Twinmusix got to speak to Paul from Devilskin about their upcoming shows and more.
TM – Hey, this is Amelia and Elizabeth from Twinmusix, and we are here with Paul from Devilskin. Thank you for having this interview with us today we appreciate it.
DS - I appreciate you talking to me again. Thank you for your time and thank you for having me on the show.
TM – Definitely, it has been a long time and we have looked forward to talking to you. You have done Hailstorm in 2017 and Download in 2019, you also did Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators. You have done a lot of cool stuff and now you are coming to Australia with your album ‘RED,’ that is exciting what can fans expect?
DS - It is our first headline tour of Australia so we are going to put on our big boy pants and pull them up and give everything that we can on this tour. We are excited and even though the album came out two years ago it was possibly the very worst time in the history of the planet. COVID happened and we could release it digitally but not physically, it was a nightmare. We were around ten or twelve days from flying out to Europe for about two months, so all our plans came crashing down quick. Just like everyone else we have been waiting on the edge of our seats for the world to open again, but we are passionate about RED, the album, we are just as excited as we were when we finished recording it. We need to get out there and tour her, we feel like it has not gotten the attention that it deserves so we are just jumping at the chance to get out there and play it for our Aussie friends.
TM - Talking about RED, what can we expect from your setlist, and will there be any fan favourites?
DS - Yes, a bit of both. You can expect most of the songs from the new album, but we will swap them around a bit every night. We will have some crowd favourites of course; we all just need to get back in that party mode again. I think people have had enough of being locked down and kept away from each other and kept away from concerts, we just want to let our hair down so to speak. I think it is just going to be a good party atmosphere and we are just going to keep the setlist full of energy and just non-stop. We are also bringing a band called Shepherds Reign and they are just fantastic. We know we must step it up every night, they are going to bring everything that they have got as well. They are just an awesome band, and we have some great local acts opening for us as well, some cool acts but I have not seen the finalists yet, but I have seen the shortlist and I am pretty stoked to have some of these local acts opening for us. We have been rehearsing our butts off, I cannot wait to get over there to play.
TM - I know a lot of people have not seen Shepherds Reign, how are they on stage and tell us more about them.
DS - They are a great bunch of guys, absolutely fantastic. They come from South Auckland, and they have Polynesian roots. They add a lot of Polynesian culture to their brand of metal, they have the traditional Samoan drums on stage, and they have got all these awesome rhythms going on that just sound so distinctly Samoan. They just come crashing in with this metal and they just are all incredible and imposing figures too, they are all quite big and there is a lot of hair in the band. There is a lot of massive afros going on and they wear black boars tusk necklace, and they look opposing and huge. They have this fantastic presence we are excited to play with them. We did The RED Tour here in New Zealand when we finally could, and we just had such a great time together that we said let us go to Australia together, so we made it happen. We know the audience is going to get a fantastic night.
TM - Well I cannot wait to see both of you on stage, I am sure it is going to be a great show.
DS - You're going to love it, seriously, I am out there every night watching Shepherds Reign. They are just charismatic and powerful like I said we have to step up our game by writing the setlist accordingly and not holding back and taking no prisoners. We want everyone to have a fantastic night, but we are excited to play the new songs.
TM - Your songs are touching and heavy-hearted on this album, you have a song called ‘Endo’ about endometriosis and you also have a song called ‘The Victor’ about the car accident. What inspired you to focus on real-life events?
DS - I think I have always written like that. I have always written about things that have happened to me in dreams or feelings and stuff like that. Something like being the first car on the scene of a horrific car accident takes a bit of trauma and takes a toll on you. It was cathartic in a lot of ways for me to write the song and for us to be able to play the song and honour the people that were there, thank goodness no one was killed in that accident. With ‘The Victor’ we had just written the music for it, and we were coming back from a songwriting retreat when we had come across this accident. The lyrics came to me in a couple of days and then everything fell into place. ‘Endo,’ she is super brave for telling her story because she has had a nightmare with endometriosis, and it has brought it to a lot more people's attention.
It is such a hideous thing, and it is so prevalent, it is a nightmare condition that so many women have to put up with. Good on Jenny for being brave enough and telling her story through that song and not being afraid to get in the video as well. That video was a lot of fun to play but she is talking about personal stuff, and I think she is cool for doing that. The songs mean a lot to us to be able to play and you can see people's reactions. We get contacted by women going well that is my story, that is how bad it was for me and that is the feeling I had from it. It is good to be able to connect with people on that level and let them know that they're not alone.
