Industrialists DEVIL-M have welcomed you to their world, freely and gladly in fact. As they have spent time writing and recording for this release that it was utter chaos. "Hollow Earth" was the ending results, as was single turned video for "Human Being", the rest just falls into it's proper place. That said, vocalist/percussionist Max Meyer discusses about single, video, and album, and what these guys have in-store for the rest of the world.
1. If you had to pick one word to describe DEVIL-M, which word would you pick and why?
Max: Chaos, because I always made different music to others. For them it's chaos but for me it's in a sorting.
2. Your new album “Hollow Earth” has been released, do you feel a weight has been lifted off your shoulders?
Max: Of course, it's the fourth release I had and the second major release. The songs where finished around fall 2015 but things went through strange times. I had to split up with a lot of people to find my own salvation. Plus most band members from the last Album (Revenge of the Antichrist) left the band in good so I could focus on a rearrangement. So I listened to the Demos 24/7 until I realized that nothing of the old concept makes sense. I tried to write an Album about conspiracy theories but it just didn't fit like I was hoping for. So I had to change the whole concept which was very easy to my surprise. I made a track about 20 minutes long and combined everything with everything. The whole album can be mixed together, if you know how to find the working parts.
3. Why did you want to go with getting signed with darkTunes Music Group, what is it about them, that made them stick out for you?
Max: Most labels just want to see your money first and then they may work for you. And IF they work for you, it's mostly the same: a quarter-sized review in one magazine, the pressing in a standard Jewel-Case and maybe some advertising on social media. For about 1.800 EURO. Thanks but no thanks.
Raph, the master chief of DarkTunes, asked me for some help to create some graphics for his first compilation and a website for his own project. That was in 2013 or 2014, can't remember right now. He told me what I want to do with DarkTunes, he told me his plans, his concept, everything. It was so fucking transparent, I couldn't believe it. He offered me some places on his first compilations which I agreed and he payed me for the website so I could make my own advertising on the last Album. Everything went well since the first day.
His concept is really fair, his personality is what it is - humanely. There is no Business.man with a tie on his neck. There is a guy who just goes on holiday just around August and that's just because of the Mera Luna Festival. I'm a typical Beer-Drinker, he likes to Party. That works. Raph is the guy I needed for promotions.
4. When it comes to “Hollow Earth”, why did you want "Human Being", to be one of the stand out tracks, turned videos off this release.
Max: We started with an aggressive track to show aggression and anger. The song itself and the lyrics show you how we see you. And in the video we present you your sins and dependencies.
5. What was the recording process like this time around, for “Hollow Earth”?
Max: During the recording sessions the studio had to close, in the second try my own equipment broke in half during sessions and in the third try I destroyed some of the recorders stuff by screaming for the song "Human Being". Pure chaos. I can't believe the album is finally out.
6. Can you give us a bit of a story behind the tracks on “Hollow Earth”?
Max: The concept of "Hollow Earth" is at first to show that you are just one of many. You are not special. You like standards, you like to be on Facebook, sitting on a couch and tell everyone to leave you alone. That's why the first half of the Album is more into Standard-Tunings.
The second half is the real shit. We look at you in a new way. You are still on of many but you can break out, if you want to. Just look in a new direction, try to focus on your way. Stop searching for yourself, while you act like someone else. We will release a new video that will show you the concept in its full grace.
7. When it comes to writing an album is there a brain child overseeing it all or do you all take an equal stab at it?
Max: Each Album has its own way. The first years I made experimental sounds and mixed it with Darkwave tunes. It was pretty strange but it worked. Later I tried to build up a concept, it was very complicated and it took about 8 years, I was 17 went I started writing just for my own. During the process I released the Demos "Willst Du sterben" in 2009 and "Kannst du sterben" in 2011. In 2012 I was almost finished with the final concept but had to step back and record again, because a good friend of mine helped putting the perfect tune into the music. It was Elmar Schmidt from Centhron. Two years later there was it, Revenge of the Antichrist. I'm proud of this album, really, it brought me into a direction I always wanted.
So for R.O.T.A. the concept and text came first. For "Hollow Earth" the music came first. The next Album we will release is set for 2019, maybe 2020, I don't know yet. But what I can tell is, that we will be more into Noise-Sampling and Bass-Distortion. The rough concept has been finished and there will be an impressive cliffhanger. There will be a connection to everything.
8. Who produced “Hollow Earth” and what was it like working with them?
Max: Julian, my man on the Drums, made half the drums and we wrote about 4 tracks together. Elmar Schmidt from Centhron helped me again. This time he recorded the guitars, later he gave me some cool tips for the Lyrics and stuff. Michael Conn did the Master, he also made a great job.
9. Is there any story or concept behind the “Hollow Earth” title?
Max: There is a concept and there is a story. You are the Hollow Earth. You are the person on the cover. That's what I can tell you, you need to find it all by yourself. It's much inspired but Pink Floyd's "Animals", that's the only hint I can give to you.
10. Who did the cover art for “Hollow Earth” and how much input did you have on it?
Max: I think I made about 20 different covers for H.E. but nothing of it came even close to the cover I wanted. So I had to give it up and searched for unique stuff on Deviantart. A guy named Terry Norton from England creates sculptures and I found this head covered with veins and all. That was the one, I searched for! I asked for his permission and luckily he liked our music so he gave it to me. So for everyone out there: the cover is real, it's a sculpture. No fake. It was important to me to not have a digital cover but let it look like one. That's what it made so difficult. It was also an influence of "Animals", their cover was real, too.
11. How do you all balance being in a Industrial Rock band with the needs of normal life?
Max: That's what I've asked myself so often but still have no answer. What comes on the table, has to be eaten. I don't plan anymore in the music-business, that's Raphaels Job. My job is to focus on the music.
12. For those on the other side of the world who are curious about Oldenburg, what is there to do when you are not working on killer tunes?
Max: I'm a workaholic so I don't see much from the city I live. I have the Band, I have Leidbild and I have a loving girlfriend. But if you want to visit Oldenburg, you have to visit "Swutsch". It's a nice little restaurant near a Club.
13. What do you have lined-up for the rest of this year?
Max: Playing some concerts and focus on new songs. That's it. I'm happy that I finally found my mates I want to share the stage forever, so everything that may come for us, I'll do it with people I love.
14. Is there anything else you would like to say to the future fans of DEVIL-M?
Max: If you liked, what you read, support Natalie's World!