Devil's Cut Is Here to 'Raise Hell and Praise Dale' With Their Unique Blend of Country Music and Metalcore (Exclusive Interview)
Nestled deep in the backwoods of Louisville, Kentucky sit the boys of Devil's Cut, a band of musical outlaws who've emerged with a killer new sound blending good ol' fashion country with modern metalcore. With groove-heavy southern tracks like the TikTok hit "Insomnia" — not to mention their hard rock cover of "Brand New Man" by Brooks and Dunn — Devil's Cut are here to "raise hell and praise Dale," quite literally. PopCulture.com had a chance to speak with Devil's Cut frontman Trey Landrum, who told us all about how the band's sound evolved, becoming a TikTok expert on the fly, and when the band played the actual racetrack where NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt died.
Devil's Cut was a "passion project," Landrum explained. "I was in another band prior to this and we were doing okay, but life took over. Our drummer of that band got married, had a kid, and he didn't want us to stop playing music, but he had to. And it was kind of like a sad day. It was, 'Oh man, I'm going to miss you.' It was a mutual thing. We're still really tight." After the disbandment, Landum formed Devil's Cut with guitarists Lucas Livers and Zach McConnell and drummer Chris Doty. It wasn't until their friend Cody Ash — drummer for country rapper Jelly Roll who is now the manager for Devil's Cut— offered some "guidance" that they started to understand their direction better.
"We had our first meeting when we got the band members together. We were sitting outside of PBR, in Louisville, Kentucky, and Cody's sitting there. And I love country music. He definitely does. And he was like, 'Okay guys, I have this idea. I think country and metal's about to merge.' And he honestly was completely f—ing right."
Landrum is inarguably correct to credit Ash's prediction. Over the past few years, the blending of metal into country and Southern music has been much more prominent. Country artists like Hardy and Drew Jacobs have been incorporating heavier music into their sounds, and other new artists such as Rvshvd and Lakeview have emerged as purveyors of country music fused with very hard rock.
"It was like 2018, when we had this meeting," Landrem revealed, "and we're all sitting there and it was like, 'I mean, I hear what you're saying man, but what do you mean?' We knew the idea but we didn't quite understand it, and some of our early demos for Devil's Cut, it was kind of all over the place because we're trying to find our sound, trying to find the right you know, the balance. It, honestly, really started honing in for us in 2020 when we really started, 'Okay, this is our sound. I think this is what we need to be doing.'"
He went on to add, "Up until then we had an idea, but we really had no f—ing clue. We just knew what we wanted to do and have over the top aesthetics. Yeah, we're from Kentucky. We fish, we hunt, we drink Busch Light, just over the top... just rep we're from. It seems more real because it is. It's just more received, and hats off to Cody, man. We were all, geez, is this f—ing going to work?"
"Not saying we're anything huge, but I've definitely seen more traction with this than in any other project that I've ever been a part of," Landrtum continued, noting that the band is currently fully funded by its members with no label backing. "Even some of the stuff we got going on this year that really hasn't announced yet, it's like unreal because we're doing this DIY. We're not on a label or anything. We're self-funded, we all work multiple jobs. We work like dogs just to fund what we really want to do. But even, with that being said, doing it self-funded, the kickback is such a reward, you know what I mean? It really truly feels like it's paying off. So it's just been a wild ride, man. It really has."
One thing that has helped Devil's Cut promote themselves more is TikTok, which Landrum jokes was something he was completely unfamiliar with but had to learn after the band got locked out of their old account. "I started researching," he said. "There are certain times every day of the week to post and even video links. I mean, it's very in-depth as far as how to do it. So I started a crash course on TikTok, and that account has only been... like it's six weeks and we already have way more followers than we did before. It's all because of just studying the algorithms and stuff."
Landrum explained that the "response" from TikTok users has been incredible so far, even considering that much of what has caught on, like their song "Insomnia," is older music. "We're treating it like a new single, which is awesome. Better late than ever," he joked. "I'm not complaining, but I posted it at like 8:00 on a Saturday night, and I didn't think anything of it, 'cause I'm like, 'Is anyone really going to watch TikTok on a Saturday night?' Dude, it just went crazy. And to me, it was like... we have better videos, dude. It's just been wild, man. I'm like, man, TikTok is another f—ng world."
🤠🤠🤠 #hardrock #countrymusic #fyp #foryourpage #kentucky #countryshit #octane #newmusic #musicindustry #band #nashville #inthestudio #stonecold #hardy #nickelbackchallenge♬ original sound – Devil’s Cut
The last track Devil's Cut released was "Crossed the Line," a catchy track that would fit seamlessly in between Breaking Benjamin and Bad Omens on modern rock radio. That dropped more than two months ago, in November 2022. However, they have more on the horizon, as Landrum tells that he recently connected with Ash and some other rock musicians for writing. "We'll get a call from Cody... did it last week. I leave for Nashville, Tuesday, and I was only supposed to go for two days. He was like 'Yeah, you're going to be staying all week.'" He added, "It is what it is. In pursuing this, you kind of got to just drop what you're doing and go for it. But dude, we're so f—ing busy. But we're doing it. It's no sleep. Live off f—ing coffee, man."
Back in 2021, Devil's Cut played the Rockville festival at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona, Florida, alongside bands like Papa Roach, Black Label Society, and the rock gods: KISS. "Dude, that was wild," Landrum said with a smile, reflecting on the epic moment. "It was so surreal... cause we actually got to drive in our van. They bring bands in on the actual racetrack. And I've never been on a NASCAR track ever. So looking up the walls, they're so steep."
He then revealed that the got to drive on the same section of track where Dale Earnhardt suffered his fatal crash in 2001. "I'm like, 'Oh my God.' And we got to drive on the turn Dale died, in our band van. I'm like, 'Oh, do a moment of silence, dude." It was just unreal. And we were like, 'This is really happening right now.' It was a wild experience. It was really f—ing cool. Hot, too. It was like 115 when we played."
Finally, Landrum offered an update on what the band is currently focusing on, saying, "Right now writing and recording, trying out... we have a lot of demos, like a lot. What we do is typically try to write as much as we can, and then pick what we feel are the best ones we want to release, at least for now. Then sometimes we'll take it to [producer Andrew] Baylis and be like, 'Hey, here's a batch of songs.' And he'll pick the ones he thinks are best, which works out. But right now we're just trying to stockpile songs for, hopefully, spring, but at least summer release, and just start beelining content going into the fall, 'cause our fall's looking pretty busy."
Fans can keep up with Devil's Cut by following them on their various social media sites: Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. More links to what the band has going on, such as music videos and merchandise, can be found here. Keep it locked to PopCulture.com for more great country music news, reviews, and interviews!0comments