Just before the doors opened for the Devil You Know show, we got to sit down with Francesco Artusato to talk about the current tour, how the band formed and the certain pressures that come with being a supergroup.
For those who aren’t familiar, how would you describe Devil You Know?
I think that we come from a metalcore kind of sound I guess, but its nothing like your typical metalcore. I wouldn’t consider us metalcore at all, but most interviewers and fans would consider us that. I would consider us just friends who write music together, coming from different backgrounds and having fun.
You are currently on the tail-end of your UK tour, how has the whole experience been so far?
It’s been awesome. It’s been something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time and we couldn’t because things happen, but finally this time we organised it so that we wouldn’t be a support tour and it would just be our tour and that way it would be pretty much our rules. Everything has been going very smooth and the shows have been good too.
What has been the craziest/funniest moments on this tour you’ve experienced?
There’s nothing really crazy as we’re not really crazy in terms of like partying. We’re very mellow people, it’s like for us the past evening after shows are like ‘Hey guys, let’s all watch a movie’ or ‘Let’s all sit down and relax’. There’s not much drinking and it’s super mellow. We’ve all been doing this for a long time and nobody ever feels like on tour we have to party everynight, so..
It has also been over a year since you guys released ‘They Bleed Red’. How do you feel the success has gone from that date of release to the present day?
Everything went really well! It was kinda weird because the record released first in Europe whilst we were on tour in Europe and for a band like us, it would probably make for sense for us to release it whilst we were on tour in the States, but we had that big tour with Five Finger Death Punch and Papa Roach and we thought it would be a perfect time to release the record and since then, we’ve had great responses.
For almost a year and a half, we’ve had songs in the states get in rotation on radio stations such as Sirius XM and others, which is really great because sometimes the power of radio is a great tool because you’ll get people who come to the shows who know those songs. They might not be familiar with the rest but the songs they know they love because they heard them on the radio, which is something I never experienced with my previous band.
What would you say is your favourite song off that release?
I think the song that, for me is the most fun to play live, is ‘Consume The Damned’ which is our first song on the record but for me, my favourite song in terms of writing and what it meant for all of us in the studio is ‘Let The Pain Take Hold’ and that for me is one of my favourites.
On that release you also covered ‘Eye Of The Tiger’, what was the choice behind doing that song?
That was towards the end where we were all thinking ‘It would be fun to do a silly cover’ because that’s who we are as people is that we like to have a good time and.. it was in fact our manager who suggested doing that song, so it just happened that way. He emailed me saying ‘I think we should try that’ so I did, I wrote the instrumental demo and sent it to the guys and they were like ‘Wow, thats actually pretty cool’ and we sent it to our producer who loved it and said we have to do it so, it happened that way.
How did all of you guys get together to form Devil You Know?
It started with the original drummer and I, we started out as friends in the LA area. We had previous bands, we were playing together and every once in a while we would jam together and write some songs. We worked on demos and decided it would be nice to get in touch with a singer and the first person we got in touch with was Howard. I thought that Howard’s voice would be amazing and we knew that he wasn’t on tour or anything, he was pretty much done with music from what we had heard. Plus, I was with my previous band (All Shall Perish) so I wasn’t thinking this would be more than just a fun side project and then we got in touch, he flew over and the rest is history..
What was the mindset of what you all wanted to achieve from this band?
When we started, it was just ‘Lets have fun and write music that just comes from us’ and not matter too much. Previously writing with ASP, the band had been around for almost 10 years and there’s a sound that you follow with from the previous records, but with this project it was fresh and I am the one writing the harmonies and chords for the record. It’s complete freedom, that was the coolest part and to me that was the goal, was to put together music that would be so free. When this project became more serious and then with the second record, it turned to becoming my main and to take it as far as possible.
Did you think there was any pressure from fans to create something that they have probably heard before from these projects and if so, why do you think that is?
Yeah, we all knew there was going to be, especially from a guy like Howard who everyone is used to hearing what sound he has, but for us it was to not worry about. Even though we had people at the label and managers saying stuff like ‘Let’s think of what they’re expecting / Let’s try and make everyone happy’ and for us, the whole point of this was to do what we want to do and that’s kind of like the mantra even more now is to do things that make us happy.
What would you like to achieve in the next DYK record, if you guys plan to record/release a new record?
Yes, we have starting writing music for the new record. I think overall, we want to do something that is very groovy, catchy and still heavy. For me writing wise, it’s kind of more simplifying certain things, but just trying to write good songs that are also good live.
If you released a tour split with the bands on this current tour and only had one song from each artist on it, what would the songs be?
Like a song from each band? Im afraid I don’t really know any.. I don’t really know the titles of our songs! Like, I know the ones that we have on the setlist but if you were to come up and ask me ‘What is song 8 on the first record?’ I would have no idea! But, I don’t know, Wearing Scars have a song called ‘Butterfly’ which is cool and the vocals are really awesome. Brutai have a couple of music videos which I know, and those are the songs I kinda like. Oni, I really like their last song on their set ‘Coast To Coast’
If you could relate your band to one TV show, what would it be and why?
Hmm… I don’t really know, I mean we all like watching TV shows but theres none I would really associate with DYK. I still think that Breaking Bad is probably one of the best TV shows ever though.
What can we expect from Devil You Know in 2017?
Right now, this is the last tour of this album cycle. After this it’s just to write, write, write and record and put out an album hopefully this year and hopefully head out on tour as well. Right now, there is no planning anything other than just write music.
Any final words to your fans?
This UK run has been awesome so just thank you for the support and the love, we will definitely be back again for sure!