Devon Ross Is Definitely A Triple Threat

Devon Ross interview with Northern Transmissions by Conor Rooney
Devon Ross photo provided by Girlie Action

From the first note on her debut EP, multi-hyphenate actress, model, and musician Devon Ross evokes the snarl and grit of punk’s early years but with her own distinctively modern edge. Recorded in Paris and mixed and mastered at Abbey Road Studios, Oxford Gardens is a short, four-track tour de force that harkens back to New York City’s OG punk days (think Siouxsie And The Banshees meets Patti Smith meets Daydream Nation-era Soni Youth meets all of CBGB in 1972). Northern Transmissions caught up with Devon to chat influences (in film and music), linking up with Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and more.

Northern Transmissions: Your debut EP Oxford Gardens is out this week – congratulations! How long have you been working on this EP, and what does it mean to you to have it finally out?

Devon Ross: Thank you! It probably took like a month to finish everything. It’s bittersweet to put out art, and It’s like you’ve had this thing for so long and you want everyone to hear it – but I’m so psyched. I’ve I never put out music before, so it’s kind of my first rodeo,

NT: Are there any songs in particular that you’re excited to play out?

DR: There’s a song called “I Don’t Wanna” that’s on the EP – that one I’m really excited for people to hear.

NT: I was reading that your first show ever was opening for the Thurston Moore Group at London’s 100 Club back in December? First of all, that’s really cool.

DR: Yeah it was unreal, it was crazy.

NT: What’s your favorite Sonic Youth record?

DR: Ooh, I love Murray Street, and the one that has Star Power on it – Evol

NT: Oh Star Power is so good.

DR: I fucking love that song.

NT: And how did you get connected with Thurston Moore?

DR: So he scored the music for a TV show I did a few years ago called Irma Vep, and we met at the premiere at Cannes Film Festival. We really got along, and we were both living in London at the time so I just started kind of hanging out with him and going to shows. I guess our friendship just kind of grew. Then I sent him my demos when I first started working on the EP. I was just like, “what do you think about these?” and they wanted to put them out on their label.

NT: And then opening for him!

DR: When they put the show together at the Hundred Club. Well, first of all, the Hundred Club is just legendary. Everybody has played there. Like Siouxsie and the Banshees? Her debut show was there. I couldn’t have thought of a better first gig ever. We were like watching him soundcheck – me and my band – and we were just like “what the hell?” You know, he’s like our Jimi Hendrix.

NT: Absolutely, like I can imagine it’s similar to like playing CBGBs.

DR: Literally it was, yeah – it’s an iconic club.

NT: You’re a fan of David Bowie, Television, Patti Smith etc – what is your personal approach to performance?

DR: Watching Patti Smith’s videos since I was a teenager, I’ve been obsessed with her. So I think her stage presence and way of performing was just always so cool to me ‘cause she was just like a fuck-you-rock-and-roll way.

NT: I read that you’re inspired by Wim Wenders. I just saw Perfect Days last week – what is it about his films that draws you in?

DR: I watched Wings of Desire for the first time like a few years ago, and I just fell in love and I thought it was like the coolest thing ever. I just feel drawn to that kind of style.

Oxford Gardens by is out now via The Daydream Library Series.


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