comes to mind when I say that is Logan‘s Run and the future. So, the track would have future sounds. I would take words that stem from the word Logan and run with it.

Who are some of your main influences?
Stevie Wonder, Prince, The Beatles, RHCP, Rolling Stones, Sly and the Family Stone, and everyone else that has made any form of music.

How did you land the gig at the Grammy’s with Sly and the Family Stone last year?
(Laughs) My manager is also the manager of Sly. It was just one of those things. I was on a tribute album t

hat was made for them. Then from there, the Grammy’s wanted to do some kind of special performance for Sly. I was just fortunate enough to be there for it.

Would you ever consider a reunion with LFO if given the chance?
Maybe at some point after I am done doing what I am doing now.

What is planned for the future of your new venture? National tour? DVD?
We’re going to get the single out there and see what happens. We’re going to practice our asses off. Next year, hopefully we’ll get on a cool summer tour. Either way, I think we’re going to be in it for the long haul.

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