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Interview with Devious


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1. For those who haven’t heard Wolfhagen yet, what is it all about? Can you describe in few words this release?

Frank: We’ve written this little album in a short period of time, after the recruitment of new singer Dennis Lusseveld. He immediately proved his worth with some awesome lyrics.
I couldn’t say it better than a recently published review: "As awesome as the cover artwork (by Hrödger design, red) is, the music has clear production and offers a fresh sound on the popular melodic death metal. The likes of you who listen to Arch Enemy or even At the Gates will definitely find something interesting with this Dutch quattro. Wolfhagen features Alwin Zuur of Asphyx fame and Jörg Uken/Soundlodge has produced it."

Guido:
I’d like to add that despite the fresh sound, "Wolfhagen" is a logical continuation of "Vision" (2009). I feel safe to say that we’ve outdone ourselves again and we’re really proud of this album.

2. What about the title Wolfhagen? Does it have any special meaning?

Frank:
Wolfhagen is a township in the south of The Netherlands, where the first "Bokkenrijders" hailed from in the 17th century. The Bokkenrijders were several groups of outcasts, who terrorised the region with thefts and robberies. They were believed to be ghosts, riding on goats. Although that’s not very likely to be true, there are records of satanic rituals being performed with aspiring members.

3. The cover looks quite apocalyptic and the titles of the tracks also bring to mind similar stuff, can you say something more about the lyrics, explain their meanings?

Frank: All of the new songs are about notorious figures in Dutch history. Thieves, arsonists, robbers, manipulators... we have a very rich history here!
The first song, "One Man Horde", is about a man who gained a fortune with manipulation and extortion. At night he’d knock on farmer’s doors, saying he and his gang had surrounded the house and would set their house on fire if they wouldn’t give him all their money. Except, there was no gang, Adriaan van Campen (that was his name) worked alone. Hence the one man horde.

Guido: "Sinner of Greed" is about Klaas Annink or "Huttenkloas", a 18th century local villain, who invited travelling merchants into his house to kill and rob them. He and his family left the whole neighbourhood in terror for decades and nobody dared to confront them. The lyrics are about Huttenkloas’ motives, his last victim and his demise. When he was caught, he was to spend more than a hundred days in special torture chair before being broken on the wheel and killed. The bodies of the Annink family were displayed at the city gates as an example, like they often did at that time.

Frank:
I explained "Wolfhagen" earlier, so I’m not going into that one now.
"Her Divine" is about a Dutch lady named Maria Swanenburg. She was known as a very good hearted person, who comforted and stood by people in their final moments before their deaths. This gave her the nickname "Goeie Mie", which means something like Good Mary. Well, she was good indeed... at getting away with murder. Because what people didn’t know was that she was the one who put them on their death beds in the first place. She’s now known to have poisoned at least 102 persons, of which about 70 fatal. Before poisoning someone, she’d take out life insurance on them so she could collect the money afterwards. Even her own family wasn’t spared. Smart wench, this one!

4. How did the process of creating new material proceed, was it more difficult or perhaps more fun in comparison to your previous releases? Was there anything unusual, interesting, stupid during recording this material?

Guido: When Dennis joined the band in August 2011, we immediately started writing new material. This process went really smooth, actually. Dennis showed a clear vision on the lyrical theme and soon the concept of "Wolfhagen" was a fact. This concept then found its way throughout the music and lyrics.

Wouter and I first recorded raw demos in my music cave, which we took to the rehearsal room to finalize them with the band. We made 5 new tracks like this in no-time and commenced the drum recordings at Soundlodge Studio (Germany) at the dawn of winter. We also re-recorded Respiration of Fear, originally on the "Vision" album. As a very special bonus, our friend Carsten Altena did a drum ‘n bass / dubstep remix of said song, which is considered to be a daring act in the metal scene. Unsurprisingly, the opinions about this remix vary, but we think it’s awesome!

5. What in your opinion makes the best opening/intro to the album, the one that will draw a potential listener into the whole?


Frank:
As a drummer I’d say: a drum fill! And that’s exactly what we did on Wolfhagen. On our previous 2 CD’s, we tried to build up tension with an epic intro before cracking skulls with the actual first song. This time we thought we’d do it differently and get straight to the point from the first second. I think this works really well, the listener gets blown away from moment one.

6. To whom you are addressing your music? Do you want to reach larger audience or only particular group of fans?

Guido: First of all, we play the music we like. And of course we hope a lot of other people like it too! What we do think about when we write our music, is how it would sound in a live situation. Would people bang their heads to this riff? Should we repeat this part some more to keep that moshpit going? Are the lyrics plain enough to grunt along with? You know, that kind of stuff. Because playing live is what it’s all about!

7. Do you read reviews of your releases? Do they influence you in any way? Have you read any reviews of Wolfhagen? What’s your standpoint?

Frank:
Yes, we read all reviews that come to our attention. Of course it’s awesome to read a great review and a bit frustrating when the reviewer doesn’t dig our music. But to us, the feedback we get from friends, family and fans is way more important. And we get a lot of great reactions from both day-one and new fans.

8. Now about concerts. The best concert you have ever played is....

Guido: I think this is different for every band member, because we’ve done loads of shows in the past 12 years. Real adventures none of us will forget are: the very big and fan-packed Bevrijdingsfestival Overijssel 2010 (NL) and practically all the gigs on the European tours with our friends of Krisiun (2006) and Entombed & Merauder (2009), with the Prague and the Eindhoven Metal Meeting shows as true highlights

9. How do you prepare yourselves for playing a concert? How do you spend the last few minutes before going out on stage?


Frank: When we arrive at the venue, we like to hang around a little bit, set up our gear and do a sound check if possible. That way, we’ll be familiar with the atmosphere and acoustics of the stage before we actually have to perform. The last few minutes before hitting the stage, we get together and go over the set list one more time (where we put the short breaks to address the audience, that sort of things). We don’t have a yell or anything (gaaay!), but we do bump fists and roar to get us all pumped up for the show. So when we’re on stage, we’re ready to kick your ass!

10. Do you want to say something to your fans? Any words to sum up?


Thanks for reading, if you don’t know our music go check it out or even download the Wolfhagen album for free at http://deviousmetal.bandcamp.com/. We’d be thrilled to hear your feedback on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/deviousmetal). See you at one of our shows!

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Translator: morrigan
Add date: 2012-10-01 / Interviews




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