Interview and pics by Arto Lehtinen
The Dutch occult combo The Devil’s Blood have gained both interest and attention with mysterious classic sounding hard rock elements. The band is heavily influenced by 60/70’s psychedelic hard rock and has doomy metallic elements involved as well. The most recent output called THE TIME OF NO TIME EVERMORE has seen the light of day or the dark of night. Therefore it was a good moment to interview a mysterious member Selim Lemouchi who tells more about the world of The Devil’s Blood.
Good day to Holland, how’s it going there and what’s up in the camp of The Devil’s Blood?
At this moment we are almost totally inactive we’ve just started rehearsing again and will concentrate on creating a live set consisting of new and old songs. Apart from that I am doing some promotional thing such as a shit-load of interviews amongst other things.
FESTIVALS AND GIGS
The Devil’s Blood have done quite a few festival dates during the whole year such as Roadburn, Hell’s Pleasure, which ones have been the highlights for the band and what kind of reception have you received at various festivals as the audience has been quite different anyway?
Both were very enjoyable but I must say that for me personally the Hell’s Pleasure was a victory. Seeing a lot of maniacs standing in 2 feet of mud and in pouring rain while we were performing was a very good thing. Also to perform with a band such as OFERMOD and meeting a lot of our friends from Sweden again was good. And of course seeing mr. Liebling headbanging in front of our stage and enjoying the darkness…
You have done some shows with the legendary doom squad Pentagram. How did you get the opportunity of getting to do some dates with the legendary Pentagram ? Has Bobby Liebling himself expressed his interested toward The Devil’s Blood by asking you to play with him?
He have a very good booker in the united states who is totally dedicated to working with us and he made it happen. We enjoyed those Rituals very much and the people of PENTAGRAM (Band and Crew) where extremely professional and kind to us.
You have as well done a number of show with extreme metal bands like Nox. Do you view fitting to play along with death metal bands like Nox? Do you seriously pick up bands with whom are you play with?
Yes of course it is fitting. And yes if we get an offer to play or tour with a band that we do not like ourselves we decline the offer. It is too important to make these kinds of compromises. Sometimes, as with festivals, you have to take the good and the bad, but when it comes to one-off shows we really make sure we have some kind of connection to the band otherwise we stay at home.
On which basis do you usually pick up shows and festival dates as the live ritual presented by The Devil’s Blood doesn’t fit to every mainstream gig or festival ? For example the Roadburn festival has been more than perfect for The Devil’s Blood?
As I said, we try to judge each opportunity on its own merits. If we have a negative feeling about a certain venue, festival or combination of bands we say no. Sometimes this means we can play smaller bills with relatively unknown bands and sometimes, as with PENTAGRAM, we are lucky and we can do the bigger things.
I have testified one of your live rituals where you let the music roll and there is no speaks between songs and the vocalist has her mouth and body covered in blood and mostly stares at the ceiling or into the emptiness. Apparently communicating with the audience might ruin the well planned and created ritualistic atmosphere?
It is not needed, what would we say? The music and the lyrics say all that needs to be said.
Candles, blood, and unique gig venues are definitely key elements to create the needed live atmosphere for The Devil’s Blood. But generally what would be the most idealistic situation and atmosphere on gigs for the band to make a succeeded gig?
That could be different each time, a violent atmosphere filled with hate and fear, or perhaps a powerful union and a feeling of brotherhood or perhaps even a combination of the two. It can work differently each time. There is no law. Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law! Hail Satan!
IN THE WORLD OF THE DEVILS BLOOD
The Devils Blood is known for using the satanic/occult image in both music and image in general, and the name of the band symbolizes the deeper meaning. How do you view this occult and dark themas fitting as an important factor for the image of The Devil’s Blood?
Very important. For me personally it is all that matters. The art of The Devil’s Blood comes directly from my dealings with occult and Satanic currents. There is NO other influence that is as or more important that that.
How much do you study and explore ideas and visions and thoughts from the occult issues to your normalday life and the band’s world ?
This is a daily thing. I read, study and train and use praxis in order to gain a greater understanding of spiritual matters in general and the Left Hand Path in particular as this is my chosen way. It is a very personal thing that I do not expect all people to understand or respect the way I speak of it is through The Devil’s Blood.
Even though the band has been around for a short time basically, the name and the fame have spread like a wildfire all around the world and brought a lot of attention to The Devil’s Blood. Are you kind of surprised at having an interested as well as attention toward The Devils Blood a lot?
Yes I was fairly surprised by this but on the other hand I know my music to be of quality of substance so it was not a complete shock. Sometimes all the things seem to be more or less in your favour and all you can do is try to take everything as it comes and make the best of it. I have no complaints and I am very pleased with the relative success we are now experiencing.
Actually, I can’t help ask how The Devils Blood got started in the first place? How did you get interested in exploring more 60/70’s music and rock elements in the musical approach of The Devil’s Blood?
It is one of the major influences on my musical taste I suppose, I just have been listening to it for such a long time and that is what seeps into the music I make. What you surround yourself with ends up influencing you, this is the natural way. I do listen to a million different types of music but these main influences seem to come through the clearest although I can certainly hear a lot more in my music myself.
