Sep 30, 2011

{Guest post + Interview} Rachael Wade of The Resistance Triliogy

Amaranth (The Resistance Trilogy)
Today from Rachael Wades novel Amaranth,  two special guest are visiting Seeing Night Reviews: Camille Hart and Gavin Devereaux. 
Now let the interview begin!
Camille Hart, a local St. Martinville resident and LSU literature student recently had the opportunity to sit down with Gavin Devereaux, a life-long resident of New Iberia and a local musician, to interview him about his latest charity album for a music feature in LSU’s publication, The Daily Reveille. The following are her observations and her account.

Arrived at Cafe Des Amis in downtown Breaux Bridge at 7am sharp. Pretty early, but Mr. Devereaux insisted on me being on time for this thing called a Zydeco breakfast. Apparently, it’s what the restaurant is known for. I live up the road but have never been. It’s a relaxed, friendly atmosphere with a very artsy, Southern vibe.

Mr. Devereaux is way too formal-sounding of an address for him. Won’t be calling him “Sir.” Too stuffy. Good thing, too. This guy is young and gorgeous—too gorgeous—when I approach him at the nearest table to the door. He stands and greets me with a shy smile, pulls out my chair, stuffs his hands in his pockets and sits. He has a strange glow about him, and his movements are graceful and swift.

The restaurant smells different: aromas of Cajun cuisine and a hint of something sweet fill the air. The place is bustling—the band starting, people moving to their feet already, despite the early hour. Gavin is wearing an interesting pair of worn-out boots, a black blazer, and a vintage t-shirt with a graphic I can’t quite make out. He orders me coffee and I pull out my tape recorder and journal to take notes, careful I don’t drop anything. This guy makes me nervous—his dark eyes are entrancing.

Thanks for meeting with me, Gavin. So, tell me about this album you’re recording for charity. Which charities are the proceeds going to and what kind of music can we expect to be on the CD?

I’m happy to do this, Camille (smiles—wow—tugs at his collar). The proceeds will go to a few different charities. I’ve set up the Duval Foundation, which is comprised of a number of causes I’m passionate about. Second Hope, an organization that helps the homeless in New Iberia, and Les Enfants, an organization with headquarters in Paris and London that focuses on the needs of children in inner-city schools, for example. Two good friends of mine, Gabe and Joel (points to two musicians on the stage) have recorded a range of covers with me—everything from classic rock and blues to some local Zydeco sounds. There will also be two original piano pieces I composed.

That’s really inspiring...and you’re so young. Have you always had a philanthropist streak in you? And you play piano as well as guitar? What’s your favorite piece?

Looks can be deceiving (chuckles, looks down). Yeah, I guess helping people is something that comes natural to me. It’s definitely a priority. My father was a human rights advocate, as was my mother. They gave their lives to...(runs his hand underneath his chin) their lives to help others. And yes, I play piano, too. Beethoven pieces are my favorite.

I’ve always loved the piano. Never learned, though. And what were your musical influences for the album, aside from the local sound?

You should try playing sometime; it’s a hobby worth picking up. I could teach you if you’d like (clears throat, looks down, sips coffee).  Hmm, other influences. Well, Led Zeppelin was a big one, and Johnny Cash as well. What kind of music do you like? (looks up at me as he takes another sip, runs fingers through his hair)

Oh, I—I love Cash. And a lot of rock, too. So...tell me about the release party. You plan on holding it here, at Cafe Des Amis. People will be able to make in-person donations, correct? Are there any—

What kind of rock music?


Who do you listen to? If you don’t mind me asking...

A little bit of everything, I guess. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Breaking Benjamin. So, about the release party...people will be able to make donations in person, correct?

Wow, you’re relentless. (lips quirk up in a smile)

Excuse me? You’re dodging. This is an important question. I thought I was supposed to be interviewing you.

Sorry, Camille (adjusts himself in his seat). Would just like to get to know you, that’s all. You don’t strike me as someone who minds lack of formality.

I don’t mind it, Gavin, but I’m here to interview you and I’m kind of short on time as I’m sure you are, so if you don’t mind...

No, please go ahead (deadpans me). But I’m in no rush this morning.

Thank you. As I was saying...those who attend the release party can make in-person donations, correct? Will there be any other activities or entertainment aside from your live performance?

Yes, in-person donations will be accepted and are welcome. Aside from our performance, there will be a few raffles and a local Zydeco band will be taking the stage for the rest of the evening as well. Will you be attending?

Um...I’d like to try and make it, sure. It’ll depend on my schedule. I might have to work that night. How do you feel about hosting the release party here? Does Cafe Des Amis hold any significance to you?

Well, I hope you can make it. Where do you work?

I’ll try my best. I work at an indie bookstore in Lafayette. And what about my question...about Cafe Des Amis?

Oh, sorry. (breaks his intense stare, shakes head)Yeah, this place represents the heart of Breaux Bridge and much of the Lafayette region, I think, so it’s an ideal location. This is also one of my favorite spots to play open mic nights. The crowd is great and the atmosphere is laidback. I’m a pretty quiet guy, stay to myself mostly. But when I’m here, the people I’m playing with are like my family. I can be myself, don’t have to hide. Speaking of, (glances over his shoulder at the dance floor) I know you’re short on time, so how about one dance with me before you take off? But I’m not done with all of my interview questions—

We can finish the interview later, maybe over dinner? I make some mean chicken parmesan. (stands and holds out a hand with a timid grin, stuffs other hand in his pocket) Please, you can’t come to a Zydeco breakfast and not dance. It’s just wrong.

I’m a terrible dancer, and I really am in a rush. To be honest, I don’t even know how to --

But you want to learn, I can tell. (notices my interest in the crowd) Here, I’ll teach you.


Attempted to resume interview. Failed. Instead learned to dance to Zydeco music, blushed like an idiot, and eventually finished the interview at his home in New Iberia that night over the best plate of chicken parmesan I’ve ever eaten. Will be seeing him again soon. He seems to read me well and is quite intuitive. Don’t know what to make of it...

Amaranth, Book One of The Resistance Trilogy is available now in e-book from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Available in print Sept. 30th.

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