Devils of Loudun
Listening to Devils Of Loudun is like the sound track for slaying something evil. Devils Of Loudun bring a core of rapid paced melodic death metal masterfully blended with serpentine vocals and keys that transition from creepy to elegantly macabre. Rising from and with the growing Tacoma, Washington heavy music scene, the gentlemen of DOL bring a creative grit to their technical brand of metal. Our thanks to these Northwest metal musicians for sharing their thoughts in this exclusive hurdcore.com interview with the members of Devils of Loudun.
How do you prepare your throat for the brutality of serpentine vocals?
DOL: It just comes naturally but a little Green Tea or any other smoothing beverage definitely helps.
I was amazed by the prominence and diversity of keys in your music. The keys transition from the classic creepy augmentation to the metal sound to a purer layer of beauty which weaves a lot of depth into your sound. I know the keys are a recent addition, but were keys an original element in the band’s vision or did the concept to add them evolve over time?
DOL: Long before Ben joined the band we had always discussed having a keyboardist and the depth it could add to our bands sound. Unfortunately we were never able to find a keyboardist who shared our vision for the band and so we continued without one but always had kept the idea in the back of our heads. We had actually started writing songs with keyboards included in them a week or two before we had even found Ben’s craigslist add; and once Ben tried out we knew right off the bat that he was the man for the job as he shared our vision, influences and ambition to write intense, dark, melodic death metal.
Keys have become rather sexy as of late in pop and post hardcore but still not as common in sounds as purely metal as yours, how do you find the balance of when to use and not to use the keys?
DOL: When writing a song we do not have any preconceived notions of how many parts need or do not need keyboards. Most of the time while writing we find that we can almost always make a certain part/riff/chorus sound better by adding a keyboard part; and so with most our songs we would say that our keyboardist Ben has a lot more parts than a typical metal keyboardist would have. Keyboards are a versatile instrumental that can really add depth and layers to music when used correctly and so we tend to favor a more keyboard heavy sound.
All genres have their bands that are one dimensional with every song basically blending into the next, you have crafted a very technical sound that seamlessly showcases each component of your band. How much of your sound is painstaking technical efforts and how much of it is a function of cohesion and improvisation during your practices?
DOL: We tend to keep our practices and song writing very structured and down to business, so there is not much room for improvisation or jamming. The songs are usually written well before we ever get into the basement to practice the song, and then while actually playing the song we will tweak or adjust any sections/parts that need improvement.
Your name derives from 17th Century French “religious fanaticism and demonic possession,” are you that versed in Huxley’s historical narratives or did you discover the tale as you were hashing out potential band names?
DOL: Everyone in the band is interested and influenced by history, mythology, and theology. When we were passing around band names we found that most were either taken, generic or did not represent anything we wanted to express with our music. Our singer Grant had come to us with the name “The Devils of Loudun” from a book of the same name by Aldus Huxley and we immediately found it to be fitting. We loved the story of the book and how it weaved real historical events with themes of religious deviance and political corruption. We also felt that with a name as encompassing and ambiguous as “The Devils of Loudun” we would be able to play any type/genre of death metal we felt; something that is very important to our band as overtime we plan for our sound to evolve and grow.
Devils Of Loudun is in the process of recording and sending out demo’s, are you going totally grassroots or do you have a team helping you get the word out?
DOL: The effort has very much been a do-it-your-self task but we appreciate and respect all of our fans/friends/family who have helped us spread the word about our music; and there have been many. Domo arigatou.
Are you all Washington natives?
DOL: Drew, Grant and Ben were all born in Washington State. Jamey and Scott were born in California, but both grew up on Vashon Island, WA from an early age. Jose was born in Costa Rica and moved to Washington when he was 10 years old. Regardless, we all have much love and pride for our home state Washington.
What are some of the most encouraging things emerging from your local scene that those who aren’t from your area may not be aware of?
DOL: The most encouraging things emerging in our local Washington metal scene are the promoters and venues who go out of their way to help not very well known bands like us get more exposure. One of our favorite promoters who has helped since our very first show would be a man named Lonnie Local. The amount of work he puts into helping book and promote Washington state metal bands is very admirable. He just recently has started his own webisode series which on the very first episode interviewed us, another awesome band named Helles and the owner and operator of Sumner’s D4 venue, Curtis Everett. The interview also contains live clips of both our bands and we encourage everyone to check it out HERE.
Devils of Loudun (Death Metal – Tacoma, WA) is: Guitar – Scott Hermanns, Bass – Jamey Pierson, Drums – Hosbo, Lead Guitar – Drew “Tuelshed” Tuel, Keys – Ben Velozo, Vocals – Grant Loudun. Keep up to date with shows, songs and news about their upcoming release at the DOL Myspace.
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I have come to call sinners to turn from their sins, not to spend my time with those who think they are already good enough. – Jesus