The Devil’s Blood is probably the most talked about underground band out of our little country at this moment. Down here you’ll find a small conversation with SL, the guitar-player and creative mastermind behind this awesome occult 70’s rock band.
For the people who’ve been living under a stone the last 2 years, could you shortly introduce yourself and the Devil’s Blood?
'We are The Devil’s Blood. Psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll in honour of the Devil.'
First of all, I was present at you’re ‘special ritual’ guest-appearance at the Fortarock festival. What happened there?
'A few stupid idiots tried to fuck with me, and they got their lessons handed to them.'
You came on the stage with your middle-fingers raised against the audience. At first I thought it was a new nihilistic ‘fuck everything’ vibe from you guys, but what really happened at that show?
'I was already in a very foul and angry state when we got on stage due to some earlier stuff that had been annoying me and those guys were the final straw. I cannot say too much about it as the police are currently investigating the matter but I have one question: How fucking pathetic is it that a few of these morons can first antagonize me and when it comes to the blows they were so eagerly asking for, immediately run to the police to cry like the little babies that they are? I am a pretty straightforward guy and in my view going to the police to settle a dispute like this one is about the lowest, saddest and most pathetic thing you can do…'
The Devil’s Blood has gained popularity and name very rapidly in the scene. How does it feel to finally been appreciated as a musician? I mean is this perhaps your revenge, because of the lost opportunities you had with your old band Powervice?
'I honestly do not care about it at all, I have already known some success in the past and I know how fleeting and temporary that can be. It is certainly no revenge for anything regarding earlier failures. I am only interested in making this music and spreading the message as far and wide as I can. Of course for the band it is a great thing to be granted a larger platform and better opportunities and so forth and for that I am thankful.'
How do you experience it, that a lot of well known (black) metal musicians absolute admire what you guys do and have words of praise for you guys? Doesn’t it feel strange that artists/musicians that you admire are admiring you for a change?
'That, in the beginning, was a little strange indeed. Especially when the praise comes from a corner not usually known for its friendly outlook towards other bands in general. It feels like a form of victory that we have struck these brotherhoods with some of the artists that have inspired me to make this music in the first place. Also we look to cement these bonds in the future by undertaking some seriously blasphemous plans and projects. So the future will harbour great deeds.'
Your new album The Time Of No Time Evermore will be released on Ván Records again, which I think is a brave move. But you might know that there’s quite a ‘buzz’ going on, about bigger labels chasing you for a contract. So what happens after this album is been released?
'It was never really a point of discussion. The Devil’s Blood and Ván Records are a match made in Hell. We feel 100% at home with this label and we have the ability and will to grow with each other unto new levels of success. These last 18 months or so have been a stormy ride and we both came out as winners and with the desire for more blood, violence and conquest in our souls. The label is our home.'
Are there already other labels in the picture to sign you?
'We might consider working together with overseas partners in the future to further our distribution network but that these plans are still in their infancy.'
The new song ‘I’ll Be Your Ghost’ is pretty much in the same line of the previous stuff. Can we expect the new album, to be totally filled with songs of this caliber?
'I am very proud and happy with each and every piece on the album, they are all special to me and to pick a favorite is impossible. So in the end when it was decided to pick one song as a single I let the label decide a bit as I could not make that decision myself. It is a song that is very close to me as it deals with some very personal spiritual and amorous issues that have driven me into the heart of worship and into the hatred of unrequited love.'
You write all the music and lyrics. If one of the other members has song ideas, will they be accepted? Or do you want to have full control over your band?
'As for the creative process: Through me all words and music are created. Everyone else is here to do my will. I know this sounds a bit megalomaniac but it is not. It is simply a fact. I am the one who is engrossed in the material and the words speak of my personal journey. In a way this is the soundtrack of my life.'
You and your sister are basically the very beginning and spine of this band. Can you imagine going further with The Devils Blood if she chooses to be with her family and kids instead of the band?
'No. That would mean the end. A very real possibility and all our plans must be weighed against these realities.'
In October you have a few shows lined up again with Pentagram and Trouble. It’s safe to say that Bobby Liebling liked your band, when you were over to support Pentagram in the USA? How were those shows in the USA?
'The Pentagram shows were fantastic and we did have some great conversations with the ever possessed Mr. Liebling and he really enjoyed our music. That is of course a nice thing to hear. We are looking forward to playing with this legend again.'
Can we expect more touring plans or just random gigs like now in the future?
'Well we are open for everything if it can be arranged in a worthy fashion. We have some very mundane issues in the band (parenthood, etc.) that need to be taken into account. But we are working on a very promising plan to return to the USA with some partners in Satanic salvation. Many are the possibilities and we will be looking into these in the coming period.'
This band can grow probably a few steps further. Are you willing to sacrifice everything, to make this a full time band?
'I already have. My life is The Devil’s Blood, from when I wake until I fall down with exhaustion every minute is spent on the left hand path and most of them in aid of The Devil’s Blood. I care about little else.'
Before you go on stage, you have a certain ritual that you undergo. Can you explain a little about how this works and what you actually do before you start playing? Are the other members as serious in this ‘ritual’ as you are?
'This is quite personal for each of us. For me it involves (usually) a mediation or a concentration exercise, a mantra or a prayer will do nicely for this. Anything is acceptable if it gets you in the right mindset, that particular feeling of disgust and hatred which will lift you above everything. Also after this comes the wearing of the blood this is usually a very powerful way of distancing yourself even further away from the world.'
Occultism and perhaps old 70’s psychedelic rock are the most important influences of you. Are there any other things that influence you to write music?
'Satan. Plain and simple. This is the driving force behind all my creative power.'
What do you think of the fact, that ‘The Graveyard Shuffle’ 7” is been sold on E-Bay for over 100,- dollars?
'I think it is very strange and quite ludicrous to pay such amount of money for “collectibles” but I guess that is for everyone to decide. The only thing I hate is the amount of distros out there who first bought 15 copies wholesale and then put them away in boxes to wait and see what the market would do. These are the fucks that keep the prices high and are keeping the really interested people away from the music.'
Are you willing to pay a lot of money for a record of your musical heroes? Did you do this in the past?
'I think the most money I have ever spent on an album was around 80 Euros… But I don’t think it was really worth it. I rarely buy anything at all these days… It has to be really exceptionally good.'
O.K., something else. Can you still remember the period in your life, which you got involved in music for the first time? What artist/band influenced you to become a guitar-player? Why the guitar?
'I was around 12; I saw Slash on TV playing guitar and thought that would be a nice thing to do… Standing on a stage and playing music. Seemed like a good idea at the time.'
Was it always your dream to become a musician?
'It was the only thing I was ever any good at so I had no choice.'
If you had to make an old-fashion music mix-tape for me! What songs would end up on that tape?
'Aah the lost art of tape compilations… At this moment I am listening to The Pretty Things a lot and that would be on there for sure. Maybe a song by The Animals, The Kinks, a Jefferson Airplane tune perhaps. A song by Den Haag’s very own Orange Sunshine from these days and then an old song from ZEN, a song by 60’s heroes HP Lovecraft, some Pink Floyd maybe? Hard to say really, there is always so much music floating around in my head… I could go on for hours…'
Something else to add/plug?
'No not really, thanks for allowing me a chance to talk about The Devil’s Blood and Hail Satan!'
(Pic. : Lindsy Bouten)