Posted in Whathaveyou on April 4th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
After a gig-heavy 2013, hard-rocking Swedish crowdpleasers Deville are getting set to head out on another European tour in support of 2013′s Hydra(review here). The four-piece also reportedly have a video in the works for “The Knife” from that album — it’ll be their second behind “Lava,” which you can see below — and in December, they issued a re-recorded version of their 2007 Buzzville Records debut, Come Heavy Sleep, through Italian imprint Heavy Psych Sounds.
Good to stay busy, I’m told. The PR wire has tour dates:
Deville, European Spring Tour
Deville will hit the road again and these are the spring dates for Europe!
April25 2014 Dusseldorf,Germany-Pitcher April26 2014 Lugano,Switzerland-TI/STREET/ART Festival April27 2014 Pescara,Italy-Orange Rock Cafè April28 2014 Roma,Italy-Sinister Noise funeral mantra April29 2014 Santa Croce Sull’ Arno,Italy-Rock City April30 2014 Montecchio Maggiore,Italy-E20 May12014 Piacenza,Italy-Cuncertass Festival May2 2014 St Gallen,Switzerland-Rumpeltum May3 2014 Torino,Italy-Cafè Liber May5 2014 Draguignan,France-Bucephale May6 2014 Padova,Italy-Sotterranei May7 2014 Besanqon,France-Les passagers du Zinc May8 2014 Hasselt,Belgium-Carpe Diem May9 2014 Munster;Germany-Rare Guitar May10 2014 Berlin,Germany-Jaegerklause
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 22nd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
I really, really don’t have a spare grand-plus lying around at this point, but golly that’s a cool lineup posted for Stoned from the Underground this year in Erfurt, Germany. It seems Lowrider‘s reunion — they were a highlight of the London Desertfest in a one-two punch of Swedish awesomeness completed by a set from Dozer immediately following — continues, which is unmistakably good news, and along with the likes of Earthless, Acid King, Troubled Horse, The Gates ofSlumber, Pelicanand the many others listed below, it seems like it’s going to be a killer weekend July 11-13. The kind of weekend I’d like very much to see, let’s say with a camera and laptop in tow. One of these years, maybe.
Indulge a bit of escapism with me, won’t you?
Welcome to the Mother of all German Stoner Rock Meetings
July 11th , 12th & 13th – Alperstedter Lake near ERFURT
Festival founded in 2001 and located in the very geographical center of Germany, in the area of Erfurt (Thuringen): Stoned From The Underground grew from a one day indoor event with 400 visitors in 2001 to a 3 days outdoor event with 3000 visitors last year !
Located a few kilometers away from the city, in a nest of nature bordered by the Alperstedter Lake, the festival is the perfect location for a very first relaxing summer weekend !
Whether you want to sit in the grass, puffing up clouds of smoke, sipping a beer while checking out the best Rock & Stoner acts of the moment,
Or whether you want to chill out laying on your belly on the sand of the beach with your toes cooling down in Lake’s water…..
STONED FROM THE UNDERGROUND is the place where all your dreams will come true.
LINE- UP 2013: EARTHLESS ( Usa) MUSTASCH (Swe) POTHEAD (Ger)
TRUCKFIGHTERS (Swe) THE GATES OF SLUMBER (Usa) BEEN OBSCENE (At) LOWRIDER (Swe) HORISONT(Swe) TROUBLED HORSE (Swe) ISOPTERA (Ger) LORD VICAR (Fin) MIRROR QUEEN (Usa) ACID KING (Usa) PELICAN (Usa) THE OPERATORS (Ger) THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX (Usa) FIVE HORSE JOHNSON (Usa) SARDONIS (Bel) HYNE (Ger) DEVILLE (Swe) BLACK BOMBAIM (Por) HERKULES PROPAGANDA (Ger) TRECKER (Ger)
Posted in Reviews on March 21st, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Even before Hydra is a heavy rock album, it’s a rock album. The third full-length from Malmö, Sweden’s Deville and first for their new label, Small Stone Records, has its roots in Foo Fighters as much as, if not more than Kyuss, and it’s a difference of presentation and method that runs deeper than one might initially think. A lot of the trad stoner tonality that showed up on Deville‘s first two studio offerings, 2007′s Come Heavy Sleep and 2009′s Hail the Black Sky, has dissipated, but if you listen to those two albums in line with the 11 tracks of Hydra, the latest still seems a logical extension of their methods, if one driven in a more straightforward, less fuzz-reliant direction. The band recorded themselves, with drummer Markus Nilsson handling the engineering, so one imagines they knew what they were doing and that the clean, crisp, professional sound they wound up with on these songs wasn’t an accident. Even in terms of the songs themselves, one can see a difference. Not troubling itself with intros, outros or interludes, Hydra also finds Deville tightening the structures of their material, so that in its varied array of moods, there’s only one song reaching over five minutes long — the penultimate “Imperial,” at 6:31 — where each of the prior two offerings has had four. That’s probably not a conscious decision on the band’s part, that is, they likely didn’t sit down and say, “Okay guys, time to write shorter parts,” but it’s another example of Deville departing their stonerly beginnings in favor of a more straightforward take, skirting the lines between hard and heavy rock an an almost track-by-track basis.
