With a population of just four-and-a-half million people, you can forgive New Zealand for its lack of internationally renowned musical output. Of course, many of us know comedy folk duo Flight Of The Conchords and hard rockers The Datsuns, but if you’re looking for some real Kiwi metal, look no further than Devilskin.
Their debut album, We Rise, was released last summer, debuting at Number One in the Official New Zealand Music Chart. It was certified platinum this year, all before an international release. Pretty good for a metal band from Hamilton.
When people get your music, it’s the greatest feeling
“We built a really good loyal fanbase from our local touring, our gigs just got bigger and bigger,” says singer Jennie Skulander. “It took us a little while to get an album out, which kept our fans frothing at the mouth, so when it was finally released it went crazy, straight to Number One and it just kept selling. We were blown away and never envisioned a reaction like that.”
Though their success may have been a shock to them, We Rise shows why they’re getting so much love. Combining towering riffs with Jennie’s incomparable, imposing vocals, it’s a hard rock album aimed squarely at arenas. Conquering hearts and minds should be easy.
“I think what makes us stand out is our music and our passion for music,” says Jennie. “Each of us lives and breathes music. We’re definitely optimistic. We know it’s going to be hard work but we’re up for the challenge. Word of mouth and social media can definitely help a little band from New Zealand!”
Now they’re pulling in the same-sized crowds as the likes of Rammstein and Down in their home country, it’s time to take this show on the road. First stop: Europe.
“In five years’ time, I’d like to think that we’ll be sipping margaritas in a recording studio on the Greek Isles planning our fifth or sixth album,” jokes bassist Paul Martin, “but it’s not too much of a stretch. I mean, ideally we want to record and tour the world and play shows… big shows.”
Along with Paul’s son Nic, their drummer, and his “evil twin” Nail on guitar, Devilskin are well equipped to handle a global audience. “This is the best band I’ve ever been anywhere near!” adds Paul, and it’s a fair shout; Devilskin are ready for the UK, and it’s time for us to rise up and listen.
Debut album We Rise is out now via Rightback/Universal