MPR: Prior to forming Devour the Day, you and Joey were in Egypt Central. After that band split up was the thought that you had to start out from scratch overwhelming?
Blake: Yeah I'd say it was, I mean we definitely had to make a choice of whether or not we were gonna continue as Egypt Central or start something new, and at that point it was half an idea to start all the way over from the beginning. So it was extremely, extremely overwhelming, cause there was a lot of pressure to not only do it, but do well and supersede what Egypt Central had done.
There was so much responsibility on our shoulders to the people that had been supporting us for so long, our fans and families, that we just knew we couldn't quit, we couldn't just give in or stop. Plus all of our songs are about not giving up. When we started the project we were writing with that in mind, the idea that if we don't do it and do it right, people are gonna be upset with us. We definitely felt the pressure, but I think that kind of helped to feed the fire. It made us make sure that things were done right the first time, and at the end of the day we were really, really satisfied with what we came up with. So it's kind of a double edged sword. The pressure was overwhelming, but I'm glad we got through it.
MPR: Are the songs that are on your first album, Time and Pressure, ones that you've had for a while, or were they written specifically with Devour the Day in mind?
Blake: Half and half. We decided we were gonna do the band when we had already written, I wouldn't say the bulk, but the beginning sections, maybe first 4 or 5 songs demoed out. When we decided we were gonna put the band together we went back and rounded out those demos and started working on new material all the way up until we actually released the record.
MPR: It was just you and Joey in the studio recording and putting the entire thing together. Was that a challenge, doing all the writing and instruments without a full band?
Blake: There was a lot of excitement in that because all of it was new to us. Joey and I had been used to waiting to perform our instruments, and then waiting until the vocals were done to work again, so this was just around the clock. As ideas were being created we were recording them and deciding on parts as we went. Joey played guitar on some parts, I played bass on some songs, well one actually. We were just really happy that we got the chance to perform everything ourselves and do it the way that we initially thought. There's a lot of fun in that as a musician, it's really exciting.
MPR: The album has a great blend of lighter and heavier tracks, do you have any particular favorite?
Blake: No, It depends on what I'm doing. If I'm driving I really like listening to "Crossroads", or if I'm playing I really like playing "Respect" and "Good Man". But depending on my mood it could be any one of them. I think Joey and I became really attached to each and every song.
MPR: You made a pretty big switch from drumming in Egypt Central to vocals and guitar in Devour the Day. Has it been crazy trying to adjust to being a frontman?
Blake: Yeah. I have a whole new respect for vocalists now. I mean being behind a kit you just assume things. When a singer has a bad night you just assume 'oh that guy doesn't really care anymore' or whatever. Now I'm realizing that there's a lot of pressure that comes from it. You are the instrument; you can't just tune it, or buy it a new head, or new strings. If your voice is blown there are no quick remedies. You can't go to Guitar Center and get your voice fixed.
We hit the ground running on tour and the first couple of weeks it was easy for me cause I guess it was fresh, but after four weeks of doing 4 show runs, you know, 1, 2, 3, 4, over and over again. Doing that my voice just got worn down and it was hard to perform. Learning how to deal with that and still working with the audience, that's a whole other art form in and of itself. So I have a new respect for singers. I miss playing the drums, but I love what I'm doing right now, it's a lot of fun.
MPR: That's pretty diverse, playing bass on the album, drumming for Egypt Central, and guitar and vocals live.
Blake: It's just really simple parts, I can't. [laughs] Yeah I can't. After spending so many years playing drums, that's still my main instrument even though I'm singing and playing guitar in this band, drums are still what I would consider my strongest instrument.
MPR: Do you still get a chance to play drums at all when you're out on tour?
Blake: Not as much as I want to. Every time I see our drummer, Ronnie, with his kit set up I just envy it and envy him for being able to play it. But I'm hoping maybe when we get some downtime maybe over the holidays I can arrange some kind of show or something where I can play again.
MPR: That'd be cool! So we've seen you a few times over the last few months, at X Fest, a big festival up in Syracuse, and then at a more intimate club show with Sevendust. Do you have a preference for either type of show?
Blake: No I don't really. I love the energy that happens when there's a mass amount of people for like an X Fest or something like that. But the flip side of that, in the smaller venue's everyone that's there really wants to be there, and those people give you everything that they've got even in those small rooms. That's one type of feeling, however playing in front of a lot of folks, the way that it sounds, the way that the crowd reacts, that's a different feeling. But yeah I wouldn't choose between either, I love them both equally.
MPR: You've been touring pretty much nonstop since the release of your album, do you have any more plans for the rest of the year?
Blake: We have some plans, and some stuff lined up. The main focus is that we're just going to tour and tour and tour until the wheels fall off.
MPR: One last super random question: If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Blake: Healing. I think that's probably the best. Really quick healing. Even over anything else, cause it seems to work out. Every character that has healing never dies, so that seems like it would be a good one. Not that I'd wanna live forever, cause i'd get tired of that, but yeah it seems like they always win.