Monday 21 January 2013

Interview time with Devil

Devil has been making quite the name for themselves with their retro mixture of traditional doom, rife with all the occult goodness we have grown to love of the genre. With a full length album 'Time to Repent' and a compilation of earlier works 'Magister Mundi Xum / The Nobel Savage' appearing last year one can already tell that 2013 will be a great year for Devil.  Before the year fully takes off Stian took some time to sit down and answer some questions for us and what great answers they are. Art, Childrens Books, Classic Doom, New album, this interview has it all so check it out!

Before you dive in make sure you have some Devil accompanying you.

1. Who are you?

Good day! My name is Stian, and I play guitar with the Norwegian occult rock outfit Devil.

2. Where are you from?

Originally I'm from a little town called Kongsvinger, east in Norway. But after many years in Oslo, I now live in Nes, Akershus, a farming county also in the east of Norway, and so does the rest of Devil.

3. What do you do?

I live with my wife, cat and dog and spend time with them, spend time in the woods, listen to music, working on numerous projects such as writing a childrens book, having side projects in various genres, reading comics, watch classic movies, I love to cook, attending my daytime job, etc etc. But most important for you guys is of course that I play in and does much work behind the scene for Devil.

4. Why do you do this?

To narrow it down to one reason is very difficult, but if I should try, I'd say it's the times we're on stage playing live. But it's also because every boy that grew up listening to rock and metal
dreams of playing in a band. It's the last thing that keeps me from going insane. Or "growing up", as it's called, haha.

5. Devil. What a strong name, one that invokes many emotions and images. What was the decision behind this name?

Well, thank you, sir. We wanted a name that describes what we do, and at the same time being generic. We wanted a name like classic bands such as Satan, Venom, Pentagram, etc. No bullshit, no hidden meanings. And we like to think we nailed that pretty well!

6. What are a couple of influences that made you guys decide to play in the traditional doom style?

Me and Ronny had played with the idea for some time and were only looking for that final push to get us started. We wanted to play somewhat the style we grew up with back in the 80's, but then we were at a Pentagram show and then decided that we wanted to go in that direction. And most of us have been fans of doom since we were kids, but actually it was only after we recorded stuff we saw the resemblence with for Witchfinder General, which now for me is quite obvious in retrospective.

7. The occult has always shared a loving relationship with doom metal. What makes this pairing so magical? and on a personal level what is your attraction with the occult?

I think that doom perhaps is the most spiritual direction in metal, but if it is the doom that makes people spiritual or that spiritual people are drawn towards the genre. As you probably know
doom musicians really never let go of the hippie influences, as oppose to most other metal directions. My personal interest in the occult is "knowledge driven". I do like to read and learn of many subjects, and the occult is of course one of those subjects. But if you ask if I'm into rituals and stuff, I must disappoint you.

8. Your full length album 'Time to Repent' received mixed reviews, seems to be one of those you either love it or hate it kind of things. Did it achieve what you had anticipated? Or is there room to grow?

We were more prepared for the lower end of the scale in reviews, so actually we were kinda flabbergasted when we did get some top reviews too. It's sold more than we expected though, which means we have more listeners than we anticipated, so we're very happy! But of course there is room to grow. Or change. When you feel you got nothing more to give, you should put away the guitar. And I'm not doing that for many years.

9. Personally I enjoyed the album, what I liked more, the album art. Who came up with the design?

Thank you! The artwork is most excellent, I agree on that. Iconic, clean and describing. And tits, haha! It's made by a Polish artist named Rafal Kruszyk. We wanted to engage him again, but we couldn't get hold of him. He's a busy guy and traveling for long periods of time, so we didn't wait for him to settle down again. So we landed on Coven Illustrations, and Adrian there has done a great job with the new artwork too. It's more "ordinary" in the meaning that he's a much used talent in the genre, but it still has a lot of identity and is very suitable for the album title and us. And with tits again, haha! 

10. Soulseller records has a very talented roster, how is it being part of that family?

Very good! We're treated very well, and so are all of the other bands. And with a strong Norwegian branch in the label, we run into label mates from time to time, like Dead to This World and Tombstones. And Jorn is running everything by himself in style. He never interferes with the artistic side of things, and is always positive and constructive. I hope Soulseller can prosper with our help. We've had attention from other labels, but at this point and in the foreseeable future, Soulseller is very correct for us. And being one of the biggest selling bands on a label is always cool, of course. It makes you feel like you give something back.

11. The rumor is you are working on a new album, care to tease us with some info?

Yeah, that is extremely correct! Actually we're soon finished recording it. I will head over for studio now after answering your questions, and help Joakim with the vocal duties before todays big game between Tottenham and Manchester United. We're football fans too, you know. There's occult for ya! Hopefully the album "Gather the Sinners" will be out late March/early April.

12. Other than the album, what else is in store for Devil in 2013?

Not much, in fact. We're hoping to do some festivals, and we're releasing a split later this year with Chad Davis' "The Sabbathian", other than that it's not much on the agenda. Probably some radio shows and stuff to promote the new album though, and the mentioned festivals, hopefully. You know, we're not 20 and can live in a mini bus anymore. We got mouths to feed and bills to pay (and lazy asses to sit down), so that's why we don't do many shows during a year.

13. File-sharing has been an ongoing battle for bands over the past couple of years, what are your opinions on it?

Interesting question that I don't have a very thought through or distinct opinion on. It's out there, and then you have to deal with it. It's a treat that much more people has access to your music, and that has to be the bottom line. If someone feels like buying what they like too, that's nice. But money is temporary, glory is forever. And the business that takes this bullet really has themselves to thank, for not being pro active on this matter AT ALL. And another positive thing about it is that you get to see much more awesome shows, as it forces bands on tour. And you might get rid of some people only in it for the money. Ooooh, I'm listening to a playlist I don't know, and now its Scorpions' Sails of Charon!!! Can you believe they went from that to Winds of Change? What a bunch of retards, haha! Uli for king!

14. Your on the way to a North American tour, but your plane crashes on a deserted island along the way. You have time to grab 3 records out of your bag, what three do you choose?

Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath, to remind me of where it started, the life that's about to come to an end.
Candlemass - Nightfall, because it's maybe the most played album of mine.
Lynyrd Skynyrd - (Pronounced 'Leh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd), to remind me of how thankful I should be to survive a plane crash, and because it fucking rocks!

Well, I won't take too much of your time, you have a killer new album to finish! Any last words you want to share with your fans?

Yeah! Stay cool, listen to Diamond Head - Lightning to the Nations and take care of your loved ones!

Want more Devil?


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