Clocking in at a vinyl-ready 44:35, Hydramakes a strong opening statement in its first three tracks, “Lava,” “Iron Fed” and “In Vein.” Each is opened by Nilsson‘s drums and finds vocalist/guitarist Andreas Bengtsson leading the band with guitarist Martin Hambitzer and bassist Markus Åkesson contributing to the momentum. Right away, the band carries across their sonic shift — again, not so drastic that if you heard Deville before you wouldn’t guess you were listening to them again, but still a marked change from the first two records — but if Hydra‘s first volley proves anything, it’s that the tradeoff comes in the band being tighter performance-wise and clearer in their intent. “Iron Fed” chugs through its verse en route to one of the album’s finest hooks, something mid-period Dozer would’ve been proud to hang their hats on, and keeps motion central even in its lead break, which hits right where it should at the end of the second third of the track, right before the chorus comes back in, once and then again with more feeling. Hardly a slowdown, “In Vain” sees Åkesson come forward in the mix, joined by a guitar swell in the chorus, as Bengtsson pulls back on the vocal thrust to ride the groove kept active by Nilsson‘s upbeat snare. It’s in line structurally with most of the rest of Hydra, but “In Vain” also serves as the first signal that Deville have more to offer in terms of mood than the driving rock they’ve so far presented.
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 25th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Leading to a performance at this year’s Desertfest in London, Swedish heavy rockers Deville have announced a run of shows that will take them around Western Europe in support of their new album, Hydra. Their debut on Small Stone (third album overall), Hydra also reportedly has a vinyl issue coming from the Detroit imprint, which sent over the dates and info below:
Sweden’s Deville will be hitting the road starting April 9th in Berlin Germany @ White Trash. The three week tour will also include stops in Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, The Netherlands, and a UK date at Desertfest London on April 26th. In the meantime, do yourself a favor an go get their brand new album Hydra, It is rather fantastic. And yes, there will also be 180g ltd vinyl version available in a few months, but the cd and digital download versions are now available.
Deville on tour 04/09 Berlin, Germany White Trash 04/10 Vienna, Austria The Shelter 04/11 Hohenems, Austria ProKonTra 04/12 Sull’arno, Italy Santa Croce Rock City 04/13 Vercelli, Italy Officine Meccaniche 04/14 Treviso, Italy Punkyreggae pub 04/15 Torino, Italy United Club 04/16 Bologna, Italy Distilleria 04/17 Pescara, Italy Qube 04/18 Milano, Italy Ligera 04/19 Lyon, France Trokson 04/20 Aix-en-Provence, France Le Korigan 04/21 Barcelona, Spain Rock Sound 04/22 Madrid, Spain Sala Barracudas 04/23 Iluntz Taberna Guipuzcoa, Spain 04/24 Paris, France Le KLub 04/25 La Louviere, Belgium La Taverne du Theatre 04/26 London, UK Desertfest UK 04/27 Den Helder, The Netherlands De Engel
Posted in Whathaveyou on January 16th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Well, Small Stone certainly seems to have taken Bandcamp by the proverbial horns. The venerable Detroit imprint will issue the label debut from Swedish heavy rockers Deville come March 26, and though that’s still more than a full two months off, Hydra is streaming in its entirety now on the player below. Maybe Small Stone wanted to get the word out on the record early in advance of Deville performing at the annual Small Stone SXSW showcase this coming March — a gig that will hopefully come surrounded by a run of US shows that also includes a NY-area date. Likely more on that in the weeks ahead and I’ll have a review of the album at some point before it’s released as well.
