Words by Music Maven Tracey Moyle
New Zealand’s heavy hitting powerhouse Devilskin are storming Australian shores in February as we welcome back international touring with arms wide open.
With the release of their third studio album ‘Red’ in March this year, it’s been a long wait for the band to get out and tour the album. Following a massive run of successful shows across their homeland, they are bringing their Aussie fans a big dose of metal to sooth our pandemic weary souls.
With four singles released from ‘Red’, All Fall Down, Endo, Corrode and Everybody’s High but Me, fans will get to hear all the new stuff live for the first time along with a stack of old favourites.
No strangers to our shores, with major supporting gigs and festivals under their belts, the band are finally embarking on their first headlining tour bringing fellow Kiwi heavy rockers Shepherds Reign along for the ride.
Add in more brilliant live rock with New Zealand-bred-now-Gold-Coast-local hard rockers These Four Walls and Sydney riff lords Bad Moon Born and you get one hell of a rock show to kick off 2021.
This week our Music Maven Tracey Moyle had the chance to chat to Devilskin front woman Jennie Skulander about getting back on the road, finally touring ‘Red’ and their upcoming Australian shows.
Twenty-twenty has been a year no one expected. I spoke with Paul (Martin – Bass) back in March when ‘Red’ was released it was a great chat but at that stage we had no idea what we were in for. New Zealand hit it hard and fast with lockdown.
“It was six weeks for us and it was pretty unfortunate that the album came out two weeks after we went into lockdown so there was a lot of promotional stuff that we weren’t able to do, but the album still did well. And we were out of lockdown in May. It’s been a crazy year. We did go into a small lockdown again a few months back but that wasn’t anything major. We weren’t able to tour but we have just finished a fifteen date tour as well.“
Did you get creative through the lockdown or did you just take some down time?
“The guys were writing. Nic (Martin – Drums) and Paul were living together so they would come out with stuff every now and then and Nail (Vincent – Lead Guitar) he has a nice little shed up at home with his guitars and he was writing stuff, riffs and that sort of thing. Me not so much, I didn’t have a very good lockdown myself. Unfortunately I didn’t really write anything. But we’re going to get back into writing. We’re look at getting the next album up and running.“
Do you share the role of song writing within the band?
“We all share the role. Nic wrote Bright Lights. He wrote everything for that song apart from the vocal melody and the lyrics, I wrote those but he did the guitar, bass and drums. Paul and I are the main lyric writers. We just share coming up with songs.“
With ‘Red’ coming out in March, it must have seemed strange having that gap in the albums release and then touring at the other end of the year to promote it. How did it feel to get back out there?
“It felt great to get out there. The tour did get rescheduled twice. Our Auckland shows were rescheduled three times because they were in a second lockdown in August. But we managed to get through it and we finished it a month ago, maybe a few weeks ago, *laughs* I’ve lost track of time.“
Are you happy with how the album has gone since it’s release?
“Yeah definitely. It went to number 1 the first week it was released here in New Zealand, so that’s a milestone. We’re quite happy how that happened. We played the whole album in our set list recently so if anyone hadn’t heard the album, they got to hear it at our show.“
You’ve toured with some amazing acts. I know you did a major tour with Halestorm a couple of years back. I saw that show here in 2017. Both bands are such a good fit, you must have had a great time touring with them?
“Yeah, after that tour we went to Europe and did 19 shows with them. We are all good friends. They are really down to earth people and their whole crew are amazing. We’ve kept in contact and we are looking forward to the day when we can actually meet up again and play some more shows.“
You also supported Slash and Myles Kennedy when they toured here in 2018. That must have been a great experience as well.
“It was really good. He’s a really cool guy. Once again the whole crew were really good. We didn’t see much of Myles but Slash is just a laid back dude and always willing to have a chat. He was really cool.“
You are heading over to Australia in Feb with shows in NSW, Qld, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne. You’re bringing over Shepherds Reign for their first Aussie tour, it will be great to see them live for the first time.
“They are all awesome dudes and great musicians.They’re looking forward to getting out and playing some shows internationally. It will be a first for them. I think it’s going to be huge. They’re the next big thing here in New Zealand.“
You have These Four Walls and Bad Moon Born supporting you through the tour. These Four Walls are based here but are from New Zealand. Have you worked with either of these bands before?
“Yeah, the first time I played with them I was about 19 and I’m 35 now. That’s when they were based in New Zealand. We’ve played several shows with them over the years, Devilskin and my last band as well.“
I am guessing we will get a lot of tracks from ‘Red’. But don’t leave out the classics. Have you ever asked for the fans to pick the setlist?
“Sometimes we ask the fans what they want to hear, we’ll play stuff of the new album and some popular songs. On our tour recently we were doing 28 songs a night. We were doing seven acoustic as a VIP and then we were doing 21 in our set. Our set was about an hour and a half. So there were quite a lot of songs there.“
Can we expect any acoustics on the tour here?
“Maybe. We might be able to incorporate that in the set”
Devilskin ‘Red’ Australian Tour kicks off in Newcastle 17 February 2021. With Shepherds Reign, These Four Walls and Bad Moon Born along for the ride, lovers of heavy rock are in for a night they will not forget in a very long time. Get your tickets now before its too late.
2021 Tour Dates
Wednesday February 17 – Cambridge, Newcastle
Thursday Febrary 18 – The Basement, Canberrs
Friday February 19 – Crowbar, Sydney
Sunday February 21 – Coollangatta Hotel, Gold Coast
Wednesday February 24 – Amplifier, Perth
Thursday February 25th – The Gov, Adelaide
Friday February 26th – Stay Gold, Melbourne
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With thanks to Silverback Touring