It’s now over 4 months since Polish black / death metallers Devilish Impressions released their impressive 3rd album “Simulacra” via Polish label, Icaros Records. The album gained them a deal with Lifeforce Records who have recently released “Simulacra” worldwide. The mastermind behind the band Quazarre (music, lyrics, guitars, and vocals) and Vraath (bass guitar) answer everything about the band.
- Hello Quazarre, hello Vraath. First of all congratulations for the contract with Lifeforce Records. Tell us a few things about this great deal?
(Vraath): After talks with several record labels we decided to join Lifeforce’s family simply because they offered us the best conditions. We are very happy with this decision, both sides do everything to fulfill the expectations. Stefan’s (Lifeforce Records mainman) attitude towards the band and his trust in Devilish Impressions make us believe that this will be very fruitful cooperation. We look forward to the future.
- What are your fans and press reactions so far about “Simulacra”? I find this album a great step forward for the band.
(Vraath): Thank you for your words, I also feel that with the new album we are a step ahead of what we’ve done before “Simulacra”. It is our most complete album, full of melodies, riffs, orchestrations and sublime climate. The reviews are mostly amazing, we are getting the highest scores both in our country and abroad. There are of course some bad ones, but you know – you cannot please them all.
- Quazarre, the band began back in 2000. What do you remember from these days? You are also on Asgaard and around 2000 it was a great time for Asgaard! What made you begin a new band and what were your expectations from it?
(Quazarre): Well, I’ve actually joined Asgaard back in 1998 for the recording of their sophomore album “Ad Sidera, ad Infinitum” released at the beginning of 2000. I’ve been playing guitar for almost 20 years now, while in Asgaard since the time I got on-board I’m being a vocalist only. Therefore it was pretty obvious I’d finally form a band where I’d be able to express myself musically on all possible levels. Things I’ve done, or am still doing, wouldn’t even suit the Asgaard’s style so I decided to give them a go with other group, to try out with the band whereon I could fully present my visions on the musical field as a composer.
- How did you come up with this name?
(Quazarre): I’ve tried to come up with something truly unique, something that would at the same time describe what this band more or less ideologically stands for… That’s why you’ve got ‘devilish’ as part of the band’s name. Simultaneously I consider Devilish Impressions a constantly evolving form of sonic emotions so I do not want to repeat myself by writing the same sort of stuff… I’d rather dig, as deep as possible, in order to explore new ways of expressions that would eventually impress the listeners. This explains why there’s a word ‘impressions’ as it somehow defines the character of our creations.
- What are your memories from your debut album “Plurima Mortis Imago” in 2005? Has your music and image changed since then?
(Quazarre): I guess everything has changed, pretty much I’d say… “Plurima Mortis Imago” for instance was definitely more complex or even complicated when comes to the particular song’s structure or tempo changes comparing to everything we’ve done later on. A follow up to this album, “Diabolicanos”, was still very intense, loaded with lots of riffs and break-downs while “Simulacra” is our most cohesive, the most straight-forward album up to date. My memories from the “Plurima…” period?… Hmm… Never before or after that had we so much troubles during the recording session. The so-called ‘sound engineer’ had totally fucked everything up, especially the drums’ session. He didn’t care about how to set up the microphones so once done with all the recordings we couldn’t even edit all those tracks… And since we’ve spent all the money we had back then it turned impossible to do it all over again. That’s why we finally decided to leave it as it was, even though we knew it could have been done way better. Talking about other changes, we’ve got entirely different line-up these days, different stage clothing, we’re also much more experienced. So, yeah! This is new era for Devilish Impressions as we’re now lot more developed, conscious and determined…
- Your next album “Diabolicanos – Act III: Armageddon” came out in 2008. What has changed this time? How do you see now these two albums?
(Quazarre): As I’ve mentioned earlier, “Diabolicanos” was still very complex, yet at least three thousand times better produced. This time we’ve had pretty big recording budget, so we’ve spent around two months in the studio, taking extra care on how each note or beat was played and recorded. And for that reason if you give a listen to “Plurima Mortis Imago” and then to the “Diabolicanos” album, you’ll easily see an enormous gap between these two works. The “Diabolicanos” era brought us up on many prestigious tours, it somehow made the band’s name out there. We’ve been on the road for almost half a year in row, setting the path for the future, planned to be even more intense period of live activities. Unfortunately, in the second half of 2008 some issues within the band’s ranks went bad, so we’ve kind of been forced to quit and get out of that roller-coaster for some time… Luckily, it’s all over now. We’ve got the new album, new people on-board, fresh energy, new contracts… I’m actually proud of my guys for being so determined. We wouldn’t have come to the point where we are now if some of us wasn’t…
- “Simulacra” is by far your most professional work. What are the differences you see compared to your earlier works? Is there still room for improvement?
