Whether you consider yourself a pioneering band or a band who wants to bend a genre so much that the sound evolves itself from the original formulaic infrastructure it's built upon, one thing for certain is that making music requires three solid and key components:- commitment, defiance and the so-true notion of 'patience is a virtue'. Devilment are a perfect example of this, having been freed from the shackles of a demonically-plagued past with in-house quarrels, strived forward to tour with Cradle of Filth of Black Metal fame and rode the waves to summon their second album due to be released this year, it's clear that this Suffolk horde are on a winning run and that no matter what challenges pose them, they're geared to assault these challenges with newfound rigour.
GMA spoke to Colin Parks (Lead Guitarist) to gain an insight into what the future holds for this Witch county brethren, their impending album release and subsequent tour, past relics and some rather dark and disturbing secrets (you filthy animal).
"The United Kingdom is a tough market to crack (on album sales)... if people spent as much time supporting one another as they do slagging every band off... we would be richer musically for it."
What is new in the Devilment camp? How are things shaping up for your new album and impending tour?
"Things in the Devilment camp are great, the unit is strong and we are all very close friends. We have welcomed Matt Alston (Eastern Front, Sanctorum) to the band as the full time drummer and this has really been a fantastic addition on many levels. Matt is a great drummer, a driven person and a good guy, it is nice to be around other professionals who really take their craft seriously. On the other side of the line-up change, Sam S. Junior left the band around 8 months ago, he now performs in Savage Messiah. He left due to travel issues and of course playing in Savage Messiah full time.
The album is something that we all are very proud of, we have worked very hard collectively as a unit to bring this album to you, in its strongest possible form both musically and as a package it is a long way ahead of the debut."
Would you say the shadow of Daniel Finch has been buried and that Devilment is no longer in the shadow of him?
"Of course. To be honest it is not something we really think of anymore, Daniel left the band on his own terms, the band were supportive and despite emotions obviously running high at the time, we tried our best to support him. Some people just realise it is not for them, the touring and the pressure of deadlines along with the realisation that you have to share your dream with other's, is something you either thrive on, or you feel coming down on you in a negative way, everyone is different. Also despite anything you may read in a negative light about the situation, you will never read anything personal from us directed to anyone.
Musically the "shadow" was already being stepped out of on the debut, 'Summer Arteries', 'Sanity Hits A Perfect Zero', 'The Great And Secret Show' were all songs by myself and Nick. When myself and Lauren joined the band, the sound changed drastically from that moment on, Daniel always had a very Industrial, Groove based vibe going on, simple but immediate and catchy. Myself, Lauren and Nick pride ourselves on being as musically diverse and rich as we can be within the given genre.
The new album "II (The Mephisto Waltzes)" is a massive step up in every single aspect, the guitars are way more intricate and full of counter-melodies and harmonies, the keys are thick and exciting, Lauren's female vocals have made a massive difference to this album. I feel that Lauren's input vocally, has pushed this album to a new level for Devilment. I personally spent months writing for this album and Lauren contributed a large amount the whole way through and we both are both from the school of thought of graft, graft, graft."
In relation to previous two questions, will the new album have a different sound to 'The Great...' album?
"Yes and no, the first album had some very strong tracks, a lot of the album was already written before three of us joined the band, so in many ways it had a linearity to the sound that was already in place. This outing has been far far more of a group effort, and we have found our sound as "Devilment". The album transcends genres in many ways, it has a very Progressive feel to the music, the drumming is spine-breaking, the bass has stepped up massively with some technical wizardry on the fretboard from Nick. The vocals from Dani are refined, twisted and crafted. Lauren's chorus work and ambience in truth is f**king amazing and the whole thing is just more mature and more melodic, but also a harder hitting album that will not feel unfamiliar to any of our fans... just different.
The greatest thing as an artist is to continually push the envelope for ourselves, but not alienate our fans who are really in to the first album. The new album certainly has aspects of the first album and lots of nods to other songs from it, but it is just another level in terms of songwriting and playing, the chains were cut off of us and it unleashed a monster! Speaking of monsters, late September we are releasing a lyric video for a song and a full music video the month after of 'Hitchcock Blonde', the bands first single!"
Will you be targeting some festivals next year? Is Bloodstock on the cards?
"Yes we will be hitting the summer festivals hard next year, we intend on touring and getting this album out to you all as much as possible, on the last album cycle the band felt we were not out live enough to make the inroads we wanted to really make. This album we are all pushing to ensure that we are making ourselves a force live and by doing as many shows as possible, we will only become stronger for it.
I can not at this time confirm if we will be playing at Bloodstock, but rest assured there will be some UK ones and many European festivals also. The band are on a UK tour in December around the UK and are hoping to get Stateside in the early part of 2017, depending on sales... so that is down to the fans and the people that kindly support us to make it happen and our team who book our shows."
As you're from Suffolk, what is the metal scene like at the moment? It's gone a little quiet up there.
"It seems to have gone quiet of late, there are some local bands flying the flag, Eastern Front and To The Nines are local bands that are working hard to go places, If I could offer anyone some advice on the unsigned music scene it would be to work as hard as you can. If things seem to not be falling for you, work harder, so hard that you see others around you folding and walking away... remember that those who make it are the ones that would not accept no, those that stay up all night working on music, you got to REALLY want it, not just kind of want it. Stay true and it will come."
Has Devilment ever considered dabbling in the dark side of East Anglia's history? Maybe a song about the 'Black Shuck'?
"We kind of do with the Witch County Suffolk motto, Suffolk has a very rich history and is a very diverse county, in fact I love it to be honest. There are definitely some nods lyrically with regards to this question, just grab out the Devilment album sleeve and have a read through the last album."
With Brexit on the horizon, as a band are you concerned about touring outside the UK?
"Not really, the whole Brexit thing divided a nation, in truth I do not think it should have been put to the public, sometimes the peasants do not know what is in their best interests. It will make things harder with travel and it will in truth be a pain in the ass, but it is what it is, music will always win over politics so I am sure everything will all be just fine."
To the best of your knowledge, where is the furthest your music has been picked up? Are you surprised by this?
"Australia is one of the furthest confirmed album sales, support for Devilment in Australia is fantastic, I have seen the posters and band being played on the TV's in the record stores myself. Funny as it seems to actually be pushed more away from our shores. The United Kingdom is a funny one, its a tough market to crack. There is a lot of elitist bullshit in all genres, if people spent as much time supporting one another as they do slagging every band off in the comments section of what ever post then we would be richer musically for it."
Finally have you got any greetings you wish to send out? (Feel free to add any info as you wish)
"Just to say a big thank you to my fellow band members, during the album process it has been tough for Devilment as a band, loosing Dan originally was a set back, but losing our friend and brother Aaron was a hard one to take for all of us as we are all family, Dani still plays football with azza every Wednesday night!
Want to thank Matt for stepping in and smashing it out the park, we could not have found anyone better for this. Lastly massive thanks to our fans and family for believing in us, for allowing us to do something that we all love with every fibre of our soul, so THANK YOU !!!!!
Now roll on November 18th when you can all hear this monster!!!!!!!"
As Colin said, Devilment's new album "II: The Mephisto Waltzes" is out 18th November via Nuclear Blast
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