Please tell us a few words about the new release, about the music on it as a whole or a few words on each track in part. How are you happy with the final release?
We’re happy with the end result, yes. You know you could always improve on something, a little bit in here and a little bit in there, but you have to stop that at some point. Besides if you already did perfect, you wouldn’t necessarily have the hunger for the next effort, right?
All in all we wanted it to sound a lot heavier than our debut The Only Good Samaritan…, so we chose another studio with another engineer/producer, and that was a wise choice. The sound is now a lot fuller, richer and heavier, and serves our output a whole lot better.
Most of the songs are aggressive and fast in the best Slayer-esque, thrashy style, but we’ve included a lot of other stuff and detail in there too. As said, you can find pure thrash metal, but there’s a darker, more of a death metal side to the album as well, like in the songs Last Man Wears the Crown, The Fire of Contempt or In the Wake of Burning Churches. And if you like your solos memorable, we’ve done our best on that side as well…
If I had to describe the album shortly, it would be something like Carcass meets Motörhead meets Exodus meets Discharge meets Slayer.
How would you describe/label the music on it? Does it sound like anything we might have heard before?
It is a mixture of old school thrash metal and death metal with a twist of traditional heavy metal, rock ‘n’ roll and punk to it. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of thrash/death already, but not much of it has been done like we do it, if any. We do not want to make it too tidy and modern but on the contrary leave as much of spit and fury in there as possible, and we also want to keep the whole result varied enough to keep the listeners alert and interested.
Where was it recorded and how much time did it take you to record it? Any interesting stories from the recording/producing the material?
The Devil Tunes was recorded and mixed at Finland’s Fantom Studio by Samu Oittinen, who’s produced albums and done engineering for bands like Korpiklaani, Insomnium and Sonata Arctica, but a whole of smaller, underground bands too. He has a few albums up his sleeve that have sold gold, platinum or something like that in Finland so he sure is a big name, but he’s still such an easy-going, laid-back bloke to work with. And yet he forces you to top yourself of course which is always good.
We started recording the drums back in November 2013, but the sessions were ceased in December as the producer got badly ill with a condition of whooping cough. We had to take a couple of months of rest from the recordings due to this episode but continued in late February this year. Everything was finally ready audio-wise this April.
As to any interesting stories… Well as I was recording backing vocals with our bassist Eero Virtanen for the chorus of The Fire of Contempt, we heard this huge laughing storm through the headset coming from the monitoring room. So of course we went in there to ask what’s so funny, the rest of the band and our producer were still laughing their asses off, and said that our backing vocals sounded like they were done by Arnold Schwartzenegger (you know that “Get to the chopper” style…) We listened to those first takes, and had to admit the others were right. So we just had to try it out again with a bit less “commanding”, Arnold-esque sound, haha…
What can you tell us about the cover artwork? Is there a link between the artwork and the lyrics? What are the topics of your lyrics?
There is a loose linking with the artwork and the lyrics. As the title is The Devil Tunes, you have this red little devil lurking in the artwork all around the layout. The creature is called Viholainen, but he’s of no relation to our guitarist Matti Viholainen, hehe (the word “viholainen” is an old Finnish word for Devil).
In the back cover you can see the devil looking at this derelict crown, this links loosely to the last, epic song of the album, Last Man Wears the Crown. If you read the lyrics to that particular song by our singer Valendis, you’ll understand the back cover as well.
Topics of the songs concern things like greed for power (Last Man Wears the Crown), praise of freedom (The Devil’s Tune, Raise a Riot), pure horror (In for the Kill, Shoot ‘em in the Head, The Madman’s Portrait, Darkness Brings the Beast), insane urges to be a supreme being (Apex Beast), never-ending hatred between people (The Fire of Contempt), and wrong-doings of the church (In the Wake of Burning Churches). And the song Out With Your Feet First is dedicated to some classic Clint Eastwood characters, full of fist-fighting action.
What do you expect to gain through this release? What are the band's aims at the moment?
Of course we want to gain more attention and more gig opportunities, especially abroad. We’ve played our fair share of gigs in Finland during these years and we’d really like to play more in Europe for example, but we’re being realistic about how the whole music scene is developing right now: the records are selling less and less, and it’s a lot more difficult to get gigs as there are so many bands. But our good music and energetic live performances will get us more chances, I’m sure of it.
I have to mention we totally snubbed the option to do this record for the same label who released the first record. You see we were not happy at all how the things were handled (or more like how “things weren’t handled at all”…) so we chose the way of Bury The Casket Records, which suited us a lot better. This time everything was done as planned and in schedule unlike with the debut, and most importantly, everything was DONE.
Is there a special format the material is released in? Or is it released in multiple formats? How many copies were pressed?
At the moment there is a batch of 500 digipak CD’s pressed, and of course it will be available via all the major digital music streaming services such as Spotify, iTunes and so on. There have been talks of vinyl edition too but it’s all yet in the beginning stages. I’d really love to see it on vinyl so if anyone is interested in releasing it, please do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
If there will be a vinyl edition, I’d suggest it to have a different artwork, even if we like the one on the digipak already, but it would give the vinyl edition even a more special feel to it.
Where and how will you promote this new release?
We ended our worldwide promotion deal with a certain company a few months ago, and wanted to take a new approach on promoting as we felt we needed something different. So we inked a deal with Metal Asylum Promotions who is fully responsible for all promotion in Finland, and they’ve done a good job already as they have fabulous contacts domestically.
As for the worldwide promotion, we took it into our own hands for now. We’ve started bombarding all the foreign contacts (press, radio stations, you name it) we already have, and were hunting for some more contacts as we speak.
Where can we order it from?
For now if you live outside Finland, you can order it via our very own bandcamp: http://deadsamaritan.bandcamp.com or via Recordshop X over here: www.recordshopx.com/artist/dead_samaritan/the_devil_tunes/#cd