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Devilskin European Tour and Single Release Q&A

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Interviewed by guest reviewer Harumi Masugo

Devilskin is an alternative rock and metal band based in Hamilton, New Zealand. Prior to their upcoming tour in Europe, I got the chance to have an interview with the bass guitarist/founding member, Paul Martin and lead vocalist, Jennie Skulander.

Exploring new territory of their depth and passion, the interview is regarding their new song ‘ENDO,’ the European tour, and friendship with the Grammy Award Winning hard rock band Halestorm.

Enjoy their art of songwriting!

Endo Offical Music Video

 

〈About ‘ENDO’〉

  • I watched the official music video ‘Endo’ and at the first glance, it was visually sensational. Then, I was vividly inspired by the song. The players’ soul came directly into my heart. Could you tell me what the motivation was to create such energetic song?

Paul: Our drummer Nic came up with the music for this song, he worked on it for a long time before he presented it to us. We all connected with it immediately. Musically, it felt like an exciting new direction for us to explore and we all felt the energy of it.

 

  • What is the lyrical message of ‘ENDO’?

Jennie: The lyrics for Endo are based on my surgery for Stage 4 Severe Endometriosis written from the experience and also my notes given to me post-surgery. I had an 11cm mass removed from the right side of my pelvis in December 2017 (endo was also found on the left side as well) that was classed as Stage 4 Severe Endometriosis. The message is to get endometriosis more known and to give men and women an understanding of what women with endo may go through.

 

  • How long did it take to write the song?

Jennie: It didn’t take long to write the lyrics at all. We had the song already and it needed words and as the surgery was still fresh on my mind I jotted most of it down in one go, changing bits and pieces over the course of a few days.

(Photo: Kasai Photography )

 

  • Particularly to whom would you like to listen?

Jennie: Anyone and everyone! Anyone who may have heard about endometriosis but still aren’t too sure what it’s all about. Before surgery I myself didn’t know much about it.  I think the song has got women who suffer from it to open up more and share their experiences.

  • Have you been aware of any changes before and after creating the song, as a person and as a band?

Jennie: Yes. I now have a better understanding of endometriosis, as does the band. In learning more I have discovered not all women have the same symptoms. We have been getting a lot of praise for talking about it and being so open. Unfortunately, endo is something that is kind of kept in the dark and can be hard to diagnose. I’m hoping this will make more and more people around the world aware of endometriosis.

  • How do you associate the song with Endometriosis New Zealand?

Paul: I approached Endometriosis NZ just to let them know we were releasing this song and to ask if there was any support groups or helpline information we could include in our press release. They were absolutely delighted that we would do this. We were all aware of what this condition is and we all know people who are affected by it so we thought it would be an invaluable opportunity to help raise awareness.

The statistics of this condition are truly awful, so any attention or awareness we could draw to endometriosis could potentially really help someone who is suffering from it. It is a subject that isn’t talked about a lot we thought it was time that changed.

(Photo: Kasai Photography )

 

  • Through the band’s music career, does this song explore new territory? If so, what were your goals in creating this song?

Paul: Yes, this song does explore new territory both musically and lyrically with its challenging message and confronting video. Initially, we had no goal or agenda to do this, it all happened quite organically after Jennie wrote the words and we realized how prevalent and widespread the condition is.

 

  • Question to the male members. Endometriosis is a woman’s symptom. How do you approach/relate with this female matter song? Is there any difference to playing this song compared with other songs, emotionally and/or technically?

Paul: All of us know women that have been affected by endometriosis; partners, sisters, friends, parents. It is extremely common yet notoriously hard to diagnose and identify and a nightmare for the women who suffer with it daily. I think most men have a lot of empathy for women who have this because we understand how debilitating it can be. We are proud to be able to spread awareness to our audience so it is an emotional matter for us all. Technically it is different from our other tunes but fun and challenging to perform. It has been amazing to get so much feedback from fans who live with this terrible condition daily and find some comfort in our championing of it.

(Photo: Kasai Photography )

〈Tour in Europe〉

  • What’s the background to having a tour with Halestorm?

Paul: We invited Halestorm to come to New Zealland to tour with us at the end of 2016, beginning of 2017. We connected straight away on so many levels. Their band involves family (Lizzy & Arejay are brother and sister), our band involves family (Paul and Nic are father and son and Jennie is Paul’s sister-in-law/Nic’s aunty). We had a great time with Halestorm and we took the time to make them feel welcome and show them around New Zealand. This started a great friendship which now sees Halestorm inviting us to Europe for their tour. We couldn’t be happier!

 

  • Would you share some memories with them, such as the best gig with them? And what parts do you want fans to look forward to seeing with Halestorm for the coming tour?

Paul: We played New Year’s Eve 2016/17 in Christchurch city in our South Island. It was an outside show with the ruins of Christchurch cathedral behind us. The cathedral was devastated like most of the city, in the big earthquake of Feb 2011. The resilience and heart of the region was evident in the passion of our audience. It was very touching and made for a poignant setting for an amazing show. I think fans will be in for a real treat on this upcoming tour to see two of the best rock vocalists in the world at the moment on the one stage!

 

  • What would you like to achieve through the tour in Europe?

Paul: We would like to win the hearts of a new legion of fans all over Europe, meet amazing people and have them remember our band!

 

  • It seems that the concert schedule is pretty packed. Do you have any ideas how to control the condition physically and mentally?

Paul: We will be very busy but rest and diet will be keys to us staying at the top of our game. Also it’s so important to have fun!

 

  • What is your favorite part of touring in Europe?

Paul: For me it is seeing the beautiful sights, the history and culture, meeting amazing people, and having fun playing live!

 

  • Do you have a message to your fans in Europe?

Paul: We are really looking forward to meeting so many of you at our shows, to thank you personally for the incredible support you have shown us so far. We intend to play our hearts out for you and give you a night out you will always remember!

 

(Photo: Kasai Photography )

Devilskin Official Website

Endometriosis New Zealand

 

Impressions of the interview:

Especially, as a woman, I was inspired to learn the background of creating ‘ENDO’ including important messages through the lead vocalist, Jennie Skulander’s personal experience. Also, Paul’s answer to #8 on how to relate with this female matter song was touching. I believe knowing this about their personalities will enrich music fans to enjoy their art of songwriting. (Harumi Masugo)

 

About Harumi Masugo:

Harumi Masugo is an interviewer and reporter based in Kyoto, Japan. Specialized in interviewing artists and reporting creative activities, her passion is to bridge the world with creative sense by writing.

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