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The Devil's Blood

“Hail Satan! Fuck The World!” Het waren de laatste woorden van een uitgebreid, tweedelig interview die Lords Of Metal hield met S.L.: woordvoerder, componist, gitarist en algeheel leider van de occulte proto-metal band The Devil's Blood. Zulke populistische kretologieën klinken natuurlijk heel politiek correct in een metalklimaat en geven extra scene-points voor de street credibility en het stoere imago van een band, maar aangezien het verhaal hieraan voorafgaand vooral over het Satanische profiel van de band en de persoonlijke levenssfeer van S.L. ging, was duidelijk dat het allesbehalve een pose was, maar een welgemeende en doordachte levensfilosofie. Elf september (nine-eleven) verschijnt het debuutalbum 'The Time Of No Time Evermore', maar de Eindhovense band heeft al verduveld snel een behoorlijke cultstatus verworven met haar kleine discografie bestaande uit een demo, een 7” single en de EP 'Come, Reap'. Ondergetekende heeft niets met Satanisme, maar alles met The Devil's Blood, dus probeerde ik het gedachtegoed van de band te doorgronden om zodoende beter inzicht te krijgen in de mystiek doordrenkte hardrock dat je terugvoert naar de vroege jaren zeventig van Black Widow, Coven, 13th Floor Elevators en Pentagram's “first daze”. Dat werd evenwel zo'n uitgebreid verhaal, dat we het gesprek over de muziek zelf naar volgende maand doorschuiven. Om S.L. alvast een beetje op de kast te jagen, probeer ik hem te kietelen met een fictief statement van zijn grote held…

Door: Evil Dr. Smith | Archiveer onder hardrock / aor

Roky Erickson recently declared that he hates The Devil's Blood...
Immaterial, I love him.

It's irrelevant as well, because The Devil's Blood are more like The Carpenters of occult vintage hard rock. The brains and lungs of the band are you; the composer/lead guitarist, and your sister; vocalist F., aka The Mouth Of Satan. Without you two, there is no Devil's Blood.
Even though this is undoubtedly true, I do believe there is a point you are missing, I hope you will allow me to elaborate on this a bit. As I have come to understand and believe many things concerning The Devil's Blood here is one of the most important ones: I do not write or conceive but the smallest piece of the material, most of it is given, or channelled, through me by way of the sinister currents that lay behind our perceptions of reality. As I believe that ALL inspiration comes from beyond the human sphere and is always dealt through the minds of those most open to these influences, so I believe that one the two most principle amongst these influences has chosen me to speak with his/her/its words. This is The Devil's Blood. To paraphrase our comrades in Watain: "These words are not spoken by me, but through". There is always great confusion, anger, sadness, revelry and anguish at the moment of conception and little or no understanding of whence it came and what it precisely means. After long deliberation and meditation does "truth" begin to shine.

Okay, forget The Carpenters, but I think that for most down-to-earth people you might sound now like a metal equivalent of Jomanda (an infamous Dutch medium/healer), but forgive us our silly ignorance. So tell me: why has he/she/it chosen YOU as the service-hatch for all those great riffs and songs? What do you do, what others don't? What makes you so special to be “a chosen one”?
Hahaha, this is something I can understand being what could have until quite recently one of the most sceptic and reasoning people you could meet. So will not even define your ignorance as silly because I understand it too well. I don't think that the choosing is something that happens on a very cognizant level, I believe that through my personal search for knowledge I have become receptive, an antenna array if you will, for these things. So I am not a messiah or any thing even remotely as arrogant but merely a piece of "cable" through which " power" runs. He/She/It is merely an open way of describing Satan in the role of adversary (as the name implies). That which is against all denomination and bound by nothing except perception and free to be perceived in any form.

You are born in a wrong body, or, to speak with a Saint Vitus album: you are 'born too late'. At least thirty years. The Devil's Blood is your outlet for your nostalgic mind. You have the musical taste of a fifty-year-old man and you wished it was still the seventies of the previous century.
Not really; if looking back is my thing, I would have probably gone back even further than the seventies, would you not agree? Perhaps I was born at the exactly opportune time in exactly the wrong place; this world. This reality is what suffocates me. Not the time. And besides, on a more personal level, I do listen to contemporary music just not a lot.

