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Interview: Devilskin

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Interview: Devilskin
Devilskin are about to head out on the road for a 19-date tour in celebration of the release of their debut album, We Rise. Eventfinda spoke to guitarist Paul Martin to get the low down on their album and tour plans.

What can fans expect from the We Rise album tour?
You can expect NZ's hottest rock act smashing out a high velocity set of old and new songs, a well tuned machine pumped with the excitement of having a killer album to show off. We will have our usual top of line sound and light show as well and we will feature some special guests.

Do you prefer recording or playing shows?
We all love playing shows first and foremost but studio recording is an awesome experience that every band relishes the opportunity to do lets us really climb into the songs in other ways.

What is your favourite venue to perform in?
Vector Arena

What is the live scene like in Hamilton?
Running short of decent venues but great for original bands that don't overexpose themselves. 

Jennie has got such an impressive growl, how is she able to maintain it and keep her voice healthy over the course of a 19-date tour?
Jennie keeps really fit, maintains a strict diet and gets lots of sleep! 

What can fans expect from your new album?
We Rise is a huge progression for Devilskin, it will sit comfortably next to any international album, the sound is sublime. We Rise is compelling, evocative and really deep. There's a real gamut of emotions on display, a lot of honesty and a lot of light and dark. Songs like Burning Tree let us flex our musical muscles and show off the beautiful dynamics in our songwriting. 

Have you experimented with any new or unexpected sounds and influences on this album?
Not influences as such but we have experimented with some different sounds and textures. We have string section play on a few tracks that really sound incredible. 

How has your sound evolved over the last four years working together?
Very naturally I think. We all know each other so much better and recognise our strengths and fortes. I think there's a definite maturity in our sound thats evident on this album.

Tell us about the recording process for We Rise...
Pretty standard... we have been honing the songs for years anyway so there wasn't as much time needed in preproduction, but we did take time to really strip the songs down and work on the arrangements. We spent a bit of time with our producer Clint Murphy before starting the recording which was invaluable, The basically locked ourselves in York St studios for the best part of three weeks. Boom!

Are there any common themes on the album in terms of lyrics?
Jennie and myself write the lyrics. There's not a consistent theme as such aside from a general message of self worth and self belief. Jens' lyrics tend to be more visceral where mine are probably a little bit more introspective.

When you are recording songs, are you also thinking about how they will translate live?
Yes definitely. The songs and live show are paramount to us. 

Three of you were in well-established bands before starting Devilskin. Has the knowledge and skills you picked up in those bands shaped Devilskin as it is today?
Of course. Nail, Jen and myself have had varying degrees of sucess with our previous bands and I think we have all learnt a lot from our experiences. Being in a band, especially being in a busy band with a vision, is an enormous learning curve that's never done with you. The rules and boundaries are fluid and constantly evolving, you have to be able to roll with them. Mostly you have to be 100% committed, we have all definitely learnt that.