IT’S “20 QUESTIONS WITH CROSS” DAY!
Today is another one of those days where I break my own rules and on today’s interview we’re going to sit down with another one-man band. Keep in mind that the most important part of these interviews is to get to know the art of music and those talented people who make it. Today’s one-man band is a black/extreme metal band, focused on occultism, war history and esotericism, the Texas based: Devil VVorshipper (DVV).
Cross – Hi DVV!
Being a huge horror film fan, it can’t escape my eye the way you have spelled the W in the second part of your band name VVorshipper. Was it inspired from the “The VVitch” film by any chance?
DVV – Yes, I was directly inspired by that film to use that spelling. It’s one of my favorite films. I wanted a way to stand out a bit and this seem like a cool way to differentiate myself from any other bands that might share the same name.
Cross – I knew it! (Laughs) Why Devil VVorshipper?
DVV – Why not? It’s a theme that holds true to my life and seemed like an obvious name for a band.
Cross – First release of your band was on April 5 this year, a single, Black Goat God. How long have you been working on music as DVV?
DVV – Officially under the Devil VVorshipper name, probably since that date. I’ve been involved in music my entire life and had other black metal bands as early as 1998 or so.
Cross – Do you play all the instruments you use in your music or just one or two and the rest digital?
DVV– Everything that you hear is a real instrument, played by me, even the drums. I started playing music at 10 years of age, so 33 years now.
Cross – Another single came right after the first one called, Vultures of Valor and VVolvenacht. Tracks that stick in the head. Why didn’t you get them out there on the same day? Any particular reason?
DVV – Probably more of an issue with me just hesitating or procrastinating. VVolvenacht was actually the first track I recorded with the express intent of releasing music as “Devil VVorshipper.” Black Goat God, Vultures of Valor, What I Found in the Lions Den and Divine Right of Kings were all songs that I had already recorded and I needed content to put on the bandcamp, so I chose those to add so that there would be more choices to listen to for people stumbling upon the site, hence the unique production quality of each of those releases. Also I had moved my studio into a different area of my house that offered different acoustics, so the production quality changed. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to stick to a more consistent sound.
Cross – VVolvenach has a sort of Death (the band) sound. What bands do you listen to and what inspires you as DVV?
DVV – That’s what is great about music: unique interpretations! I don’t hear any Death in that song but I certainly do appreciate the comparison. I have been influenced by a myriad of different bands and styles, from brutal American death metal, to Norwegian black metal and everything in between. Most people know I am obsessed with Marduk and Funeral Mist, I’d definitely say that those are my all time favorite bands but my influences certainly aren’t limited to them.
Cross – Most of the time you wearing a Marduk shirt so… Love ‘em too. Divine Right of Kings came out on the same day. Are they supposed to be songs from different albums? They all have a different cover art if you will.
DVV – Writing and recording music as a one man band takes time, especially when taking into consideration work and life. So when I am working on music I like to do one song at a time. Once it’s “finished” I move on to another. I like to make cover art for each release because I want to create a visual that ties in with the theme of that particular song. With the way that uploads are handled in Bandcamp, I can either upload a single, or an album, and since I work on songs one at a time, it just sort of happened this way.
I would rather release material one song at a time rather than wait until I have 7 or 8 songs done and release an album. However, once I have enough material, I more than likely will consolidate all of the tracks to one officially released “album.”
Cross – Most of my friends are in, a one-man band so, I kinda have an idea how difficult that is. Do you work on the band’s art too?
DVV – Yes, I do all of the artwork so far.
Cross – I dig em. Does DVV have pets? (If you say you don’t own a baby goat I gonna be pissed about it. Laughs.) I’m asking you cause that’s one of the main objects in your art covers. (For obvious reasons, that’s understandable.)
DVV – Yes, I have two dogs. A Cane Corso and a Boxer. No goats yet although one day I might.
Cross – (laughs) I… I love goats. Dogs too. I’m a cat person though. What I Found in The Lions Den… is your next release. A bit different from the rest, till this point. What changed?
DVV – Well, getting back to being influenced by different things, this is a prime example. It was a bit experimental for me. I like to play around with different tones, different guitars, different amps. I also get bored really easily with trying to write songs that follow traditional structures or patterns. Lions Den was an example of me writing a song that was less traditional in structure. I took a melody that I had been playing and decided to build upon it, more like a soundtrack to an epic moment in a film rather than a radio hit, if you follow me.
