Devilment are starting to shed their tag as a Dani Filth side project and are rightly being seen as their own entity. Of course, they will always be associated with Cradle of Filth, but Devilment are their own band in their own right. Before they played this year’s installment of Bloodstock, I spoke to guitarist Colin Parks about his musical origins and journey to Devilment, their recent album and tour, playing Bloodstock and what the future holds for Devilment.
Jack: Hey Colin, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions!
Colin Parks (Lead Guitar): No problem, hope you’re doing well.
Jack: What was the first instrument you picked up?
Colin: The first instrument I picked up was actually the piano, however, before this I used to be head choirboy in a choir believe it or not . I was lucky enough to have performed around Europe, and on ITV and BBC1. I also sung a solo for the Royal Family at their state home… funny when you look back, I guess you could say I achieved some of my highest honours as a musician at around this time. I play guitar in Devilment, however a little known fact is that singing is probably still my strongest weapon in terms of musicianship, I just never really get use it anymore.
Jack: What bands got you into music?
Colin: The first bands I had really heard were Extreme and Metallica. A family member played me Pornografitti and The Black Album and the rest is history!
Jack: Were you surrounded by music growing up?
Colin: Yes every day of my life. My mother, both my sisters are pianists, my little sister is also an operatic singer. My mother taught piano, my two little sisters were always composing, add to that, me singing and playing the piano and guitar…. chaos! My grandfather is also a jazz pianist … I guess you could say we are a little bit like musical Jedi and the force runs strong in this family. However, getting some peace and quiet was impossible!
Jack: What’s the music scene like in Suffolk?
Colin: Good, there are lots of good unsigned bands, and loads of covers bands at every pub. People on the whole are supportive, Cradle of Filth, Devilment, Eastern Front, some of Criminal and there are great fringe bands like To The Nines, Elimination that fly the flag for unsigned artists. Then you have Ed Sheeran, of course, who is a local lad.
Jack: What was the first metal album you bought?
Colin: Extreme’s Pornografitti, still one of my favourite albums of all time, and Nuno Bettencourt is a massive idol.
Jack: How did you end up in Devilment?
Colin: I was playing a show in my other band The Conflict Within and the old guitarist and Dani came to watch, Dani’s wife Toni was impressed and said to the guys get the big dude in, so they did and here I am, and working on album three right now!
Jack: Dani Filth from Devilment is well-known for his work with Cradle of Filth. Was it daunting at first working with an icon?
Colin: No not at all, Dani is a really funny motherfucker, he and I have an equally shitty sense of humour and people are just people, nothing to feel daunted about.
Jack: What is the Devilment creation process like?
Colin: Mainly I will write the skeleton tracks at my place, Nick the bass player and Lauren will do the same if they are working on things. I will then ping them to the band and they will learn them and adapt them to make them cohesive and sound like Devilment. We sometimes consult Scott Atkins to get an outsiders point of view and often things change further still in the studio.
Jack: Devilment II: The Mephisto Waltzes came out last year, are you happy with the response it got?
Colin: Yes very happy, the addition of female vocals made it a far more accessible album than the first, it gives the pace some time to let up and breath and having big catchy choruses are an important thing for us. People have really spoken about the fact that they are great “songs”, the thing is, regardless of genre, a good song is a good song.
We as a band have found our sound and know where we stand now, however we always want to keep creating, and doing this in a different manner, I guess we are a bit of a hybrid metal band, all sorts of genres rolled into one album. Will we go as light next time out…. not so sure, however that being said there is at least one track on album three like Full dark no stars, so who knows, but it will be heavy!
Jack: Looking back is there anything you’d change about it?
Colin: Maybe the track order and some of the band wanted to include another track that had the working title of ‘Poo bum,’ a track Nick Johnson had done for the album, it was very very groovy and very similar to album one. We had a lot of material and it was the one that missed out due to having too much stuff!
Jack: How did your tour go last year?
Colin: Great, we saw so many UK fans and played some smaller venues, that was more personal and we got to hang out with some of them and keep it real so to speak.
Jack: What are you looking forward to the most about Bloodstock?
Colin: Playing the DIO stage and meeting up with the bloodstock 666 forum people for beers!
Jack: The Bloodstock 666 Metal Forum has become a great community hub for the festival. What makes the metal community in general so special for you?
Colin: Just talking to people, people in bands, earning their road stripes and playing up and down the place, speaking to people, fans of the band or not. Just fans of music in general; the world is such a mess right now, mental health is rearing its ugly head on a weekly basis at present. Just having each other and music is massive to all of us, now more than ever.
Jack: Music-wise what do you have coming up this year?
Colin: Bloodstock, then Dani is off on Cradle duty. We are looking at a tour in November, December; possibly Russia and the Eastern block, however this is still in talks at present. Next year we will be far busier on the live scene.
Jack: Finally, as you have a song called ‘Hitchcock Blonde,’ what is your favourite Hitchcock film?
Colin: Strangers on a Train, it’s familiar to being on the road, only less sinister goings on…. well for now.