By Robb Bailey
South Coast warehouse manager Jody Wood runs and manages the hub of South Coast’s five locations by day and is also a monthly contributor to the newsletter you are reading right now. By night he plays live music around town and has quickly put his band on the map, playing at some of San Diego’s best venues.
Jody Wayne Wood looks like something out of the 50’s, with slicked back hair and a classic look that says: “Rock Star”;. His right arm dawns the moniker of his band, Old Devil, in a script tattoo that peeks out just below the sleeve of his shirt. He keeps hefty chops for facial hair, and speaks like he means it.
Originally from Alabama, Jody’s band takes slices from traditional country icons like Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard, and mixes in sounds ranging from the surf guitar licks of Dick Dale to early-punk pioneers the Misfits.
What you get from Old Devil is a self-proclaimed “Deep fried Southern rockabilly”; sound that has placed this new band in respectable doors in the San Diego area very quickly. According to Jody, “We just wanna have a good time, get the crowd feeling a little rowdy, and make it home on the right side of the law.”;
- How long have you been with the South Coast family? “I’ve been at South Coast now for about three and a half years.”
- What originally brought you out to San Diego? “I moved here when I got out of the Navy so that I could continue surfing. I learned to surf in Japan, then moved to Guam. I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to Hawaii, Austrailia, and Indo when I lived overseas and fell in love with surfing, so I couldn’t see myself moving inland.
- Who are the members of your band? Adam Burns plays lead guitar, Eric Clinton plays bass, Jon Riekse plays drums, and I play guitar and sing.”
- Tell us the history of your band and how you got together. “Well, Eric used to work with me in the South Coast warehouse, so we had been friends for a few years. I kind of knew Adam from around the neighborhood. We had some mutual friends, and then I moved in to an apartment across the hall from him. So, Eric called me up out of the blue and wanted to jam, so we started getting together and working on some songs. Adam could hear us playing and we could hear him playing, so we invited him over to jam with us and his style was a perfect fit for what we had in mind. We met our drummer Jon through a mutual friend back in June. We got together a few times just for fun and everyone was into it, so we decided to start a band.
- What’s the meaning behind your band name? “The tattoo is actually ten years older than the band, oddly enough. It comes from my belief that the human spirit, our souls, move through many lifetimes with the objective being to live, learn, and evolve into a more enlightened, godlike spirit. Some of us are born with spirits that may have farther to go than others. I come from a long line of roughnecks.”
- Your sound ranges from hard core punk rock to slow country ballads about your girl leaving you. Where did these influences come from? “Well, my father was a musician and I was raised on old country music and southern rock. As a teenager, when I started skating, reading Thrasher magazine, and going to shows, I was turned on to punk and speed metal. I listen to everything from Merle Haggard and Neil Young to Black Flag and Slayer. The other guys’ influences really bring the life to the songs. Adam is really into old garage and surf music from the fifties and sixties as well as punk stuff too. Eric loves the Grateful Dead and knows music inside and out. Jon seems to be the perfect fit for us because he can handle it all with style.”
- How long have you been writing songs and making music? “I’ve been playing the guitar almost twenty years now. You can’t tell based on my skill level, however. I wrote my first song about 18 years ago. I was an avid player when I first started and practiced for hours a day. But it’s really just been a hobby for the last ten years. I would write maybe four or five songs a year.
- Any shows that have stood out recently? “Our last show at the Zombie Lounge was definitely our best so far. We had a solid month of practicing two or three times a week beforehand and we just felt really comfortable there and the crowd and vibe was perfect for what we are doing.
- What venues do you have lined up in the coming months? “We are playing at The Ken Club Saturday, December 1st with The Screamin’ Yeehaws and The Strikers. Then we have another gig at the Zombie Lounge January 4th. Hopefully, we can line up a couple more in the meantime.
- Working for South Coast and making music seems to be a happy marriage for several other employees there, how’s it working for you? “It’s really good for me because I have a set schedule for the most part. I have my nights and weekends free for practice and playing shows. It’s cool not having to check my work schedule every week to see when I’m available.
- Anything you wanna say here, it’s yours. Shout outs? Words of wisdom? “Yeah, I really enjoy working at South Coast. Thanks to Rob and Steve for keeping me around and Larry and Robin for making my boards and listening to me ramble on about surfing. Johnny Janiga, of Podunk Nowhere, really encouraged me to start playing in public again. My buddy George and Kimmy for always coming to the shows. And thanks to the guys in the band, I’m really stoked on them and couldn’t be happier with our progress.