You're at the right time, but at the wrong place (Earth)? Phew, you're becoming quite metaphysical. So The Devil's Blood is your escape from reality? So what makes this reality exactly suffocate you and what do you do to cope with it? In the past with your other bands as Red King Rising, Judasville and Powervice there were drugs and alcohol, but now there's just The Devil's Blood and… your believe in occultism? Is that enough?
I believe that all creation comes from a thought; I also believe that the thought was corrupt. Matter and energy were not meant to be bound by the causality principle of creation. I believe that behind this universe of law and order there lies a reality of Chaos and Freedom. And I believe that these influences as they try to break through the outer barriers of existence speak to us all in one way or another, if you listen with the right kind of eyes and listen with the right kind of ears you can find it everywhere. These are not just some nice principles or ideals that I feel close to, this is what I actually believe. The Devil's Blood is just a way of expressing this journey I am making through the arts of Satan.

Sorry man, but you almost lost me now! You mention Satan as "the adversary". Does this mean that you now also believe in Satan's opponent? The cliché of "you don't know what evil is if you don't acknowledge good?" Or isn't it this simplistic black and white, as in your view it's Satan that deliver the good(s). And are you now more confident in your music skills, because of your believe in Satan's strength, than during your previous bands when you were "just" an atheist?
I believe in a "positive" force that is the motor, if you will allow me the hollow analogy, of this world/universe, yes. This is a theistic belief, so the atheistic mindset that had dominated me for such a long time in my regular life, I'd say up until the Powervice periode, are no longer present in my thoughts. Although I have to say that spirituality was something that I always tried to push away as far as I could, my friends and family will note to that, it has now become the driving force behind my actions. I realise that for most people who knew me casually or even closely this is somewhat of a strange thing and I always do my best to explain it, but it is very hard and some people don't really want to know in the first place. But to come back to your question: In this universe there exists a primal duality that most people would see as positive/negative and these are then allotted to God/Satan and to stay comfortably within the limited scope of that reasoning I say: yes, that is what I believe.

I think that since my involvement with these matters and my ferocious hunger to find truth and some kind of wisdom I have struck upon something that through its influence has made me a clearer bringer of music and words. In most of my earlier bands I was not the creative factor at all and this might have been the reason. Only in Red King Rising I was the leader and most of those songs in a way, dealt with this struggle as well, although it was on a far more subconscious level. It was only after Powervice and when life had almost completely destroyed me that I found the resolve to accept within myself what had been dormant in there for a long time. And it is only since very recently that I find myself comfortable enough in my knowledge that I do not shun to speak of these things any longer. I no longer look at myself and detest what I see, although to many detestable I am. I no longer am confused by my own confusion or panicked by my own panic.

I read sometimes that Satanists appreciate the “complete freedom” they have. You say something that suggests something similar: "That which is against all denomination and bound by nothing except perception and free to be perceived in any form." What is for you the difference living like an atheist in the past and now being “converted” to Satanism? I think that with every religion you have to live by certain rules, even with Satanism.
To answer that question I have to give you a little more insight in my personal life and upbringing: I was taught from a very early age the teachings of humanism and atheism (atheism not being a belief but the absence of belief, in other words a benign form of nihilism). As with any teaching it was embedded in my mind by way of indoctrination. I had very little chance to escape them as they were, along with so many other moralities, being force-fed to me. This made me into a very confused person as I could feel rage and fire burning deep inside me, which was always covered up by the ice of reason and humanistic tendencies. It took me a long time to get to a point where I dared even to say I harboured feelings of hatred and scorn for most of the people I knew and saw. Through the depressions that such a dividing of instinct and ratio always in some way incurs I felt my true self-slipping farther and farther down the path of the slave and into oblivion. Slavery to, drugs, alcohol, reason, morality or any other worldly master is the end of the individual free man and was slowly killing me. So to say that I was converted would be missing the point, I would say that at long last I accepted who I was from the beginning. A fire-born man inside a clay shell waiting to come out. So in total freedom I realised that the source of my personality is what is called Satan.

This means that since you've become a Satanist you have no longer feelings of instant scorn and hate towards people and a constant rage and fire that burns deep inside? This sounds for most people almost like a contradictio in terminis, hehe…
Hahaha, well I think you have (perhaps deliberately) misunderstood me here Evil Dr Smith, I DO carry those feelings in me, as does every man or woman, only I have rid myself of the guilt, the guilt that is inherent in Judeo-Christian humanism, that we are taught from early age should accompany those feelings. I can love and hate without fear or question now, I used to be able to do neither. I have learned to trust these instincts of instant scorn and hatred, they are there for a reason and are in the end always proven right. Hope I cleared that up a bit....

Did it cost you a lot of friends and goodwill of your family since your metamorphosis from a so-called atheist into a Satanist? Satanism is for a lot of people in this society just as taboo as (and equal to) pedophilia, female circumcision and farting in public transport combined.
I cannot deny a certain alienation amongst some of the people who called themselves friends before, but I believe that the people who accept me for who I am and what I do will always be by my side in some way. I was never one with an extensive group of friends so not much is lost. In fact through the workings with TDB I have met many new, interesting, people that have much to teach and much to share. And of course the whole concept of Satanism is being the outcast, the opposer, the accuser, the malefactor and the one who questions everything. And this is a very comfortable role for me.

