domingo, 7 de julho de 2013

Interview - Demon: Living Legend of British Metal

The Demon is one of those bands that should have much greater recognition, one of the formations that most cherished and worshiped the golden era of the early '80s, where, more precisely in England, we had the birth of the movement that became known as the "New Wave of British Heavy Metal ", where bands like Iron Maiden, Saxon, Def Leppard and Motorhead were some of the most successful, overcoming barriers and reaching a wider audience, followed by others, which are not lifted the same commercial success, in no way can be said to have no great importance in history, occupying a prominent place in the Headbanger's hearts. (Read Portuguese Version Here)

Following this thought, we can cite Diamond Head, Samson, Raven, Tygers of Pan Tang, Angelwitch, and of course, Demon. From the beginning, with two very good albums and full of classics, the Demon, besides music, also called the visual attention of almum's covers, live performances and even its name, which gave an indication of something mystical and supernatural. But the band was not restricted to the formulation of those early years, always adding new things to your Hard / Heavy packed with memorable riffs and choruses.

But what is certain is that strong preference of fans always fell on the sound basis of these early albums, and now with their latest album, "Unbroken", this is proved because the disk is being acclaimed as one of the best releases of the band in the last 20 years.

Well, we talk a little bit with the founder member, Dave Hill, about "Unbroken", this actual moment of the banda and the classic rock, and a little of history! Check out:

RtM: To start this interview, I would like you to comment the title and cover of the new album, "Unbroken," where the band's logo appears surrounded by chains.

Dave Hill: This symbolizes after 30 years the band is unbroken, still strong!!!

RtM: The "Demon" has always been very different albums, such as NWOBHM's "Night of the Demon" and the progressive and conceptual  "The Plague". I think this last two albums, the band has more facets than pleasing their fans, meaning that Hard / Heavy riffs and choruses with striking, the climates of the keyboard and the lyrics (opening with "Prey" reminded me of songs like "Dont 'Break the Circle", including because of the intro), who move between reality and fiction. Do you agree? What do you say about it?

Dave Hill: We feel unbroken is back to big classic rock anthems, more commercial lyrics, and memorable heavy rock riffs!

RtM:  "Unbroken" has been received very well, with many positive reviews!! Are you satisfied with the results and comments so far?

DH: Unbroken has been received with great reviews in all the country’s it has been released so far. And even some reviewers have said it’s the best album in 20 years.

RtM: "Fill your Head With Rock" and "Still Believe" talk about the style of music we love, at “Fill your Head”, you talk about the Sweden Rock, where the band will perform again this year, while "Still Believe" seems somewhat autobiographical ! Could you talk a bit more about these two songs?

DH: Fill your head with rock is the story of the days we have spent at sweeden rock, which is perhaps one of the top classic rock festivals we have ever played, and so we wrote about our experience.  I think Still believe is what we still believe after 30 years as a band, that classic rock is one of the great music art forms and grows stronger each year.

RtM: Despite many lineup changes, you, Neil  and Farrington was working together since 2002, I'd like you to talk about this partnership, which also divides the compositions, and also talk about Paul Hume, the newest member, who also did the pre-production of "Unbroken".

DH: Over the years Demon has had many changes, but I have always enjoyed working with other people, and both their ideas and mine into developing new ideas for the band, and I feel with my own experience we have achieved that.

RtM: Continuing, I would like to talk why Andy Dale leave the band, who devoted several years to "Demon", and, of course, about David Cotterill, who is in the band since 2007.

DH: Andy has worked off and on with us over the last 20 years, but recently because of his business and family commitments he has been unable to continue with us. Dave Cotterill has been with us now for the past 6 years, and is a superb guitar player and a very important part of the Demon sound.

RtM: I know it may be tricky, but you could choose what your favorite songs on the new album? I’m very undecided too!! So many excellent choruses and riffs!Wow! But I believe the title track, "Prey", "Wings of Steel" and "Still Believe" are the most please the fans and certainly will be requested at the shows!

DH: At the moment we are featuring Unbroken, Prey, Fill your head with Rock, and Still Believe, but I would find it hard to pick any one track as my favorite, as I like them all.

RtM: Going back a bit in the past, the album Demon I heard most was "The Unexpected Guest" and always wanted to ask you about the concept of the cover and back cover of the album, and also you talk a bit more about my two favorite songs on the album, "Dont 'Break The Circle," which is a classic ! and "Have you been here Before", which to me, should always be in your set list on the shows! heheh!

