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Devilskin

The Gloom In The Corner – Leaderboard
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AN interview with paul martin

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Four-piece New Zealand band Devilskin’s members, all know the metal genre well. Frontwoman Jenny Skulander was previously in the band Slipping Tongue, guitarist “Nail” previously supported Iron Maiden with his band Chuganaut, drummer Nic Martin plays in metalcore band Seas of Conflict and his father, bassist and renowned New Zealand DJ Paul “The Axeman” Martin has supported the likes of Black Label Society and Motorhead with his various bands including World War Four and Blackjack. He’s also interviewed everyone from Metallica to Deftones. Saying all that, it comes as no surprise that Devilskin’s debut album ‘We Rise’ went platinum in New Zealand when it was released in 2014 and was also number one on the charts for four weeks.

“Not really,” Paul Martin states when asked if he felt added pressure when making the band’s new album ‘Be Like The River’. “For ‘We Rise’, there was probably eight or nine songs that didn’t make the album so we never had a problem with a shortage of songs. Plus, we were writing together for three or four years before releasing that album. A couple of the bigger songs from that [album, We Rise] were written on our very first jam together: Little Pills, Fade and Until You Bleed. So there wasn’t so much pressure; it was just having the time to do things because we wanted to do it properly. If you think about it, a platinum, number one album is pretty hard to follow up but it feels pretty good to us so we just hope the fans like it as much.” It turns out they do, as ‘Be Like The River’ shot to number one immediately upon being released recently.

Martin discusses title tracks not making the album and where the title ‘Be Like The River’ came from. “Well, there’s a song on the new album called We Rise [and] the first album was called We Rise but that song didn’t make the cut. There was a song we wrote for this album called Be Like The River which also didn’t make the cut,” he laughs, “so it’ll probably be on the next one. The lyrics [of Be Like The River] are basically about being like the river that cuts through the stone. So it’s all about following your own path, carving your own path, getting through your difficulties and finding your own way. Basically getting to where you need to be by cutting through all the bullshit. We just thought that title suited how we felt because we’ve stuck to our guns and just kept things rolling along.”

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Talk quickly turns to what it’s like to play in a band with his son. “Fantastic,” Martin grins. “I’ve been in a lot of bands with a lot of different drummers and there’s always just been a problem with the drummer,” he laughs, “so this has worked out really well. Nic is a really dedicated musician. He plays some guitar and piano on the album as well and I just couldn’t be prouder.” Paul goes on to explain how his son joined the band. “When he [Nic] was 15, our original drummer had to have an operation and we had a tour booked so I told Nic he’d be filling in and he was real green and freaked out but he did an amazing job. Basically, after a week or so we didn’t wanna go back to the old guy. As a Dad, I couldn’t be happier and as a bandmate, I couldn’t be happier. It’s a real treat for me to be in a band with him.”

Next year, Devilskin are heading over to Australia to support fellow hard rockers Halestorm on their east coast tour. Martin is very quick to say what he loves most about Australia. “The weather,” he laughs. [I also love] the people you meet. It’s just a totally different place to New Zealand but rock and metal fans are pretty much the same all over the world. The Aussie metal fans are just as crazy as New Zealand metal fans. Australia is such a beautiful country and it’s always a trip to hop on a plane with a guitar case. We want to conquer Australia.”

It’s pretty clear that Martin loves being a part of Devilskin. “The best thing [about being in Devilskin] is we get to create music and record it for the fans. The worst thing? I can’t think of anything,” he says honestly and laughs. “It can be a little off-putting at times when you’re having dinner with your wife and people who love the band come up to your table. I don’t know what the etiquette is but the fact of the matter is, they’re only doing it because they love the band and the music you make. So there’s no real downside. For me, anyway. It’s all positive.”

Written by Matt Barton

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supporting HALESTORM

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TUES
10TH
JAN 2017

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MELBOURNE
Corner Hotel

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WED
11TH
JAN 2017

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SYDNEY
Factory Theatre

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THURS
12TH
JAN 2017

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Canberra
The Basement

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LISTEN TO DEVILSKIN

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Carl Neumann

Carl is the owner and the director of HEAVY Magazine. Carl is a music journalist and photographer for HEAVY, Rolling Stone, scenestr, Planet Rock and Kerrang!
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