DeRobert and the Half Truths will play at 10 p.m. tonight at the Bullfrog Brewery, 229 W. Fourth St. Admission is free and the audience should ready itself for a high-energy riot of bluesy fun.
Nick DeVan, co-owner of GED Soul Records and the drummer for DeRobert and the Half Truths, answered questions as the band drove through Philadelphia, selling records.
AL: Can you talk to me about the relationship between DeRobert and the Half Truths and GED Soul records?
DeRobert and the Half Truths will play at 10 p.m. tonight at the Bullfrog Brewery, 229 W. Fourth St.
ND: Dave Singleton and I started recording [and] we got the first DeRobert & the Half Truths 45 together, and we just got him to sing on it, and we needed a name, so we called it DeRobert and the Half Truths. They became our main recording group
AL: So, DeRobert and the Half Truths exist because GED Soul Records needed a recording group?
ND: Yeah. We waited a while to play out. The 45 did well. Now, finally, we're hitting the road.
AL: Isn't the trajectory normally the reverse? The band happens before the label?
ND: Yeah, the recordings are definitely a huge part of it and it's just now that the live stuff is starting to help. We enjoy putting out records so much. It's our main goal, to keep putting out recordings. Right now, we're hitting up record stores on our tour. Records are a huge part of it.
AL: So you're on tour now?
ND: Yeah. We're in Philadelphia. We're playing at Haverford College tonight.
AL: That place is great. I saw a show there once. There'll be a lot of energy.
ND: I just got off the phone with the booking agent and we were supposed to play in a basement, but now it's looking like it'll be a house party.
AL: Enjoy it. You will. It seems like the band is picking up steam. Talk about how things are changing?
ND: The live thing is really kicking in, finally. So, we're hoping to really spread the word. Now that we have a back catalog, that really helps. Hitting these cities again and again is really starting to pay off. We just want to keep putting as many recordings as possible out. We're hoping to do just digital releases, even though we've focused on vinyl. We're going to do just digital releases this year.
AL: I imagine it's less expensive.
ND: Yeah, it is. We have our own studio and it's cheap and fast. You can get it out for free and you don't have to worry about losing anything on it.
AL: Where is the studio located and how did it come to be?
ND: It's my studio. It's in a house in Nashville. I went to school at MTSU, which is about 20 minutes east of Nashville - Murfreesboro. I went to school there and they have a really good recording program, so I bought some tape machines and it just kind of formed out of that.
AL: I enjoyed the tracks I heard, totally listenable. What can the crowd at Bullfrog expect from the show?
ND: We've got a soul singer, a horn section and drums. It's real upbeat. Every song is danceable. It's just really high-energy soul music.
AL: What is your personal or the band's musical history?
ND: At least with the soul stuff, Dave Singleton and I, immediately when we met, we started trading music. I was studying drums as well as recording and a couple of my teachers really got me into soul and R&B. But we listened to Hip Hop growing up. Then he and I had a radio show and we played soul and stuff.
AL: What is your relationship with Nashville's music scene and the music industry?
ND: Nashville's so deep in the industry - they go together. We're the odd men out in Nashville. There's not a lot of stuff like this going on in Nashville. We actually hardly ever play in Nashville, even though it's easy to get gigs there. Some of the Nashville industry contacts are convenient. But since we're doing our own thing, we kind of sidestep a lot of the industry stuff, especially since we have our own niche market with the vinyl. But I'm standing outside this little record shop in Philadelphia where Dave Guy's going in and selling records. We're just not really affected by what's going on in the industry. I don't have a whole lot of feelings, positive or negative, about the large music companies.
AL: Anything you'd like to say in closing?
ND: I didn't give a great description of the live experience. It's really high-energy. We'll just really blow people away.