Cross – In what I noticed you’re filled with tattoos. Any favorite one? (Something that means a lot to you.) Also which is your favorite tattoo artist?
DVV – All of my work is custom drawn by a guy named Jedi who owns Element Tattoos in San Antonio, TX. He’s a brilliant artist with great vision. My baphomet sleeve is my favorite.
Cross – I’m gonna check him out. Would be nice to have a look at that sleeve. You took a month break and came out with I Will Guide Thy Hand, another single for this year. First time we hear a bit of vocals there. Sample from “The VVitch” it says. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
DVV – Yes I moved my studio before that and took a long time to get around to working on something new. The sample is Black Phillip from The VVitch. I wrote that song specifically around that sample. I also was growing tired of writing instrumentals, but wasn’t sure if I was quite ready to start doing my own vocals again.
Cross – The Curse of Salvation, another May release. This one sounds War Themed. Even in the description of your band on your Bandcamp account it’s mentioned that the band focuses on war history. Do you like those type of books?
DVV – Yes of course. I love history and there is much to be learned about the human capacity to love, hate, create and destroy itself.
Cross – Definitely. Sword of Hatred, Crown of Sorrow. Killer drumming. A much faster pace than the rest of your other singles. This one came out as an instrumental at first and a couple months later you released it again, but this time with lyrics. You weren’t sure if you wanted it to have vocals the first time or did it evolve with time?
DVV – Thank you! at this point I was wanting to speed up the overall pace of my songs and showcase the drumming a bit more. The song was always intended to have vocals and lyrics but I hesitated and released an instrumental version first. Then I went ahead and just recorded vocals to see how it would do.
Back in 2015 I was nearly killed in a motor vehicle accident and sustained “catastrophic” injuries to my abdomen and torso. Ever since then, vocals were never really an option for me I felt. But I finally got tired of believing that I wouldn’t be able to do them and decided to try and regain my ability. I’m still working on it.
Cross – Damn! That must have been terrible. I’m really sorry to hear about that.
That being your first song to feature vocals, (I’m glad you decided to do that. It adds so much power to it) how does your writing process work?
Here’s a line from it… “A thousand years won’t last a day, gaining a past but losing tomorrow…” Killer!!
DVV – Thank you. The writing process is pretty typical I suppose. Just write what you know, as they say. Sword of Hatred…is heavily steeped in war and its overall damage to those involved.
Cross – So far that is my favorite song of yours. I really do like it. That great song was followed by another, same style and vocals too. The Spellbound Heart. When did you start to sing like that?
DVV – That’s been my vocal stype for a while I guess. When I was younger I did a lot more low growling than I do these days. I added a lot of high/low combinations as a bit of a tribute to the early days of satanic metal, as perfected by the first few Deicide albums. Glen Benton was an anti-hero of mine in high school.
Cross – I’m glad you mentioned them. Great, great band. It’s been a while since that last release. Are you working on something else?
DVV – Again, songwriting and recording takes time when you’re the only person involved in it. At least for me it does. I have to write the song, then record it, which means I’m the producer, engineer and player all in one. Every song is built in layers, and each of those layers can involve take after take after take to get it right. Then when I think I’m done, almost inevitably I will dislike something and decide to change it. So that then involves more time. As of November 2, I have released another track, The Darkest Path Shines Brightly. Check it out!
Cross – You can bet your goat I gonna. (Laughs) Does DVV like horror films? Any favorites?
DVV – Other than the obvious old classics, I am a big fan of The VVitch, Hereditary, Midsommer, etc. In truth I don’t spend too much time these days watching films, so it might take me awhile to get around to seeing films that have been out already.
Cross – I still have to watch The VVitch… What have you been listening to lately?
DVV – Marduk and Funeral Mist of course. But in between I listen to a lot of Coldworld, Domjord, Taake, Impaled Nazarene, Nagelfar (GER), Graveland, Bolzer, etc
Cross – Anything else you might like to add DVV?
DVV – Thank you so much for the interest in DVV! You’ve really done your homework with this interview and I definitely appreciate it!
Cross – I tried… Thanks man! Thank you for your time and your answers. It has been lots of fun!
DVV – Thank you as well! Hails.