Harmonica infused folk rocker John Tomasevich discuss debut album “Devolution”

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Burlington, North Carolina based artist John Tomasevich has been playing music since he was 16, but started to do the singer/songwriter thing at the beginning of 2015. Back then, he was playing music under the name BUT YOU CAN CALL ME JOHN, until recently, when he decided to lose the horrible name and go under his own original name. His debut album “Devolution” was released in late January 2022 and today we’re pleased to unlock some details about its creation, lyrical content and its hearty creator, Mr John Tomasevich.

“If there ever was a worse stage name than “Tomasevich”, I’d love to hear it.” – jokes John. 

“I’m a punk kid through and through, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve traced back a lot of artists that my mom used to play when I was young. That’s when I rediscovered John Mellencamp. Combine his work with my love of Against Me!, Chuck Ragan and Bad Religion and you’ll get a good idea of my music.” – he explains.

Asked about the creative process behid “Devolution“, John admits that for the most part in the past, he’s recorded his records himself in his apartment on whatever recording system was available. “The idea was to make it sound like you were listening to me play in my bedroom or office. I started to do the same thing for my new record, “Devolution“.”

“After I was done, I sent it off to my friend, Scotty Sandwich, who runs The Sandwich Shoppe and plays in a band called Almost People. He was having trouble loading some of my files because it was a very different program than what he uses. We met up one day and after trying to get my files to work, we both decided that the record could sound better as a whole and we recorded the whole thing again. Thank God we did that, because what he did to these songs was breathe a completely new life into them. He is truly a musical genius.”

Here’s the result:

Lyrically, most of the songs on “Devolution” were written and inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was furloughed from my job, sitting at home losing my mind and started to write around April of 2020.” – says John. “The combination of our previous administration’s failure to deal with the pandemic, the rising of racial injustice (George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, to name a few) and then, personally, myself battling addiction issues, was the basis of the lyrics of “Devolution“. I look back at the words even today and while I’m very happy with how they turned out, it will always be a scary time to look back upon.”

Asked about possible live renditions of these songs, John admits that the most uncertain thing when he started to write the record was “will he be able to play live when this comes out.?”

“I’m a live guy through and through and the thought of not being able to get on stage and play these songs honestly made me think twice about even writing anymore. So I’m taking everything sort of cautiously at the moment (while still booking what I can).”

“This record is the first record that I’ve really tried to reach out on social media more, which is weird because I’ve never been a fan of social media. Currently, I am releasing a lot of videos of myself performing the songs off “Devolution” and am looking to do more livestream events in the near future. Again, it’s weird for me to do this because I need to be in front of a live crowd, but with things, at least to me, being so uncertain, it’s an avenue that I feel is worth pursuing.”

Karol Kamiński

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels.
Contact via [email protected]

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