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Dead Soul Tribe -
Dead Soul Tribeís frontman Devon Graves is quite the prolific character. After the break up with his former band Psychotic Waltz he released an album every single year with his new group. You could rely on it like clockwork, except 2006 didnít see the release of an album. We caught up with Devon at The Bosuil in Weert on the tour to promote A Lullaby for the Devil.
 
Devon, the new album took longer to come out than the previous ones, was this because of the slightly new approach of Lullaby for the Devil?
Well, I constantly changed my mind, because I didnít want to repeat myself on this release. Iím happy with the final result although Iím not entirely satisfied with the drumsound. At home I remixed ĎPsychosphereí. It has a much better drumsound now. When the initial printing runs out, Iím considering giving the label a new remixed version of the record. To those who already who got the initial pressing, the acoustic performance wonít be on it.
 
In this day and age of downloading, donít you suffer from less cd sales?
To start of with, I think that the anti-download movement had the wrong spokesperson with Lars Ulrich. As a multi-millionaire who hardly suffers from less cd sales, it is hard to see that it is actually more hurting the smaller artists, like us. But I guess it also cuts both ways. On one hand people who never heard of Dead Soul Tribe actually can hear my music. Our albums arenít available in every shop and we donít appear on MTV. So when they hear us through downloading they might check us out at our gigs too. But I have to say this, when you really like the music, buy the album instead of downloading it. Otherwise it is really the end for us small artists.
 
Wouldnít you prefer to be on radio or TV?
When you listen to the radio of the TV music channels, it is a lot of the same. Itís whether this negative gangsta-rap or this 13 a dozen rockgroup. It is hardly distinguishable, so my music doesnít fit in. Back in the old days, when you had people like Frank Zappa, Queen, Ritchie Blackmore and Led Zeppelin, they all had their own sound, their own way of performing. Nowadays there is a severe lack of originality. The big music industry doesnít care as they are just focussed on selling. Of course I would like to sell a lot more, but on the other hand I donít want to give in to this big business desire. I want to create something that lasts, art that surpasses me when Iím gone. Iíll probably stay an underground artist forever, but I still feel I have something to offer in this world and I still can grow within the underground.
 
I would say that you would need a lengthy tour to make more money, but you only tour about a month per year.
The reason that we donít have long tours is because this is all we can get. Reason being is that I donít have a manager who takes care of that. I know how to compose, write lyrics and play several instruments. But I donít know how to market myself, sell myself. Iíd love to play different venues and tour more extensively. And the reason that Iím playing this venue again has to do with the fact that they are paying a high enough fee. But I must say that de Bosuil is a quite nice place to play.
 
How is the tour going so far?
It has being going quite nice although support act Kyrbgrinder, dropped of the tour due to illness. And illness struck us too, as a stomach virus hit us at the time we hit Cologne. I couldnít finish the gig properly. Funny enough the audience hardly noticed; they loved everything we did.
 
You sang different parts on Ayreonís The Human Equation as the character Agony. What can you tell about that experience?
It was a wonderful experience. Arjan Lucassen is just a great guy to work with. I do get a lot of e-mails from bands who would like my vocals added to their record. I want to hear the music first and see if my voice really fits the music. With Ayreon it was no different, but I was quickly convinced to do this.
 
Nowadays everybody has a live DVD in their catalogue. Any plans for a future DVD release?
We are filming certain parts of the tour for an upcoming DVD, although I donít want it to be just a regular live DVD with just concert footage. Iím actually planning a movie-like concert, with a screenplay and everything. Part is going to be comedy like in the vain of Tenacious D, cause I really like that movie. Writing screenplays is a hobby that I picked up. You know everything is so much more fun when it is a hobby. Now that I make a living a s a musician it is not so much fun anymore to pick up a guitar. When I wake up it is like, I must pick up a guitar and write something. Iím not saying that I hate what I do; it isnít anymore what it used to be.
 
This year has seen many reunions. Do you think you would get together again with Psychotic Waltz?
Well I still have contact with the guys. The bad stuff that happened between us happened a long time ago. Time does heal. You see, I joined their band. I had my own ideas about songwriting and performing, back then they just wanted a singer who would do as they pleased. And that is one of the reasons I quit the band. And another thing was that I didnít get the songwriting credits, and thus not getting the royalties. I didnít want to turn it into a long legal fight, so I just walked out and started my own band. I wouldnít mind reuniting with Psychotic Waltz, but only because I have my own thing now. I just simply have something to go back to.