Spreitzer's struggle with Winter Kills

DevilDriver guitarist Mike Spreitzer admits sixth album Winter Kills was a difficult record to make – although he's delighted with the results.

And he believes it’s a far better work than previous release Beast, which he describes as an “oddball album.”

Dez Fafara and co recently completed a UK tour and they’re on the road across the US. The guitarist reported earlier this month that they’re already working on what will be their seventh full-length release, with drummer John Boecklin having written a “bunch of songs” for the project.

Spreitzer tells the Mike James Rock Show: “I was really into Beast – it was really cool, technical, with some of the cooler solos I’ve done.” But he adds: “It’s art; sometimes it doesn’t come out the way you think it’s going to.”

Moving on, he says: “Everything about Winter Kills, I love. I wouldn’t say it was the most fun record to record. Just a lot of artistic differences, I’d say mainly between me and Boecklin.

“He’s more the thrasher side of the writing team and I’m more on the melodic side. So we have a tendency to butt heads.

“That’s what’s going to happen. But it’s okay – After it’s all done you’re happy and you don’t remember what you were arguing about. Maybe he remembers, but I don’t.”

Spreitzer got to the point where he couldn’t listen to the work in progress and relied on his bandmates to guide it through its final stages. “A lot of times, when records come, out I’m sick of listening to them because I’ve been making them for a year,” he reports.

“I remember our producer Mark Lewis did all the mastering, and he wanted us to approve all the mixes. I’d just had enough. Jeff Kendrick and John replied on the email chain saying, ‘Yeah, they’re good,’ and I was like, ‘Sounds great!’

“I didn’t listen for three or four months. I was like, ‘I can’t.’ It’s always weird to me, listening to instrumentals after Dez puts his vocals on, because it just changes the song completely. It just takes a while to settle in.”

But he says the struggle was worth it: “The response is the best we’ve got since we released The Last Kind Words.”

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.