Ahead of the release of their 'Blessed & Cursed' album, Jessica Thornsby spoke to Devil Sold His Soul sampler Paul Kitney...
For those unfamiliar with Devil Sold His Soul, how would you describe your sound?
We write heavy, epic music that has melody, riffs, quiet and heavy parts all thrown into the mix.
And can you give us a brief run-through of the Devil Sold His Soul story, so far?
Released an EP ('Darkness Prevails') through Visible Noise in 2004. Released an album ('A Fragile Hope') through Eyesofsound in 2007. All self-funded and toured pretty hard. Signed to Century Media last year and have a new album ('Blessed & Cursed') coming out on July 12th.
You're gearing up to release your second album, 'Blessed & Cursed.' How does it compare to your debut, 'A Fragile Hope'?
We're hoping that the tracks are quite different but without being totally detached. They feel like they've come from the same place, but hopefully there's a lot more in the mix with these songs and enough of the Devil Sold His Soul essence to keep our fans happy and also interested by some evolution. We also have Leks on drums now, so there should be a lot more depth to the drumming parts. We lost our last drummer just before we started writing 'A Fragile Hope.'
'A Fragile Hope' met with widespread praise. What effect has that had on the writing and recording of 'Blessed & Cursed'? Was there a temptation, or a pressure, to write 'A Fragile Hope Part 2,' or have you actively tried to move away from the sounds of your debut?
It was never a case of writing AFH part 2, but we definitely felt a little bit of pressure to write and record a better album. Album Two is always hard, especially if the first one went down really well. I guess we took the ideas in AFH as a starting point and just tried to push them a bit harder and wider.
You blogged extensively during the recording of your new album, and posted frequent 'from the studio'-style videos. Why did you make such an effort to keep your fans updated with studio goings-on? It seems to get a lot quieter in the Devil Sold His Soul camp, blog-wise, when you guys go on tour...
We've always done studio videos and blogs when recording, probably because there's a lot of sitting around and we always like to watch and read other bands' ones. We've done a few tour videos, but now that Rick has his new camera, we'll try to do more. Our Facebook and Twitter are always getting updated with rubbish and that's almost like a blog. Plus we're always pretty busy on the road, as we don't have a driver, crew or any of that kind of stuff yet.
You're playing a handful of dates and festivals in May and June. Are you looking forward to getting out on the road, after spending so long in the studio? And can ticket-holders expect a sneak preview of some new material?
We always love playing our stuff live and look forward to tours and festivals. Yep, we'll be playing a few new tracks off the record.
You're due to play Ghostfest at Leeds University in June. It's shaping up to be a great line up! Is there anyone you'd recommend attendees make sure they check out?
There are a load of good bands on the bill, but if I had to pick one I'd say check out The Boy Will Drown. Plus, buy their CD off them, it's a cracker.
This will be your first release with Century Media. How have you found working with them?
It's been really cool. They pretty much let us get on with writing the album and trusted that we'd produce something special.
You self-produced, self-recorded and self-released your debut album. Are you still involved in those 'behind the scenes' processes now?
Yep, we were back at Jonny's studio to record this album, and he did another great job of it. It wasn't mixed by us this time, but apart from that we've been as involved behind the scenes as ever.
You released a limited edition, vinyl split single with TORTUGA, on Holy Roar Records. In this increasingly digital music-centric age, what made you go with vinyl?
It's something a little different and old-school. Plus it seemed like a cool thing to do and there are a lot of people who like to collect them. It's sold really well, especially in mainland Europe.
What are your thoughts on the British metal and hardcore scenes at the moment? Both seem to have enjoyed a bit of a resurgence, as of late...
It always seems to go like that, up and down every few years. And yep, things are looking good at them moment, there are a lot of good bands knocking around, there are also a lot of bad ones too lol :)
I still can't believe how well BMTH have done in the US, it's nuts - good on them.
Apart from releasing 'Blessed & Cursed,' what do you have planned for 2010?
We'll be playing an album launch show on July 12th in London. The summer will be a mix of playing festivals and us taking some time off before a massive album push. We'll be touring the album in Russia, mainland Europe and the UK to start. Then anywhere that we can get to to help promote it, which should include the USA, Japan, Australia and more.