Monday, March 4, 2024

Devastation Interview


1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?

We’ve been very busy searching for shows and working towards the release of the new album. We all have busy lives, so its not always easy to plan ahead, but so far we manage.  

2.You have a new album coming out in march, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

For this album we have made some changes to our sound in comparison with our previous releases. We started of as a ‘standard‘ thrash band, but through the years we became more influenced of other genres. I think the focus in our music now is to create a more dark and evil atmosphere while in the past it was more about aggression en ‘beer loving‘ thrash madness. One of the biggest changes is that we used subtle synths to create that atmosphere.

3.This is also your first release in 7 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?

Well, there was of course corona, but that didn’t stop us. That gave us time to work on this album. We have spend more time on pre-production and fine tuning than we ever did before. It had to sound exactly as we wanted. We went to the same studio where we did all of our previous albums. Oakwood recordings knows how we work and knows what we want.

4.Some of your lyrics cover Occultism themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?

I guess as an adolescent you think anything dark and brutal is cool and kind off reflects your ego at that time. But it was still in a more superficial way I suppose, like you’re already into the heavier genres of metal and idolized cult horror movies, but the meaning behind it didn’t matter much at that time.

That did change over the years, I became more interested in the background of the occult stories and especially if they have a true historical or cultural background (such as “Wild Hunt”). Of course the cult horror movies and books weren’t forgotten, and “Necronomicon” is a homage to that.

As a band, and our evolution to Black Thrash, the music that we created also pronounces a more occult feeling. In a way it’s interest and inspiration perfectly blended in one album.

5.What are some of the other lyrical topics and subjects the band has explored so far with the music?

The first album (which we made when we were very young) can lyrically be seen as a punk album. Meaning that we had a lot of pent up aggression, frustrations and hormones that translated in topics of bashing society, politics and church. That, and of course booze and drinking stories. These topics remained, but gradually throughout the second album and latest Ep transitioned more and more into darker occult and historical themes.

6.Origianlly the band was called 'Black Fuel', what was the cause of the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Devastation'?

In 2004 we started this band. We played more heavy metal with a setlist consisting of own song and covers of Metallica, Motörhead, Danzig,... After 2 years we decided to play a little bit faster and evolving more towards thrash metal. Our goal was to play as fast and hard as we could and we needed a more suitable name. I think Devastation was perfect for what we were doing. Later we placed an umlaut on the ö to avoid the confusion with the American Devastation.

7.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?

The artwork was done by Mörtuus art. I don’t know much about him, but he is great artist. Our label has worked with him before and this is what it has become. Most of our songs are our about darkness, sorrow, death and beyond death, so it fits perfect with the music. 

8.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

We have played some great shows in the past. For me, the most memorable is when we supported Hobbs, angel of death (R.i.p.). I’m a great fan of his work, so getting the change to be support act was a great moment. I can describe our stage performance as aggressive and energetic. We are not the most technical musicians, so it not always easy to stand out between bands that are, but we always try to give the best of ourselves.

9.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?

We have some excellent shows scheduled. The greatest is Huginns awakening fest. We play on Saturday on the same day as Sodom, Tankard, Hellripper and Italian legends Bulldozer! Also some great bands the same day from our home country, Evil Invaders, Schizophrenia, Cobraside and Death fury. Touring has always been hard for us because of our busy lives. We do want to make changes in that. 

10.The new album was released on 'Empire Records', how would you compare working with this label to other labels you have been a part of in the past?

Empire records is a great label for bands like us. He puts our release on the maps. That’s what our previous label didn’t do. They helped us financially, but that was all they did. We are still thankfully for that, but Empire records does much more effort. They also believe in what they are doing and they do it with passion for the music.

11.On  a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black and thrash metal?

Pretty good, but we‘re still a small band from Belgium and its not easy to become  known outside Belgium. We hope this release will change that. 

12.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

I think we are still evolving and that‘s a good thing. We always try to set the bar high for ourselves and we aren’t thrash out yet. As long as it’s interesting for us, we’ll keep on going and explore new challenges.

13.What are some of the bands or musical styles the band members are currently listening to nowadays?

I myself listen to a lot of different genres from 70s rock to Black metal. In my car today it was Uriah heep and at home it was the Mexican Mortuary. So you can see, enough variety, haha. I listen mainly to 80s speed, thrash and heavy metal at home because that’s what the wife and children tolerate, haha. Our drummer is a professional saxophonist and plays in non metal bands also. Our bassist is a very big Motörhead and rock ‘n roll fan and our vocalist listens a lot of extreme genres. He also plays in the grind core band ‘Loathsome‘. 

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts? 

First of al, thanks for doing this interview with us. Its good to see that the underground scene and metal in general is still alive and kicking. We hope you like the new album and lets keep the underground alive!

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