Thursday, March 7, 2013

Devil To Pay Interview

1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days? 

Rob: Gearing up for the release of "Fate is Your Muse", coming out on Ripple Music this April. 

2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and how it differs from previous releases?

Steve: If forced at gunpoint to describe it, I would probably say Post-Stoner Hoosier Doom Rock featuring hints of southern sludge and NWOBHM heaviness, a whiff of fuzzed out boogie, some ponderous grungy Sabbath odes, and a dash of speedy metal mania, all smothered in melodic vocal gravy and metaphysical musings. Compared to the previous albums, this album has some gravitas. Musically it’s not terribly far from the last record, “Heavily Ever After” but I think the songwriting, lyrics and vocals are a step up from where we were then.

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new release? 

Steve: This album benefitted from my worldview getting a complete makeover. Something happened to me one night (in 2011)and I ended up on a mad quest into these new age spiritual ideas, as well as modern theories like quantum field theory and Hugh Everett III’s Many Worlds Theory. Throw in some placebo effect, power of the mind, near death experience stuff and you can get a partial idea. I was kind of like Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It was pretty intense. Long story short, the album is a microcosm of where I was when I popped out of the wormhole. I was feeling pretty grateful and optimistic too. There are some bits in there about physical vs non-physical reality, being comfortable at the center of infinite possibilities, reincarnation, the illusion of it all. There is also some lighter fare, like ‘Ten Lizardmen & One Pocketknife’ which is about straddling the line between playing Dungeons& Dragons and being abducted by aliens, as well as ‘Wearin You Down’ which is my take on the futility of argument when I believe all reality is subjective.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?

Steve: the band had been trying to come up with a name for a bit, and I took this dictionary of phrases to work and started jotting down ideas. Devil to Pay was one of them, we ended up with a show and had to pick one.

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?

Steve: We’ve been lucky enough to play some great festivals and open for some of our heroes. Opening for Clutch was definitely a highlight. Our stage performance is just four dudes, kicking out the jams. No fire or explosions… no corpsepaint or spikes or rotten meat... no skintight bodysuits! (laughs)

6. Do you have any touring plans for the future?

Rob: Work in progress, but yes... Ultimate goal is to get over to Europe, we just need to find some sponsor(s)... 

Steve: Putting the wheels in motion for some shows this summer with our brothers in Lo-Pan. Looking forward to getting out there and shaking hands & kissin’ babies.

7. Currently you are signed to Ripple Music, how did you get in contact with this label and how would you describe the support they have given you so far?

Steve: We have a mutual friend. He asked me one day who was putting our new record. I kinda laughed because we’d been doing it ourselves for so long, I literally stopped trying to find a label. Eventually he said he would send some of our music to the Ripple guys and that was that. Once we saw what they were all about (with their music blog and then the label), it didn’t take much convincing on our end. Top notch dudes who love music, a great story… it’s a perfect fit for a band like us.

8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of rock and metal? 

Steve: Hard to say, exactly… When you put your music out yourself your range is limited to your cash flow. So ‘worldwide’I would say the feedback has always been good, just limited in scope. We are looking forward to people hearing the tunes!

9. Are there any other musical projects going on these days?

Rob: I think Chad (drums) always has something in his pocket. Steve also plays guitar with legendary Apostle of Solitude. Not sure if Matt has anything else going on, and I’ve been thinking about re-constructing a thrash/death metal band again. Time will tell.

10. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?

Rob: Hard to say when you have 4 guys all listening to different styles, thinking about different things and experiencing life in their own way. Those all really impact the song writing process. Lyrical content has traditionally been Steve's domain, so that will really depend on where his head is at when we sit down to work on the next release for Ripple Music.

11. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Rob: I think we're fans of all sorts of music. From classical to punk, old school country to death metal. We're all over the place, especially on long road trips when Steve bombards us with The Coasters, which I suddenly can't stop listening to...

Steve: the Coasters have been an influence since I was just a little kid. My first two records I bought were Funny Bone Favorites type goofy-ass song compilations. Now, I love me some metal and heaviness, but I love melodies, and I dig catchy stuff. I love good songs. I try not to have any limitations and listen with an open mind. Some things take longer to grow on me. Some of my favorite bands are Goatsnake, Eldemur Krimm, ZZ Top, Mr. Bungle… the list goes on. When the band started, our influences were C.O.C., Sabbath, Kyuss, Clutch & Orange Goblin, etc. We always tried to do our own thing and that ended up pulling us in different directions, in a good way. It’s part of the journey that got us here today.

12. Outside of music what are some of your interests?

Rob: I’m big into camping, fishing and cigars.
Steve: I like traveling, sweepstakes, hanging with animals and listening to my intuition.

13. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview.

Rob: Thank you for the taking the time to write. We hope you enjoy "Fate is Your Muse".
Steve: Yeah, thanks for the opportunity!
Steve Janiak – guitar & vocals
Rob Hough – guitar
Matt Stokes – bass
Chad Prifogle - drums

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