Alter The Press!


Interview: Devil Sold His Soul

Next week Devil Sold His Soul release their captivating 2nd album, 'Blessed & Cursed' through their new label, Century Media and with several festival shows and a UK tour alongside Architects and Norma Jean planned for later this year, fans can expect to hear much more of the sextet's ambient metal, that has won over plenty of critics so far.

Guitarist Rick Chapple spoke to Alter The Press! 'Blessed & Cursed', signing to Century Media, the making of the album, their upcoming festival appearances and tour and more.

Alter The Press!:Your fans have patiently waited three years for your second full length release 'Blessed & Cursed'. Why has it taken this long?
Devil Sold His Soul: A variety of factors really. The main reason was because we spent a lot of time touring the last album. But about a year and a half ago we began writing new material as well as looking for a new label. So the combination of touring, writing and signing to a new label basically made the whole process a bit longer than it should have been, but we're really happy with how it has all turned out, so hopefully the fans will think that too with the new album.

ATP: Why was the decision made to join Century Media to release the album?
DSHS: It was a very easy decision to make. I mean they’re one of the largest metal labels out there, with influence all over the world. It really was exactly what we were looking for to try to break through to the next level of our careers. We had met with them a bunch of times in UK and Germany and really felt they appreciated what we were doing as a band. Their track record and roster speaks for itself.

ATP: Did you go into the studio with any particular ideas of how you wanted the album to sound?
DSHS: In terms of actual sound, we always have a firm a idea of how we like to sound on record. But this time around we really wanted to concentrate on the songwriting before we looked at how it would sound. We recorded this album with Jonny at his studio in Gloucestershire. We had done this for the previous album, so we were really comfortable with the recording process. This time around though, we sent the tracks to be mixed by someone else. We worked with Steve Evetts and he mixed the tracks in California. It was a good experience letting someone else in on the creative process as usually we’re very controlling with our own music. We think it turned out really well though.

ATP: How would you compare the album to previous releases?
DSHS: It’s more adventurous. We really took the last album as a starting point and wanted to expand on all the ideas we had with the last record. We used more instrumentation and more interesting techniques when layering the tracks to create a much larger, more varied, soundscape. As for the vocals, they have matured so much from the last record and Ed has really outdone himself on this album. The range of vocal styles that he utilises and excels at on this album are really impressive. I think people will be pleasantly surprised when they hear it.

ATP: So ‘Blessed & Cursed’, how did that name arise?
DSHS: It’s a reflection of our time in the band and everything we have been through to get to where we are today. It’s about how we’ve taken everything thrown at us over the years, be it good or bad luck, and learnt from it and got stronger as a unit because of it. It’s quite a simple concept, but one that has a really strong meaning to us.

ATP: How would you describe the album to fans of your past releases?
DSHS: It’s definitely a progression. Make no mistake, it is still Devil Sold His Soul, and it still contains our core elements of brutality, beauty and hugeness. But I would say that it’s a bit more refined. Think ‘Like It’s Your Last’ with orchestration behind it. That’s probably a good example. We have really tried to expand the way we make our music and how to make it even bigger and more powerful than before. I don’t think this album will alienate anyone.

ATP: The reviews of the album so far have been great, how does it feel to get such a great reception to an album you have worked so hard on?
DSHS: Absolutely amazing. To have worked on something for so long and for it to finally reach people and be received so well, it’s a great feeling. Of course, the main thing is that we’re happy with the album and that we feel this is the best album we could have written at this point in time, to have other people feel it and appreciate it as much as us is just awesome. I hope everyone who buys the album feels the same way.

ATP: Obviously with releasing a new album there’s always a fear of it being leaked and downloaded, has this been a fear of yours and how do you feel about the current situation within the music industry?
DSHS: It’s always a concern. But, you have to be pragmatic about the whole situation. Don’t get me wrong, downloading isn’t good, but at the end of the day if someone downloads a track or an album and really likes it and that makes them go out and but the album or a t-shirt, then that will help the band and that’s a good thing. Obviously there are people out there who only download, but a lot of people download tracks as a sort of screening process and do eventually go out and buy the albums they like. Record labels obviously don’t want people downloading illegally and it does have a serious knock on effect throughout the industry, but I guess its up to artists to come up with more creative ways in which to entice people into buying the physical product. Special artwork or limited edition prints are great ways to do this and create a more personal touch to albums.

ATP: So festivals this year, how was it playing Slam Dunk and Ghostfest to kick off the summer?
DSHS: Festivals are awesome. We’ve played Slam Dunk, Ghostfest and headlined a stage at Download Festival this year. They were all amazing and we got to play with some amazing bands too. Seeing Deftones and RATM at Download was a personal highlight!

ATP: You’re also playing Hevy Fest and Boardmasters in Newquay, four festival appearances seems like a great summer for you guys?
DSHS: We have Boardmasters, Hevy and Offset coming up as well as our Album Launch show in London on July 12th. We’re really excited about all of these shows and if they’re half as good as the festivals we’ve played already they’ll be incredible. Our launch show sold out in 3 hours so we are particularly looking forward to that one. It’s gonna be a hot night in London that night.

ATP: Summer aside, obviously the huge news of late is that you’re going to be joining Architects on their UK tour in October with Norma Jean, how did this come about?
DSHS: We toured with Architects a couple of years ago, but it was only like 5 shows and we had a great time. We always said to each other that we should tour again and I guess this is the right time. We are so unbelievably excited about this tour. Architects are really great guys and we’ve been huge fans of Norma Jean for a long time now. It really is a dream lineup and its going to be a massive tour. Miss it at your peril.

ATP: On this tour you’ll be heading to London to play in front of 1,500 at Camden’s Koko, surely this is what you’ve always dreamed about?
DSHS: Of course. Actually, we headlined Koko a couple of years ago for a club night. It was an amazing experience for us and the whole sound and light show was amazing. It will be great to go back and play there again we’re really looking forward to it. But playing in larger venues is what its all about, if we can continue to do this, then we’ll be happy.

ATP: Are there any particular new tracks that fans can expect to hear live?
DSHS: I’m sure we’ll be playing a large selection form the new album, but look out for 'An Ocean Of Lights', 'The Weight of Faith' and 'Tides' and, of course, a couple of oldies too!

ATP: What does 2011 hold for you, a headline tour of your own, getting yourself overseas?
DSHS: We’ll be busy touring for the rest of this year. We head into Europe for a headline tour in November, then we’ll b scheduling our own headline tour to promote this new album. Hopefully, by then, everyone will know the new tracks and can sing along at shows, we love it when that happens. We’ll try and tour as many places as possible as we know there are lots of places we haven't been. Onwards and upwards.

ATP: Is there anything else you would like to add?
DSHS: We hope everyone loves the album as much as we do. We look forward to seeing people at shows all over the world. Devil Sold His Soul is coming for you!

'Blessed & Cursed' by Devil Sold His Soul is released on July 12th through Century Media.

Devil Sold His Soul on MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.

UK Tour dates with Architects and Norma Jean:
1 O2 Academy 2, Birmingham
2 Club Academy, Manchester
3 Garage, Glasgow
4 O2 Academy 2, Newcastle
6 Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
7 Waterfront, Norwich
8 Koko, London
9 Anson Rooms, Bristol

Connor O'Brien

Alter The Press!