Till then, guitarist/vocalist Andreas Bengtsson sends word about the stream and some of the band’s doings for 2013:
Small Stone Records streaming new Deville album!
Hi! Small Stone Records are streaming the new Deville album “Hydra”!
Deville signed to Small Stone Records and are confirmed for SXSW Austin, Texas, Desertfest London 2013, SFTU, Erfurt among other festivals and tours.
During 2011 and 2012 Deville have been stuck in the studio most of the time except for some european festivals and random shows. After two full length albums and a couple of hundred shows all around Europe the new record is a product of that. Trying to take this experience of what the band does best and what works live this new record is more wide than previous releases.
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 29th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Kudos to Swedish heavy rocking four-piece Deville on their signing to Small Stone. The Detroit label, who’ve already had so busy a 2012 that I haven’t been able to keep up with reviewing everything, seem not to be slowing in the slightest as 2013 comes on, and Deville — who answered Six Dumb Questions here about their last album, 2010′s Hail the Black Sky– will join the ranks of Five Horse Johnson and their countrymen in Mother of God as an early 2013 Small Stone release.
So again, well done to the band. The announcement from Small Stone was quick and to the point:
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Sweden’s Deville to their new home here at Small Stone. Their new album tentatively titled ‘Hydra’ will be coming out in early 2013.
There you have it. I know I’ve posted it before, but here’s Deville‘s video for the song “Lava,” which is nothing if not worth another look.
Posted in Features on April 7th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
04/07/12 — 23.00 — Saturday — Hotel
Today was the day I decided to have it all. Maybe it was walking up High Street circa noon to hit Music and Video Exchange and buying a ham and cheese crepe for breakfast to go with my cup of coffee. Maybe it was the simple fact that for all the drinking I did yesterday, I wasn’t hungover in the slightest. Maybe it was just the entire galaxy of good music playing out the middle day of this fest. Whatever it was, I was on board today. All the way. Let’s go.
And go I did — or, I guess I went. Whatever. The schedule was packed today. Really. From the time I rolled into The Black Heart to the time I left The Black Heart — digging a certain symmetry in starting and ending each day at Desertfest‘s smallest venue, definitely — it was basically nonstop. Whereas yesterday I got to basically park myself at The Purple Turtle, at the expense of seeing Ancestors, but still, there was none of that happening this afternoon and evening. As the day wore on, in fact, it only got busier.
My major question was how the hell I was going to see everything I wanted to see. Orange Goblin, Black Pyramid, and Grifter all went on in 25-minute succession of each other, in that order. All three bands — and after a full day of rock. It wasn’t going to be easy.
As far as starts to the day go, however, I couldn’t have asked for something more mellow than an acoustic set from Deville. Frontman Andreas Bengtsson took the stage on his own, just him and a guitar. He was plugged in — Desertfest: “Where Even the Acoustic Guitars Run through Orange Stacks” — and he ran through a charming set of reworked Deville tracks, including “Lava,” which I recalled from their recently posted video for the song. Roadsaw frontman Craig Riggs and I would have an interesting conversation later about how much videos matter again now, but watching Bengtsson perform, there was clearly more to his songwriting than a funny video could convey. I don’t know the name of the last song he played, but it was a classic Kyuss riff, and hearing it through an acoustic was like finding a copy of Paranoid in a museum. Read: just right.
There was a 40-minute break between Bengtsson and the next band at The Black Heart, which was Steak, so I made use of the time and went across the street to The Underworld to check out some of Shrine ’69‘s set. They were young, but heavy, and no one told me, but apparently giant embroidered v-necks are the new t-shirt and jeans. Fair enough. I was more into the UK natives than I thought I’d be just going by their name, and I picked up their CD to give it a listen later on, figuring no time like the present, and contrary to what I told the French lady who sold me my breakfast, it’s not every weekend I’m in London. Shrine ’69‘s crowd knew them better than I did, and I was glad to default to the judgment of the masses on this one. Helped, I suppose, that I agreed with them. Another quality UK band to add to the seemingly endless list.
