The rock troubadour known as Amigo the Devil is set to release new album, Everything Is Fine, on October 19th, and we’ve got an exclusive premiere of the infectious new song “Everyone Gets Left Behind”, featuring drumming from Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine and Prophets of Rage.
Amigo the Devil, whose real name is Danny Kiranos, offers a unique brand of folk rock that has resonated with the hard rock and metal community. In fact, his album is produced by Ross Robinson (Korn, At the Drive-In) and he is managed by DevilDriver’s Dez Fafara.
Everything Is Fine is available for pre-order at this location, while his tour dates can seen at the bottom of this post. In addition to the song premiere, Amigo the Devil took some time to answer a few questions about the track itself, working with Brad Wilk and Ross Robinson, what fans can expect from the album, and his plans to support Everything Is Fine on the road.
Take a listen to “Everyone Gets Left Behind” and read the Q&A with Amigo the Devil below:
Tell us a bit about the song “Everyone Gets Left Behind”, and the inspiration behind it… Any cool stories about the song creation or the recording process for this?
You ever wake up still drunk, spins worse than Wheel of Fortune and your blood feels like it’s boiling? Yeah, me neither… but how frustrating to know that a year ago, something like that would be so easy to power through? Although a hangover is where the idea of the song started, it’s not where it ended. The core of the song is easy, growing up was a mistake. I don’t mean a mistake as in something regrettable but more as a consequence of time…something we didn’t mean to do. It’s so easy to look into the past and think how much better everything was, but how much of that is because we’ve already lived it and subconsciously know that it worked out? In the end, I wanted it to be a modern day “memento mori” type deal where everyone should remember their mortality, their youth, their whatever the middle part is. Tracking this song in itself was such a blast that I almost forgot what a grumpy bastard I can be sometimes.
Brad Wilk from Prophets of Rage is playing drums on this track. Talk a bit about working with Brad and how he came to get involved with the project?
Brad got involved through Ross. It was a situation where Ross called me and said, “Hey, I think Brad Wilk is gonna do the drums” in such a casual tone that I assumed it was a different Brad with the same last name but it clearly wasn’t. I did a little jump, squeal “yessss” gesture with my arm. At the studio, we tracked this song live together and since I didn’t have all the lyrics written yet, half the time I’d be mumbling or humming random shit which always sounds ridiculous. I was already nervous considering this was the first time I’d ever played alongside a drummer on this project but he’s so kind and collected that it was easy to go all out. An unexpected side effect of the whole experience came afterward when I was listening to Rage records and it was a whole different experience. I had now felt the way he hits and kept up with his tempo firsthand so it felt even more personal. That could be placebo but I’m sticking to my story.
On the new album, Everything Is Fine, you worked with producer Ross Robinson. What was it like working with Ross and what did he bring to the table?
My previous experiences with recording up until Ross were kind of like putting together IKEA furniture. I’d bring all the pieces to the studio with the instructions, screw some things together backward, throw shit across the room, undo it and start again but in the end we always ended up with the extremely functional dresser we set out to create. Ross takes all the pieces you have, scratches off the identifying labels, burns the instructions and puts them into a viper pit where you’re not allowed to dig for them until you know why that piece is crucial. By the end of the process we had so many new pieces built from anything we could, might as well be old t.v.’s and stale bread for Christ’s sake…it didn’t matter what or how only the why. This doesn’t mean that working with other people was a negative experience at all. For example, we did our first EP with [Converge’s] Kurt Ballou and at the time I had no idea what I was doing, he wasn’t sure what I was doing because I couldn’t communicate it and nonetheless, he was incredibly patient and helped guide me through the process of those first five songs on the Manimals EP From there, it seemed like everything was going to build into this wealth of knowledge that I could spread across the table in the future. I was wrong. Ross destroyed the table and everything on it and helped me rebuild it with purpose. I’ll never write another song the same again. So I guess that’s what he brought to the table…a brand new, better table.
What made Ross perfect for the project considering he’s predominantly known as a metal producer?
