Kitchen Dwellers Guitarist Max Davies Talks Dante's 'Inferno'-Inspired New Album 'Seven Devils' (Exclusive)

Kitchen Dwellers are on tour now and will debut their fourth album, 'Seven Devils,' on March 1.

Montana folk-grass band Kitchen Dwellers is on the cusp of releasing their fourth studio album, and they couldn't be more excited. The new album is titled Seven Devils, and much of it was inspired by Dante's Inferno, the classic literature poem that envisions how the realm of Hell could look. 

Recently, had a chance to speak with the band's acoustic guitar player, Max Davies, who offered some insight into the new record, dished on working with producer Glenn Brown (Billy Strings, Greensky Bluegrass), and teased what fans can expect from them on their current tour. Scroll down to check it out! Hey Max! Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us about your new album. I know it's coming out really soon. What are you guys feeling right now in the lead-up to putting this out there finally?

Max Davies: You know, mostly just a lot of excitement... Most of these songs, we haven't played live yet. So, we've only been playing a couple of them. We released three songs from the album so far. We've been playing those a little bit, but we're actually on tour right now, and so we're leading... All these shows leading up until, we're going to play the whole album in its entirety at our release show, so, we'll be doing a lot of rehearsing of those songs for the release.

We're just really excited, because it's definitely what I feel like is the most production value. I think the songs are... We all really love them, and it was really fun because we kind of tied a whole theme, this whole concept into the whole album, where we feel like the album's kind of... For the first listen, it's intended to be listened front to back. There's a whole seven deadly sins concept to it.

We learned a lot being in the studio with Glenn Brown, the producer, and we really kind of honed in a few of these elements. What we've put out previously recorded is not always indicative of what we do live. Just because we get into a studio, and because also like to write songs... There's a live portion of the show where we really thrive on the energy of the room and everything, but then we get into recording an album and we really focus on the songs. 

I feel like this album that we're coming out with really highlights both. There's a lot of energy in these songs, but we spent a lot of time crafting them, so we really just try to capture both of that. I think we really just can't wait to play these songs live. Some of these, I think, are going to be really well suited for a live setting.

PC: You have three great singles out now — "Seven Devils (Limbo)," "The Crow and the Raven (III)," and "Pendulum (V)" — but I wanted to ask you about the song "Waterford Son" I love that song a lot, and I love all the sort of Celtic vibe you captured in it. I wanted to ask you about crafting that one.

Max Davies: So, I read this book by Timothy Egan, The Immortal Irishman; my neighbor in Montana had told me about this book, and it is the story of Thomas Francis Meagher who just led this really, really interesting life. A few of us come from Irish Heritage, which was fun to read about, but also, in Montana, there's a lot of things named Meagher and named after this guy. There are also some history nerds in the band, and so, reading this book, I was just like, "We need to write a song about this guy."

[Meagher] lived, within his life, he lived three lives. He was born in Ireland. He led this revolt against the British, but then he got banished to what is now Tanzania off of Australia. He escaped from there and went to New York and eventually became this Civil War hero and then, after the war... He went out to Montana with no money, and when he was out there [he learned] there was a lot of vigilante-ism and he became a voice for people that were getting wrongfully killed.

It's obviously a very epic story. So, getting it all into one song was kind of a challenge, but also super fun. Crafting the verses and all that was really, really fun. Then we got in there... in the studio, and Glenn Brown was like, "We should get penny whistle on this, some Irish drum," and so the Irish drum, the Gudrun drum... that's actually Dermot Sheedy, this guy in Ireland. We sent him the tracks and he recorded it. He's a big Irish percussionist.

Yeah, so we got some really cool... It's got a lot of cool parts. Lindsay Liu did some really cool vocal work, John Mailander on the fiddle. So, yeah, that song... I feel like it's just saga, which is really... We'll see how it turns out live.

PC: We've talked a little about you guys working with Glenn Brown. He's just got such an incredible list of projects he's worked on throughout the years. What was the experience like for you guys working with him?

Max Davies: It was amazing. I had so much fun with him. He is all in. He's one of these guys that just, creatively, has ideas flowing out of him at all times. We'll play something for him and he'll have 10 recommendations... He lives off of creativity. He's been doing it for a long time. I think he started working in a studio when he was just a teenager... His list of gear, his personal gear, is just off the charts.... He just casually mentions the history of a piece of gear and you're like, "Wait, what?"

He's just a joy to be around, and he just spits down information. I mean, I started writing stuff down that he was saying because I was like, "I need to look up this and this and this." He's a great guy. He's a beautiful soul. It was honestly one of the biggest pleasures, getting to work with him and just getting to know him.

PC: Lastly, Max, is there anything that you would want to say to people who discover Kitchen Dwellers from this album? Maybe this is the first time they hear you, this is their introduction to the band... is there anything that you would want say to them or would want them to know?

Max Davies: None of us are professionally trained musicians in any way. So, I think we just kind of have carved out our own path a little bit. A lot of that is because of our influences. When we started playing music, I never listened to cowboy music or cowboy country, but now I freaking love it. We just derive our influences from all different kinds of music, including a lot of the different kinds of country music. If anyone hears it and it strikes a chord, first off, thank you for even listening.

I think people that find their way to [Kitchen Dwellers] usually might be just surprised, because there's a little bit of depth there as far as our journey as a band, because if you listen to something from the beginning to now, it'll still sound like us, but it might sound different. Mostly the only thing to take away is that we really appreciate people listening... We couldn't do it without the people listening and the passion that comes with a lot of it. So, it's just a beautiful thing and we appreciate it.

Kitchen Dweller's Seven Devils drops Friday, March 1. Fans can learn more about the band by checking out their website, including tour dates and merch. Click here to find Kitchen Dwellers on Spotify. Keep it locked to for more great music news, exclusives, and interviews!

This interview has been edited for length and content.