One of Poland Melodic Black/Death Metal heavyweights Devilish Impressions performed in Singapore for the first time as part of the second edition of Metal United World Wide organised by Vent Box Production. We spoke to frontman Quazarre on the bands experience.
Hi Quazarre, thanks for taking your time out for this interview! First of all, the band have recently completed your first Asia tour, how has the response been?
Hi! Thanks for letting us talk about the band here at Heavy Metal Tribune pages!
Getting back to your question, it has actually been our second run across Asia. We did this massive trek all over China and Taiwan nearly three years ago which is actually believed to be one of the most, if not the very most, extensive run any foreign rock or metal band ever played out there. Anyways, this time around, thanks to Vent Box Productions, we have managed to reach out to fans in Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong. The response has been overwhelming! You know, playing such events makes you think that all you do as a musician actually ends up right there, exactly at that very special spot wherein there’s only you and a bunch of your band mates expressing certain feelings throughout words and tunes that apparently turn out to be as important to you as their creators as to those people who stand among the crowd, to people who truly enjoy them and indentify themselves with them. And, well… I’m loving it, man! The feeling that something you came up with at a certain point of your life can actually touch someone else’s heart on the other side of the globe as deep as you can only imagine. Can’t think of any better reward and I send my best regards to each and every maniac we’d met on the road!
For fans who might not be familiar with the band, would you mind giving them a short introduction of the band?
Well, I hate this sort of questions, honestly hahaha! But yeah, here you go…
Formed in 2000, formerly as a side, studio project, Devilish Impressions had become stage active six years later. We toured Europe and beyond and shared stages with many prominent metal bands ever since. So far we released a demo, 4 full-length albums, one EP in between and… actually one more EP is set to come out very soon (“Postmortem Whispering Crows” – out 13th September via Non Serviam Records).
The dominant or the most audible subgenres we may be referred to are certainly Black and Death metal. On the other hand though, there’s much more into it. If you, for example, take a closer look at those more melodic parts of our music, like guitar leads and so on, you’ll easily notice that they even refer to classic, heavy metal patterns. There’s also some thrash riffing here and there, so, I’d say we’re pretty much open-minded when it comes to incorporating different elements into our creation, for as long as it sounds coherent of course. To sum it all up, while being somehow loyal to the core of the Black / Death Metal genre we always try to expand its territories, try to reach out beyond its limits and boundaries. Yes, we’re fans of music in general, not fans of Black Metal only. No matter what means of expressions we use, to me an atmosphere plays a key role here. Also personally I’d always follow bands that have more to say, those who have this “something” within their offerings on top of their abilities, rather than those who shine through thanks to better musicianship skills that usually make them more technically advanced only. Obviously, lyrics, artwork and stage presence always come on top of it. And I think all these factors are somehow inseparable, and that each and every one of them serves a “higher” purpose of creating one, solid monolith that eventually speaks for itself.
Your latest album “The I” was released back in 2017, how was the album received from fans and critics?
Luckily enough it was released to a critical acclaim worldwide, having scored many maximum notes in plenty of important magazines from all over the globe. It has also made it to a bunch of the top lists for 2017 metal albums. To those who are not familiar with “The I” as of yet, I would say it’s our most mature, multi-layered and complex offering up to date. I’m not saying it’s the most original work out there yet it certainly has its own, unique flare to whatever had been created in Black / Death Metal so far.
May you share with us back when “The I” was written were there any concept/idea you had behind the album?
As expressed in the album’s press-note, the title chosen for the new record is not only a phonetic acronym of the band’s name (The I = DI), but above all it reflects the manifesto we stand for since the very first day of the band’s activity, which is the notion of freedom of choice and will. A supremacy of an individual over any external factors being imposed on us by others, with special emphasis on religion and its convictions, dogmas and paradigms. “The I”is a rebellious manifesto targeted against all those who stand opposed to anything that drives us towards individual perfection.As commented by Darky, a long-time friend of the band considered to be its spirit member and who has also contributed to the album’s lyrics: “Following on the notion that one can never reach full potential out in the open being a slave at heart it all comes down to – plain and simple – rising above and stepping over and beyond all force-fed limitations in order to accomplish honest satisfaction, fulfillment and unsuppressed growth as an individual”. So, it’s about setting ourselves free when it comes to our very own lives, towards decisions we make and paths that I believe we should create rather than blindly follow… As in many other lyrics from Devilish Impressions we do attack religions and those considered to be their leaders for not being open to people’s independent try outs of finding answers on their own, for having those people cracked under their whip while usurping the decision-making powers of each and every human being for themselves… It’s about the need to stand up for the way we perceive the world individually, not as a whole collective which is constantly being imposed by others from abovewithwhat’s good or bad, imposed by the truth proclaimed as “the only right one”.
