Sound and visual artists Christian Deveaux, Savannah Shearouse, and Greg Hornak honed their respective crafts in the houses and galleries of Savannah’s DIY scene. Now, the artists are sharing their music and projections throughout the Southeast in clubs, DIY venues, and warehouses from August 25 to September 4.
Deveaux creates harsh/noise-punk sounds under the moniker The WE4P0n (formerly known as Anklesox). Deveaux, Shearouse, and Hornak all perform in the band Morel Atmosphere with Deveaux on guitar, Shearouse on vocals, bass, and electronics, and Hornak on drums. Hornak also crafts visual projections as greg, creating an engrossing, multisensory environment for each act’s performance.
Before they head to South Carolina, North Carolina, and Florida, the residents of DIY/queer safer space QuoLab will kick the tour off right at home with support from Woolbright, Lotiac, Rainé Rainé, and Valore. We spoke to Deveaux, Hornak and Shearouse about their unique collaborations, exploring new venues, and heading out on the road for the first time.
How did the tour come together?
Deveaux: Originally I was going to go on tour by myself—I've wanted to go on tour for quite some time, since I've been playing a lot since 2016. I started at the old QuoLab across the street...it was a smaller show, then more people started coming out and saying, "You should go on tour, people would dig this sort of thing."
I didn’t have much experience getting contacts for tour, so I reached out to [QuoLab facilitator] Rainé and then Greg hopped on as tour manager.
I’m excited because they’ll be my first bar shows. It’ll also be my first warehouse show.
Hornak: It’s a multipurpose warehouse...They’ve been wanting to do more activated and thoughtful shows. It should be a really interesting night, because that’s a Saturday night in Miami! I’m doing a collaboration where I’m projecting onto a big, undulating mass that people are going to be inside of or something like that. Really highly anticipating that show.
You’re playing in a variety of venues...do you see your show changing based on the venue?
Deveaux: For the most part, I don't have a specific way of carrying myself when I perform. There's definitely going to be much more space to work with. Lately, I've been used to playing houses, Sulfur [Studios], Space Station at Starlandia. I'm excited for all the space I'll have because it's usually cramped...I'll have more variety of sound and junk to use.
What's your setup like?
Deveaux: I have small keyboards, one big one, and it's all rigged through pedals for more effects. Then I have a microphone which I use to speak in, or I'll add loop layers on to my voice.
When developing your sound, is that something you've worked out on your own or in a live environment?
Deveaux: Before, it would be more improvisational, but now I'm starting to develop this routine that I make noises with. I use everything in an order, or start something out differently than I usually do. Sometimes I reverse it or turn it inside out; it's good to be organized, but I enjoy switching it up.
How did the transition from Anklesox to The WE4P0n go?
Deveaux: I wanted something a bit more broad. I felt like I could do more with that name. Anklesox started, to me, to be a more not-so-serious moniker. I felt really attached to the number '40' at the time, and I still am...I incorporated that into the name of The WE4P0n.
So this is your very first time touring?
Deveaux: Yeah, I've gone out with some bands last year...but it's never been a full, planned-out, city-after-city tour, so this will be my first big tour.
Hornak: It’s all of our first tour. We’re going to learn a lot and be really close after this trip.
Shearouse: Or really fall apart!
Hornak: I’ve heard so many different takes on tour, so I’m keeping an open mind throughout the entire trip and trying to see from everyone else’s angles. And we’ve lived together on months on end...We’re pretty used to each other’s idiosyncrasies.
Savannah, how’d you get involved?
Sheahouse: I got involved with the tour when they were talking about going on tour and needing a driver. I was thinking to myself, "I have a car, and Christian and I have a group together, so it only makes sense that I offer my services, and Morel Atmosphere can go, too!"
Hornak: And Morel Atmosphere is constantly changing right now...It was kind of crunchy, grungy—
Shearouse: When we started last year it was me and Christian, and we did a couple practices and talked to another individual, played with him, and it was more Southern blues, punk rock. Then we added a little surf to it and slowly started taking different levels to it. At one point it was grungy, raw punk, and now at this point, we’re like Goth, no-wave. Very in-your-face.
Greg, working with different sounds as a visual artist—what’s that process like for you?
Hornak: I like working in a more interpretive/improvisational way, so it makes sense to work with people I know personally and musicians who've got a conscious or subconscious familiarity for what they're going for.
Also playing to the geographic differences we’re going to be experiencing on tour, because I’ve always been kind of obsessed with how your geographic place informs your perspective: Taste, the colors you like, movements you want to associate yourself with, etc., so I’m going to try and keep an eye out in the passenger seat of the car for what energy I’m getting from different places. I think it’s going to make it come together in a unique way, because we live together and we cultivate our own space—it’s taking a space on the road.
What would y’all like folks to know about the kickoff show?
Hornak: We’re selling patches, we’re selling hot sauce, tapes, t-shirts...we’re going to get pretty-buck wild with the amount of merch and make some really wacky shit!
Shearouse: We’ll even stamp some leather patches!