There’s no doubt that since their inception, UK based Devil Sold His Soul have made quite the impact on the genre. With a sound that is hard to completely narrow down, the atmospheric post-metal act have released 3 full length albums and 2 extended plays. Since their debut EP “Darkness Prevails” in 2005 and up until the present, the band keeps finding ways to innovate and improve upon their already fantastic sound. Recently they embarked on a UK wide tour to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of their debut album “A Fragile Hope”, which led to original vocalist Ed Gibbs to rejoin the band. Currently in the process of writing for the next album, I had the chance to chat with co-vocalist Paul Green about all kinds of topics ranging from self production to favorite tour memories. These guys are immensely talented and are bound to turn heads with their upcoming release. Be sure to follow them on Facebook for all upcoming news/music, and check out some of their previous material here.
I’ve noticed that the band has had a relatively stable line-up since around 2007. How difficult has that been? I’m sure you’re all pretty good friends by this point.
To be honest it’s super easy, we get on really well so we don’t tend to have the bickering that perhaps some bands do about writing and money etc. It helps that there isn’t really any pressure on us too, we see this as an escape from the norm and our day jobs, it’s all just having a lot of fun these days.
With 2 vocalists, how do you decide which one gets which part? I know with new songs you write for the specific vocalist, but for older songs how do you determine who sings what?
So that was really easy, Ed and I basically just sat down and took a bunch of highlighters to the lyrics to split them out. There were a few that we just freestyled in the practice room, we pointed at each other to do the next line and it worked really well. Its been extremely organic as a process.
What kind of sound are you going for with the new record? What are some of the lyrical themes or ideas you have for the songs?
We’re still very much in the works with the new record but there are certainly a few major themes that we need to address due to some extremely sad personal events that have taken place over the last few years. Its perhaps too early for those to be discussed though.
As for the sound, there is a good mixture of heavy and uplifting, sad and triumphant. It’s the DSHS people have grown to love with some added spice in the mix.
When you all are recording, is it more comfortable with Jonny doing the production and such as opposed to some random producer?
Absolutely, Jonny is an incredible producer, his body of works is testament to that. Having him there being so invested in the project makes it what it is, the vision that he and the guys have is fully translated on to record. I’m sure it wouldn’t be half as good elsewhere.
Do you plan on using Alan Douches to master your upcoming album since he’s pretty much mastered every release since Blessed & Cursed?
we’ll approach that once we have the mix but I assume so. Alan has never let us down, he knows what a DSHS record is meant to sound like, and we’re always pleased with the end product.
With Paul being in The Arusha Accord as well as DSHS, does it make things difficult at all? Like are there conflicting times where he’s with TAA when you all need him to write and/or record a part?
I wouldn’t say so. Arusha does take up a fair chunk of my time as I manage it as well. I’ve always balanced things in a sensible way between the two bands. It’s never led to me turning a show down or missing a session. The only thing that really suffers is my downtime outside of music. It’s definitely hard on my partner at times, and last year with AFH10 and the writing of the Arusha record was quite extreme. My focus is on striking a better balance for that now, I definitely needed a break after the mayhem!
Who would you say are some of your biggest musical influences?
We all have a huge range of influences as individuals, anything from Envy to Thrice, Converge to Metallica, the list is endless. I think the joy of being in DSHS is that we just write our own thing. Before I joined Devil I was influenced by them, and I can say that still.
Are you still with Basick or are you looking for other labels to put your upcoming material out?
We don’t have an agreement in place for the new record as yet but we’ve loved working with Basick and would 100% be happy to do so on this new record. Barley is one of the truly excellent humans in the music industry, and a pleasure to work alongside.
Ultimately, what made Ed want to come back to the band? Was it because of the 10 year anniversary of A Fragile Hope, or was it for other reasons?
Ed initially came back in to just do the AFH10 shows, but we had the best time doing them and became really great friends in the process. There was no way we could leave it there. It was kind of an unspoken thing for a while and just organically happened. It’s been the best thing to happen to the band for a long time, and adds another exciting dimension to the sound live and on record.
What is your favorite memory from touring? Where was your favorite place that you visited?
It has to be Japan. It was an out of this world experience that I will never ever forget. I remember coming off stage prior to an unplanned encore and just looking at everyone thinking how insane it was to come half way across the planet to play for people you’d never met, that didn’t speak your language yet absolutely loving the band, knowing our music and being insanely appreciative that we’d come to play for them. The Best.
If you could tour with 3 other bands, past or present, who would you want to tour with?
That’s a really tough one… personally – The Dillinger Escape Plan / Karnivool / Nirvana.
I’m sure the other guys wouldn’t pick any of those but that’s my list at present.
Since you are currently writing/recording, what are some of your most listened to albums? How are they influencing the songs you are writing?
Because I’ve been working on Arusha, I’ve listened to that far too much lately. Outside of that I’ve really enjoyed the new Rolo Tomassi record and Manchester Orchestra’s. Both great and extremely different to the usual crowd.
With the upcoming record being worked on, do you have plans to tour to support it? Hopefully you’ll cross the pond and come to the states!
100% we’ll do a tour to support. If the offer came in from the US/Canada to play, and the books balanced, we’d be there in a flash. So much depends on actually being offered something though, we’d love to do it is so.
What made you want to put A Fragile Hope out on vinyl? Was it just for the anniversary or was it something you all have wanted to do for a long time?
We’ve wanted to do it for ages but we just didn’t have to right occasion to do so. The 10 years was perfect and it allowed us to think about the product that extra bit more, we ended up putting out something we’re all really proud of, regardless of some of us not having been in the lineup for it.
Any plans for putting any of your other albums out on vinyl?
Fingers crossed we can do the same for the others as we go through the years. Lets see what blessed and cursed 10 brings…
When 2020 rolls around, are there plans of doing a Blessed & Cursed anniversary tour or is it too far out to even speculate?
We’ve certainly spoken about the idea, and there’s seems to be a lot of demand for it. I’m sure we’ll all sit down and discuss it further after the new record cycle is done and we can see beyond that. Fingers crossed it happens.
Does Jozef know if there’s any plans for Rinoa to do a reunion show or anything? I know it’s a long shot, but man were they fantastic.
They were an excellent band!
I know it had been discussed at points in the past, but i’m not entirely sure where that was left. Fingers crossed it does happen, it’d be great to see them live again.
Is there anything you’d like to tell your current or new fan base who are anxiously awaiting some new tunes?
It’s coming and it’s going to be worth the long wait! Thanks for all your patience and we’ll see you next year with some new tunes!