Also local, Steak drew a large crowd back at The Black Heart. I had bought their EP yesterday without knowing who they were, and only later found out that the band includes Dan and Reece from DesertScene, who organized the fest. They were solid heavy rock, self-aware stoner, and they proved yet again one of the things I’ve always most enjoyed about this kind of music — the people who are into it, do it. Seeing these dudes made me wish I didn’t live in the asshole of the world, considering the raw passion for what they do and the time and effort they were willing to put into putting Desertfest together across three venues in busy Camden Town, 50-plus bands over three nights. They’ve made it really easy for someone outside of this geographic scene (like I am, despite having people in it I consider friends), to be jealous of it, and they rocked besides. Can’t ask for more than that.
I’d seen the Roadsaw dudes around, shot the shit for a while with drummer Jeremy Hemond, bassist (and Obelisk columnist) Tim Catz, the aforementioned Mr. Riggs and guitarist Ian Ross, and I was looking forward to their set at The Underworld. Not because I’ve never seen them before, but because I knew this was a special show. It was special for me just being here, so I figured being that dudes from basically the same region I’m from (at least relative to London), who flew out just for this show and then were set to fly back home, they’d be really into it, and Roadsaw did not disappoint. Awesome to look by the side of the stage and see the Orange Goblin guys showing respect, and awesome to see Roadsaw throw down. They played a couple tracks off their Desertfest EP, which they were also giving away on CD free of charge — I took two — and “Thinking of Me” and “Long in the Tooth” off the self-titled (review here) were highlights. I’ll have to see if they’re playing at all in Boston come June or July, because as I stood and watched them tear through these songs, it occurred to me that I’ve never seen them on their home turf, and that’s something I should probably get on remedying. They did New England proud.
Sungrazer was on next, so I stayed put at The Underworld. This was my second time seeing the Dutch natives, who were a highlight of Roadburn last year and who I really consider to be the future of fuzz. Sander Haagmans‘ Rickenbacker rules all. If Sander Haagmans‘ Rickenbacker was running for US president as a republican, I would go against my beliefs and vote for it, because it’s just that awesome. But you know what? Sander Haagmans‘ Rickenbacker wouldn’t run as a republican, because it’s warm and inviting and progressive and doesn’t give a shit if gay people want to get married. It’s fucking great, is what I’m trying to say. His and guitarist Rutger Smeets‘ tones were dead on. They opened with “If” from their 2010 self-titled (review here) and went directly from there into “Octo” from last year’s fabulous Mirador (review here), but what I was really hoping for came later, with the new song “Dopo.” When I saw them last, they played a couple Mirador tracks, and with the acknowledgement that one live listen is no real basis for judgment, I’ll say it seems like they’re going even further into their meandering heavy psych, leaving behind some of the Colour Haze-type influence and doing more of their own thing. Maybe that’s me reading into it, but that was the impression I got, anyway, and it made me excited to hear what they do on their next record. They finished with the Fu Manchu-worthy fuzz of “Common Believer,” which of all the songs I heard today from all the bands I saw, is the one still stuck in my head.
There was a little time before Alunah were set to go on at The Black Heart, but I made my way over there early to get a spot up front. Grabbed a beer and bought a copy of Alunah‘s Call of Avernus before they took the stage, which they did following some technical difficulties with bassist Gaz Imber‘s amp. The troubles were short-lived, though, which I suppose is one of the benefits of having your fest sponsored by Orange — an awesome-sounding replacement for whatever’s broken is never far off. They were cool, unpretentious riffy doom. Vocalist/guitarist Soph Day had the crowd eating out of her hand, and the whole band seemed right at home both with the audience and in the venue. I’m still reminded of Acid King by Day‘s echoing vocals, but that’s hardly a complaint in my mind. Their next record, which will be their first for PsycheDOOMelic — apparently titled White Hoarhound — is one to look forward to. Like Grifter who would play later, Alunah seem to be coming of age as a band and it was exciting to watch. Valient Thorr was on at The Underworld, and I heard later they were great, but seeing Alunah play under their psychedelic lighting effects, I felt like I was right where I needed to be.
