Dillon DeVoe is the main songwriting force behind Mime Game, the ultra-melodic, hard-rocking band that grew out of the ashes of DeVoe's previous project, Josephine Collective. Mime Game's music is filled with lovely, effortless-sounding hooks and guitar crunch galore, the combination of which makes for exhilarating listening. Currently residing in Mission, Kansas, DeVoe has lived and performed in multiple place throughout the country, only recently returning back home to raise his family and make Mime Game's hotly anticipated new album. We are fortunate to share an interview with DeVoe about his creative life, influences and why Kansas City means so much to him.
Introduce yourself. Where do you live and work?
Hi, my name is Dillon DeVoe. I currently live in Mission, KS and spend my days with my son, Max, and daughter, Lucy, or working on music for Mime Game's upcoming album.
Tell us about the origins of Mime Game. How has this band evolved? What have been the highlights of this experience so far?
Mime Game started as a side project during my time as the singer/lyricist for Josephine Collective. It spawned as an outlet to express ideas, musically and lyrically, that weren't stylistically fitting in the Josephine paradigm.
As Josephine concluded Mime Game became my main focus. Moving to San Francisco, Denver, Atlanta, and Los Angeles in the past five years, I have found myself back home starting a family and gearing up to return to the music world with a release that showcases the things I've learned and the songs I've grown to write through a lot of miles traveled and a lot of life lived.
Describe your creative process with songwriting and recording, especially in regard to your upcoming album. What songs are you most proud of and why?
I usually start with an instrumental, which was how I worked in Josephine, but this time I am the one writing the instrumentals. In Josephine Collective, I would write the lyrics and vocal melodies to a blank slate the band had crafted for me. I really love being back on guitar because I've been playing for almost twenty years but was never known for it. The songs have, thusly, taken on a whole new approach when it comes to sonic composition and chord progressions. Since I start the songs and ultimately finish the, as well, I would say they are a lot closer to my heart. This album actually, as I said before, spans a lot of different places in my life, both geographically and within my head. Songs like "Heavy Heart" and "Fire" have surfaced over the last couple years and find me returning to a melodic, heartfelt approach. I have found that a lot of people respond to the more open, accessible things I write than the sprawling experimentation of Mime Game's earlier years.
What artists do you look to these days for inspiration? What do you admire most about these artists?
Lately, I find myself searching the world of alternative, indie, pop, and rock for inspiration. Current favorites include Grimes, and The 1975, though my composition ultimately falls closer to the tunes I grew up on like Jimmy Eat World and Blink-182. Another current favorite in this vein is The Story So Far. My favorite thing about any of these artists, and that seems to be a purveying theme for me, is their unapologetic nature. I love bands, artists, people in general, who live to shake the world and not for the vanity of it; rather, because they cannot seem to live happily any other way.
What most excites you about music and creativity in Kansas City?
My favorite thing about Kansas City is the heart it holds for me. I can recant all the sound bites I've heard in recent interviews about a flourishing indie scene, the love that people feel for anything local here, the way that we have something to prove, and they would all tie into the truth about what I feel about this place. The reality is much deeper, though. This is the city that I gave me my first show in a dingy, grimy club. Kansas City is the place where everyone said, almost ten years ago, that no on could make it out of. This is the city where I proved them wrong when at eighteen years old we started negotiation with Warner Bros. Records and the city where I signed our contract the day after I turned nineteen. This is the place where both my children were born, where my family lives, and where I've found respite from the doldrums and pitfalls of a "normal musician's" life, time and time again. Kansas City is personal, and it has my heart. But, it also helps we have a flourishing indie scene and people are fiercely loyal to most locally born endeavors.