By Eric Mackinnon
The Dogtooth Stage
Sunday, June 11, 2017
Devilskin's Paul Martin says his band are determined to play the performance of their lives at Download this summer and leave the Donington Park turf scorched by 'a mighty stomping set.'
Martin, bassist for the New Zealand rockers, and vocalist Jennie Skulander, sat down with the New Rock Times ahead of their hotly anticipated set on the Dogtooth Stage on Download's final day - Super Sunday.
""It is pretty surreal. I grew up reading about all my favourite bands playing Donington Monsters Of Rock, to be on the bill this year is beyond amazing," said Martin excitedly.
"So many incredible, influential bands are on the bill. Its going to insane."
"Yeah its pretty mind Blowing to be able to do such a big festival outside of NZ," adds Jennie, "everyone knows what Download festival is."
Although born and raised in Hamilton, New Zealand, Devilskin relocated across the world in a bid to make their rock n' roll dream come true. But in the increasingly connected world of technology and social media, will bands relocating become a thing of the past?
"Definitely! Its so much easier to get your songs out but increasingly it's just as important to be seen out there touring your asses off," insisted Paul. "You still need to leave your comfort zone/ country and get amongst it. You can't leave everything up to Facebook!"
"I agree with Paul," says Jennie. "Facebook, Spotify, Instagram and Twitter are all great marketing tools for Bands these days but its still important to get out there and tour as much as you can and meet the fans!"
Devilskin can count some of rock and metal's royalty amogn their impressive list of touring partners with the quartet having opened for the likes Motley Crue, Slash and Alice Cooper to Rob Zombie, Megadeth and Korn.
Jennie recalls: "When we did Westfest I met Head and Fieldy from Korn. I was mad into them when I was teen so that was wicked. Also meeting Coheed and Cambria was surreal as they are in my top five bands ever, Slash was chill and so lovely and the Halestorm Crew are probably my most favourite band to tour with!"
"Hanging out and having a drink with Nita Strauss from the Alice Cooper band was very cool," continued Paul. "Slash was really nice to chat to and the guys from Disturbed were awesome, really nice and welcoming.
"Halestorm, pure class, down to earth and humble, we had so much fun with those guys. Just to be included on the same bill with these bands is such an incredible buzz. Having them check out your set is surreal."
Devilskin's debut album 'We Rise, quickly earned platinum status in New Zealand while internationally, it made a huge impact - something the band admitted they were hopeful of.
"We knew we had created something special alright and it felt like we were in ascension but we didn't expect to get the awesome response we did both at home (going #1 on debut and then gold after 2 weeks/ platinum in 6 months), and the attention and great reviews it got abroad," said Paul. "It was so satisfying to see how it was received. To understate it, it was a very pleasant surprise."
"It is still taking us by surprise as well. We have the NZ top 40 NZ albums and “We Rise” still remains in the charts today since being released in July 2014," expressed Jennie.
But did that success add any feelings of pressure for their 2016 follow-up 'Be Like The River'?
"We kept hearing people say that you know, but we actually didn't feel that pressure as a band or as individuals," insists Paul.
"We were confident we had some killer songs written, we demoed around 30 tracks for Be Like the River so it was tough to drop so many and just record 13! It wasn't the commercial success that we were primarily concerned with but the quality of the songs and we felt we had grown a lot as songwriters, we knew a lot more about the recording and production processs and we just wanted to get into it.
"You could say we were all quietly confident going into recording Be Like the River."
Both Jennie and Paul are huge fans of rock and metal and as we steer the conversation back to the Download Festival they excitedlty rattle of a number of bands they are looking forward to seeing aroudn their own set.
Paul says: "I've been going mad over Dutch act The Charm The Fury. We play the same stage as them so I'm really looking forward to their set.
"Heres some of my must see acts: Slayer, Steel Panther, Clutch, Like A Storm, Rob Zombie, Coheed & Cambria, Devin Townsend, Max & Igor, Opeth, Fozzy and Aerosmith!"
Jennie chips in her own: "For me SOAD , Prophets of Rage, Mastodon, Sum 41, Code Orange, Biffy Clyro, Sikth, Devin Townsend, Cavelera Brothers, Coheed, Dillinger Escape Plan, Like a Storm, The Charm The Fury, Clutch, Steel Panther, Alterbridge, In Flames."
Catch Devilskin on The Dogtooth Stage on Sunday, June 11, where Paul says Devilskin are plotting the gig of their lives.
"Our goal is just to give the performance of our lives!!! No biggie."