I met Devin a few years ago. He was friends with a dear friend of mine by the name of Kobi. I was just starting out with audio engineering and had just started up a little recording studio at my house. Kobi was a locally known hip hop artist and quite a popular figure at our high school where he played football with Devin. They struck up their friendship when they discovered a common liking for pop punk music. Devin being a talented guitar player and Kobi being an aspiring singer, they met up after school a few times to jam some cover songs and found that they didn’t sound half bad.
I came home from work one day to find Kobi sitting on my driveway with this pale, lanky kid and an acoustic guitar. As soon as I pulled in they started playing a cover of a song by Hit The Lights. I was pretty impressed, as Kobi had never mentioned to me that he could sing, and I had no idea who this other kid was. I asked them if they wanted to come upstairs and record a quick demo and they eagerly agreed.
At first, Devin and I didn’t get along. I had an ego, and he was younger and much less experienced in music than I was. But Kobi swore up and down that this kid was awesome, so I continued to work with them. I gave them a band name and helped them start up what would soon after become a semi successful band called Meaning In Masterpiece.
Fast forward a couple years…
After recording their first full length, I had all but lost touch with the MIM boys as they had grown past the point of my aid and experience. Kobi was a dear, childhood friend so he and I continued to hang out. He would call me for relationship and music advice often but I rarely talked to the rest of the band, including Devin. But Kobi’s priorities were all kinds of out of whack to say the least, and the band decided to part ways with him. It broke my heart to see Kobi split with the band after so much hard work had gone into making that band what it was. But being a musician myself, I understood the bands reasoning behind their decision and I told Kobi that if he wanted back in, he would need to make some serious lifestyle changes.
A few months later, Kobi passed away.
It was devastating to everyone. Devin was no exception.
I reached out to Devin because I was having a hard time dealing with the loss, and I figured that if I was having a hard time, Devin was having a hell of a time. We met up a few times in my favorite 711 parking lot just to vent. Talk about life, where we were going, what we were doing, and just be someone to not be alone with. We became very close. Funny how grief can do that.
The band continued to record, but after Kobi passed, they decided to change the name of the band. Most of the original members left the band over the course of the 2 years it took to finish the production of the record, including the drummer Aaron. At the time, I was playing for a band called Taylor Collins, so I had no interest in joining the band, nor did I get an invite.
But then my band broke up, and my girlfriend of 5 years left me. Back to pit of devastation and despair I went.
I had no idea what to do with myself. I had never been through a breakup like that and I didn’t have my one crutch that I always relied on to get me through emotional turmoil - music. I pushed away a lot of my friends and started to let myself drown in depression. It felt like I had nothing left.
I got a call from Devin. He just wanted to check and make sure I was okay. So I headed down to my favorite 711 parking lot and sat in my car with him and vented.
He asked me to join the band. At first I refused. I just wanted to sit in my sorrows and let my life swallow me up. I was in a lot of pain and struggling to just get up and go to work. The last thing I wanted to do was join a band. We hung out several times after that, just the two of us at 711. We got closer and closer with each congregation. Eventually, I realized I needed to do something with myself if I was ever going to get out of the slump and move on. So I reluctantly agreed to join the band.
Over the proceeding months, I dumped everything I had into this new band. I had nothing else to put my energy into and it felt good to get out a lot of my built up anger and aggression. We worked tirelessly to put together Moderne. And with the help of Devin and many other dear friends, I finally jumped the hurdled and moved on.
I’m sure that in those horrible months I was not good company. And I’m sure I damaged, and even ruined a few valuable friendships. But there was Devin, and a few others that stuck around. They cared enough, they knew that wasn’t me, and they knew that the storm would eventually pass. If it weren’t for Devin and his garage, and endless nights in the 711 parking lot, I’m not sure were I would be right now. He believed in me. He knew that I had something to offer and he wanted to give me the chance to share it. He never gave up on me. He stuck by my side and helped pull me from the depths of hell. And for that I will be forever grateful and I will never forget.