(Vraath): Devilish Impressions is a band that keep searching and experimenting, always ready to go a step further. The fact that “Simulacra” sounds the way it sounds doesn’t mean that next album will be the same or even similar. This time the songs are very melodic, catchy I would say, but in the future we will definitely explore new territories. We play what satisfies us in particular point of time, time goes by and we are different people. You probably noticed that Devilish Impressions is not like Obituary or Motorhead, every album differs from another.
- Can you tell us a few things about the creation process of “Simulacra”? Has everything gone as planned?
(Vraath): It was an endless process ha ha. Quazarre as always is responsible for music and lyrics so when the music was written and arranged we started the recording. We started with guitars (Strobo Studio) and then Icanraz recorded drums (Hertz Studio). After that we added all orchestrations, samples and electronic effects (Flumen Studio and Red Sun Studio). In the meantime Quazarre was working on lyrical content of the album, vocals were registered in Studio X. Then the material came back to Bialystok where Wieslawski Brothers took over mixing and mastering. The whole adventure took us about 8 months but we are very satisfied with the final effect.
- How would you describe your music to someone who has never listened to you?
(Quazarre): MUSIC for the EXTREME experiMENTAL generation ONLY!!! We’ve previously been called ‘avant-garde blackened death metal orchestra’ and I suppose both definitions describe our creation clear enough.
- In Devilish Impressions you write most of the music and all of the lyrics. Where does your inspiration come from? Is there any message or ideology behind the band?
(Quazarre): There obviously is, but I do not show people the way, I do not give them any answers… I’d rather point out the possibilities instead… Invite everybody to explore the opportunities. To cut it short, Devilish Impressions since its very beginning mostly stand for free will, being an anti-religious thorn in every ‘god’s eye’ on the globe… When comes to inspirations, I’d say I’m being inspired by everything that surrounds me, everything I experience and every phenomena I observe. It doesn’t really have to be other artist’s music, poetry or painting…
- Is “Simulacra” a concept album? What are its lyrics about?
(Quazarre): “Simulacra” means likeness, similarity… It’s like taking the picture of another picture and by this giving birth to yet another existence. What’s said to be good doesn’t have to be good as well as what’s said to be evil doesn’t have to be evil… It represents the duality of things and the possibility of interpreting it other way round. I’m sure you’ve noticed that duality on the album’s cover art. Only two kings remaining on a chess-board is a phenomenon that can’t actually take place in this game… But there’s always something in between, something drifting among these two worlds… For this reason we can’t be considered a typical black metal band, cause as much as I deny the existence of god, I deny the existence of the devil too… It would be just ridiculous to bow to anyone only because the other side seems to be more cool or whatsoever… Satan is just a symbol to me. The symbol of rebellion against all the religions, against superstitious and false people living all over the world or specifically against those, who claim to rule them all…
- Are there any plans for gigs? What should your fans expect from you on stage? I suppose you don’t sing, play guitars and synths at the same time. Are there any guest members?
(Quazarre): Since the album’s release date we did a bunch of summer open air festivals, including Hard Rock Laager in Estonia, Castle Party in Poland and Carpathian Alliance Metal Festival Open Air in Ukraine we’ve recently come back from. In October we’re to headline Brutal East Festival taking place in Bialystok, the city our drummer Icanraz lives in. Literally as we speak we are shaping up the dates of the European tour in November / December. We play now as a quartet, using sequencer to play some of the vocals as well as orchestrations parts. We also introduced backing vocals to add more power to the show.
- How difficult is it for you to be in two bands at the same time? Are they equal to you, or do you set any of them as your priority?
(Quazarre): Unlike Devilish Impressions, Asgaard isn’t really live active since 2004 when we’ve done the last regular run over here in Poland. That’s why I don’t have to face the problems of taking the right decisions and there’s no pressure imposed on me or whatsoever.
- Are there any future plans for the band, or is it too early yet?
(Vraath): After signing with Lifeforce Records we’ve also finalized management and booking contract with The Flaming Arts Agency, so it seems the rest of this year will be spent on touring. We hope next year will bring us more and more opportunities to deliver our music to people all over the world. This time with “Simulacra” we want to visit North America for the first time. Considering all facts, the future looks really promising.
- Thank you very much for your time. Last words are yours.
(Vraath): Thank you very much for your support and interview. To all readers make sure you get a copy of “Simulacra” and let you ears to be raped by its sounds. Stay heavy!!!
(Quazarre): Not to get Vraath wrong, make sure to stay not only ‘heavy’ but – what’s most important – stay fucking ‘metal’! Devilish hails and see you in the frontline!!!