Hot off the heels of a whirlwind six week European tour supporting their good friends in Halestorm before branching out and playing their own headline shows in The U.K., and yet another dash around their home country of New Zealand, Devilskin have recently been announced as supports for Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators’ upcoming New Zealand and Australian tour. Despite a non-stop year in 2018, this will be Devilskin’s first set of shows back in Australia since playing support on Halestorm’s 2017 tour. We sat down with Devilskin bassist Paul Martin to chat all about the upcoming shows, as well as what’s been happening in the land of the little devils.
Devilskin have made quite a name for themselves headlining their own shows back home and then jumping straight into support slots of some of rock music’s biggest acts, and we speak about the juxtaposition of the two when bouncing from one straight to the next. Martin laughs. “I know! It’s really weird. We just went through Europe with Halestorm and did like 26 shows in 24 countries or something like that. It’s a bit of a whirlwind and it’s on such a big scale because Halestorm are just enormous in Europe. People were camping out at like 8am outside the gates, you know? They’ve got some hardcore fans. We had such a good time with them, but we went from there to The U.K. for our own shows and all of a sudden they’re not in these enormous venues anymore, they’re sort of like these dingy pubs,” he laughs. “The adjustment, I mean you just do it, but man it’s a totally different vibe playing to a smaller room than on those enormous stages with them. But they’re still just so much fun. They’re so murky and they feel so real. It feels quite surreal on those massive stages, playing in front of like 3,500 people or something it can be quite like, ‘wow, is this actually happening? Most bands start out in tiny little pubs and clubs and things like that, so that’s what you’re used to and that’s what’s real, so sometimes it’s quite good to go back to that.
Devilskin last supported Slash and Co. at two shows in New Zealand hot off the heels of the release of their Be Like The River album in late 2016. “It’s been about two years now since we last played with those guys. We’ve got a bunch of new material and the band’s been really busy, we haven’t really stopped since we saw Slash last. We don’t take any time off, it’s all just go in rock and roll. The hardest thing for bands to keep is momentum so you can’t stop for a moment, you’ve just got to keep your foot on the throat. So we’ve been pretty busy and I’m pretty confident we’ve upped our game, I’m really happy with the new songs we’ve been writing and how the band’s playing. It’s feeling a bit like a hungry animal now, so I think these Slash shows are just going to go off.
Martin then very quickly turns his attention to Devilskin’s return to Australia and the excitement in his voice is obvious. “We’ve missed Australia, we’ve been probably three or four times now, we’ve chipped away at it, but it’s never to the scale that we’re going to be hitting on this tour with Slash. Obviously we’re going to be playing in front of his crowd, so we’re super excited and we’re not going to take any prisoners, we’re going to give it our all and it’s important for us to feel like we’ve made a lot of friends over there. It’s such a banging rock scene you’ve got over there! We’re the poor cousin over here with only 4.5 million people but then we get over there and we see the venues and the crowds and they’re just rocking so it’s really exciting.
It’s been no secret that Devilskin have spent a good part of last year working towards their next album, which we can expect more news on later this year. Lead single ‘Endo’ is perhaps the most personal song of vocalist Jennie Skulander’s to have be released publicly. Martin touches on the story behind the song as well as the reception it’s received. “We demo’d almost 30 songs – we have to narrow that down now – but musically, ‘Endo’ is a leap in a different direction for us. Nic (Martin, drums) wrote the music for that, and with Jennie’s lyrics about her personal battle with endometriosis, the song just started taking on a life of its own. When we realised that this was the one that we wanted to release as the first single, we had to say to Jennie, ‘hey, you know this is a really personal song, are you sure you want attention drawn to this?’ She had stage 4 endometriosis,” he explains. “She had it real bad, she had to pretty much have emergency surgery and she wrote these lyrics about it, we never thought at the time that this could be a single. We’ve had such a good response to it, we get women coming up at shows now saying they can really relate to it and to thank us for bringing it to the floor. So let’s raise awareness, let’s get people talking about it. When we started we had no agenda or plans to bring any attention to it, so it’s been great to get the response we’ve had.”
As for the album? “When we recorded ‘Endo’ we recorded another song called ‘All Fall Down’ which we’re shooting a video for this weekend, it’s going to be the next single, we’re really happy with the recording and how it’s come out. The video is going to be dark and quite creepy and a little bit Big Brother-ish. We’ve got the same director as our last two videos (Shae Sterling), and he’s got some more tricks up his sleeve, so we’re really excited and we’re going to be playing the song live. That’ll be released in the next two or three weeks – as soon as the video’s done. We’re booked into the studio in April so we get to the part where we scrap over who’s favourite songs get dropped,” he laughs.
Devilskin are well-known for their mindblowing live energy, so you do not want to miss these incredibly passionate musicians when they revisit our shores in just over a week with Slash, Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators!
Get your tickets to see Devilskin on tour with Slash HERE!