TM - It is awesome that you do that, I think it is cool that you are touching base on real life.
DS - I find a moral responsibility not to play negative lyrics and depress people even more than they are. I like to try and keep everything reasonably uplifting but still real. As a band, we have done a lot of charity work. We have raised money for St John's Ambulance, and we have just donated to a children's charity here in New Zealand. Everyone wants to do what they can to help and there are a lot of people who have been going through tough times through the pandemic and afterwards. We just have to look after each other and I like to think that it is in our music. We certainly feel it when the crowd sings songs back to us and we fall in love with a room, that is a pretty special feeling.
TM - You are part of a motorcycle club and you have raised $35,000 for I Am Hope which is a children's charity. Can you tell us more about that, it is amazing.
DS - I Am Hope was started by a guy called Mike King, he was a famous comedian on the comedy circuit here in New Zealand. He went through a public battle here with drugs, alcohol and depression and he came through the other side. He is a real advocate for it now and he started this charity where they look after mental health for children. The $35,000 that we raise in real terms means two-hundred and fifty counselling sessions for kids. We were stoked to do that, as a motorcycle club we love our Harleys, and we love going out for fun, so we thought let us get out for an event. We put on a decent ride and gave all the money to Mike King's charity. Mental health in New Zealand is pretty bad and the government is doing a shocking job addressing it. Everyone just wants to help and do their bit, so it is satisfying to be a part of five hundred motorbikes, that was just a great feeling and it is cool.
TM - I think it is cool what you have done.
DS - As soon as we mentioned Mike King was the charity people just gave, and gave, and gave. The guy should be our next prime minister, he is the only one who talks the truth in this country and he is a great advocate for mental health and looking after our kids.
TM – Definitely, it is a great cause so well done.
DS - Just being in a band and having a platform to talk to people and make them aware of different things like charities and endometriosis. We are very privileged to have that platform to talk to people. I have to say, we take it pretty seriously, it is rock and roll and dedication to doing the right thing for our listeners because we want them to survive and thrive and come to all of our shows.
TM - Do you have any new music coming out?
DS - Yes, we have been writing and writing, obviously not being able to do shows we have got some decent setups at home so we can download stuff quite easily. We have had some cool ideas floating around, we probably have got a dozen songs leftover from our session of RED that did not make the cut for the album. We have plenty of songs to play with and we are just looking at getting into the studio. After the Australian tour, we plan to get another release out ASAP.
TM - That's awesome, we cannot wait to hear your new stuff as well.
DS - It is exciting but even though RED is two years old we are still pumped to be able to play these songs live to people. This tour is all about RED and we are looking at coming back to Australia in October. We have a show with Steel Panther and Sevendust, we are going to be doing a few sideshows around that so we will have some new music on board for that one.
TM - Oh yeah definitely, are you excited for the Steel Panther and Sevendust show?
DS – Sevendust is one of my all-time favourite bands and Steel Panther. We saw them at Download UK. It is just mental, I cannot wait to be part of that, it just looks like a crazy circus. We have been touching base with Sevendust to try and organise tours for a while now and it has not eventuated. Hopefully, we will get our foot in the door when we catch up with them for that show.
TM - That would be awesome, we cannot wait to see you on that either.
DS - I'll tell you what, Sevendust have this song called ‘Licking Cream’ with Skin of Skunk and Nancy and Jenny sing those parts magnificently. Hopefully, we can get Lajon to hear that, and we can organise a tour together and get up and jam.
TM - Oh that would be a cool collaboration.
DS - Oh I reckon. Just dream of the moment when there is a huge line of Aussie acts in the lineup to Steel Panther, absolutely crazy, absolutely mental.
TM - Is there anything else you want to say to your fans?
DS - We are grateful that so many people have stuck by us, it has been a hell of a two years for us all and I think that for people rock and roll was a living memory. It was just as bad for bands, you could not tour, you could not release anything properly and I think people just need to get out and party now. Let us celebrate the fact that we are over the worst of that crap and enjoy the fact that we can get out and enjoy loud music, bang our heads, and have a great time together. We are very grateful that everyone has stuck by us, and we are going to bring it when we get there, do not worry.
TM – Awesome, we cannot wait to see you and we are excited.
DS - Thank you for having us and giving us your time on your show. We will see you at a show and be back before you know it with some new music.
Ticket Link: https://www.silverbacktouring.com.au/devilskin/