Paul Martin, bassist for DEVILSKIN Converses with Madness To Creation on New Zealand Culture, Upcoming Album for “Red” and Mental Health Awareness!

Editor’s Note:  It was great to sit down with New Zealand’s own Devilskin for Madness To Creation.  Bassist Paul Martin led us into a discussion about New Zealand culture and the music scene, their music video for “Corrode”, their upcoming album release for “Red”, and sharing the stage with the likes of Halestorm, Motley Crue, Slash, and Disturbed.  “Red” will be released on April 3rd worldwide on all major platforms.  Fans can find Devilskin at the following locations:

Madness To Creation: Take us into the New Zealand music scene and your favorite thing about New Zealand culture.

Paul:  We’re a small, humid country in the corner of the Pacific with a population of less than five million; which means the music scene, in a mainstream sense, is largely dominated by pop, hip-hop, soul, “easy listening” if you will.  So there seems to be a bit more of an underground and passionate atmosphere amongst the rock and heavy metal communities. We kind of need each other here to support the scene there’s a real sense of comradery between most bands out there recording and gigging. I think New Zealand is one of the most enriched cultures in the world; obviously I may have a bias because I was born here, but I feel like NZ is easy to ‘connect’ with; you’ll find something here that you resonate with and can find comfort in. Whether it’s a scenic escape down south or deep in the bustle of Wellington city, it’s an interesting place that’s worth visiting to learn about.

Madness To Creation: You have shared the stage with Halestorm and Disturbed, take us into those memories and what did you learn from them?

Paul:  We were blown away and incredibly grateful for those opportunities. We supported Disturbed at their one NZ show on their ‘Immortalized’ tour, seven days after we had released our second studio album ‘Be Like The River’. About two hours before the show started, we had received news that the album had debuted at #1 on the Official Album Charts, so to perform knowing that, and in front of a sold out Arena of 11,000 people, was just totally surreal.We met Halestorm a few months later when we invited them to support us on our album release tour in New Zealand, we then supported them in Australia, we all really got along and managed to stay in touch after that. 

Then, in 2018 they asked us to be sole-support for their 18-date tour of Europe – THAT was a learning experience for us: living together in a van (I daren’t call it a “bus”) with 9 shelves to sleep on (I daren’t call them “beds”) for 30 days, none of us had really done anything like that before so it did take us a moment to establish a rhythm for each day. Halestorm and their crew were nothing short of amazing to us. We had a blast and can’t wait to experience that again!

Madness To Creation: I love the song “Corrode”, take us into the video and the writing process of a Devilskin song.

Paul: Thanks very much! The song came about in the same way about 80% of our music does: with the four of us jamming together in our rehearsal space; it always starts with a riff or a beat. We try to keep it “organic” and absolutely authentic. Jennie and Paul cover the lyrical content, Jen wrote Corrode from quite an immediate, personal place and I think it shows in her performance on the track.

The video was directed by Alex Hargreaves, we admired her work with Alien Weaponry and sent her the song, nothing else, and she essentially came back with the idea that you see in the final cut; what she presented was more fitting for both the song and the album than we expected, and with Piotr at Kwasnik Pictures filming & editing we knew it was going to look spectacular. The scenes of us performing half-submerged in red was a pretty intense experience; it was thick and freezing cold and they were the last shots of the entire weekend-long shoot to get. We had a portable camping shower to wash it off, but the hot water kind of cooked the cornflour in it which caused it to clump up around our hair…ouch.

Madness To Creation: What can fans expect from “Red” on April 3rd?

Paul: ‘RED’ is our strongest collection of songs to date, in my opinion. I feel like all of our different sounds and “sides” are on display in their best light, the songs have been worked on for a long time but we’ve always worked in favour of bringing the best out of what makes each song good. There are a lot of stories being told on RED too; it’s all about life, things we’ve experienced personally, things we all experience together, the good and the bad. It’s probably our most diverse sounding album too, I think our most heavy, most thoughtful, most honest, most epic, and most fun moments are on this album.

I like to think of the songs as different “shades of RED”.
Madness To Creation: At Madness To Creation, we cover mental health awareness, what are some important things you do to help you get through?
Paul: Really stoked to hear that! I think transparency/honesty/communication is a hugely important part of trying to manage through the harder times. I’m really grateful that we can be very open with each other in Devilskin and talk about those kind of things, because it really does seem to affect everyone in some way, be it directly or a loved one or someone you/they know who’s suffering. It’s important that we stay open and mindfully check in with the ones we care about; take the time to listen and mean it when you ask “How are you?”.
Madness To Creation: Big plans for 2020?
Paul: We’re aiming to make ‘RED’ a worldwide release, and immediately follow that with as many shows in as many cities as we can get into! We’re hoping to tour Europe and the UK multiple times this year, and we’ll definitely do something special for the NZ tour; we’re also hoping to be able to return to Australia and the US and even aim for some shows in Asia for the first time!
Madness To Creation: What else would you like to add about Devilskin?
Paul:  We’re just a fun-loving rock band who don’t like to limit ourselves! We hope you check out and enjoy our upcoming album, and come party with us at a show when we come to your place! We would love you to join our social media community so we can stay in touch, I am sure you can find us @DevilskinNZ

Madness To Creation: Thank you for your time to interview with me for Madness To Creation!

Paul: And you! We really appreciate the support!
And there you have it!  Devilskin have a couple of gigs in New Zealand coming up.  Check out the gig dates below.
Fri. 1/24- Central Energy Trust Arena in Palmerston North
Sat. 3/21- Homegrown Creative in Wellington

For tickets and further information, click here.

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