In some cases The Devil’s Blood have been compared to Coven The Witchcraft fronted by Jinx Dawson and in my opinion some similar references can be pointed out, but however are you kind of tired of getting compared to certain bands all the time, or did you find these comprasions more welcomed giving a better expose and impression of how The Devil’s Blood sounds?
I don’t really care about it. If people feel the need to compare us to Coven, or any other band for that matter, than that is fine with me.
Besides Covent The Witchcraft, which bands or artists have mostly had the important influential impact on how the sound of The Devil’s Blood has started sounding like?
There is only one name that I should always mention and that is ROKY ERICKSON, he is the most important part of our musical puzzle!
As for your names, you seem rather to remain anonymous, how come?!
Because I don’t want to be seen as a rock star or a scene-figure in anyway. I want my music to speak for me and all the rest is unimportant. Our names, our pasts, what we like to eat for breakfast, our favourite colours, who gives a fuck about these things anyway? Listen to the music, read the words, find the meaning that it reveals to you. That is what we are about. Not about personal gains or status.
The Devil’s Blood have mainly put out mini cds before the first full length album, what was the purpose on unleashing rare, but awesome mcds ?
Rare? All our releases are still available from www.van-records.de, all our music is available to the public. We just thought it might be interesting to build up our repertoire in this way. Introduce ourselves with a 7", then create an EP to later come with the full length album. For me this was how the creative process seemed to flow. I think we really took the right way as all three releases seem to be complimenting each other wonderfully and were released at good intervals.
FIRST ALBUM – THE TIME OF NO TIME EVERMORE
The Time Of No Time Evermore is the long waited album consisting eleven songs. Could you shed more light on how the album was processed and what kind of writing and composing task was for the album?
The composition of the most of the songs was already done before we recorded the "Come, Reap" EP so I had a lot of time to create good demos and rehearse a lot on this material. We did a short pre-production, this is mainly a 2 week non stop rehearsal and a lot of study at home playing the various parts of various different instruments trying to feel every part of every song until it clicks after that it is going into the studio and recording the material. The entire concept and lyrics was already done way before that so it was just case of making sure everything fit to the concept in a natural way.
In general obviously you are pleased with the result, what do you view there might be things needed to be carried out in a different way?
Absolutely not. I would have never released the album if I did. This is the most important piece of my life and it came out exactly how it was supposed to.
Pieter G Kloos was behind the desk doing the engineering, what kind of role did he have in the recording process, I mean by that if he guided the band how some songs could sound different?
A very, very important role indeed. He is like sorcerer when it come to the science of sound and knows everything about the alchemy of audio technology. Also, in a creative way, his opinions on the songs sometimes help me to clearer "see" the essence of the music. It can be good to have an outside view on your songs as sometimes you become too closely entangled and cannot see the big picture, this is where a good producer steps in to lift you up out of the tangle to see the landscape of the music in a clearer way.
The title of the album definitely has a deeper meaning, could you unveil what it means after all, apparently there is a tale behind it?
The Time Of No Time Evermore is a metaphysical symbolization of the end times, the apocalypse, from both a personal as a universal perspective. It speaks of letting go all reason, abandoning all hope and illusion and becoming a free spirit in the Chaos of lawless and timeless eternity. Any further explanations would be useless as it is up to each and every person to find out the "truth" for themselves.
Even though referred to the occult issues before, but I can’t help asking about the lyrics, as they deal with various issues, but could you reveal more about the lyrics of a few songs such as House of 10.000 Voices, I’ll Be Your Ghost and so on??
I’d rather not. I would not want to poison your perception with my personal interpretation. This is a danger each artist faces I think. When you look at an abstract painting for instance, would you have the painter tell you what it depicts and means? Or would you rather find out yourself by studying it and meditating on the totality of its emotional scope? I think that if you answer No to the former and Yes to the latter question there might be something very dark, sinister but extremely interesting inside the works of this album. If you said Yes to the former and No to the latter I am not sure you deserve to receive an answer at all and you will certainly not get one from me.
The front cover is quite obscure, but apparently it has some sort of meaning anyway?
There are tons of symbolism in the artwork but I’d like to refer to my previous answer again. Are given answers not unworthy when likened to stolen ones?
When taking a glance at your myspace, there are a plenty of extreme metal on your friend list, do you get inspirations from them as well?
Absolutely, also we share a brotherhood with some of them and we’d alert the world to their presence because of the black glorious beauty that they spread! Hail to our brothers and hail Satan!
The first full length is out finally, The Devil’s Blood will hit the road again and generally how the future looks for The Devils’ Blood?
At this time we are quite excited to get back to the live Rituals and we’ll see what happens. I tend not to focus too much on the future and just concentrate on what I am doing now.
I for one thank you for doing this short, but intensive interview for Metal-Rules.Com. And of course the last words are yours…´
Thank you for allowing us to spread our light! Hail Satan!
The official The Devil’s Blood myspace
THE DEVIL’S BLOOD RITUAL AT ROADBURN