This is where things got really tricky. I’d worked out the rest of the evening so that the order of bands was going to be as follows:
Truckfighters at The Underworld (18.30-19.15) Dopefight at The Purple Turtle (19.15-19.45) Church of Misery at The Underworld (19.45-20.30) Orange Goblin at The Underworld (21.00-22.15) Black Pyramid at The Purple Turtle (21.25-22.25)
and Grifter at The Black Heart (21.50-22.50)
I wouldn’t get to see Serpent Venom or Slabdragger, but this way I felt like I was maximizing the amount of bands I’d see, catching the headliners where last night I didn’t, and still getting back to the hotel in decent time to write about this massive fucking day. Obviously I didn’t see everyone’s set front-to-back, and there was one point where I left The Underworld after Church of Misery thinking Black Pyramid was going on immediately only to find I wasn’t that far into the schedule yet, but basically this plan worked, which I guess is why I felt so victorious as I started this review.
Though I guess it would be hard not to be stoked on any night watching Truckfighters. Yes, it was my third Truckfighters show in a month’s time (see here and here), but as soon as Dango started up the “Desert Cruiser” riff, The Underworld went off. Heads were banged, fists were pumped, fuzz was thick, and where they had been relatively subdued in Manhattan, the Swedish trio pulled no punches for Desertfest. It was intense, heavy desert rock. They followed “Desert Cruiser” with “Monte Gargano,” and at that point, there was no turning back. Oskar “Ozo” Cedermalm showed no wear for the set he did last night fronting Greenleaf at The Purple Turtle, and as ever, their energy was infectious and they brought the crowd along with them via killer grooves and some of the finest stoner riffing to be found the world over. Desertfest was perfect for them and they were perfect for Desertfest.
It killed me to leave, but Dopefight awaited. The British trio were one of the native bands I was most excited to see (seems like I say that for every native band, but it’s true), especially after their debut, Buds, found such favor late in 2010. Knowing their modus of “slow riffs first, then punk out with vocals,” I assumed it would take them a little while to get going, and it did. They played an instrumental intro before unleashing a few cuts off Buds and a new song from their upcoming split with Gurt. Good times were had. Much like Alunah and Steak earlier in the day, the crowd knew Dopefight and had pretty clearly seen them before. I hadn’t, and they killed. “Specimen” and “Nob. Nod. Noi.” made sure I didn’t go anywhere for the duration of their time on stage, though I’ll admit to getting a Newcastle and moving to the back of The Purple Turtle, as the day was beginning to wear on me. Nonetheless, Dopefight were every bit worth sticking through. I hope this isn’t the last time I see them.
Rumors were around that Japan’s Church of Misery had a new singer and guitarist, the latter coming on as a replacement for Tom Sutton, but lo, when I got back to The Underworld for the start of their set, there was Sutton himself. They did have a new vocalist since the last time I caught them, but as ever, Church of Misery delivered, Tatsu Mikami wearing his bass characteristically low-slung as he stood on the stage monitors. I don’t know who the new singer was — or, come to think of it, if it wasn’t in fact Hideki Fukasawa. He had the noisemakers going and the songs they played off 2009′s Houses of the Unholy (review here) sounded right on, but the stage presence was different, less manic and frantic. Less fake-shotgunning the crowd. It didn’t matter to the crowd, who were dead into it from the outset. It seemed like they didn’t play long, but I guess it just went quick. Either way, they’re touring Europe this month, playing Roadburn next week, and then heading to the States for a cross-country run that includes a stop at Maryland Deathfest at the end of May. Whoever’s in the band, they seemed ready.
Hometown heroes, Orange Goblin made for an especially cool headliner for the first Desertfest Saturday night because in no small way they’re responsible for influencing the current British scene. From Grifter, with whom they’re touring, to the likes of Desert Storm who play tomorrow, Orange Goblin — on the road supporting this year’s excellent A Eulogy for the Damned (review here) — are the statesmen of this scene, and though they’re as raucous as ever, they play the role well. The setlist was amazing. “The Fog” and “Stand for Something” off the new one, plus “Scorpionica” for an opener, “Some You Win, Some You Lose” and a rendition of the anthemic “The Filthy and the Few” that they brought out Craig Riggs from Roadsaw to join Ben Ward on vocals. I know it hasn’t been that long since they were last on my home shores, but I really hope Orange Goblin get to do a US tour for this album. The songs are so tight and crisp, but still rougher live than they are on the record. I’d love another shot at checking them out. You’ll note the headline for this post comes from “The Ballad of Solomon Eagle.” No coincidence there. Orange Goblin were a high point of the weekend.
