Devilskin is a four piece band from Hamilton, New Zealand formed in June 2010. They already have guts, class, kudos and confidence. The sum total of a determined and accomplished group of musicians who know what they want,and the music is organic, dynamic and real.
The band features the spectacular, Jennie Skulander on lead vocals. Her powerful and compelling voice and alluring stage presence sets her apart from any vocalist New Zealand has brought forth so far. With an unerring gift for melody, Jennie's incredible voice sweeps from whisper to roar, rips with power, drips with melody, and captivates with sincerity.
Jennie previously fronted Rotorua band Slipping Tongue garnering a swathe of fans with their videos, EPs and album. (Slipping Tongue impressed many when they opened for Coheed & Cambria in 2008).
On lead guitar is Nail from popular Waikato band, Chuganaut, which won the NZ Battle of the Bands and the World Battle Of The Bands in 2004. (They also Played BDO in 2005 and opened for Iron Maiden at Mt Smart stadium in 2009. Chuganaut has played numerous national tours and released several singles, EPs, videos and an album). Nail's searing guitar work and high energy performance brings intensity to the live show.
On bass is Paul Martin, known as "The Axeman" from arguably, New Zealand's most popular radio show, The Axe Attack. Lead guitarist and vocalist for World War Four, Paul’s previous bands include Knightshade and Blackjack. He has opened for Black Label Society (2006), Heaven & Hell (2007) and Motorhead twice (2008), and played BDO (2009). Paul’s powerful and aggressive bass style is a propulsive force in the band's sound.
Nic Martin joined Devilskin as drummer in August 2011 at the age of 15. Paul's son, Nic is the youngest artist to ever play the BDO when he performed with World War Four in 2009 at the age of 13. Nic adds to the show with a real display of power and passion on the drums. With a fierce style all his own and the inexhaustible energy of youth, Nic's truculent style and showmanship are fast becoming a talking point on the NZ live music scene. Not to mention making Devilskin one of the few bands featuring a father and son in their line-up.Together, Devilskin has the ability to write songs that have depth and passion. They create a compelling and irresistible sound and perform a stunning, explosive, live show.The art of songwriting is back!
By Kreig Marks, February 29, 2020
TRR: Hi guys. Welcome to Tru Rock Revival Magazine. We love your song "Corrode!" Great sound and Jennie's vocals are very strong.
DS: Thank you. That's one of our new songs from our album that will be out in April.
TRR: If that's any indication of how the rest of the album will sound, I'm all in.
DS: Thanks again, I really appreciate that.
TRR: Tell me how you guys came up with the name Devilskin.
DS: The name Devilskin came to me after reading the lyrics that Jen had written at our first jam. The song was about how people can be two faced when they want to be, hence putting on a devil or an angel skin. We wanted to make the word our own, so its DEVILSKIN as one word.
TRR: Tell me a bit about the band. Who are the players and how did you all get together?
DS: We were all fans of each other’s previous bands and we knew each other from doing gigs together. When I heard Jennie's band had split, I asked her if she wanted to jam so we just decided to get together and see how it felt. It felt great. After a year, I drafted Nic, my 15 year old drummer son, and we haven’t looked back since. Jennie married my brother-in-law, so once we adopted Nail, we became a family.
TRR: That's a cool story. Your sound is very heavy but not Metal. How do you classify yourselves? I mean, there are so many Genre's these days and sub-Genres.
DS: Yeah, right? We typically don’t like to ‘genre-lize’ ourselves. But I guess you could describe us as a heavy rock band influenced by Metal. We also get referred to as Alt-Metal occasionally, but no one really seems to know what that means! Live, it's a high- energy, guitar -heavy onslaught!
TRR: What do you think makes your band stand out from others?
DS: Initially, our singer's voice seems to make the jaws drop at shows. Jennie really is very special, with a beautiful sense of melody and a captivating voice. She also uses death metal growls and screams that can curdle blood! But I’d like to say our unique sound and songwriting is what sets us apart from the others.”
TRR: You guys have a very hard, but very cool sound, and I can hear a lot of influences in there. Who influences your sound?
DS: Personally, my influences range from T Rex, Patti Smith, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Black Sabbath, Led Zep, Randy Rhoads, Pantera, Bernie Torme… How long have I got? Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Slipknot, Twelve Foot Ninja, …. I know Nic loves The Contortionist, Coheed & Cambria and he’s loving the new Loathe, A7X were a massive influence on his early drumming years, he has a very broad musical taste, I think we all do. Nail loves his Pantera, Whitesnake, Slipknot and most stuff metal, and Jen loves Faith No More and Deftones, but listens to all sorts and grew up on a diet of Dio, Sabbath, Rainbow and Saxon.”
TRR: When you guys get together to write the songs, how does it go? Are all of you involved? Is it very organized or collaborative?
DS: Yes. Often, we will go away to some secluded beach house, just us four, and our gear, and we’ll write for a weekend. Sometimes someone just turns up to rehearsal with an idea, it may be a riff, or a structured song that we all add our color to. The songs come together pretty easily and organically. Jennie or myself write all the lyrics.”
TRR: Speaking of collaborative, if you could get together with any band or musician to record a song together, who would that be?
DS: Well, we have toured with Halestorm and Slash, and they’re all lovely people, so it’d be great to record something with them. Tony Iommi and Glenn Hughes are personal faves I’d love to record with - if I ever did find a bottle with a genie in it!”
TRR: What other bands would you like to tour with?
DS: Twelve Foot Ninja! We’ve had a blast playing with them before, a lot of fun. Jinjer!! Sumo Cyco, Avenged Sevenfold, Slipknot! Alien Weaponry would be cool, we took them out on tour with us when a couple of the boys were still 12 years old! Great guys and we are so proud of what they’ve achieved.”
TRR: Tell me about one of your most memorable shows.
DS: One of the most memorable was our set at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go in Hollywood, surreal to think of who had played on that stage and been in that room! Download UK at Donnington Park 2017 was pretty special too we had a crazy crowd, so much energy. Playing support for Disturbed in front of a 11,000 sold out crowd the day OUR album went to Number 1 was pretty special.”
TRR: What about a dream show? How would that be?
DS: Black Sabbath and Devilskin double bill”
TRR: That could be pretty cool. How do your fans treat all of you? What has been your craziest fan interaction?
DS: Probably the fan interaction that touched me the most was a girl who left the queue at our gig and ran a couple of miles when she heard we were at a hotel up the road. She was breathless and burst into tears when she met us. She showed us scars on her arms where she’s tried to take her own life and told us that it was our music that made her want to live.
TRR: The devil also saves lives! I guess that must have made you all feel good, having your music touch someone who was going through a rough time and make them want to live.
DS: It doesn’t get any more fulfilling than that for me. But yes, we DO get some crazies, oh yes… but I’ll leave those stories for our cover feature 😊
TRR: What’s on the table for the rest of the year?
DS: We release album #4 April 3rd, then we head off to tour the UK and Europe. We hope to revisit Australia after that, and we definitely want to get back to the USA this year!”
TRR: If you guys make it to South Florida, we're all in. Is there anyone you’d like to give a shout out to or thank you to?
DS: Everyone who reads this and checks out our music or videos, thank you! Also our manager, James Southgate deserves recognition. He’s an absolute warrior and works really hard on our behalf. It’s a tough business and to have someone who is 100% committed and totally believes in you as an artist, is an incredible feeling!
TRR: Well, we will send a thank you to James, too. "James, keep up the good work. Devilskin is pretty kick ass!"
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