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Devian
Interview mit Legion [Devian], 03.02.2009, phoner



Mit „God To The Illfated“ hat die schwedische Metal-Band Devian ihr zweites Album auf den Markt gebracht. Erst kürzlich beglückte uns das Quintett dann auch live auf einer ausgedehnten Europa-Tour zusammen mit Musikerkollegen wie Vader und Samael. Momentan ist im Hause Devian eine kurze Pause angesagt, ehe es Ende des Monats Februar auf weitere Konzertreise geht. Den Tourstopp nutzte ich, um mit Sänger Erik aka Legion für ein kleines Interview zu telefonieren.
 
Recently you`ve been on the Winter Fest Tour with Vader, Samael, Deicide and Zonaria, also including some shows here in Germany. Referring to the tourblog on your website, it seems you had a nice time. Is that right?

 
Legion: Yeah, for sure. It was really cool all in all. Deicide are old friends of mine and I haven´t seen them for a long time. The last time we were on the road together was in 2001. And also the Vader-guys, like Peter [Piotr Wiwczarek, vocals/guitar @ Vader] and me are really close to each others. It was a good thing to get on the road with him again after all the troubles he had last summer. Apart from that it`s a fun job being on the road, but it`s actually a job. Standing on stage is where I find myself in my right element. Some say that the music scene is shallow, but in a way it`s a really weird friendship that we, I mean, all of these band guys have. For example I haven`t talked to Glen Benton [vocals/bass guitar @ Deicide] for so many years, just like one time briefly on the web. But after catching up it was like not that much water had passed under the bridge and we were just talking about our kids and talking about what´s going on. If you had a normal friend you wouldn´t have seen for many years, you know, the next time you meet him it`s gonna be like “Who are you?”. That`s also what I love about tours, especially about these bigger festival tours: You bump into all circumstances that you really like a lot and you get to hang up for a while again before you part ways and go doing other stuffs. It was a really nice package with a lot of cool people and it was also a really good run for us. At the beginning we didn’t really know what we have to expect. We thought about taking a challenge by only playing new songs basically, but the people really embraced it, so it was a good thing.
 
So the fans reacted positive referring to the songs of the new album “God To The Illfated”?
 
Legion: Yeah, they reacted very well, I would say. At first we thought it isn`t so smart to play just one old song, but we`re so pleased with the new album that it was really too much stuff that we wanted to play while we had the chance for touring in Europe. It looks like we won´t come back until after the summer. So we thought to let all new stuff out and if people wouldn´t have been really into that during the first two shows, we had the possibility to correct the setlist. But we had a really good response throughout the entire tour. People always know what sucks and what not, but they really liked the stuff, so we couldn´t be happier about it.
 
During the recording process of the new album you worked again with the same persons – Rickard Kottelin and Peter In De Betou –, but also with Peter Tätgren [Pain, Hypocrisy] this time. How was it to work with him?
 
Legion: Oh, it was great. Peter is the man! I owe him so much. The first time I came up to the Abyss Studio, I was just a teenager. Well, I`ll never forget the first night with Peter when we now worked with him. He was like “Ahh, tomorrow we`ll start with the recordings” and we just got really drunk and had a food fight in his kitchen and smashed everything around. We kicked a big hole in the wall of the sleeping room and, you know, it was just chaos of a couple idiots. And Peter came down like “What the fuck have you done?” (laughter) When we started working, Peter said: “Look, if you guys wanna be a professional band, you might wanna consider that`s not how it´s gonna work. This is how it´s done.” That`s the typical mentorship I´ve enjoyed from Peter during the years. The thing with Peter is that you really never start working before he feels that he has given everything that the recordings could need. One night he just had this rebellion and said that the best guitar sound for this album would come if he went borrowing a special built Marshall that a friend of him – living in another city – had. As he was alone with his son that night, he said to him “Son, tonight we gonna go on a roadtrip.” So he just took his kid and drove to his friend to pick up the amplifier. That`s kind of guy Peter is. He just keeps on working until everything is perfect.
 
If you compare the new album “God To The Illfated” with “Ninewinged Serpent”, where did you put the main focus on this time musical and lyrical wise?
 
