JD Lion is the professional name of veteran musician and producer, Joe Devadanam. For the past two decades Joe has made a name for himself in the industry as a top-shelf session drummer. He has performed on countless recordings, toured the world, has endorsement deals with the likes of Los Cabos Drumsticks, 7drums, TX Whiskey and MusicDoingGood and has even appeared in ‘Drum Magazine.’
As a solo artist Joe is not bound to any single instrument or style. He is more interested in creating what he calls, “genreless” music. He envisions a new American music which blends classic and future sounds. His latest single is the beautiful seasonal ambient instrumental, “Holiday.” The Static Dive recently sat down (virtually) with JD Lion to talk about the past, the future and his new music.
8 Questions With Joe Devadanam (JD Lion)
The Static Dive: Where are you from?
JD Lion: Austin, TX
SD: How long have you been making music?
JD: Professionally, I’ve been playing drums in bands and projects for 25 years. As a drummer, I’ve played with Billboard charting artists, Texas Music Chart artists. and Americana charting artists. I’ve toured all over playing venues of all sizes, held multiple drumming endorsements, and have created a nice little niche in the drumming community. As a solo artist, I’m brand new. I started in October of 2019, and in 2020, I have released my debut record, Born Out Of The Desert, my follow up EP, Northern Lights, and now this single Holiday.
SD: Who are the musicians involved in your project?
JD: I had 3 amazing musicians who jumped on this. My friend and amazing composer and piano player Dave Lovett- who goes as Kumu, did a piano part and helped co-write the song. The guitars were done by Ben Zuniga, who does great in the Texas Music scene, and the bass was done by Brad Byram, a Nashville based musician with deep Texas roots.
SD: Who are your biggest musical influences?
JD: I’m a Led Zeppelin disciple. As a drummer, John Bonham is my north star and it’s completely altered my music world. I also am a Danny Carey from Tool disciple, and so much of his style and composition has affected my drumming. As a producer, I take so much from people like Brian Eno, DJ Premier, my dear friend and fellow Austin based musician Cloudchord who forcefully got me into being an artist, and Aphex Twin, who I really try to capture his versatility.
SD: What is your greatest non-musical influence?
JD: My biggest non-musical influence is my family of course. I learned my work ethic from my family, and we stop at nothing to get it done. My girlfriend has really taught me to work hard, make no excuses, and do whatever it is you do as the best.
SD: What inspired you to create this project?
JD: Holiday was born out of the pandemic and my thoughts of this holiday this summer. It’s a tricky world and time we lived in, so I was imagining my family and millions of families coming together to celebrate the good things. It’s uncertain, and we don’t know if we can be together, but my hope for this song was to make it on to playlists as a background for celebration if able, and for nostalgia for those who can’t. A warm and cozy tune, meant for snacks, sweaters, and bonding.
SD: What are your plans for the future (musically)?
JD: I have a lot on deck. I have my album Evolve Or Die that will be coming out in Spring of 2021 that will be a full on single fest. I have a couple remixes that I am also working on as well. We will see what 21 brings for shows, but for now, it’s all systems go for EOD.
SD: Is there anything else you would like to say?
JD Lion: It’s a strange time for all of us, especially musicians. My tune Holiday is meant for nostalgia and better days, and easier days. My upcoming record Evolve Or Die is really centered around the music world and landscape changing around us. Hopeful tunes, but a theme that we need to evolve as a people, and as musicians.