Interview by Andreas Höhn
Karlsruhe based DEVICIOUS to me are some of the hardest workers in rock at the moment. Not only that the guys released three albums in less than two years, they also played several tours. How to deal with the pressure to get better and better and, most of all, about plans during the “shutdown” and the time after the pandemic? These were some of the main points to speak about in our interview with bass player Alex Frey.
How did the band get together?
2016 I invited the boys to a BBQ on my roof terrace in Karlsruhe and I told them that if we ever want to become Rock Stars we are running out of time. I let them knew about my plans to start a new band and asked them to join me. I am not sure if they took me seriously but they all agreed immediately. To me it was important that no one in the band had major experiences in the melodic rock or hard rock scene. I wanted everyone to start with a clean slate and not having their faith shaken by previous bad experience.
You changed your front man. Antonio Calanna replaced Zoran Sandorov. What happened?
Don‘t get me wrong – Zoran is a brilliant singer and a great guy but sadly enough he never fully arrived in the band, which affected the dynamics of the band. Just a few days after the “Reflections“ tour had started, it was obvious he wasn‘t able to stand the whole schedule and we all agreed to go separate ways. In fact Zoran was fair enough to offer his exit. I had to look for a replacement and asked my label boss if he had any ideas about someone who could sporadically step in. Only a few hours later, I received a call from CRYSTAL BALL frontman Steven Mageney, who helped us a lot to fulfill our commitments. Right after Zoran’s exit, we started the search for a new singer through social media. After listening to over 200 demos we received an application from a rock musical singer, Antonio Calanna. We knew this guy was special – he sounded great so we had him visit us on tour to see if we would get along. It was one of the easiest decisions we ever had to make. Antonio was the perfect fit, a great guy, fantastic singer with brilliant front man qualities.
How easy or how difficult was the writing of melody lines for the new guy?
Melodies weren’t a problem. The songs needed to match his presence and energy especially with his future stage performances in mind. Antonio had the habit to scream a lot, which is cool when it is done in the right parts but as a producer I had a different path for him in mind. I asked him to sing in the high pitched parts rather than screaming which was the pinch of salt that we needed on the album. His range is impressive and he came out of the studio a better singer than he already was.
You are a very busy man. Three excellent albums written and recorded and even toured seven times in less than three years. What‘s the driving force for you to have such a pace?
Believe me, I never planned such a speed but sometimes there are special circumstances. When Antonio joined the band, Eddy Freiberger “convinced” me to come up with new material by saying “You should give your new guy his own songs“ – and so I got back to writing new stuff, because sometimes it‘s clever to listen to your boss!
Are the other guys in the band involved with ideas as well or are you the only writer?
Normally, I create all but one song. Our guitar player Radivoj usually comes up with one idea, which is my favorite song on the album. No difference this time, “Firefly” became our first single of the new album and to me is more than just a song, it’s a statement.
Less keyboards, more guitar driven this time in my opinion. Intentional or just a coincidence?
Absolutely planned. I wanted to bring all the new energy Antonio gave us on harder material. And our guitar player surely wasn‘t sad about it!
Talking about my personal highlights of the record. “Pouring Rain” is one – but I especially like “Walk Through Fire”. Comments on my choice, please!
You chose some of the more “easy listening tunes” of the record – but that’s fine with me. Everybody seems to have his own favorites!
Which of the songs mean the most for you personally and why?
My favorite songs are “Firefly” and “Mysterious” because both songs have massive energy and beautiful melodies.
And what about touring after the pandemic?
After the pandemic we will be touring our asses off as usual, other than that DeVicious will take a break from playing live shows because we don’t want our audience to socially distance, we don’t want to socially distance from our fans. Rock music is a happy mess and when you tell an audience to no leave their designated square meter that has nothing to do with Rock N Roll. We won’t do live streams or drive-in shows because when we go on stage we open a dialogue with our fans which is not possible in these kind of settings. We leave those opportunities to others who might need this more in order to get through these hard times.