2012-08-28 Devil

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Risen from the depths of Norway just a few years ago, DEVIL have caused a little sensation with their excellent debut-album “Time To Repent” that is now followed by a re-release of the band´s earlier recordings. “Magister Mundi Xum”/”The Noble Savage” already shows very mature songwriting combined with an occult atmosphere. So we asked guitarist Stian Fossum about the idea to make these releases available again and what to expect next from this promising band.InterviewHi! How are you?

Good evening! Very good, thank you! Writing from a cabin in Geiranger, in one of Norway´s beautiful fiords. Having a small roadtrip with my wife and dog, which is very relaxing and not least beautiful.

Why have you decided to re-release your demo “Magister Mundi Num” combined with your first single “The Noble Savage/Blood Is Boiling” so early after your first album “Time To Repent”? Haven´t you been interested to have these two first releases as rare and wanted stuff for a longer period of time?

Well, there are several reasons. First of all, the initial CD version that we released ourselves with Unborn Productions was sold out almost before people had heard of DEVIL. Furthermore, I think it’s good timing now, to help the waiting time for the second album feel a bit shorter. And last but not least, Soulseller Records have gotten quite a few inquiries for the demo and wanted to release it again. And for the songs from the 7”, it would be a nice treat for people to have these available on CD, too. As for keeping stuff rare and wanted, that is a strategy I think sucks big time. It’s taking advantage of one’s fans, and it’s not how we like to do it. In a perfect world all releases from DEVIL should be unlimited. That was the only thing that worried me about reissuing the demo, too, that maybe collectors would have to buy the EP again, even if they have the recordings from earlier. I hope I’m not the only one that thinks like this. Too many vultures in this world, my friend. Too many.

Some songs of the demo and the single also appear on “Time To Repent”, that are “Time To Repent”, “At The Blacksmith´s” and “Blood Is Boiling”. Can you say that the newer recordings are the better ones? Or do you still like the little rawer sound on the first releases?

I haven’t really compared them. Maybe the sound is a bit cooler on the demo, but the performance from us is probably better on the album. I guess I have the same love for both recordings of those songs. Or maybe lack of love. I seldom think back on stuff. I must admit I haven’t heard neither the demo nor the album more than maybe three times since they had been released. I find it much more inspiring to look ahead. As for others, I’ve heard both. Some like the demo, some like the album. Some like both. Or none, haha.

Why haven´t you re-recorded more of the older songs for your debut-album?

I don’t really remember, but I think we wrote songs so quickly that we had a full album and then some long before we set the track list. So I think we decided to let the demo be more of a complete and individual release by keeping some songs exclusive for that. And it was very clear from the start that we couldn’t leave “At The Blacksmith’s” out, and we decided very early that the album was going to be named “Time To Repent”, so we had to include that one. That left the three other ones out, but I still think they’re good songs. As for “The Noble Savage”, we thought it would be cool to have an exclusive song for the single, too. Actually, the plan was to include “The Noble Savage” on the album, and leave “Blood Is Boiling” as an exclusive B-side, but we liked “Blood Is Boiling” so much we thought it justified a spot on the album.

Some of you also play in the Black-Thrash-band VESEN that already exists since the end of the 90´s. What does DEVIL give to you that VESEN does not? And what had been the inspiration to found DEVIL?

Yep, Ronny and Thomas also, or should I say mainly, play in VESEN. I know Thomas once said the main difference was that VESEN at all times tries to break down walls, while DEVIL are more about building them. I also know that Thomas wanted to play in a band, but not be front man for once. Ronny was the initial founder of DEVIL together with me, and the idea was to play some SABBATH/PENTAGRAM styled Heavy Metal on a very low profile manner. It kinda escalated a bit, as you may have noticed…. We started the band to get an arena for beers and jams, but we’ve visited quite a few countries since then!

What do you think about the nowadays becoming stronger Occult Rock-scene with bands like THE DEVIL´S BLOOD, GHOST, JESS AND THE ANCIENT ONES or BLOOD CEREMONY? Do you perhaps see yourself as a part of it?

As with all genres, there’s both shit and diamonds in this one, too. It doesn’t matter what we think, we don’t write the history. Destiny has made us a part of this movement, and instead of fighting it, I prefer to seize the opportunity to use the spotlight set on Retro Heavy Rock for the best. But as for the “occult” part, I think quite a few of the other bands take that much more serious than us, or at least like to pretend that they do. We’re more the Heavy Hock, honest, working class, no bullshit-side of the scene. Maybe closer in our way of thinking to GRAVEYARD and ORCHID, if you want to keep it in the family. But we’ve played with all those bands, and I’m glad they have made such names for themselves. There’s always room for quality, and I’m the last one to judge what is quality and what is not.

When can we expect new material of DEVIL? Are you already working on a new album? And if so, can you give us a perspective how it will sound like and perhaps some new song-titles?

I don’t know when the album will be ready, but hopefully during the winter. We’re so to speak finished with writing songs, just some rearrangements and details to add, before we rehearse like hell and start recording it. The album is gonna be called “Gather The Sinners”, but this time we don’t have a title track. Some tracks, however, are “Mother Shipton” and “They Pale”, which we’ve played live already, both when opening for PENTAGRAM and at “Roadburn”. Since we like Germany so much, I’ll throw out a couple more, fresh for your readers; “Southern Sun” and “Demons On Wheels” are two other songs, of VERY different style than you’re used to from DEVIL.

Do you have some special final statements for your fans in Germany?

Sure! We hope to see you all next summer, as we’re hoping to visit some of your bigger and very cool festivals! Germany´s Heavyrockers party and play hard, and that’s how we like it!

Thanks for your interest in DEVIL, and take care!

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