Terry had the pleasure of interview Paul Martin from Devilskin. Here's what he had to say:
Hey there Paul. You guys have a new album due out 11th of the 11th, is there any significance to the dates?
Yeah well 11th of 11th a lot of people freak out on those numbers and we thought it suited things nicely. When it comes to release dates you so many things that have to be lined up first and it all happened on that day and we thought oh cool number. It wasnít intentional but the timing was perfect for us.
To the new album with the writing and recording process was there much differences from the last album? How do you guys work with the writing, is it Nails and yourself or do you all come together and write? How do you guys work like that?
Itís weird because like the first album the very first jam we had together we wrote Fade, Little Pills and Until You Bleed. That was in the first jam so it happened real easy for us. Nail or I come up with a riff and we all roll with it from there. Jennie, of all the musicians I have played with has this uncanny gift for melody and she'll just sing over the top of our riffs and I get chills, I get goose bumps. Sheís gifted and it just drips out of her and yeah. With the first album we had 3 or 4 years together before we did the album so it was a long process and the songs came real easy to us. For this new album we demoed close to 30 songs for it and there were tracks that didnít make it onto the first album that we really wanted to put onto this album. With 30 tracks and with the luxury of a bit more time on our side we were able to take some time out to just do some song writing so we would shoot off to the Bach for a few days the four of us. It was really good and we were really focused on it and I think they did better for it the songs sound a lot more focused and to the point.
You guys got lucky and were able to record overseas. Who did that go for you?
It cost us a lot to get that lucky. New Zealand is running out of studios, big ones that is and the fact is that itís so pricey now days, itís as cheap to record overseas as it is here so if youíre over there for a few gigs you might as well do some recording. A lot of the studios in the UK and Europe have accommodation as well so you get to stay on site too, which is real good because youíre just so immersed in the recording process. Basically living in the studio and working on it 12-13 hours a day and living there it just makes it a really good atmosphere to get creative and to record in.
In my opinion itís very difficult to make money and be a musician in New Zealand. How do you get past that obstacle?
Itís taken me 50 years to try and figure that one out myself. Itís a combination of things. You have to have the right chemistry in the band. The first time I heard Jennie sing, she sent a demo into The Axe Attack years ago I think she was about 16-17 I think and holy crap as soon as I heard it knew she had that X factor and knew she was special. I never dreamed I would get to play in a band with her. But once you have that chemistry and it all starts and finishes with having an amazing singer and Jennie's more gifted than any one I have ever met in that department so thatís where you start. But people think Devilskin just popped up overnight, but really we didnít - we played shitty little bars up and down the country for 3 or 4 years before anyone had heard any our songs. The Rock took a year to play Little Pills once I had presented it to them so I wasnít getting any favours and I worked for them. But we just stuck to our guns and thatís part of the title for the album Be Like The River. Itís a song that didnít make it onto the album, much like We Rise didnít make it onto the first album but itís on the new one. But the lyric goes Be like the river that cuts through the stone. You just got to keep going and you will wear a path for yourself and make your way out to the sea or get to be where you need to be. But you just got to stick with it. Thatís the biggest thing for bands in this country is you just got to stick with it and work hard.
What would you describe as one of your career highlights?
Last time Black Sabbath came over I got to hang out with Tony Iommi for a good hour, so the only thing left on my bucket list is shaking Jimmy Pageís hand. Thereís been a lot. Getting to share the stage with Heaven and Hell and Down. Sharing the Motorhead and getting to hang out with Lemmy, thereís been some pretty magic moments.
Could you please give us some words of advice for young musicians?
Be like the river and cut through the stone, fight like a lion defending his home.
Iíve been playing in bands since I was 17 and basically itís all I ever wanted to do when I grew up. If you still got a band and your still enjoying it after years to me thatís making it, you know. Thereís a lot to be said for experience and I see some of these new bands and young bands and they are full of it and I see them making silly mistakes and I just think youíre just going to have to be in it a few more years to learn that you donít do that sort of thing. Experience counts for a lot and if you havenít been an arsehole then youíre still going to survive in your chosen scene years later. You have to treat people with respect. You have to conduct yourself well and you have to have that passion and that fire. I think thatís the key to longevity.
Devilskin is a four piece band from Hamilton New Zealand formed in June 2010, they already have guts, class, kudos and confidence. The sum total of a determined and accomplished group of musicians who know what they want, the music is organic, dynamic and real.
The band features the spectacular Jennie Skulander on lead vocals. Her powerful and compelling voice and alluring stage presence sets her apart from any vocalist New Zealand has put up so far. With an unerring gift for melody, Jennie's incredible voice sweeps from whisper to roar, rips with power, drips with melody and captivates with sincerity.
Jennie previously fronted Rotorua band Slipping Tongue garnering a swathe of fans with their videos, EPs and album. Slipping Tongue also impressed many when they opened for Coheed & Cambria in 2008.