In fact, I probably stayed at The Underworld longer than I should have, because by the time I got back down the road to The Purple Turtle — a 10-minute walk, basically — Black Pyramid was already well into “Mercy’s Bane” and the room was full. I’d heard a lot of people say they specifically wanted to see them, and I guess since the whole of Desertfest was running a little early, I just mistimed it. I stayed for a little while and grooved out for a couple minutes, and was glad for their success here as I was last year seeing a different incarnation of the band kill it at Roadburn, but soon enough I was back out the door and on my way north (was it north? Felt like north, but it was uphill, and I’m no judge, so take that for what it’s worth) to round out the night at The Black Heart, not before buying a copy of Serpent Venom‘s Carnal Altar album from their merch table in its awesome weirdo packaging. My camera bag was starting to weigh down my shoulder from the heft of the day’s acquisitions, but if the worst that comes of it is my arm falling off, I can’t really say I lost out.
Though by the time Grifter were getting ready to roll, I was tired and I could feel myself being tired. For a soundcheck, the three-piece jammed out a bouncy, low-key riff — it reminded me of something Asteroid might have extended for another six or seven minutes the night before in the same room — and inadvertently hooked the crowd, so that when they stopped, the room erupted in cheers. It was awesome, though kind of a bummer they didn’t just pick up from there and keep going. There were still a couple minutes before their set actually began, but when it did, it was worth the wait. Like last year’s Ripple Music self-titled full-length (review here), the live show showed them as a no bullshit heavy classic rock band. They played a couple older songs off their first EPs, which were well received, and were a cool way to finish up the night. I think a lot of people had gone off to the pub or decided to call it quits on the evening, but those who stayed for Grifter were definitely rewarded for the effort. I did, anyhow. Their set was like the destination I’d been running to all day, and I suppose it was. I’ll be honest: I didn’t make it through the whole thing, with time wearing on and knowing this was going to be the giant slab of probably typo-laden copy it has turned into. As as been the case many times so far this weekend, though, I was glad I saw what I did.
Tomorrow’s Easter — Happy Easter, if that’s your thing — and I think the whole town has the day off, but Desertfest rolls on. It’s the last day, and way more relaxed than was today (no doubt in my mind that was a purposeful move on the part of the DesertScene crew), but I’m still looking forward to seeing the likes of Wiht‘s last show ever, Leaf Hound and Samsara Blues Experiment, so as soon as I can, I’m going to crash out. It’ll probably be another hour or two of putting together the photos for this post [NOTE: No such luck. Post went up at 04.58), but whatever. I got takeout Indian food for dinner and am feeling strong as a result. Days like today, if they happen once, you’re lucky. I’m exhausted, and sore, and I don’t know if I’d call myself “lucky” — something about doing so just makes me think a piano will immediately fall out of the sky and land on my head — but “fortunate” definitely applies.
No one ever shows the drummer in videos, right? Singers, guitar players, bassists, they’re all up front. Meanwhile, the ones holding the entire song together? Yeah, they’re stuck behind a “meaningful” shot of half the vocalist’s face during the chorus.
It’s an injustice that Swedish rockers Deville set out to correct in their new video for the track “Lava.” The song comes off their yet-untitled third album, due out this summer (teaser here), and the clip gives us a look at a day in the life of drummer Markus Nilsson, who seems to be having quite the evening before he finally gets to jamming out with the other dudes in the band.
Posted in audiObelisk on February 2nd, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
I don’t know when Swedish rockers Deville will have their new record out, or even what it’s called, but the band has posted two minutes of audio from it on their Soundcloud page, so I figured I’d share. Let unpretentious European heavy reign:
Next week, Swedish rockers Deville head out on a 10-day tour with Dutch counterparts Sungrazer (dates here or on the flier below). In honor of this, I thought maybe I’d hit up Deville guitarist/vocalist Andreas Bengtsson with some dumbass questions about his band, in case maybe some of you reading, like me, were unfamiliar with them and their work.
Bengtsson — who’s joined in Deville by guitarist Martin Hambitzer, bassist Markus Åkesson and drummer Markus Nilsson — was happy to oblige, and below, he discusses some of the four-piece’s history, their album, Hail the Black Sky on Buzzville Records, the upcoming tour, and about three other things. Hey, it’s only six questions.
