Vocals – Ed Gibbs
Vocals – Paul Green
Guitare, Piano – Rick Chapple
Guitare – Jonny Renshaw
Bass – Jozef Norocky
Drums – Alex Wood
Time For Metal / René W.: Hello Jozef ,
you started as a band 17 years ago and have released three studio albums since then. The fourth album is coming along, and you have changed the label again. What were the reasons, that you changed the label for each album?
Devil Sold His Soul / Jozef Norocky: Different opportunities came up at different times quite simply. We always strived to work with best people that wanted to work with us to put out any records we put out. Some of them in particular really were great to work with.
Time For Metal / René W.: Now you moved to Nuclear Blast and already got a first impression. Do you intend to stay with this label family on the long run?
Devil Sold His Soul / Jozef Norocky: As cliched as it sounds signing with Nuclear Blast has been a dream come true and they’ve been fantastic. We intend to stay part of family as long as possible.
Time For Metal / René W.: The line-up of the band also changed several times. For four years you have a permanent team. Did this influence your songwriting?
Devil Sold His Soul / Jozef Norocky: Actually I dont think the songwriting approach changed due to any changes in membership. Obviously the fact that there are two vocalists now means that the vocals were written in a new way but the music writing wasn’t influenced by those changes. Having said that, in my opinion, this is the most collaborative process we’ve ever had in terms of writing the music.
Time For Metal / René W.: After the first three albums you made a long pause and have had a lot of experiences during that time. Did you ever think about breaking up Devil Sold His Soul?
Devil Sold His Soul / Jozef Norocky: I think different guys in the band would have different answers for this. We did an EP with Paul ‚Belong ╪ Betray‘ and another Single The Reckoning and as you say, in between, we spent a lot of time living life. This meant concentrating on other things other thanDevilSoldHisSoul, but it was always there, waiting. Undeniably, the 2017 A Fragile Hope Anniversary tour reinvigorated us made us realise that there was more to be done.
Time For Metal / René W.: From the past to the future. For all people that didn’t listen to Loss yet, what are the main differences to Empire Of Light?
Devil Sold His Soul / Jozef Norocky: In hindsight, every release adds something new to theDevil Sold His Soul sound. Empire Of Light was the first time we wrote faster songs; previously we had been known as more mid-tempo / slow band. Once we introduced that more urgent sound on Empire Of Light and fans reacted well, it opened up some avenues songwriting-wise. For me, it’s hard to be objective, but the people who have heard ‚Loss‘ have suggested that it’s a sort of natural culmination of the ideas we’ve introduced before. Or perhaps a ‚Greatest Hits‘ style amalgamation of everything that makes Devil Sold His Soul what it is.
Time For Metal / René W.: So, let us dive a little bit deeper into the songs. Could you please explain in a kind of track by track your thoughts and emotions on the songs?
Devil Sold His Soul / Jozef Norocky: I think it’s best for the listener to interpret the individual songs themselves. The lyrics are available with the physical album release for those that wish to delve deeper. I will say though that the record is attempting to convey the concept of ‚loss‘ and elicit from the listener all the things that ‚loss‘ entails. If you’ve lost a loved one forever, or a relationship, or security or freedom, you will have felt anger, sadness, denial, regret. Those are universal. But loss also reminds you to cherish what you have and cherish the memories you have so there is some positivity there also.
Time For Metal / René W.: The artwork was designed in such a way that the listener is directly suggested an impression of loneliness. A very clear message and the thoughts that have arisen with you in the difficult days in recent years?
Devil Sold His Soul / Jozef Norocky: The theme of our artwork tends to be a solitary subject in the midst of a spacious or even intimidating environment; it seems to suit our music. It could evoke loneliness I suppose, or perhaps perseverance.
Time For Metal / René W.: The current situation again does not suit you. Were there any restrictions during rehearsals, recording of the songs or even on the release of the album due to the pandemic situation?
Devil Sold His Soul / Jozef Norocky: We’re certainly celebrating the release in a different way than normal; on Zoom meetings instead of real ones! Rehearsals were fine but in terms of recording, the vocals were delayed by several months, maybe even six months after the music was finished. We were just fortunate to be able to get together a few times in late 2020 to film the music videos without too many restrictions.
Time For Metal / René W.: My colleague was completely over the moon and celebrated you like a phoenix from the ashes. How do you regard the reviews from magazines in general? Besides the ones from domestic magazines, do you also read the ones from abroad?
Devil Sold His Soul / Jozef Norocky: Thats very kind! We’ve read all the reviews of the album so far. I find it fascinating to see how the album has resonated with listeners and reviewers from around the world, its humbling and makes the whole thing worthwhile for sure.
Time For Metal / René W.: The conclusion of my colleague was: „Devil Sold His Soul can not only put the genre on the right track with the release of Loss, they even climb to the top and ram their flag irrevocably into the ground. An emotional masterpiece, which raises the bar for further releases of the genres Post Hardcore/Metal this year.“ Would you sign this statement, and how do you react to such enthusiastic words?
Devil Sold His Soul / Jozef Norocky: This may sound unrealistic but we never discuss genre, or our place in any genre or contemplate any sort of flag-planting haha. Honestly, our focus is only ever on how to make any song we’re working on the best it can be and achieve what we want to achieve with it. Of course, any fans that feel that way, we’re grateful to.
Time For Metal / René W.: You have produced a video for the song The Narcissist. Can you please tell us a little bit about the concept and the conditions during the shooting?
Devil Sold His Soul / Jozef Norocky: The Narcissist is for sure one of my favourite videos we’ve done. The song is super bitter and intense and we really wanted to convey that energy. To me it really has that late 90’s / Early 00’s grunge / thrash vibe, like something you’d see on the old Rock/Metal tv channels. I love the gritty, throwback vibe of it. The concept was to make it nasty haha. The shoot was a blast, there was some cool guerrilla shooting tactics employed for sure.
Time For Metal / René W.: When and where you can play live again certainly is still unsure. Do you still hope to play some shows, maybe even abroad, this year, or are you already planning for the coming year?
Devil Sold His Soul / Jozef Norocky: Honestly it’s so hard to know right now; I can’t imagine that anything will happen in 2021 for most bands but we can’t to get out and play these songs and see how they connect live.
Time For Metal / René W.: Thank you very much for this comprehensive interview. I wish you all the best for the future. The last words are yours and you can freely address them to your fans and our readers.
Devil Sold His Soul / Jozef Norocky: Thank you so much, and a huge thanks to everyone who has bought the record and listened to it today and for the incredible feedback. Today is release day and I’m super overwhelmed with how much the album is resonating with people already.