Interview: Selim (The Devil’s Blood)

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HIT CHANNEL INTERVIEW: December 2011. We talked with Selim from The Devil’s Blood, one of best bands of our times. The Devil’s Blood just released their second full-length , the very good “The Thousandfold Epicentre”. The band will play a show in Athens in 22nd January. Read below the very interesting things he told us:


How the tour went so far? How the new songs work live?

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We’ve been doing about seven or eight rituals (ed: gigs)  right now in France, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Holland of course and some other places. So far the reactions have been very good on both the record and the live ceremonies, and the new material works very well in the live setting. I guess that has something to do with the fact that for this record -more than the previous records-  we rehearsed very much in a live way. So, when we selected the songs to perform live, it was quite easy for us to play them live, to do what we wanted and how we wanted.


You will admit that “The Thousandfold Epicentre” is your progressive rock album and “The Time of No Time Evermore” is closer to hard rock genre? I mean it’s more experimental than your debut album.

I never really make an album with those things in mind. So, looking back I think I can see your point and I can agree with some about it. For me, it’s all The Devil’s Blood music. Maybe sometimes the influence appears a little bit stronger than on other records. What’s definitely true is that in our last record, is that we had allowed us to take some more time with everything and make everything a little bit expensive.


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Is there any particular concept which connects all the songs of the album?

There always is (laughs). And there is the same concept with the previous album and it’s the same concept which will probably be in the next album and it’s the concept that created The Devil’s Blood and made them what it is. It’s my personal spiritual search for truth and wisdom in this universe and what I could call the worship of death, the worship of Satan and the worship of chaos. This is what The Devil’s Blood is about, what they ‘ve always been about and most likely what they will always be out.


I think the great production from Pieter Kloos helps a lot the final result. Do you agree with this?

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Oh, he did a fantastic job. We always are very happy to work with such a professional and dedicated person and it’s a great experience working with him since our very beginning. I spent with him very very long time and we have a very close personal friendship, which it makes very easy and practical to work with him.


 In “The Thousandfold Epicentre” there are many lengthy compositions. Which bands were influenced you for these songs?

It doesn’t work that way. I just create what I create and I’m not listening to an album by band A and then I try to create a song in the same style the next day. It’s absolutely not the way The Devil’s Blood work. So, it’s impossible for me to say which song was influenced by which artist. If I would analyze it and I would try to give you an answer, the answer would be so strange that would confuse you. What I ‘ve been listening to the most during the writing and the recording of the album was Ennio Morricone, The Shadows, I’ve always been listening to Roky Erickson, Iron Maiden, Manowar, I don’t know.. Bathory, Morbid Angel, Tom Waits.. Whatever I like and I appreciate.


Do you think that the real experience one could have about The Devil’s Blood are the shows and the releases are just the medium for listeners to learn about what you’re doing?

To be honest, the question could be answered only by the listener. For me personally, as I’ m looking to myself, when I was growing up I almost never went to concerts, because I was always thinking that the experience of music is something you have to live alone at home with the record player, with the vinyl, with the sleeve in your hand etc. Also, when I as a person want to listen to The Devil’s Blood, I will certainly listen to them from the record. But also I guess that someone would find more powerful the live. It’s really up to the individuals where they think, they can get the most from our music, whether it can be live or at home.


Do you feel comfortable playing in festivals or you prefer your own shows with your own audience which is dedicated to you?

Of course we prefer having everything for us (laughs). We prefer to headline concerts at the venues where we can do what we can do in the way we want to do, which is logical. But sometimes the festival situation can be quite difficult, we felt always bad, and we always were trying to do the best in the situation we are in, but of course we ‘ve been in festival during the few years where we will not do it again for the reason of lack of private, lack of professionalism, lack of good sound.. You can name many reasons. The amount of variables which are out of your control, they tend to be bigger in a festival than they are in a concert, in a normal venue. Of course, we prefer the last option.


The intro in “I’ll Be Your Ghost” from your debut is very impressive. Do you remember how you came up with that idea?

I guess it’s the same (ed: idea) as with the other songs I write. I think they happen, they are in midst of the universe and they were presented to me and I translate them into something you can hear. It’s the same way as all my song I create: with an acoustic guitar sitting in the garden, or at the table or in the couch. Having an idea and it is born that way.


Many listeners learned about The Devil’s Blood because of Fenriz’s favourable comments. Do you think you owe to him a part of your recognition so far?

I guess, apart of Fenriz, there are many people who are interested in us and I guess he helped us in a big way, and we are very thankful for that. I guess in the end of the day, everyone can judge us by our music. If you’re doing it with your hearth and you invest energy, the judges will be able to harvest. So for me, in all our mission we had some people who have supported us and in personal way, which is very much appreciated. But in the end of the day, what has importance for us is the quality of what we are doing and not the amount of records that we sold.


Do you have any clear plans where The Devil’s Blood future will be?

No, no. Nothing. Only about where we’re going to tour, where we will release our music, to do tours and concerts and all that stuff and no one knows after this record what will happen.


Occult plays an important role in your life. Do you believe that a musician who is fascinated with these activities should speak about them publicly?

I think that people should do whatever they want.


Is there anyone musician you’d like to participate in The Devil’s Blood albums?

No. To be honest, I can’t think of anyone. The people who are connected to us, they need to be realized in a musical way. This is what we will always be. We’re not looking to do projects or to work with the producer A or the musician B. It’s not about their creativity; it’s all about our creativity, about what we do. I think The Devil’s Blood are not that kind of band which jumps to work with any specific person.


What do we have to expect from your Athens show?

The best thing you have to do is to wait and see. Can you can expect at least is a band which is willing to sacrifice a lot of its personal energy and life to create a reality, that the audience has not seen that in that point and the Greek people will be able to return that amount of energy to ourselves and not to be restricted by their personal principles or rules that society sets them. We hope that they will be able in a small way to forget their principles again those who will come to our show, in change.


A huge “THANK YOU” to Selim and to Sven from Van Records.

Photos by Sandra Ludewig

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