Legion: At the time when we wanted to get into the studio for the first album as fast as possible, we were still living in separate countries and the line-up was not really together like it is today. So it was more stuff that we traded over msn and put together like a puzzle. The new album especially is more written as a team and it`s rehearsed till the songs felt right. That`s basically the main difference between both albums. (there`s a lot of children laughter in the background the whole time already)
 
Do you have a children birthday at home today?
 
Legion: Yeah, I have little gremlins. (laughter)
 
Okay. What did mainly inspire you for the lyrics of the new album?
 
Legion: It`s always a lot of different stuff, but usually some idea, something that has happened or whatever. Usually one lyric gives another. Excuse me. (coughs loudly) It´s the winter flu going around. (laughs) This time one of the best friends I ever had got killed at the age of 31. I remember that I went to his funeral and met all the old guys from the gang we were when we hang out as teenagers in our 20ies. Sitting there at my friend`s funeral I came up with some lyrical ideas in my head and that turned into “When The Vultures Have Left”. Basically it`s about when the reaper is coming. The funeral really made me start to think, because this guy was the sixth guy who dropped dead from the people I hang out with when I was younger. It was just like one after the other had to go under the dirt and that made me really wonder who the fuck we were. (laughs) Why has all this happened? That`s basically where the album title came from, because I remember how we were. We were keeping the middle fingers up to everything we considered being normal. So it was like being cast out in a way or being an outsider by choice. Our path was really the one we wanted go and you couldn´t tell us not to do it, cos we would have done it anyway.
 
How would you continue the sentence “Music is…”?
 
Legion: Music is God.
 
There is one video existing for the song “Scarred”. Any plans for another video in future?
 
Legion: Yes, we have finished a video that turned out being too rough even for youtube. (laughs) We did it to the song “Assailant”. “Assailant” is basically a song about if someone wanna taxes you, you better smash him so hard that he will never try to harm you again. That is the content of the song. In the video we are ending up in some kind of Mexican stand-off, you know, like a cowboy struggle with a bunch of priests. At first I´m getting beaten up really bad and bloody. Then we take our revenge having a gun fight with that bunch of priests. The scene is with really cool special effects. We were laughing our asses off when we shot it. Basically it`s once upon a time in Mexico where we are shooting at each others. I`m running around with a sword and chopping of the leg of a priest. I´m also chopping of a head and a hand.
 
Quite bloody…
 
Legion: Yeah (laughs), the video looks really cool, but we know that as soon as we release it, it`s gonna get banned everywhere and…(speaks something in Swedish to his kids) Sorry! So we had to do a censored version as well, but that is basically just a clip where we`re standing and playing. So it`s pretty boring, but at least it`s something. When we do another video for the album, we will think a little bit more and do something that we might be able to broadcast at the first place. But well, we will spread the current video everywhere we can, so it`s gonna be out, because people like to trade shit anyway.
 
In the end of this month you will continue touring in the northern countries. But you still have some days to relax. What are you especially doing then?
 
Legion: Oh, I´m basically just hanging out with the kids. I mean, these two tours that we`re doing now are not particularly long, but it`s just cool to hang out with the kids and do goofy stuff together. We have also started to work on Devian`s third album. We have like five or six songs now, but as always when you go on the road meeting different bands and you see how they work and you embrace their music in a certain kind of way, we have figured out some modifications that we gonna do on the songs. We have so many draft. Especially Emil [Emil Dragutinovic, drums @ Devian] is crazy. I think, he has 20 new songs he wanna present to the others. Of course we`ll see what they will turn out to be in the rehearsal room. I have also written some stuff and so have the other guys. We`ll definitely keep very high pace on finishing the new album and hopefully we can start recording at the end of the summer.
 
How easy is it for you to switch between the studio life, touring life and private life?
 
Legion: Usually it takes a while to land when I get home. On the road you sink in the little soap bubble where nothing is really a concept you care about as long as you do what you`re supposed to do on stage. For me it`s the best hours of my life just standing up there. The rest of the time you just flow around. When you´re coming home you`re just so lazy and mentally almost disabled. I mean, everything feels weird, because life at home is just going too slow. You always see so much stuff, you meet so many people and get so many new impressions on the road, no matter how many years you`re doing it. Then you come home and ask people “What`s going on here?” “Yeah, this and that guy sold his car to that guy!” and there´s nothing more. And for you it`s like running into a wall. But it`s also good stuff, I mean, if we would always stay out on the road, we would for sure get burned out after a while. The studio in one way I find it probably more tedious than Emil who just lives for creating stuff. But still it`s cool, because when you`ve been sweating and wrestling with a project for like a year, then you finally see everything what you`re materialising realised. That doesn`t necessarily sound like what you thought it would be or what you had figured out in your head, but still when it`s coming together in the right way, it`s a really rewarding feeling.
 
