It might have been quite for a long from Polish DEVILISH IMPRESSIONS but when they did return they did it in full. Interviewed answered by Q. – Quazarre (voc / guit) V. – Vraath (bass). Anders Ekdahl ©2013
Why has there been such a long break for Devilish Impressions?
V. After releasing Diabolicanos album and and intensive touring cycle in its support the band was kind of forced to disappear for a “moment”. Different factors combined together influenced this decision, factors I don’t necessary want to disinter right now. Among others there were also some line up disturbances. To be honest with you all that is not important now, we put that stuff behind and all that matters now is we are back with new album and great chemistry within the band, ready for things that future has for us.
It seems to me that if you take a break today people lose interest in you because of the number of bands that are out there nowadays. What kind of reactions have you had to you having a new album out now?
V. The reactions to the new material are mostly extremely positive; both media and fans seem to really dig “Simulacra” which of course is very flattering for us. We also had a chance to try new tracks live and crowd’s reactions were more than warm. Regarding the first part of your question, you are right there are so many bands nowadays that it is easy to fall out of the circulation, yet I strongly believe that Devilish Impressions stands out from the masses, that our music has something unique that draws people’s attention. Besides I have huge faith in metal fans, even looking at myself I know that I would wait for the band I like to release an album, I wouldn’t turn my back. Simple example: how many years we had to wait for “new” Guns n’ Roses material? I can bet that 80% of the old school fans bought it. Of course I exaggerated the whole concept, talking about GNR but that is what I think rock/metal fan does, supports the bands he really cares for.
Q. On one hand I would agree with Vraath but on the other we must face the fact Devilish Impressions contrary to GNR is an underground act, never got to the masses and therefore lot more difficult to follow. We are currently re-building the position we’ve been at let’s say back in 2008, where the band’s name was practically on each and every important metal magazine. These days is lot more easier to record the album, that’s why there are hundreds of really good new bands here and there, each of them trying to bite their piece of cake which makes our job little bit harder. But, don’t worry, I believe we’re getting there?
Does it feel like you can build on what you created with your previous albums?
V. Definitely with the previous releases foundations have been laid. Especially “Diabolicanos” opened many doors for the band. Great tours alongside the biggest names in the industry, international media coverage etc. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to put our foot in that door and you wouldn’t believe how much music market changed within those 4 years of our absence. Nevertheless before that we made our name, we put it out there and Devilish Impressions’ tentacles are spread, many people around the world are familiar with band’s name and music.
How much does it feel like you are starting anew with this new album?
V. We blazed trails with earlier albums and activities, a lot of acquaintances were made and that helps, now coming back we have to reopen some doors sometimes with strong kick, it’s bit more difficult than it used to be but we are getting there and it is only the matter of time when we rebuild our position and climb higher than we had ever been before.
Q. Well said, I couldn’t have put it more clear than Vraath has already done. I know it’s going to be a tough one as we are now confronted with a really big challenge, but we all like it because it always feels very exciting not to know what’s waiting for you around the corner, if you know what I mean…
During the time you took a break how do you feel that your national metal scene has changed? What kind of competition do you face now?
Q. First of all, I do not really consider music as kind of a competition. It’s not a sporting event wherein you have to constantly prove you possess better skills than others to win the game. Therefore, even though the scene has changed a lot over the last several years, our aims remain the same. We just want to create an art that makes people think and feel, and that’s it! Obviously, things are getting better once you manage to attract possibly biggest attention yet it’s not something you can really aim for, at least it is not supposed to work like that. It’s rather sort of a prize which is (or which is not) being given to you from fans the world over when it comes to the point you’re releasing the new album. Because at the end of the day it is only up to them whether the stuff you put out can be credited something special.
Have you had any problems with two faced politicians and the likes? What kind of attention does metal get from the bigger media?
Q. Luckily we didn’t have such problems or whatsoever. There are assholes, like everywhere else, who try to blackmail you in one way or another but we don’t give a damn shit about them. As for the second part of your question, I guess Behemoth is the only metal act here in Poland that for many reasons have become a matter of common concern.
Is Devilish Impressions a touring band? What kind of tours do you prefer; the package tours, the festival circuit or just going out on your own?
V. It is indeed. For me personally the longer the tour the better. I love to be on the road. Travelling, seeing new places, meeting new people, playing gigs – that what it is all about. And I have to mention that since last summer fests we have awesome road crew, together we are unstoppable.
Q. Hell yeah! Devilish Impressions definitely belongs to the group of the live-loving-acts. I really enjoy composing music and later recording it at studios but being able to confront the art I create with people’s reaction on it is what truly keeps me going. When taking over the stage you cannot cheat and if you do, the crowd would get that in a blink of an eye… But, on the contrary, if you’re really serious in what you do, you most likely will get all these emotions back. And it’s like a fuel, you know? Being on the road gives us this special sort of vibes you cannot experience anywhere else. I would compare it to a totally addictive sort of a super-drug giving you unrepeatable ride across the multi-layered-spaces, hahaha.
How has the touring scene changed over the years? I feel that it’s become harder to tour on your own due to the competition from package tours and festivals?
Q. Yep, you’re right about it. But for bands like Devilish Impressions it’s still way better to join such packages rather than to tour on our own. Opening for bigger bands simply gives you certain advantages such as bigger crowds and better media’s coverage to name but a few. On the other hand, when doing headlining gigs you’re able to present much longer set, consisting of songs you’d never be able to play when supporting other acts. So, in the end, it’s like with anything else. Would be awesome to be always in a position of making such choices…
Do you notice a change in the way extreme metal fans consume music these days? Is it more digital downloads of single tracks than full albums?
V. People generally hardly buy CD’s these days it’s all digital right now, everyone has internet access and it is no surprise that it happens. I don’t think it is a bad thing as long as they pay for downloading songs. Last month I found out that one of the biggest music stores in the UK is on the verge of bankruptcy. Huge label companies fear about their future as the bands come to realize that in fact they don’t need middleman. The internet gives enormous possibilities. The music can be put directly into the net, money goes in the band pocket, cutting out the agent and I think that is very positive direction.
Q. But it also may have pejorative consequences. I agree it may lead to the point Vraath portrayed accurately as long as people pay for the music they download. But in case they do not, the record labels worldwide not being able to earn on the stuff they promote will simply turn their backs on their artists… Because what’s the point to invest shit-loads of money into something you know is going to be stolen eventually? Would the baker bake the rolls if he knew no one is going to pay for them?.. Well, I don’t really think so…
What future do you see for the band?
V. I am very optimistic about our future. We’ve recently done almost a month-long headlining Eastern European campaing. In a couple of weeks we’re heading to Leipzig (Germany) where we are to play at Wave Gotik Treffen. A month later we will hit the main stage of Metalfest in Poland followed by a couple of soon-to be announced other festivals this summer. Later this year we plan to conquer Western Europe. With “Simulacra” we really want to reach the States as well. Basically we have full package: great new album, stronger than ever line up, record label, booking agent and management, so like I said I’m looking forward to the future.
Q. So am I! I’m really glad there are people who believe in what we do, people backing us up in every step we take… Always can’t wait for the things to come.