The Devil Makes Three “Stomp and Smash” Their Way Back Through Colorado

:: Fox Theatre :: October 5 ::
:: Bluebird Theater :: October 6 ::

By Bobbi Stark

So often, having commitment issues is frowned upon in society. The Dr. Phil’s of the world would have us believe that the fabric of our country is being torn apart by lazy irresponsibles who can neither shit, nor get off the pot.

But for California’s The Devil Makes Three, the fact that they can’t commit to one single genre is the very magic that works to create their dynamic and original sound. The Devil Makes Three walks the line between blues, punk, folk, bluegrass, old-time, country and ragtime, and with that broad spectrum of genres, it’s not much of a wonder that they draw a ridiculously diverse crowd.

“We love punk rock, of course, and we also love traditional bridge music and the blues. Cooper [McBean, guitar/banjo] and Lucia [Torino, bass] are really into metal right now, too. Our musical influences are all over the map, but all of our influences combine to make the sound that we have,” said guitarist Pete Bernhard in a recent interview with The Marquee.

It all started for The Devil Makes Three in 2002, when the group released its self-titled debut on the Seattle label Monkeywrench Records. The very next year the group followed with Long Johns, Boots and a Belt on their own record label. On that self-created label they also released A Little Bit Faster, and a Little Bit Worse in 2006, before jumping over to L.A.’s Milan Records, which re-released their debut and added two more titles to their catalog, including their early 2012 album Stomp And Smash.

Throughout the last ten years, The Devil Makes Three has struggled with breaking out of the mold that so many folks have tried to put them in. “When we first started, people would always try to get us to play in-between slots like we weren’t a real band because we didn’t have a drummer and played acoustic instruments. But that’s completely changed now. The style is a lot more popular, and it’s awesome. We’ve always loved this music that we’re playing, so it’s great to have everyone else come around to it,” Bernhard said.

And when Bernhard says “everyone else come around,” he ain’t kidding. The group has seen a big explosion over the last year, selling out shows all around North America — a far cry from where they were not long ago, when they couldn’t afford to leave the West Coast. “We tour the whole country now. We’ve also toured  Canada, and would really like to go to Europe next summer,” Bernhard said. “We used to be a West Coast band, but now, we can go all over. It’s been really great, things are changing a lot for acoustic music right now, and it’s great for us because we’ve pretty much been doing what we love to do the whole time, and now a lot more people like it than they did when we first started.”

The group’s adaptive dynamic has, not surprisingly, also led to frequent lineup changes for The Devil Makes Three. “We’ve added and subtracted a bunch of members over the years. We’ve had a drummer, Dobro player, fiddle players, and accordion players tour with us. We almost always tour with us three, and then one other person. Depending on the tour and how we’re feeling, we kind of change the lineup. We’re not married to it. On several of the records we have percussion, fiddle, slide and steel guitar. We’re open,” Bernhard said.

Open and prolific. The band has been working on new material and already have ten new demo songs in the bag. They expect to get their next album recorded this winter.­


:: The Devil Makes Three ::

:: Fox Theatre :: October 5 ::

:: Bluebird Theater :: October 6 ::


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