You may already know about Deviloof. Maybe you read our live report of their solo show in December. Maybe this is the first time you’re hearing about them. No matter your fan status, you’re about to learn more about this deathcore Visual kei band and their beginnings, the creation process of their latest album “Devil’s Proof,” and their plans for 2018.
The Devil’s Proof in Deviloof
-First, please introduce the members of Deviloof.
Keisuke: (leaning towards the recorder) I’m Keisuke, the vocalist!
Ray: I’m Ray on guitar and vocals.
Seiya: I’m Seiya on guitar.
Daiki: I’m the bassist, Daiki.
Hiroto: I’m the drummer, Hiroto.
-How did the members meet and come together as a band?
Daiki: Hiroto and I were classmates in high school. We decided to get serious about music, so we started to look for band members. That’s when Keisuke joined. We weren’t Deviloof at the time; we played under a different band name. It was a deathcore band, not a visual kei band.
Then we decided that we would try Visual kei out. That’s when Seiya joined us. And starting with our one-man tour this December, Ray officially joined as a member as well.
-So, you have a really hardcore, underground, metal sound. In a visual sense, you’re Visual kei. Why did you decide to go with that combination?
Daiki: It’s kind of a battlefield in the world of music. All of the members of Deviloof have roots in both Visual kei and metal. You could say that metal was born overseas, while Visual kei is a culture that formed in Japan. We wanted to mix the two in a way that only we could. We play with both Japanese and overseas culture in mind. That’s what we were thinking when we started Deviloof.
-Has anyone ever told you, “Why don’t you just pick one or the other?”
Keisuke: Some people have that opinion, but they’re not in the majority. A lot of people say the combination is interesting.
-Now, let’s talk about your latest album release, “Devil’s Proof.” Яyo (ex. girugamesh) acted as the album’s sound producer, and artist Toshihiro Egawa did the album artwork. What was it like collaborating with these artists?
Daiki: Яyo is like a recording magician. He produced something way beyond our expectations. We’re really satisfied with the outcome, and we respect him a lot.
Hiroto: Toshihiro Egawa does a lot of artwork for death metal artists. He’s like a worldwide, top-level artist. I’m happy that he did that work for us.
Keisuke: We always produce the demo on our own, but we do all of the recording at a studio.
Daiki: On our previous mini-album “PURGE,” there were no vocal melodies. It was all death voice. But for “Devil’s Proof,” we decided to use vocal melodies. We weren’t sure what kind of voice they should be sung in, or even what style of melody to use. It was really difficult for Seiya (our songwriter) and Keisuke to figure out.
-What kind of vocal style did you ultimately choose to go with?
Keisuke: It’s like a mix of Hyde, Masaharu Fukuyama, and David Bowie.
-Are there any other artists you’d like to collaborate with?
Keisuke: Morning Musume.
Daiki: I’d like to ask someone to record with us or to mix one of our songs, like “Deviloof featuring ____.” I think that would be interesting. But at the moment, we don’t have any plans to do that.
-Did you try anything new for this release?
Keisuke: Our previous album was sort of a concept album. This album doesn’t really have a concept; it’s a combination of different types of songs. That’s what we had in mind while making it.
Seiya: In terms of the guitar, I used more swing guitar than on previous releases. Adding vocal melodies also made the songwriting process a bit easier.
-It’s only been a couple of months since “Devil’s Proof” was released, but what kind of reaction have you been getting from fans?
Keisuke: It’s been pretty mixed. There are some fans that say we were better before, and there are some who say we sound better now. We had a feeling that would happen. But even people who don’t exclusively listen to underground music are starting to know who we are. Our fan base is getting broader.
Daiki: This album has a sound that combines a lot of genres. There are songs with our usual sound that are really easy to listen to and get into, and there are some that aren’t necessarily that way. There’s a variety that makes it easy for a lot of people to enjoy. Most of the feedback has been on the more positive side.
-We’re sure you’ve answered this question in previous interviews before, but could you tell us some of your musical influences?
Keisuke: (without pause) Morning Musume.
Keisuke: DIR EN GREY, Kagerou, and MUCC.
Ray: Yngwie Malmsteen and X JAPAN.
Seiya: Musically, bands like Whitechapel and SUICIDE SILENCE. Visually, the GazettE.
Daiki: BUCK-TICK, Matenrou Opera, and HALLOWEEN.
Hiroto: X JAPAN and Slipknot.
-Since you have a lot of overseas musical influences and your lyrics are mostly in English, are any of you currently studying English?
Keisuke: Of course…I think about studying every day. (laughs)
-Do you write the English lyrics by yourself?
Keisuke: I write them and then ask someone who’s good at English to check them.
Daiki: Germany and Russia. We also have a lot of fans in Brazil.
-You have some plans to tour Europe in 2018, right?
Daiki: Yes, around summer.
-We know the details are still probably in the works, but are there any countries in particular that you want to visit?
Hiroto: I want to eat sausages in Germany.
Daiki: I want to play a show in Germany, but I also want to go to Finland, one of the birthplaces of metal.
-Besides the Europe tour, what else can fans expect in 2018?
Daiki: In 2017, we hardly did anything as a band. For 2018, we have plans to release some singles, national tours, and maybe a DVD. We really did nothing for 2017, so we’re going to spend 2018 in a constant state of activity. Fans can look forward to that.
-Finally, please give a message to your fans and our readers at S-T.net.
Keisuke: Thank you for always supporting Deviloof! We’ll make 2018 a really active one for the band, so please continue to give us your support.
Ray: I want a lot more people to know about us and have fun with us in 2018.
Seiya: We’re going to Europe this year. That means people who are really far away from us right now will be able to see us, and we’ll go see those who are even further away someday.
Daiki: We live in an age where you can’t make it just by selling CDs anymore. But we want to play shows at huge venues and visit a lot of different countries, so if you’re reading this, I want you to show it to a friend or lend them one of your Deviloof CDs so that more people will know about us. That’s how we’ll become more widely known and be able to visit more places.
Daiki: Here it comes, the line he always says…
Hiroto: If you listen to music like ours, you’ll lose your friends. Be careful.
Deviloof will be releasing their next single under Danger Crue 9thRecords in Spring 2018, so you can certainly look forward to that!