I got my start in heavy music playing in and listening to the genre across the board; from grind to noise, thrash, hardcore…if it was heavy I was happy. Even the first tours with Amigo were with heavy bands. One of the first tours this project went out on was with Nomads, Sleepwalkers and Rotting Out. From there, we started hopping onto festivals like Southwest Terror Fest that were so damn kind to us. Heavy Metal Shop in SLC is the only reason we were able to play our first shows up there so I’m in debt to Kevin and Patrick basically forever. Metal, in general, has always been a kind genre to us and a huge inspiration for this project in general so when I got offered the chance to work with someone that revolutionized it time and time again, it was a no brainer. Once you look behind what he does sonically and realize why what he does matters so much, it’s easy to disconnect from the fact that it isn’t the same sounds as other bands he’s done in the past. I wanted fire on this record and I wanted someone who wasn’t scared to burn the whole fucking thing down just to get a little spark. A lot of people miss the fact that a lot of the heaviest music out there isn’t because of the tones or tempo, it’s because of the truth and rage behind it. Ross knows how to get that out of people whether you’re willing to let it out or not.
What can fans expect on the album Everything Is Fine when they pick it up on October 19th?
I think it explores a wider range of sounds than the old recordings. Growing up in Miami, I was exposed to a lot of music other people weren’t and was also restricted from finding a lot of music I enjoy now until later in life. That variety is showcased a lot more in these songs which is exciting for me to finally have a chance to present. I can easily say it’s the most honest complete record I’ve written to date because it’s the only complete record I’ve written to date. But jokes aside, it was a completely different experience tapping into a well for more than 3 songs at a time since all we had released until now were EPs. There are a lot of easter eggs in there, ramblings that got left in…we broke a lot of shit while recording this! There was a wild paranormal experience while tracking Edmund Temper that I’m sure I’ll mention at some point but it still gives me chills to think about. Dig deep and you’ll find a lot more than the music on this one.
What’s next for Amigo The Devil?
I guess we’re on tour for the next million years or so. We’ll be playing Sing Out Loud (St. Augustine), Crucial Fest (SLC) and Aftershock (Sacramento). We have a full U.S. run with Harley Poe October 17th through November 18th, and then U.K., Amsterdam and Paris in December. As far as announced dates that’s about all I can put out there right now but there’s a lot in the works for early next year with some incredible friends. I’ve never been one to plan anything too far ahead but hell, looks like I have some adapting to do!
Amigo the Devil Fall 2018 Tour Dates:
09/22 – St. Augustine, FL @ Sing Out Loud Fest
09/28 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Crucial Fest
10/14 – Sacramento, CA @ Aftershock
10/18 – Houston, TX @ White Oak
10/19 – Dallas, TX @ Three Links
10/20 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk
10/22 – Mesa, AZ @ The Nile
10/23 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
10/24 – San Diego, CA @ Brick by Brick
10/25 – Tustin, CA @ Marty’s on Newport
10/26 – San Francisco, CA @ Thee Parkside
10/27 – SLO @ Sweet Springs Saloon
10/28 – Las Vegas, NV @ Beauty Bar
10/31 – Denver, CO @ Marquis
11/01 – Kansas City @ Riot Room
11/02 – Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen
11/03 – Pontiac, MI @ Sanctuary
11/04 – Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
11/05 – Toronto, ON @ Sneaky Dee’s
11/07 – Pittsburgh, PA @ The Funhouse
11/08 – Rochester, NY @ Flour City Station
11/09 – Boston, MA @ Great Scott
11/10 – Brooklyn, NY @ St. Vitus
11/11 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
11/13 – Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery
11/14 – Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
11/15 – Nashville, TN @ The High Watt
11/16 – Ashville, NC @ The Mothlight
11/17 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
11/18 – Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub
12/04 – Paris, FR @ La Boule Noire
12/05 – Amsterdam, NL @ Melkweg
12/07 – London, GB @ Borderline
12/08 – Nottingham, GB @ Bodega
12/09 – Newcastle, GB @ Think Tank
12/11 – Glasgow, GB @ Stereo
12/12 – Manchester, GB @ Deaf Institute
12/13 – Bristol, GB @ Thekla
12/14 – London, GB @ Oslo