At this year’s return of Hevy Fest we got to sit down with two of the guys in Devil Sold His Soul (namely vocalist Paul Green and drummer Alex Wood). The guys talked all things from the recording and the release of their new EP due out November this year, their return to touring and why you should always be careful when visiting a zoo, and here’s what they had to say!
So firstly, how was your set today?
Paul: Yeah it was wicked, really enjoyed it.
Alex: It was cool, I was surprised how many people turned up, it was amazing, all of a sudden we look up and there’s a tent full of people, we were all just like “whoa shit cool!”.
Paul: We had two people turn up from France today just to watch us which is kind of weird but at the same time really awesome and we really respect that, I want to find them later just to say hi and stuff.
Lots of bands playing this weekend have toured and played with one another on multiple occasions, you guys included in that, do you feel having line ups that are almost just full of friends and bands who are so chilled with each other sets festivals like Hevy apart from the larger festivals?
Paul: Yeah it happens to quite a few, like Slam Dunk, there’s always people to talk to, if you’ve been around for like 10 years like Devil and even I’ve been playing in the scene for a long time it’s great, there’s people like Palm Reader, we toured with them last October, awesome band, awesome guys, Feed The Rhino too.
Alex: Yeah, I get what you’re saying though, it is really nice and really cool when like almost every 10 paces you see someone you know and be like “Ah man how’s it going?!”, and it almost becomes quite difficult to just walk across the site in a way (laughs).
Are there any bands that you guys really want to check out this weekend or would recommend for any readers to check out in the future?
Paul: Ah man, I love Finch and I know everyone is saying it but I love them and especially their second album so much, the vocals on that, they’re honestly one of my favourites like ever.
So recently you guys announced that you’ll be releasing your new EP “Belong Betray” in November, can you talk to us about what to expect from that album, any big themes or influences that you feel have gone into it?
Paul: Just life really, every song has a different theme but lyrically it’s all very personal, I won’t go into any more detail, some are pretty dark.
Back to your set, did you try out any new material today?
Paul: Yes and no, there’s “Time” we’ve been playing for like a year now but it is on the new release so yeah.
Aside from releasing Time, this is your first release since Paul joined last year, did you guys at all feel that the writing and recording process was different this time compared to how things used to be with Ed (Ed Gibbs – Ex Vocals)?
Alex: Obviously with no disrespect at all to Ed, but I myself think it was easier because we were writing songs as five people together, again it’s nothing against the personality or who it was, but now it’s almost a case of having to just please five people rather than six, obviously Paul would say if he hated something, then again he probably hates the whole EP (laughs)
Paul: No no! I love it (laughs), I did have my own challenges in writing it, I’ve come from a Techmetal band into this atmospheric band with catchy bits, basically what the fuck? (Laughs) Like how the hell do you write a chorus?! (Laughs) It has taken me a while and I have been pretty slack with the writing, it did take Basic our record label to turn round and say “Look this is the date” for me to actually get my shit together.
Particularly with changing vocalists, some bands and vocalists say that they find it difficult or sometimes awkward playing older songs that they have not had a part in writing, do you think that was ever the case for Devil Sold His Soul?
Paul: I think there’s only been a couple songs that I’ve properly struggled with, “An Ocean of Lights” for me, there’s a certain level in my range that doesn’t feel like I can power it, so all the singing in there comes across as quite boring, whereas Ed just smashes that song, killed it and I just can’t do it, some I can like Crusader seems to come across really well, but in all honestly it’ll be nice to do some of my own stuff, I said earlier it’s kind of like I’ve been doing karaoke for the last year and a half.
Alex: I felt the same way when I first joined, I have to play A Fragile Hope like beat for beat, so when Blessed and Cursed came out I was like “Thank god I can actually play something myself”.
Along with the album you’re playing a one of show at The Underworld in October, you guys play your fair share of one off headline shows but we’ve not had a full UK headline tour since last October, is there any real reason behind that and can we be expecting a full tour any time soon?
Paul: It’s just having a reason to do it, there’s no point playing tours that people aren’t going to turn out to and for people to turn out you need to have a reason for them to be there, but a new record is definitely a reason for them to be there and something that will push us to do a headline tour, we’re looking forward to doing one, we’ve just got to make sure it’s right and with the right bands, like we’ve toured before not with the right band but now yeah with the record written we have a real reason to tour.
Finally as we’re asking everyone this weekend, if Devil Sold His Soul were any animal in the Port Lympne animal park, what would you be?
Paul: A tortoise.
Rock Sins: (Laughs) I think you knew that answer a bit too well.
Alex: Well if our writing schedule is anything to go by.
Paul: So yeah, a gentle, old tortoise, making it’s way across the grass to find a bit of lettuce somewhere.
Alex: And then crawling back slowly with it in its mouth munching (making an incredibly realistic sound of a tortoise eating).
Paul: No no no, we’re better than this, we’re better than a tortoise.
Alex: See I quite like hippos but hippos are quite aggressive.
Paul: They’re aggressive man! I saw something that said they kill 2500 people a year! Actually 250 maybe, 2500 is probably the number they don’t talk about, the number they don’t want you to know in the safari parks, if there’s a hippo in every safari park that’s a shit ton of people!
Alex: We’d be fucked!
Paul: Have you been to the safari park yet?
Rock Sins: We’re going tomorrow morning, I was pretty excited before this!
Paul: Be careful, that’s all I’ll say!
As mentioned above, Devil Sold His Soul play a one off show at The Underworld in London’s Camden Town tomorrow night (Friday 3rd October 2014) with support in the form of Empress AD, Empire! and Bad Sign. Devil Sold His Souls’ new EP Belong ? Betray is released on the 17th of November 2014 through Basick Records. To keep up-to-date with Devil Sold His Soul please follow the band on Twitter at @_D_S_H_S or visit their website https://www.devilsoldhissoul.com/.