I had a chance to have Danny Finch from Devilment sit down and answer some questions I had burning about his band. Here’s what he had to say:
BearlySinister: Hello Danny,
How are you today, brother?
Danny: Very good, thank you
Your band, Devilment, has a pretty impressive line up. How did the band come to be and what is the meaning behind the band name?
DANNY: The idea for Devilment came about around about 2001, it was originally a solo project and wrote about four albums worth of stuff, each kind of a different style project. One part of that project was a very heavy kind of industrial band more geared towards techno music, but with really heavy guitars and I had three singers in the band at that point. Between 2001 and 2003 I had jammed with different people trying to get some kind of band together but it just never happened and I got an offer to recorded an album with a another band so I put the project on hold. Around 2008 I had given up on music in order… I guess… to live a normal life. I met this amazing women called Linda and before long we moved in together and started planning a life for ourselves. We moved into this little house and I had set a small studio up in one of the rooms and I had planned to start writing again, I had no plans at that point to be in a band again, I was wanted to write for myself. We lived there for about a year and one afternoon I wrote a couple of songs, one of which later became “Even your blood group rejects me”, and the other song became “Bloodlust Rust and Empire” which was on our first Devilment Demo, this was about 2009 I think. Around 2010 I started to get the bug to be in a band again and I talked to several bands and I had even gone to jam with a few of them, but none of them felt right for me. In the back of my head were these songs that I had wrote the previous year.
2011 came and I got married and she was expecting our first child who came later in that year, and we called her Alice. I guess you could say my life was complete I was soon to be married and to become a dad. I was the happiest I think I could ever be, but I need to be playing music. So I sat down on afternoon and revisited all the songs from the early sessions back in 2001 to 2003, from that sessions came a bunch of songs which I wanted to work on with a band, so I picked up the phone and started calling some friends up. I wanted to get the perfect line up. First in was a drummer called Simon Dawson who later left us to join British Lion which featured Steve Harris from Iron Maiden. Next I called my good friend Kieron (ex the voice) to play guitar and then my old band mate Justin from 13 Candles who was to play bass. being that everyone lived in different parts of the country we never jammed that much and that line up soon fell apart, but I was set on getting this band going. During this time I was also trying out loads of vocalist but no-one seemed to fit. We had also started to record our first demo as three piece with Kev Jackson who later joined on Bass guitar. Dani Filth and myself had been friends and he was hanging one night and we were drinking and I played him some of the rough mixes from the demos, and he loved it. I asked him if he knew of any good singers. We started talking and the next thing he asked if he could go sing on a couple of tracks, a week later I got a mix with him singing on and it sounded perfect the right mix of what I was looking for.
As for the line up now, this is best version of the devilment yet and it seems to fit perfectly.
Dani Filth revealed that the name of your debut album is “The Great & Secret Show”, will this be a concept album and can we expect more tracks in the same vein as “The Girl From Mystery Island”? How many tracks can we expect to see on the album?
DANNY: With the sessions from 2001 to 2003 and then we about 4 different lines ups from 2011 to the present it, we had changed the sound of the band a lot, some songs stayed just as they were from the originally demos I had done at home. But I never wanted it to be a solo project so I always wanted everyones styles and ideas to come into the song writing process, at one point we went into a full thrash/ death metal band, at the beginning we were almost like an industrial band. I remember when we sat down to start going through all these rehearsal tapes we had of jam sessions and various demos I had recorded at my home studio, and I think it was our bass player Nick who pointed out that there was an ongoing theme, that seemed to run through the music. “Girl From Mystery Island” is very much true to the Devilment sound and its a good starting point, we have songs which are more heavier, more club dance, more world music, more film soundtrack vibes going on the other songs, but the guitar riffs are the heart and soul of Devilment. We love to put those kind of solid metal riffs and then spice it up with some crazy stuff on top. I’m lucky to be in a band with people that come with great ideas for parts. I like to mess around and stick crazy keyboards or samples on those riffs and it just takes the music to a different place. in fact “girl….” was Dani’s least favourite song at the time. It was something I had come up with while Simon Dawson (Drummer) was still in the band, and all he had heard was just me and SImon jamming the riffs in a rehearsal room. I then sat down and did a recording at home, and added the violins and keyboards and it just took it to another level completely.
