Interview With Devil Sold His Soul 3rd June 2010
Photo Of Devil Sold His SoulChris Ambridge caught up with Devil Sold His Soul back stage at Nottingham Rock City before their headline show to talk about the forthcoming release of their second album, their biggest moment to date and much more.

Thanks for taking time out for this interview.

First of all can you give us a brief history of the band such as how you got together and came up with the name Devil sold his soul!
Me (Richard), Johhny and Paul were involved in another band before, that split up but we kinda wanted to carry on, so we and the original drummer basically started auditioning for a singer and bassist, and we eventually found Ed and Ian, then 3 years ago the old drummer left, we had a couple of guys filling in and we eventually found Leks and kinda cemented the line up.
As for the name, in the beginning when me (Paul), Johnny and Richard were trying to put the band together, we went though a lot of different names, but that one was the one that would hopefully get peoples attention and get them thinking, it also kinda sum up how we were feeling at the time, like people can do stuff that will totally mess you around, you may not have done something but you'll find their actions can really effect you. So that name kinda encapsulates how we were feeling at the time so we went for that one.

Who would you say your main musical influences are?
Spice girls. Haha. We are kinda split, like the old part of the band, me (Paul), Richard and Johnny, and the younger ones like Leks, Ed and Ian. For me it would be like Guns 'n' Roses, Metallica, Skidrow and for Ed and Ian more recently bands like Deftones and Converge, loads of stuff, I think everything has worked its way in there somehow over the years.

In terms of lyrics, what inspires the band? What do you try to write about or what messages do you try to convey?
Just everyday experiences you know, stuff that we see in the news and stuff that we've all gone through in the past. It doesn't make a conscious appearance in the music but it has all definitely had some effect.

How would you describe the sound of devil sold his soul in your own words?
Big, Loud, Epic, Encompassing.

I always through of it as the soundtrack to the end of the world. Would you agree?
Haha, I like that, that’s cool, use your own words, Haha.

This morning I read an article on you guys which described you "capable of sculpting vast emotional glaciers of sound in the manner of Sigur Ros."
This is something I strongly agree with, when writing your music do you consciously attempt to create these soundscapes or are they something that just come naturally with the music you create?
We actually don't write the music we just mic up different glaciers. Haha. We don't specifically sit down and try and do any one thing. We go from heavy stuff to soundscape stuff but not massively, it's more textured stuff, its not like we really focus on one side of what we're going to do. We kinda like what we can do with the music and kinda like to try and layer it up. I don’t mean it in a way like we try to copy or you know, take a particular style we just try things out you know. We're not really thinking that much about what we're trying to do anymore it just happens.

I've also read somewhere that you guys have been describe as reflective, and by this I mean how devil sold his soul almost push the listener into a state of reflection. To sit back and see their life and the world around them in a light of clarity. Is this intentional and do you think about the experience of the listener during the writing process?
When we write a song there is never a checklist of what needs to be in there, we just let it become what it wants to be. Sometimes, more in the production, there will be a certain part that we put in, but when you listen to it on your headphones, you wont hear it, but after a number of times of listening to it, it will pop out. In instances like that then it is on purpose. It's not easy listening. It's not going to be background music, people are forced to listen to it as it's so loud, I guess then they’re going to take note of what’s going on and maybe then it will stir thoughts up in their head.

In your own words, what is music?
Noise made by humans. Haha. You could go into the age old discussion of music as an art form, as someone’s emotions put onto canvas, an expression in sound. Music is fun. It's entertainment, it's a release.

Do any of the band members partake in any other creative mediums apart from music, such as art, poetry, photography etc?
Leks does quite alot of farts, I'm not sure if that’s art. He's been scouted by the MOD for biological warfare research and development. Haha. I (Leks) did dabble with sketches at some point. I (Richard) studied art at uni. But that’s about it.

How would you describe the touring experience? And how it effects you guys individually and as a band?
Radical, sometimes it's really good fun but sometimes its really hard work if you have a string of bad shows, but then you get a really good show and it wipes all the bad ones. It has its highs and lows. I think some bands just get album out so they can keep touring, playing live is definitely part of our thing, but we're not just in a band to tour. It's good to show people that we can play the music on the CD as well live. We've found that a lot of people prefer our music live.

