by Mike Chen on 03/12/09 at 04:16 PM ET
In my eyes, Boyd Devereaux may just be the luckiest dude on the planet. Here’s a guy who’s got a Stanley Cup ring and his own indie rock label, Elevation Recordings (no relation to Elevation Partners, the Bono-powered venture capital firm). Currently back with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Devereaux’s seemingly got the most in-depth musical taste of any player in the NHL; he’s probably the only guy you’ll be able to find on both TSN’s and Stereogum’s archives.
From Radiohead to Black Sabbath to Mogwai, Devereaux’s favorites are a virtual catalog of indie rock and college radio essentials—and he’s the focus of this edition of Puck Rock. For you music geeks out there, you’ll marvel at his selection of tracks.
Tell readers about why you started Elevation Recordings and some of your artists.
I got into Elevation with a good friend of mine from Detroit who i met while playing for the Wings named Joe Greenwald. He actually had already began the label and i was really excited about the start he had going…he asked if i wanted to be a part of it and i didn’t hesitate to say yes. I’m quite proud of our catalog so far which includes releases from doom/metalgaze duo Nadja, psych-country purveyors Blood Meridian and Australian post-rock titans Laura.
When you’re done with hockey, do you see yourself getting into the music business full time?
I’d like to pursue a few ideas i have.
Do any teammates (past or present) share your passion for indie rock or are you pretty much ignored on the locker room stereo?
I’ve played with plenty of music fans but i dig pretty deep.
Mike’s note: Compared to the usual mix of metal, hard rock, and country I’ve seen during my Puck Rock research, “pretty deep” is an understatement.
Has your high-profile day job helped bring attention to Elevation Music? Where do you see the label going from here?
I think so. We’ve gotten some pretty cool press from sources we admire. I like the model Joe and I are running Elevation with currently but if opportunity arose and timing was right we would perhaps consider pushing it further.
You’ve played in a number of different cities in your career. Do you have favorite spots in each place to catch live bands and local acts?
In Edmonton I didn’t see lot of shows. In Detroit, my favorite spots were St. Andrews Hall and the Lager House. I saw a bunch of shows in Phoenix at Modern Arts, the Clubhouse and the Marquee Theater. In Toronto it’s usually Lee’s Palace, the Horseshoe Tavern, Sneaky Dee’s and the Tranzac.
Mike’s note: Any indie rock fans reading this from the Detroit, Toronto, or Phoenix area want to comment on his choice of venues? In the Bay Area, your selection includes the historic Fillmore theater, Slim’s, Bimbo’s 365, Cafe du Nord, and The Blank Club right outside of HP Pavilion.
Since you’re constantly on the road, how do you keep up with new music?
On the road is where i usually catch up with a lot listening i want to do.
Mike’s note: Check out this article from 2006 where Boyd lists his current on-the-road playlist.
You were a speaker at a music-meets-sports panel at NXNE 2008. How did you get involved with such a notable music festival and what was your experience like?
Local radio DJ Dave Bookman was hosting the panel and knew of my interest in music and asked me to participate. It was a lot of fun—met some cool people and there were great stories from all the panelists.
Hit shuffle on your iPod. What comes up?
So You’ll Aim Towards The Sky/ Grandaddy
Hockey arenas are often filled with nu-metal, hair metal, and pop. In your perfect world, what song would you be skating out to?
The Apples In Stereo on a Pepsi commercial: selling out or smart business move?
It depends on the band and the product. I don’t like it necessarily but you can’t begrudge a struggling band putting a few bucks in their pocket.
You’re stranded on a desert island with the back catalogs of five artists. Who are they?
Black Sabbath, Radiohead, Neil Young, Nick Cave, My Morning Jacket
(Selected tracks from each artist below:)
My personal favorite Radiohead song:
Nick Cave, or as one of my friends calls him, The Greatest Songwriter To Ever Live:
You’ve just won the Stanley Cup. What song do you want played over the cheesy TV network montage?
Friend of the Night/ Mogwai
Mike’s note: I’m guessing that I can continue Puck Rock indefinitely and I’ll never, ever come across another player who picks a Mogwai song for his Stanley Cup montage. How cool is that?
If you liked the variety of Boyd’s selections, go check out the catalog at Elevation Recordings to see more of the artists on his label.
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