11 Mar
Interview with DEVIL'S KING


We had a conversation with Jeremie (All instruments/Vocals). Enjoy!

Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.

Tell us a few things about DEVIL'S KING (Members, Starting Year etc).
Devil's King is somewhat fictional. The project originated as a gift for my father's 60th birthday. The aim was to make an album containing anecdotes from his life while also evoking his favorite music. The name of the "band/album" comes from a band he formed with friends in his teenage years. It was a way to make the band come alive since they never recorded anything and lasted only one summer.I started working on music at the end of 2022 and worked all the way through 2023, recording all the parts(except the drum which is programmed) by myself in my apartment. A friend of mine Jacob Bellemare recorded a solo for the song Devil's King but other than that it is a 100% solo project.

You have recently released your EP ''Devil's King''. What is the feedback from your audience as well as from the press?
The feedback I've had from the release has been surprisingly plentiful considering there was no real promotion made for the EP. The project never had any commercial ambitions so the positive comments and appreciation for the old-school sound has been quite a gratifying conclusion to a project that was ultimately just me, screaming in my apartment for a couple dozen hours. I'm also glad the album came out with general appeal as it was one of my aims to make something personal but that also stood on its own.

Label or DIY and why?
I don't think we could get more DIY than this. Everything from Guitar, Bass, Vocal to mixing and mastering was done by myself in my home office. The main reason why I did it this way is to remove any type of external stress that could come from involving too many people in the process. This way I was not hindered whatsoever waiting for someone else to send tracks or having to give feedback on a mix that would never be exactly what I had envisioned. I see the appeal of this approach and have worked in more collaborative ways in the past but since this project was so personal I wanted to stay in control of the whole thing. 

Is there any funny or weird story from the recordings or from your live shows that you would like to share with us?
The funniest part I think was having to explain to my neighbours that I was gonna scream really loud for a couple of weekends and then having to live with the fact that they heard me do a Bon Scott impression over and over again.

Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
To me, the most important part isn't really the format as much as how it is heard. As long as the audio file is good quality, listening through a good set of headphones or speakers is what I prefer. I do enjoy the ritual of turning a vinyl as it makes the whole experience more involved and forces you to stay focussed on the music but I don't really do it often. I mostly listen to my music through Bandcamp and Apple Music as this is what is the most convenient. I try to focus more on the actual music than the medium it's distributed on. Fortunately there are now more ways than ever to appreciate your favorite band.

Your music style is Heavy Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
For this project, the influences were intentionally quite obvious. I tried pastiching bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Voïvod, AC/DC and Black Sabbath in order to make it feel like the record came out in the 80s. There are also other  influences hidden throughout but these are the main ones. All those bands are definitely some of my favorites. Personally, my favorite band is Symphony X and with my other band (The Cycle | The Great Sequoïa (bandcamp.com)) we incorporated some more modern influences like Mastodon, Gojira, The Sword and many others.

Which things do you think a band should sacrifice in order to succeed? Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future for your band?
I think making music as a career necessitates sacrifices but I found that I was not willing to take the risk of investing massive amounts of money in the pursuit of a career in music. I have a DÉC (Collegiate level diploma) in music and when I was in school there was this strange obsession with performance and living the struggling artist lifestyle that never appealed to me. To me it's important to find a balance in the creative process to have the mental space to actually be creative. This has to be the least Rock & Roll answer but getting a job outside the music industry was what gave me more time to be creative and make my own music.

Describe your ideal live show as a performance band. Have you already experienced that?
To me, the best live experience is when you really feel locked in with the rest of the band and everybody is actively listening to each other. It is hard to describe but I think this feeling can only come from playing with the same people and building a genuine connection with them. I feel we had that with The Great Sequoïa but now we don't practice as often as we used to. Life happens and all...

What attributes do you think that a new Heavy Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
This is something I had disagreements about with bandmates in the past few years but I genuinely think singing in your own language is a sure way to make your band more unique. We have this bias towards English being the dominant language in music and it robs us from potentially more diverse sounds and unique takes on a genre of music I deeply love. I think one of the reasons my band's first EP, The Cycle wasn't as popular was because we didn't go all the way making it truly ours by singing in French. Aiming for a worldwide market is fine and all but I believe there is a deeper gratification in contributing to your own culture with art.

Do you believe that Digital Platforms help the new Heavy Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a band to promote its work?
I can't say for "traditional" publishing as I've never used this path to promote my own music but I think there are more ways than ever to reach a potential audience and it is for the best. The barrier of entry being lower than ever is both a blessing and a curse as there is an incredible amount of music released everyday so standing out of the pack is harder. Having your music available on as many platforms as possible and putting it in the hands of the media is the best course of action in my opinion. One issue I see is that the categories on a lot of streaming platforms segregate music in languages other than English to their own categories and this is hurting a lot of smaller bands in terms of discoverability.  I'd like to be able to browse all Metal/Punk/Rock or whatever in all languages at once but it is often impossible.

Do you see any differences between the Canadian Metal Market & the EU Metal Market (Labels, Bands, Fans etc)?
I can't corroborate this info as I've never seen a metal show in Europe but from what I've heard we have some of the best crowds here in Montréal and Québec City. There is a big metal community here in the province of Québec and a great Tech Death tradition. I would think that the rest of Canada is closer to the US market and Québec's market is somewhere in between US and Europe. I know we also have a big appreciation for European Power Metal bands but who doesn't?

Tell us a few things about the New Underground Metal Scene in Canada (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
I can't say I'm up to date on the new scene but while working on the Devil's King EP I did find some really cool bands that sing in French. Here are some of my favorites: First Fragment, Nova Spei, Outre-Tombe. As for webzines, the one I always go back to is MetalUniverse.net.

Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
Not as much as I'd like unfortunately. My exposition to Hellenic bands has been mostly from Bandcamp suggesting bands that had names in Greek letters and I've been pleasantly surprised each time. I'm glad there is a scene for bands that sing in Greek. 

The last 4 years, worldwide in the world, we have faced many dark, strange & new situations in our everyday life (covid, lock-down etc.) Did all of this affect you positively or negatively?
Before the pandemic, I was working as a speaker technician at Solotech and was actively trying to make it in the music industry. I worked for 2 years for a production company named Québec Issime that did corporate and variety shows and this really made me rethink pursuing a proper career in music. The Pandemic was kind of a wake up call to try something different. We had just released our EP with Sequoïa in October 2019 and we were planning on making shows but this all crumbled. I decided to try and pursue acareer in the video game industry as it was booming at that time and finally got a job at Behaviour Interactive where I work to this day. Getting this more stable job gave me more time to work on music and here we are with the release of Devil's King.

What are your future plans?
The main project I'm working on at the moment is an original Musical I'm writing with my girlfriend. It is quite a big endeavour but since we are both passionate about Musicals it's a fun project to work on. Another project that is on the table is working on the second Sequoïa EP since we have several leftover songs from sessions we did in 2020 and 2021. I will definitely work on more solo stuff in the future in the same vein as the Devil's King EP.

Thank you very much for your time & keep up the good work! The closure is yours.
Thank you very much for the interview. It is fun to reflect back on my work and the state of Metal in the world. I'm glad there is interest in the kind of work I do and I hope to continue making music that I would like to hear in the world.

By Steve the Filthy Dog.



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