What would you say is the best gig you've ever played and what made it so significant?
Defiantly Download, a couple of years ago, we were a late addition to the line up, but playing to such a huge crowd was incredible. Apparently people were running down the hill to see us!

You are headlining the redbull stage at download festival this year, how does that make you feel?
Very excited, it's a privilege to be given the chance to headline a stage.

Do you have a favourite song which you love to play on stage and why in particular?
Its different for everybody I think, but the way 'An Ocean of Lights' is going at the moment, it’s one of the new songs that we've incorporated into the live set, its definitely becoming one of the favourites to play.

So, you’re set to release your new album on the 12th of July, where does the name "Blessed & Cursed" come from?
As a band over years I guess we've worked out that we're both blessed and cursed at the same time. Good stuff will happen but then bad stuff will happen but it also cancels each other out so. Some people have said that its kinda a generic album name and in terms of the words I spose it is, but in terms of what it means to us, it is something we experience time and time again.

In your own words how would you say it differs from 'A Fragile Hope'?
A much bigger adventure, I'd say a big step, we tried things we normally wouldn't have tried before, to see what we can do with it really. There might be things on there that may come as a surprise, you know, a good surprise or a bad surprise, we haven't done a complete U-turn, it still the same ideas just pushed a little harder.

How did the writing experience differ in comparison to the pervious album?
We spent a lot longer on this album, we went through much lengthier pre-production, we really got the demos nailed so when we got to the studio, we could lay down exactly what we wanted. So there was a lot less stress when we actually got round to recording it. The good thing about the demos is we can go back to stuff and change stuff, we don’t have to be that creative when recording and concentrate on more important things.

You've just released the single ‘Callous Heart’, what made you decide to release this as a single over the other songs on the album and what is the story behind the song?
Our management told us to. Haha. It's really difficult for us because we really wanna kinda hold everything back so people can listen to it all as one album. There might be some people out there who don’t want to download the single, cause they wanna hear it as one piece.

Yeah, I was gunna say there are a lot of tracks on the previous album that join together is there anymore like that on the new album?
Yeah, quite a few, its not like, track, track, tarck, etc. We kinda stumbled across the track listing really. At one point the management wanted to change the order but we had to say we've picked the order and we think it works the way it is. We were quite surprised when they picked that one cause it's one of the heavier tracks. It's very hard to tell with our management, when you think there gunna make a call on one thing they do something else completely.

If you had to choose a favourite song from Blessed & Cursed what would it be and why?
It's different for everybody; a few of have become quite fond of the last song.

Are you nervous about the fact that after the 12th of July, the album becomes no longer your own but properly of the public?
Terrified, Terrified. Well, we've nurtured this album for the passed 2 years and now, as you say, it’s being presented to the world on a platter, we think its much better than the last album but we know how much 'A Fragile Hope' means to a lot of people. We know it’s as good if not better, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

What has been your biggest highlight as a band so far?
Download Festival again, Definitely.

What do you see in the future of devil sold his soul?
Headlining Download one day. Haha. Bigger and better things we hope. It would be amazing to get around the world.

Do you have a mantra of which you live your lives? Perhaps something you continually think or believe to get through the hard times?
Live everyday like it's your last.

One random question that we ask every band, if you could be an animal out of a Zebra and a Giraffe which one would you be and why?
I'd (Leks) be a zebra, no actually I'd be a Giraffe so my head would be as far away from my arse as possible.

Thanks for your time. It’s been great talking to you guys.

Good luck for the gig!
See you there!

Interview By Chris Ambridge
 Band Members

Ed Gibbs
Jonny Renshaw
Rick Chapple
Iain Trotter
Paul Kitney
Leks Wood
 Latest Releases
Devil Sold His Soul - Blessed And Cursed
Release Date - 12th July 2010
1. Tides
2. Drowning/Sinking
3. Callous Heart
4. An Ocean of Lights
5. Frozen
6. The Disappointment
7. Crane Lake
8. A Foreboding Sky
9. The Weight of Faith
10. Truth Has Come
 Band Related Links
Devil Sold His Soul Myspace