With last release in 2017, has the band begun writing on the next follow-up album? If so, what can the fans be expecting from this follow-up album?
As I have briefly mentioned earlier on, we’ve got this new EP “Postmortem Whispering Crows” coming out in three weeks from now on. These are unreleased tracks from the “The I” album recording sessions. For some reasons we just considered them inconsistent with others that landed in the “The I” album’s tracklist. I mean, lyric-wise they still fit within the concept behind the latest full-length but musically we felt they were way to diversified, thus we decided to mix and master them once again in a different way we did the album and put them out as a separate release. I do think these are killer songs regardless! Those who are familiar with the band’s previous offerings though can easily notice never we had played this way before, but that’s why I believe some may find it really interesting to see the band explore slightly different areas again. It’s hard to say though if that’s the path we will follow on the next full-length record if you ask me… Devilish Impressions’ music has always been heading towards an unexpected directions.
Quazarre, I understand, you also play in another side project ASGAARD. The band’s latest album “Stairs to Nowhere” was released in 2012, do you have any plans for the group?
I’ve been quite busy with Asgaard up to 2004-2005 when we released and later promoted live the “EyeMDX-tasy” album. After that other guys in the band started their families, settled-down-for-life kind and so on. Having quite easily realized that we won’t be as active as before, that we won’t be doing lots of shows or recording on a regular basis anymore, I decided to fully focus on Devilish Impressions instead. And that has actually made Asgaard more like a studio-project while Devilish Impressions have become a full-steam live machine ever since. Indeed, “Stairs to nowhere” came out in 2012 and apart from having appeared at a couple of selected shows after the album’s premiere we’d rather remained quiet ever since. However, I can tell you now that the new album’s in the making. Yes! Asgaard’s newest album (7th in the band’s career) has been on my radar for over a year now but, due to many reasons, it still requires a couple of months to have it completed. I mean, we have got all the instruments tracked and laid down apart from vocals, which is my duty in the band, and to record some additional parts of synthesizers afterwards. But, if all goes smoothly, I shall hit the studio within a month or so to do my job. Once I have done that there will be only mixing and mastering left, which we are planning to do right after the vocals’ recording session. But then, of course, we still need a bit more time to finalize the album’s design and artworks so I would say we shall be ready with everything by the late Autumn.
Being the founding members of DEVILISH IMPRESSIONS since 2000, what keeps you going as a musician for over 19 years? I understand you’re also the band manager, how do you juggle doing multiple roles in the bans?
I simply got used to it. What keeps me going? At the end of the day I believe that doing something out of pure passion is the most important thing and as such it should remain the only reason for being a part of the scene. If you by any chance happen to succeed then that’s fine, if not? Well, it doesn’t really mean you’ve got to stop doing your own thing, at least not until it makes you proud and happy doing it, right? So, yeah! I would say passion and the need to express my inner self is what drives me do these things and makes me who I am throughout all those years.
As this is the band second Asian tour, have you encountered any interesting things during your trips to Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong?
Oh, too many to mention them all, hahaha! To cut it short, fell in love for all those beautiful places we managed to visit plus both maniacs and just randomly met people were super-friendly. Yes, we all truly enjoyed it and can’t wait to hit the shores of South-East Asia again!
Any last words for your Asian fans?
On behalf of Devilish Impressions I would like to send our loud hail out to all our fans in Asia! I promise we shall return! Meanwhile make sure to be on a lookout for the coming of our “Postmortem Whispering Crows” EP.
Thanks you Q for the interview!
Thank you! I do hope our paths cross again… Cheers!
Quazarre / Devilish Impressions