The Devil's Blood - Selim Lemouchi

The Devil's Blood - Selim Lemouchi

It’s true that nowadays many occult bands are facing quite a success in the music industry, feeling kind of that the occult element is the new black. Dutch occult rockers THE DEVIL’S BLOOD, after the successful release of “The Thousandfold Epicentre”, are already scheduling their tour program and METAL KAOZ talked to Selim Lemouchi about the band’s future plans and his opinion about satanic music, just a couple of weeks before their visit in Greece. Enjoy!

Hey Selim, how are you? Where are you calling from?
Hey there Dimitris, I am good, thanks. I am calling from Holland.

First of all, many congrats on the new album; it’s really great.
Thank you very much.

So, you have a new record deal with Metal Blade, right?
Yeah, we just signed with Metal Blade for the US territory.

Why did it take so long to bring THE DEVIL’S BLOOD in the US?
I really don’t know. I guess Europe is also a big place, so it took a lot of work to bring the band in the present status. Also, it’s not easy to fight two battles at the same time, so the time had to come to seek for assistance for the US. We wanted to find a serious partner to give 100% to make this work and hope that we have found one with Metal Blade.

Do you think that the US audience will be really receptive to THE DEVIL’S BLOOD music? It seems that the US metalheads have a more mainstream taste.
I have no idea man, and to be honest, I don’t really care.

Granted the new album will be well-received here in the US, are there any plans to schedule some live dates?
We already have plans to do a US tour. It will happen this spring.

Do you know what other bands will be touring with you?
Yeah, but at this point I really cannot say more. But rest assured that we are working on this and the news will soon follow.

I know the lyrics play an important role to THE DEVIL’S BLOOD music, so I am going to ask whether there is a special meaning behind the title of the album.
Obviously the lyrics play an important role to the music. As for your question, I’d say yes and no. First of all, explaining lyrics and titles is almost impossible to this point. We are talking about my personal experiences and about my, let’s call them, spiritual enlightenments, so writing the lyrics is  my way of putting everything into the music. The lyrics and the music is the way I use to describe all these experiences, so when I try to explain them, it’s like forcing me to over-analyze what I have already described. It would eventually destroy the meaning and the value of all the symbolisms. There is a definitive meaning hidden inside the words and I believe everyone should at a certain level be able to find out what at least the lyrics are meant to them. And that subjective meaning is far more interesting to me than any affirmation I could give.

What about the artwork of the album; is there any connection with the lyrics?
The artist who is responsible for the artwork, who will remain nameless within the circles of THE DEVIL’S BLOOD, was presented with the songs and the lyrics in their early demo stage and what you see is his interpretation and understanding.

What about the cover artwork? What is that symbol?
It is our magical seal. Every occult name can be reduced into a graphical form or a logo if you will. And what you see in the front cover is the band’s own seal.

Some believe that the lyrics should follow the music; I mean, writing about occult themes, the music should be fast and heavy, but this does not apply to THE DEVIL’S BLOOD. What do you think about this?
I do not agree with this saying. If you follow this, then the only Devil-inspired music would be Metal music and this is a ludicrous proposition. There is much more music in the world that has been inspired by the Devil. For example, there is CURRENT 93 and even some classic composers who have flirted with the occult philosophy in their music and also there are a lot bands from the 70s live COVEN and BLACK SABBATH, so I think to make the assumption that a satanic band should be playing Metal or loud or extreme music is short sighted and is not bound to reality.

How long did it take you to write the music for “The Thousandfold Epicentre”?
I had been writing songs for about 11 months and we had been rehearsing them for three to four months. And the recordings lasted for about two months.

Did you have any thoughts about the music before starting the songs for the new album?
There were no prior thoughts or a special direction. I simply started to work on the music and this is what came out of this procedure. There was nothing planned and this is the way I write music. It’s all about trying to be in the moment as much as you can.

Do you think that you have absolute control of the band? Sometimes the record labels try to manipulate a band, especially if this gets more attention every day.
I know that I am in control of this band. The moment someone tries to make me do something that I don’t like, then, the next moment I will stop working with him. And the record label says nothing to us about the music, the lyrics or the artwork that we’d like to have. If they want to do something about promotion, tour or a special release, then we can talk about it. But whatever I don’t feel comfortable with, then we won’t do it. The moment they try to push the band to do something, it will also be the moment that we will stop working with them.

Good, let’s talk about the tour plans that you have up ahead. What is planned for 2012?
As I said we have the US tour for 2012 but first we will play in Europe. First we have Greece, Spain and some dates in Germany and in Scandinavia and some festivals like ‘Hellfest’, ‘Bang Your Head!!!’ and several others. Apparently, 2012 will be definitely a busy year, but after that, there is nothing planned. So, we will see what will happen next.

What about filming a DVD?
We have thought about it. But this requires a lot of planning, energy and a lot of money of course. So, right now this is not in our immediate plans. Maybe after a few years we will start seriously talking about this.

You talked about money and nowadays, things are really tough economically. How has this situation affected you as a musician?
To tell you the truth I haven’t felt this crisis as a musician, since the last couple of years have become better for the band. After all, I was not a successful musician 10 years ago and I really don’t know what I am missing. I think that the economical crisis has made the bands more independent and now are trying to do things by themselves. I would be doing what I am doing now even if there were no money whatsoever. There is no way that we can live out of this music and things cannot be done if there is no another way to make money.

Have you ever faced harsh criticism for dealing occult themes and especially dealing with the Devil?
I am sure I have, but this is not interesting to me. At the end of the day, if you know you are doing something for the right reasons, you should not care about what other people think about it. It’s not my concern. I totally respect everyone’s right to disagree with me, if they respect my right to disagree with them.

That sound like the old good Greek democracy...

Well, Selim, we have covered all my questions here, so if you have something to add, please do.
I’d like to thank you Dimitris for the interview and I hope to fix the US tour pretty soon.