Friday 21 September 2018

Interview: Devcord

Progressive death metal project from Austria, Devcord, is a brainchild of composer Peter Royburger, and I can freely say that the one-man band's debut album "Dysthymia" is one of the releases that surprised me most in the last few weeks.

I talked with Peter about the album, and below is what he had to say.

Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how's life?

Preferably good.

Speaking of new music, you have an album. What can people expect from “Dysthymia”?

Normally, I’d say “let yourselves be surprised”, but that would be a rather short answer. I think it’s a very diverse progressive death metal album that has a lot to offer, you can find heavy riffs and double basses, but also orchestral and calm parts. There are clean vocals, but also typical growling. Those who love progressive metal should definitely give it a try.

What was it like working on the album?

For the last 20 years, I’ve been playing gigs with various bands and I’ve always enjoyed being on stage. Nevertheless, I just love working in my home studio at night.

As I recorded Dysthymia at home, I didn’t have to stick to any financial plans or schedules. I had plenty of time – in the end it took me about 4 years to finalize it! But it was really enjoyable to compose without any stress. Even though “Dysthymia” stands for depression, the making of it was pure bliss!

Although Devcord is a one-man project, are there any plans to gather a live-line-up and promote “Dysthymia” live?

Despite playing in other bands, I don’t know anyone who would join me and perform my music on stage. That is why I have to say no, unfortunately. Additionally, I have to say that initially, it was planned as a one-man project, so that I could have as much artistic freedom as possible.

While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?

If the Flat Earth Theory is true, I’d like to tour to the other side of our disc called Earth. Just kidding. I have already seen a lot of Europe, so I’d like to see the rest of the world. This summer, I travelled to amazing Japan! It would definitely be part of a tour… and the US as well.

Who and what inspires you the most?

I like listening to various genres, also apart from metal. When it comes to music, I prefer complex arrangements to verse, chorus, verse, chorus-songs. In my opinion, a good album should still be engaging, exciting and a little bit new after listening to it for the tenth time. My big inspiration are bands like Wilderun, Extol, The Faceless, Fleshkiller, Haken or Porcupine Tree, because of their musical elaboration and all their details! Still, I can’t deny that the biggest influence of “Dysthymia” was Opeth.

“Dysthymia” was also influenced by movies like John Carpenter’s “In the Mouth of Madness” or Stephen King’s novel “Pet Sematary”. In both, you are able to sense the eerie power children can have in horror stories. You can find that same feeling in the song “Reaper’s Helpers”.

Moreover, the song title “Jerk Pitch Rape” is an anagram for serial killer Jack the Ripper. I came up with that idea right after a night tour of the old town of London.

What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?

In the nineties, my favourite genre was grunge. I still go to Alice in Chains concerts when they are around. Of course, Nirvana was a big influence and they showed me the way to many other grunge and rock bands. In the early 2000s, I finally discovered metal. In my huge CD collection, I’ve got anything from Death Metal like Bloodbath and Opeth to Mozart’s Requiem. The opener of my album called “The Mortician” is a mix of these two contrary music styles as it starts with an orchestral part and becomes harder later on.

I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?

One of my big goals was to make physical copies of Dysthymia as I have always been a big fan of CDs including proper artwork and concept. Until today, I love browsing through CD stores, flipping through booklets, buying copies at a real counter, putting an album into my CD player at home, enjoying the music and really connecting to it.

For this reason, to all the metalheads out there: Buy CDs and vinyl instead of heartless downloads, they simply have more soul!

"Dysthymia" is available from Bandcamp. Stay tuned for more Devcord via Facebook.

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