In your search to complete the line up of The Devil's Blood, was this also one of the conditions? Do the other band members have to share the same ideas, or at least understand what your visions are? Or do you take their (non)-believe for granted, as long as they play good and drink even better?
It was always a problem. Should I endeavour to find people of like mind? Should I wait until that fantasy is fulfilled and I am with people who are thinking the exact same thought? This would have taken me ten years and the moment would have been gone. This seemed to be the best time and so things needed to happen now. Everyone who is in TDB knows, respects and understands my path. This is for me much more important than anything else. I have found some very good musicians who see why I need to do things in different manner than 99% of other bands. I see them as the tools through which great crafts are made. On the practical side of things (rehearsals, management, logistics, finances etc etc) they have a great part to play. The creative aspects are, for obvious reasons, totally for me and me alone. Everyone knows this and went into the band with this in mind.

You recently performed on FortaRock in Nijmegen last July the 11th, being "The Special Guest Ritual". I wasn't there, but I read in several media that something ('someone') didn't go very smoothly. Can you tell/explain in your own words what exactly happened?
I'm not going to say too much about this as it is now officially a police matter. There were a few morons who tried to antagonize me and I reacted to that in the only way I know. They bit off a little bit more than they could chew and instead of taking it like men they went crying to the police. Fuck them.

A police matter? That sucks. Nevertheless, it makes me think what drove you so mad that you even jumped off the stage. I will not judge, but don't you think it was wiser not to give a rat's ass about their provocations and ignore them (or say some wisecracks from the mic's stage to silence the numbfuckers)? It just doesn't feel right during a gig, no matter how much the band and audience would like to punch the asshole(s) in the face. So there's still that rage and burning fire inside of you?
Oh yeah, there is enough fire and hatred in my to burn this world three times over. And that's just it. I know we are a band you either love or hate and I also know that people will be provoked by us to react in extreme ways. And that is exactly the way it should be. Only I would advise people to remind themselves that in this universe the rules of Action/Reaction are still in effect. If people fuck with me or mine, I tend to act. There is no more talking then.

Do you have a funny, embarrassing, hilarious or any other memorable live anecdote?
Well, things tend to get rather serious and austere before the concerts. So there is usually a lot of tension and anger between us, and that simmers and slowly rises to a boil. This anger then usually comes out afterwards. Once at a festival in Sweden we came off stage and immediately started to push and scream and yell and a few punches were thrown left and right. It was really funny because you've got these 6 maniacs, completely covered in blood, fighting and screaming. The security did not know how to deal with that and they decided to close off the back stage room for a few minutes untill things calmed down. So I wasn't even allowed to leave my own dressing room. This made us all laugh so hard that immediately all the anger dissipated and we just laughed at these security goons that had no idea whether to laugh with us or just get the fuck out of there... Madness, blasphemy, fighting, generally bad alcohol influenced behaviour that is what makes it worthwhile to get out of my house! Hahaha!

Hehe, still alcohol and fighting… Some guys never change: you inveterate rascal! I suppose these friendly fisticuffs will happen again pretty soon, because you'll have the release party in Vera, Groningen September 25th. Groningen? I don't get it.... The release party of your first EP was in Aachen, the release party of the new album will be in Groningen, but aren't you guys from Eindhoven, rock city number one of Holland? What's wrong with Eindhoven, or... with you?
I don't think that this is a real release party at all. It is simply the first performance that was planned after the release. Had it been up to me I'd rather have done it in Aachen again as this is our record label's home (Ván Records) and we feel a strong connection with a lot of individuals there. But really this is all marketing jive and I have little to do with it. The reason we are not doing it in Eindhoven is that we do not feel any connection to that city or with that scene. It was an exciting place to be once, with a lot of scum and villainy going on, but these days everything is simply dead. Most of the venues have nothing special to offer, all the bands suck and creatively everything is on a dead track and has been for years. Of course there are some interesting musical projects going on left and right but these are few and far apart. We do not belong to the Rockcity movement, if there even is such a thing any more.

We will be doing some more performances toward the end of the year, with various acts such as NOX and PENTAGRAM. So enough is being planned all over Europe. Possibly an American tour in early 2010 and after that at least a few festivals. Some interesting stuff will be announced soon.

Next month we will be discussing the new EP 'I'll Be Your Ghost' which was released last August, and the brand new album 'The Time Of No Time Evermore', which will be released on, how coincidental, nine-eleven. Horror soul for your soul!

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