Being in the studio or on the road for a couple of weeks and having the same people around you all the time, is that stressful? Are there often arguments within the band?
 
Legion: No, none of us really has any big Ego, so that there are too many fights. I mean, in the past when I came home from tour, it was like nobody wanted to see the other guys for quite a while. For instance last spring we were on the road with Vader for seven weeks and when we came home, the first thing we did was meeting in the rehearsal room the day after and a month later we entered the studio to record “God To The Illfated”. So it`s really good that it´s a very easy going bunch. We just have fun together and laugh about the stupidity in life, no matter who writes which riff when we play together in the rehearsal room. And if we feel that it`s not good enough, everybody in there is changing it until all of us are satisfied. From that point of view it`s good that it is a band without a monster guitarist who just has to have his way. It´s also not a band having this frontman who thinks that he is larger than life. That`s what will make us keeping a high pace and go on for a long time. The band is more like a bunch of close friends that is having fun together and I really love, that we can have that vibe.
 
As Robert left the band last year, there´s now Carl playing the bass guitar. Is he only a session musician or a real part of the band?
 
Legion: At first we announced him just as a touring bass player, but the guy is really growing into the band so well and he is already contributed a lot with ideas. Everything what we discuss and what we´re working on, he is there and committing himself to everything. I mean, we take it slowly for the band and also for him, because being a full member is gonna be a change for him, too. But everything is going really well and we`re totally happy to have him. During the spring we will continue the discussions about that topic. We have to see how everything looks like and what he really wanna do.
 
Would the band also work without long hairs?
 
Legion: (laughs loudly) That`s a tough one. I have no idea. I would have a really hard time seeing myself standing there and headbanging without the hair, because it would look so stupid. But sooner or later it will maybe happen, I mean, God shows you as a man that you´re getting older by taking the hair of your head and putting it on your shoulder. Give us 10 years and I will have a problem!
 
With Devian you already played a couple of shows here in Germany during the last years. What do you combine with Germany, especially as you once lived here for a while?!
 
Legion: Yeah, I lived two years in Stuttgart. My wife moved up to Sweden first and lived with me there for a couple of years. Then we moved down there. Actually I wouldn´t have moved back, if it wouldn´t have been for the band. I like life more down on the continent. In Germany is always something going on. I love the pulse and the population and everything. I think, it`s really nice. Now I was actually thinking about picking up my tattoo skills again. I used to be a shop owner of a tattoo studio back here in Sweden. As soon as we can bring the kids into the kindergarten, I will start tattooing again. But the main reason why I moved back to Sweden was this band. When it started I realised that if this gonna works, I need to move to the same city where the other guys are living.
 
Do you still know some German words or sentences?
 
Legion: Yeah, I speak some German. (speaks in German) Mein Deutsch ist nicht übel, aber ich habe noch viel zu lernen.
 
(in German) Dein Deutsch ist sehr gut!
 
Legion: (laughs; answers in German) Dankeschön.
 
Would you understand me if I`d start talking to you in German now?
 
Legion: Yeah, but it helps when you`re talking slower, cos I´m pretty stone aged. For interview stuff it´s always better to speak in English, because then I can be more precise and illustrating faster. My German words are pretty limited.
 
Soon it`s carnival here in Germany. What do you think about these kind of celebrations?
 
Legion: Oh, it`s cool, I mean like everything to get people going. That´s the best thing. It´s really depressing if everybody is sitting at home to watch the TV.
 
What are your wishes for 2009?

Legion: Well, I feel I have not much to wish for. My divorce was actually finalised yesterday which was a huge load off and I mean, the band is going in the right direction, so basically I`m pretty satisfied as everything is.




Interview: Lea S.
Fotos: taken from devian.se
Website Band: www.facebook.com/pages/DEVIAN-official/71381252163


(c) fhradio, Visions Underground / www.visions-underground.com

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