DH: The cover is actually the torso of a muscle man, but there is a holographic image that comes through as a face. Don’t Break the Circle has become a Demon Anthem and is included in every  Live Show, and the track was covered and recorded by Blind Guardian who I am sure helped to spread the popularity of the song throughout the world, and have you been here before is a song we regularly feature from time to time in our live shows.

RTM: After the death of Mal Spooner, in 1984, many believed that the band could terminate the activities, the band released "Heart of our Time" (85), who had negative reviews, not being well received. Certainly the loss of Mal Spooner affected you so much. Talk about this complicated period, the loss of Mal, and about this album. Recalling that after this all you released two great albums, which received great reviews, "Breakout" and "Taking the world by Storm".

DH: After the sad loss of a great friend and co-musician writer, it took the band some time to get our act back together, but on "Breakout" we started to get back were Mal and Myself would have liked to have been. And in respect to all Mals efforts, the Band Demon continued as he would have wished.

Classic line-up: Chris Ellis, John Wright,  Dave Hill, Les Hunt e Mal Spooner
RtM: In 1992 the band ended its activities, becoming a long period out of the scene. Tell us about the reasons for their arrest, and what you did during the period when the band was "asleep" , besides, of course, your solo album?

DH: In 1992 we decided to take a break from performing and recording as Demon, this was not a breakup of the band, but we all needed a break to pursue other projects. One might say a well-earned rest.

RtM: In 2001 the band returned with the excellent "Spaced Out Monkey," which brought a more modern garb, would like you to talk a little of that return, what motivated you to return with the band, and talk about “Spaced Out Monkey” album.

DH: We got back together in 1998 to play some live dates in Europe, and we have been writing new material, so eventually we went into the studio, and recorded spaced out monkey. The idea of Monkey was to make a more modern sounding album which Demon have always done from time to time, and I am still very proud of the spaced out monkey recording.

RtM: And the current scene of heavy metal? How do you see it? Much is said that icons like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Purple, Ozzy and other traditional bands, are getting old, and may be does not exist a new generation  able to replace them in Heavy Metal scene, and get what they got. What do you think? There are many many new bands, but…

DH: I think the foundations that have been laid by these bands, has and will inspire a new generation of Rock Bands, who will I am sure envolve and carry the classic Rock Torch, into the future and hopefully live up to the great standard set by them Bands, and Demon.

RtM: The band has had a considerable gap between their current releases (Spaced Out Monkey -2001; Better the Devil-2005 and Unbroken-2012), and this time the compilation "Time Has Come" and two DVDs, you think about having some of the shows This year, in the Headbangers Open Air and Sweden recorded for a DVD release, or perhaps some commemorative box for more than 30 years of the band? And a wish: Do not take so long to release another album!!! hehheheeh!

DH: Hopefully the live shows that you have mentioned are being recorded, along with many live recordings we have in our possession, we are hoping as you have said, a comprehensive box set of Demon, sometime in the near future.

RtM: And shows in Brazil or South America? Have you received any proposal? Too bad we do not have here a festival like those that exist in Europe, Brazil has many fans of Heavy Metal, some small festivals are growing, who knows one day we have something great! Last year we had hope with the "Metal Open Air," which turned out to be a failure due to some problems and inexperience of the organizers.

DH: We have been approached on a number of occasions from contacts in South America to do live shows, but as of yet as you know we have not appeared in Brazil, but hopefully that will all change in the next few years.

Dave live performing at 80's
RtM: Well, thanks for your time, for this interview, for the music, I'm a big fan, and at Road to Metal there are huge fans of the band, and its a pleasure to be doing this interview, I hope one day to meet you in person! I need that you autograph my Demon’s albums!!

DH: Just want to say I am sorry this interview was not received earlier, but thank you for taking the time to be a fan of our Music and I hope to meet you sometime in the future, and I would like to give my best to all our fans in Brazil and South America.

Interview by: Carlos Garcia
Special Thanks to Mike Stone

Demon Official Site

Night of the Demon (1981)
The Unexpected Guest (1982) - UK Number 47
The Plague (1983) - UK Number 73
Wonderland (EP) (1984)
British Standard Approved (1985)
Heart of Our Time (1985)
Demon (EP) (1986)
Breakout (1987)
Taking the World by Storm (1989)
Hold on to the Dream (1991)
Blow-out (1992)
Spaced out Monkey (2001)
Better the Devil You Know (2005)
Unbroken (2012)

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