The Devils Of Loudun's Ben Velozo Tells Us All About Themsleves

Symphonic melodic death metallers The Devils Of Loudun rise from the growing metal scene that has been forming in Tacoma, Washington. Keyboardist Ben Velozo discusses about new music, band's influences, and plans for the future!

1. Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in The Devils of Loudun, and how long the band has been together.

Ben: Hi! My name is Ben Velozo, I am the keyboardist and evil ginger at large. The band formed in 2009, I joined in 2010.

2. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Ben: We started in the Hilltop area of Tacoma, but we are now based in Seattle's Studio Seven. The Tacoma metal scene is amazing and treated us quite well when we first began the band. Lately Tacoma has taken some hits with venues seemingly closing their doors left and right. In Seattle, the indie rock/folk music scene is really what’s popular and what the city is most known for. Buried down is a small but brutal metal scene which includes a ton of ruthless local metal bands. A few off the top of my head: Blood and Thunder, Czar, Deathmocracy, Six Days of Darkness,.lb! and Deathbed Confessions.  Check em out!

3. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

Ben: The band started out with just Scott Hermanns, Drew Tuel, and Jose Gutierrez as two guitars and drums. They picked up a bass player named Jamey Pierson and found a vocalist, Grant Hogan, through Craigslist. Following them, I joined up after moving to the state in 2010. After about a year and a half, we parted ways with Grant and picked up Brian "Hodge" Hodgeson as our new vocalist. We moved into Studio Seven and Jamey and Hodge ended up leaving the band. We recruited Ethan Cochrun as our new 4-string tickler, and Vance Bratcher from Blood and Thunder has been kindly (yet brutally) filling in on vocals.

4. How did you guys come up with your band name?

Ben: Our first vocalist, Grant Hogan, actually came up with the idea to name the band The Devils of Loudun. It comes from a non-fiction novel by Aldous Huxley which is based on a historical case of mass demonic possession in a small town of Loudun, France during the 17th century. The story ends with a clergyman at the church being accused and convicted of making a pact with several demons and then being burnt alive. We felt the morbid tale was quite appropriate for the music we were creating and most importantly, we thought it was a brutal name for a metal band.

5. How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?

Ben: We play a kind of symphonic melodic death metal. We'd say our biggest influences include Arsis, Black Dahlia Murder, Carach Angren, Children of Bodom, Darkest Hour, King Diamond, Wintersun, and Versailles.

6. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

Ben: The lyrics largely depends on the vocalist so currently Vance is responsible for that end. But generally the songs tend to focus on dark subjects which are simply interesting to us. Some popular topics include: horror movies, war, death, mythology, video games, etc. These days, it’s more than likely the song will be about video games.

7. What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media?

Ben: We've released several demos / EPs. Our mixing and mastering abilities have gradually improved, and we keep running out of them, so we keep making more. We're working on self producing a full length CD at the moment.

8. Do you guys have any new music in the works?

Ben: We do, we are constantly writing new music and one song is going to feature a blistering 250 BPM. At the moment we have 2 new songs we show some off at shows occasionally.

9. Why should a metalhead buy your demos/albums?

Ben: Well, I should say that it costs us a very real sum of money to make these songs (which it does) and make them available blah blah blah, but I'm really leaning heavily towards we need more beer money.

10. What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?

Ben: What can we say? We are as hard working and devoted as any band in the scene. Creating and playing symphonic death metal music is what we love to do and we will continue to do so as long as we possibly can. We have no problems working with local promoters and understand their job is essentially the same as our job: to get people out to shows. The bottom line is we go onstage to entertain and crush people, and we take it seriously.

11. Do you play live as well? How's your live activity so far?

Ben: Like any band, some nights we play great some nights not so great. Every show we play we give 100% regardless of the nights turnout and over the years we have only gotten better and better. We recently celebrated our 100th live show, and we are looking forward to plenty more in the future.

12. What plans do you have for the near future as a band?

Ben: Releasing a full length album and touring regionally is at the top of our list right now. We also want to integrate a Pro Tools rig into our set in order to make the actual show portion flow more coherently and to make the set more of a theatrical experience. We also want to improve the visual aspect of our shows, so we're looking into USB controlled lighting.

13. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

Ben: Facebook, Reverbnation, Bandcamp, Soundcloud and YouTube are all great ways to listen. If you want to buy our stuff, check out our bandcamp:  Another way to support us would always be to come out to a show and buy a shirt or some shot glasses.

14. What are your upcoming touring and show plans?

Ben: Catch us in the Pacific Northwest, we're planning to reach Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah in the foreseeable future. Our home is Seattle, so you can look for us at metal places like El Corazon, Tony V's (Everett), The Kraken, Studio Seven, The 2-Bit, O'Malley's (Tacoma), and everywhere else we can get our foot in the door.

15. Anything else you'd like to say?

Ben: Gingers will eventually gain control of the United States, followed by the world. It's only a matter of time. Thanks for checking us out!

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