Can you please introduce yourself and your role in Paper Tongues?
Hello, this is Devin Michael Forbes, guitarist for Paper Tongues.
How did the band get started?
We all met uptown Charlotte, NC at an improv music experience that happened every 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Saturday of every month. We would plug a P.A. system into the city’s power on the corner or Trade and Tryon which is the main intersection in the middle of the city. We all played there periodically and that’s how we all got acquainted found out that we all could play together. Years later when Aswan was putting together a band, he called on us all. We all dropped what we were doing for the opportunity to play music together that really meant something to us. I dropped out of college and I don’t regret a thing.
Any particular reason for the name Paper Tongues?
When we came together in ’07, it was me, Cody, one of our buddies Nicolas Balachandran, and some of the other guys. Nicolas and I had been in a previous band with Cody and we all felt some similarities with the two bands. Nicolas asked Aswan if he would take on the old name of Paper Tongues and Aswan Loved it. So, we adopted the name from then on. Nicolas is now one of our main producers.
Your debut album just came out in March. How do you feel about the album?
I love it. It feels so good to finally have something to put in people’s hands after a show. We toured for so long without any merchandise I thought maybe we would never release this album. But, I am very pleased with every song on the album. I really believe there is a song for everybody on it. It bounces around from so many different styles and hits on so many different emotions lyrically. I still get blown away by Aswan’s voice when I listen to the songs. Dude can sing.
How would you describe the sound of your music to new listeners?
Rock-n-Roll, hip-hop, funk, soul, country, folk, dance, trance, ambient, etc. You really just have to listen to it. If you only listen to one song from the album, you will have no idea what we really sound like.
What are your touring plans for the rest of 2010?
We’re doing some festival’s we’re excited about. Bamboozle on the 1st of May in a couple days, and Bonnaroo is coming up too. We’re doing a tour with Civil Twilight and Neon Tree’s which I can’t wait for. After that, there is a ton of tours in the planning process, but nothing confirmed yet. Lopez Tonight and Jimmy Fallon are coming up as well!
How did you get started playing music?
I started playing guitar when I was about 10 probably. I was really into Metallica back then, but I couldn’t play any of Kirk hammett’s parts. So, I learned every Nirvana song I could. “Come as You Are” was the first song I learned. I looked up to my older brother who was always playing Nirvana, Tool, Metallica, Allice in Chains, Orgy, etc. I would make him show me whatever he was learning. My first guitar was a B.C. Rich Mockingbird. I customized it with James Hetfield’s EMG humbucker pickups. Hah, I’ve come a long way since then.
What are some of your goals for Paper Tongues?
We want to tour as much as possible and bring this live experience to as many people as we can. We’re really proud of the album and are going to push it on radio till your ears bleed. This music gives us hope to keep on going, and we want to give that hope to others. We want to inspire people to do something they love with their lives. We want to inspire a generation with music.
Who would you say are some of your major influences?
Nels Cline is my hero when it comes to guitar, and Wilco is on of my favorite bands as well. Television, The Roots, Modest Mouse, Talking Heads, The Cure, The Smiths, Pete Anderson. I could go on forever. Paul Simon, Tears for Fears, D’angelo, I need to stop.
Any last words for our readers?
Get up and do something you love to do. Right now. Get off the computer, unless computer stuff is what you love.