DeVicious: Melodic Rock Is On Fire
DeVicious: Melodic Rock Is On Fire
DeVicious is a dynamic melodic rock band from Germany whose scorching anthems are destined to thrill music fans all over the world. They’ve supported the likes of Hardline and Crystal Ball on tour, and recently unleashed Phase Three – their latest magnum available on Metalapolis Records. Highwire Daze caught up with bassist Alex Frey to find out more about this amazing collective ready to set the melodic rock planet on fire with their memorable songs and exhilarating live shows. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in DeVicious, and how long the band has been together.
I am Alex, the bass player of DeVicious and I am also the main songwriter and producer for the band. The idea of DeVicious was born Summer 2016 during a steak dinner. We ended up in the Studio January 2017 where we began writing and recording our first album Never Say Never which was named one of the huge positive surprise releases in 2018 when it was released. We also won a couple of Album of the Year awards from European Rock websites and Radio Stations.
Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there?
We’re based in Karlsruhe, Germany where most of us were born and raised. We grew up witnessing the early success of Pink Cream 69 which was definitely a key factor for each of us to become a professional musician. The local scene is basically dead. The kids rather play cover songs and play at local wine fests instead of writing their own material because it is easier to make money.
How did you wind up signing with Metalapolis Records?
We originally signed with a label that doesn’t deserve to be mentioned. They guy who ran the label strung as along for 15 months postponing the release of Never Say Never and when the album was finally “released” there was no promotion nor distribution and our quite substantial time and money investment was in jeopardy. I made clear to the guy that we are leaving and take the album with us. Birgitt Schwanke from Pride & Joy Music was kind enough to add us to her roster for this release and the album finally got out on the market. Metalapolis was a logical step for us. We’ve know the key players for decades and we know some of their bands who are all very happy to be with them. And since Eddy Freiberger, one of the bosses, is also a booker it felt like the right place to be, because we are all coming from the same area in Germany. Now we are releasing our 2nd album with them and couldn’t be happier.
How does Phase Three compare to the other DeVicious releases?
That’s a good question, I am not sure that I can answer it properly. It kinda doesn’t, we made it our mission to sound different on each album and yet you will always know that it is DeVicious when you hear one of our songs. This wasn’t an easy task having a new singer and all, but I believe we did a good job getting our trademarks through. As a songwriter I see no point in reprising things we have done before, just because it was successful. If the people want to listen to Never Let You Go they shall listen to Never Let You Go and don’t expect us to copy ourselves. This keeps us fresh and people seem to like the concept. Phase Three is definitely our heaviest album compared to the other two. We needed an increased amount of energy because our new singer Antonio is a bundle of energy on stage and you can’t hold him back, he is wired like that. We needed songs that match with his energetic performance.
Select two songs from Phase Three and what inspired the lyrics.
Our guitar player Radivoj, who traditionally co-writes one song with me on each album came to me with this amazing powerful riff. I instantly had a chorus in mind, and we finished writing that song within 30 minutes. The lyrics are inspired by our experiences on the road and the way the media reacts to us. Our fans are an extremely motivating bunch, they really keep us going. Seven tours and three albums are quite unusual, but they kept our motivation high and this song is for them. It is basically an up-tempo love song. In the verses we describe that it is time to take DeVicious serious, this is our third album, we paid our dues, each of us was an unknown musician and we have no record label with a million followers. So everything we achieved was through honest work. We also wanted to send a message to the German media and the bookers that it is time to take us more seriously. We are past being a newcomer. As awesome as it is to open a huge festival, the bands that had to play after us often complained about it. If we were a band from the USA or the UK they would treat us differently and we don’t think that is fair. It’s probably a too bold and too arrogant statement to make on the third album but we are not getting younger and so far the media at home kinda loved the attitude.
#2 Rising from a Thunder
We have been blessed with amazing reviews for the last 2 albums. However, there are always some folks that should probably do something else. There have been 2 German reviewers that said “When a band names themselves DeVicious, they shouldn’t play Hard Rock or AOR, they should do Power Metal.” We thought this was such a funny statement that we decided to make an homage to them and tried to imagine how it would sound like if Powerwolf, Hammerfall and Battle Beast would write a song together, added 2 table spoons of DeVicious and now we have a song that sounds a lot like Power Metal. The lyrics basically are a statement that we don’t care what a critic is expecting from us. We are who we are. We gotta do what we love. Otherwise we are fake. When I write a song for a girl, I want her to know it is for her. “I love You” is still a strong statement, why wrap it up in metaphors?
Who did the cover art for Phase Three and how much input did you have on it?
I did all the artwork on all three albums. We started using the pictures of this model on the first album. On Phase Three we are telling a story on the 16 pages of the booklet. Who this blond woman is and how she became the goddess in golden armor since the first time we saw her standing in the water on the Never Say Never album.
How did new vocalist Antonio Calanna become involved with DeVicious and what was his music background prior to joining the band?
After we lost our singer last year, we started the search for a new singer through social media. We had 203 submissions and Antonio was the last. We actually already decided to get a girl from Finland into the band. They day I wanted to tell her about it, we have received Antonio’s application. He looked amazing and sounded great. But what really caught my attention was the way he described himself. I sent him a demo of one of our hardest to sing songs and he completely nailed it. It was a matter of 48 hours and the decision was made in his favor. Antonio is quite well known in Germany, Switzerland and Austria for his musical performances in Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell, Rock Of Ages and Jesus Christ Superstar. No worries, he is a rock singer and a real front man, his musical career is his day job, like others are teachers or butchers.
What could one expect from a live DeVicious show?
5 Guys having fun with a crazy good-looking singer with a fantastic voice that can’t stand still for a second. The girls will love him because he doesn’t like wearing a shirt and that guy really makes us look bad 😊
What was it like opening for Hardline and did you get to meet or hang out with them at all?
Oh, this was an amazing tour. We love Hardline since they have started, they were a huge hit over here. I already knew Alessandro Del Vecchio from several other occasions but never met Johnny Gioeli before. They are all very sweet people, no attitude towards the support bands. In fact, they were very focused on not taking too much time during sound check so that all bands would have a proper sound. Great people!
What are you looking forward to the most about your upcoming shows with Crystal Ball?
Crystal Ball singer Steven Mageney was our guest singer during the transition on the microphone. We didn’t want to cancel the tour and he helped us out for 7 shows including 2 Festivals. There we got to meet the rest of the band. They are awesome people and this is going to be like vacation with a lot of laughter I believe. Having said that, the Corona Virus might cross our plans and we won’t be allowed to play at all.
If DeVicious could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Queensryche during their Operation Mind Crime Tour. Why? They reinvented the wheel and made it better.
Has DeVicious ever played here in the States or plan to do so in future days?
We really would love to, but we would need to boost our presence there first. There have been offers to play festival shows but with all the logistics and expenses this would have been too expensive for the promoters. At some point we will play in the States. I am very sure about it!
Are you or any other members involved with any other projects outside of DeVicious?
DeVicious is taking all our time. We’re either on the road or in the studio and of course our families want to spend some quality time with us too.
What’s up next for DeVicious?
We just recently decided to record the 4th album in 2022. Until then we will hit the road as many times as possible.
Any final words of wisdom?
Wisdom is the quality to avoid situations where you need it.
Antonio Calanna (Vocals)
Radivoj Petrovic (Lead Guitar)
Alex Frey (Bass)
Denis Kunz (Keyboards)
Lars Nippa (Drums)
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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