The following is a Q&A between Black Suit Devil, a.k.a. Andy Du Rego, and our newest Route 26 contributor Sari Connell! Black Suit Devil is currently in residency at CROW Bar & Variety in Collingwood, performing every Wednesday night.
First of all, let me say how much I enjoy your music. I downloaded your album and immediately fell in love with your sound and voice. There’s an earthy depth that leaves me wanting more. So thank you for creating such beauty.
I’ll be at Crow June 26th, and couldn’t be more excited to see you live. :)
So, as an introduction to Route 26, Crow, and the Grey Bruce Simcoe area, I have a few questions to help us get to know you a little better.
SC: What is the origin of your name; Black Suit Devil?
ADR: Black Suit Devil is a name that I came up with as a representation of the Corporate elite. The powers that control the world and continue to exploit it and humanity, strangle holding us all from becoming a unified peaceful world. My lyrical content touches a lot on injustice, inequality, and corporate greed.
SC: Who performs with you in Blind Man? Can you tell us a little about her and her background?
ADR: On Blind Man I have my friend Jules Cardoso formally of Canadian rock band The Road Heavy backing me up vocally. She is an amazing, talented singer/songwriter that has toured and opened for the likes of The Tea Party, Gilby Clarke, and The Headstones, among other great acts. I knew she would be a perfect fit for Blind Man with her power house vocals. Also performing on Blind Man I have Neil Cameron (Violin), John Brand (Piano), Wesley Collett-Taylor (Upright Bass), and Colin Riddoch (Drums).
SC: Where did you grow up?
ADR: I was born and grew up in the east end of Toronto in Leslieville. Lived there for the first five years of my life and spent a great deal of time afterwards due to a lot of family living in the area. Its always felt like home to me. Then spent a good portion of my life in the North York area of Toronto around Keele and Finch area. A Short stint in Richmond Hill only to relocate back to the East End.
SC: How and when did you get into music?
ADR: My very first musical memory that sparked my interest in music was in JR Kindergarten listening to a tape machine we had in our class. We had a Beach Boys album that my friends and I would put Kokomo on repeat. The melodies really sparked my curiosity.
Although it would take some time after that until I really got into music. 1994 to be exact. I had the day off school because I was sick and Woodstock 1994 was on.
I turned the TV on and witnessed Green Day performing in front of the craziest audience thinking this was the coolest thing ever. They definitely got me into listening to music, but shortly after I heard "The Shortest Straw " by Metallica off of And Justice For All. A cassette tape a neighbor had in his car one Saturday afternoon. That changed my life. I was 12 or 13 then.
Right then and there I wanted to play the guitar. I would pick up my brothers guitar when he wasn't home and jammed on some Green Day riffs then later a bunch of metal like Metallica , Black Sabbath, etc. By 14 I had formed my first band "Population Zero" comprised of original heavy metal tunes I had written.
SC: Who are a few of your favourite musicians/bands?
ADR: Hard to say as i'm into a lot of different styles of music and go through phases of listening to one or the other. As a folk singer songwriter I take influence from Musicians like Bob Dylan , Ray Lamontagne, Neil Young, John Fogerty, George Harrison, Pink Floyd, Chris Cornell.
But in my earlier metal days I drew from a lot of metal and punk like Metallica, Black Sabbath, Sepultura, and Megadeth.
SC: Can you describe your first live performance?
ADR: My first live performance, I was 14 in my band Population Zero. We performed at the Kathedral downstairs in the Old Big Bop building on Queen and Bathurst. its now a furniture store. I was surprisingly not nerves and instantly took the lead role of working the crowd. Felt really comfortable and loved every second of it.
SC: How has your music evolved since you first started playing?
ADR: Over the years my songwriting has definitely become more and more personal to my experiences in life , and things I feel strong about on a social level. [It] Also brought back from a heavy intense sound to a more of a natural roots approach allowing me to focus on dynamic between my playing , and singing. [I've] really found my inner voice with Black Suit Devil.
SC: Do you have any current projects on the go you’d care to share with us?
ADR: I am currently more than half way through recording my new record "A Matter Of Time" . I hope to have that out late this year or early next. I am also compiling a book of Poems I will release under the Black Suit Devil banner as an extension of my songwriting
SC: How can fans best access your music and information about Black Suit Devil?
ADR: The best way for fans to get info on everything Black Suit Devil is by logging on to www.Blacksuitdevil.com or on Facebook. Also through streaming sites like iTunes, Apple music, and Spotify.
Thanks so much to Andy for letting us into his music world! Last chance to catch him at CROW Bar & Variety in Collingwood is Wednesday, June 27th.
Web - www.blacksuitdevil.com
Facebook - www.facebook.com/blacksuitdevil