How and where did you learn to play guitar? Were you classically trained or was it something you just picked up?
DANNY: I started when I was 13. I brought a really cheap acoustic guitar, I couldn’t play chords or even tune it. I have a recording somewhere on tape of me trying to play it. I started getting lesson when I was 14 and thats when I got my first electric guitar. I was never any good at being a lead player I always ended up in bands with guys that had been playing longer than me and were really good and doing leads and solos. So I stuck to being a solid rhythm player. Back in my home town I was the guy you called when you needed a solid rhythm player in a metal band. I also became the guy that wrote a majority of the songs, which suited me. I didn’t want to be in the limelight like a vocalist is or a lead guitar player. I was more happy taking a step back and kind of being the guy behind the scenes almost.
Is there a great local following for Devilment in your area?
DANNY: Not really, everyone in Ipswich, Suffolk who is into metal, we know. Most of them all play in bands so I guess we all support each other.
How was the writing process for the album? Who did you work with?
DANNY: As I said before it was kind of wrote with about 4 different line ups over about a two years period, but a lot of those songs came from my demos I had done. Colin when he joined had came in with ideas for two songs, Nick contributes a lot during the writing process with arrangements or kind of key changes, and Lauren really took us to another level with her ideas for keyboards and textures. Dani is a master at what he does and cane always see the bigger picture. As for Aaron he just makes everything feel right, he’s feel on the drums is something else. I never played with a drummer that hits things so fucking hard.
Do you have a favorite song on the album? Can you tell me the story behind that track?
DANNY: A favourite song… hmmmm. That can change from week to week. I can tell you which song I don’t like playing and thats a song called “Sanity hits a Perfect Zero”. The reason I say that is not that the song is a bad song, it’s just the day after we started writing that song I found out my wife Linda was having an affair, so most of that song was written while I was in shock from finding out that, and going through a couple of crazy months of complete depression and a complete mental breakdown. I had to almost run on autopilot during the writing of that song. I hold a lot of emotion to the music that I not only write but also listen to. Certain songs reminds of me of times in my life, like certain albums can remind me of hanging out with my buddies one summer, or a girl that i once had amazing sex with or whatever. I know when we perform “Sanity Hits a Perfect Zero” live I can imagine I’ll have a tear in my eye. But during the writing the band stepped up and took over the controls from me, I run most of what happens with Devilment and those guys took care of everything for me while I was getting my life back together. My wife ended the marriage and I walked away with my guitars and some cloths and my dog. I had no money and no where to live. But thanks to my amazing family and friends I got my life back again in only a couple of short months. I will never forget that, and what people did for me.
Once Devilment begins touring, do you have any bands you’d like to tour with?
DANNY: Iron Maiden or Metallica just because, you know, you’ll be playing to big crowds every night in big venues.
9) For those who haven’t heard of Devilment, can you state why they should give you guys a shot?
DANNY: God I hate these kind of things…. just listen to it with an open mind, it’s nothing weird its just good old metal.
Any plans for music video(s)?
DANNY: Yeah of course and I think “Girl From Mystery Island” will be the first video intact, I know we are going to use Ross who directed a couple of the Cradle of Filth videos and I was a zombie in the last Cradle video called “For Your Vulgar Delectation”. If you look really hard you can see me when I had long black hair chained up to Dani. Drunk off my head no doubt ha ha.
Social media: Necessary evil or great help to your band?
DANNY: I remember what it was like before the internet and it was pretty hard to get your band out there, but now it’s so much easier. We had a web site built and spent quite a bit of money on it for Devilment, but it proved to be a complete waste of time and money. As everyone just seemed to go on our Facebook page. Through-out the last year we would get something like 20,000 views a week on our Facebook page, and since the track “Girl…” was played on team rock radio and the new spread. We got something 450,000 views in only two days. So yeah social media is great. As from a guy that likes to talk to people face to face in a pub or bar somewhere, it sucks ha ha.
Who influences Devilment’s music?
DANNY: I listen to a varied and wide range of music. From every style of metal you can think of right through to some english folk stuff, to gothic music to everything else and even some 80’s pop music. Way too many bands to mention.
I guess that about wraps it up, I don’t want to take up too much of your time. Is there anything else you’d like to say to your fans, our readers and the general public?
DANNY: As always thank you for your support and I look forward to seeing some of you on tour.