1. You guys have been together for seven years. How has the band changed in that time? What do you remember now about when you first got together?
If you can call it natural progress, I think we’ve done that. We started because of a love for heavy riffing and grooves. We played for a couple of years before in different constellations but were searching for more power and heaviness, which we didn’t know then but is obvious now since this has been a nice ride so far. Looking back on the records we made, I think we found ourselves pretty good, even though we always have the dilemma between doing hit-riffing and slow, longer more spaced out songs and that has followed us since we started. We have the passion for both so our dream is to combine it. When we started we just wanted to riff as much we could, tired of playing all the other stuff we’d done before, and during the years since, we have been trying to look for some other paths also.
2. How was the reaction to Hail the Black Sky, and how has it been working with Buzzville Records?
It feels like it was a bigger buzz around our first record, Come Heavy Sleep, releasing our debut and all, but after we toured a lot on that record we had more people coming to the shows and interest on the Hail the Black Sky record and touring. It was kind of an opposite to the first record since that one took very long time to get together recorded during different periods of time. Hail the Black Sky was recorded during two weeks and mixed and mastered during two weeks so its more like a rock ‘n’ roll record. The reviews has almost been better on this one, you never know why because you always keep getting surprised what the reviewers think. Working with Buzzville is quite simple; it’s a small label doing it for the love of the music. They put out bands they like and as you can understand in these downloading times they don’t do it for the money.
3. How did you hook up with Sungrazer for the tour this month?
We have the same booker for Holland and we did some gigs together last year and earlier this year and it worked out really well, so when the idea came up it was no question to try to get it together since this package could be a really good combo. And another good thing is that they are really nice guys so its gonna be a 10-gig long sweet party!
4. Do you consider yourselves a stoner rock band?
I would like to describe ourselves as ‘70s rock for the 21st Century. Being influenced by Sabbath and the founders of early stonerrock and many other heavy rock bands in metal and rock like Soundgarden, etc., we try to take this and do something for this time of period, even though timeless. Riffs never get old, haha!
5. I’m a great admirer of the Swedish heavy rock underground. Who are some of your favorite countrymen bands, and are there any newcomers we should know about?
Yes, many bands have quite good reputation and I think it’s a pretty high standard here. I really couldn’t say I listen to Swedish bands in this genre that much. I don’t know why really, maybe it doesn’t feel interesting enough. For the newcomers, it’s always interesting when so-called stoner bands try to take it to another level and make something new themselves, then I think it can be really good. One cool band to check is — not from Sweden though but close; Norwegians — The Zoids who have a new record out soon. Really talented guys!
6. Is there anything planned yet to follow up Hail the Black Sky? Do you know where/when you’ll be recording again?
We have already started to write on the next record and will start to demo soon. We got access to a great studio just outside Malmö where we live and can work there as much as we need so there are all possibilities to make it all that we want. There might be a bigger thing coming up for this release but nothing set yet so I can’t say that much. We plan to release it someway late-Winter/early-Spring 2011 and then try to tour on places we haven’t been before like the States and Australia, but also where we have been before. If you would like to bring us over, get in touch!
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 21st, 2010 by H.P. Taskmaster
One can only assume it’s as romantic as it sounds: Two relative newcomer acts taking in the sites across nine days in Europe, hitting Germany, The Netherlands, France and Switzerland along the way. What a blast. I wish both bands all the best and hope the shows are killer.
You’ll notice the dates are day first, then the month. I’m throwing a bone to anyone in Europe who checks out this site and has to see it the wrong way all the time. Plus that’s how they came in and I’m too lazy to change them. A rare collision of convenience and courtesy. Here’s the news from Deville and Sungrazer:
Swedish heavy riffers Deville and Dutch stoners Sungrazer will head out in Europe together in October!
15-10 Vortex Siegen (DE) with Baby Woodrose
16-10 Die Twee Wervershoof (NL)
17-10 De Engel Den Helder (NL)
18-10 L’Excalibur Reims (FR)
19-10 Le Klub Paris (FR)
20-10 Gaswerk Winterthur (CH)
21-10 Thunderbirdclub St. Etienne (FR)
22-10 Le Poulpe Reignier (FR)
23-10 Volume Nice (FR)
24-10 Yukon Bar Collombey (CH)