Interview with Bible of the Devil!

Photo by: Steve Rosenwinkel

Bible of the Devil is an interesting and brutal rock-band hailing from the US. With a large piece of originality and traditional rock influence, they’ve slowly but surely introduced their own brand of rock. Since they started out in the late 90’s they’ve managed to release five full-length albums and have played in most venues, both in the US and abroad. In May they’re releasing their sixth studio album titled For The Love Of Thugs And Fools. I got the opportunity to interview two of the guitarists of this band, Mark Hoffman (vocals, guitar) and Nathan Perry (guitar, vocals) about their influences, when they opened for Kyuss Lives!, what they like to do when they’re not playing music and much more.

Have you been playing in any other band before Bible of the Devil, and where did your career as musicians really start off?

M: – My mother taught piano lessons since I was a child, so naturally I started playing music that way.  When I decided I was too much of a tough guy for piano as a teenager, I picked up the guitar.  I played in a few bands in high school and university that never really went anywhere.  I have been in Bible of the Devil since the band’s inception in 1999.

N: – I’ve been a fan of rock music as long as I can remember in my life.  I’ve been playing guitar in rock bands since age 14 or so.  I’ve been in plenty before BotD but few of them had any lasting impact or even recorded anything. I am not a founding member of BotD but I’ve been in for about 10 years.  My other main band was winding down after nearly 7 years, and I was frustrated with that band’s lack of forward momentum. I wasn’t sure what to do next, but I was hanging out with Mark and Greg a lot and they needed some help, so it seemed like a natural fit for me to join up. Obviously it worked out, I’m still here!

What kind of bands do you enjoy listening to and what bands would you sincerely recommend to people?

N: – I finally got a decent turntable and as a result I’ve been on a record buying spree. I find I don’t purchase a whole lot of current records though. I like the sonics of the stuff they put out in the 70s and much of the 80s. As far as recommendations, pick up Reaped In Half by Boulder, Creatures of the Night from Kiss, and Supersonic Storybook from Urge Overkill. The new High Spirits record is good too. That’s where my head is lately anyway.

M: – I’m pretty stuck in the past as well, with stuff like Thin Lizzy, Roky Erickson, Judas Priest, and Rainbow always in heavy rotation. At the same time, I also dig more current bands like Slough Feg, High Spirits, Zuul, Valkyrie, Graveyard, and The Devil’s Blood with loads of soaring guitar and great vocal melodies.

You’re releasing your sixth album in May named For The Love Of Thugs And Fools, but in what way will it differ from the other albums and how do you think the band have developed since you gave out the critically acclaimed album Freedom Metal?

N: – I would say for this new record that we paid more attention to making the songs as lean as we could. The record is informed by our various heavy metal influences, but the song craft probably owes a lot more to simple, classic rock styled song structures. But we did try to do a few things out of our comfort zone, such as, dare I say, “danceable” drum beats and different feels for songs than what you’d usually expect from us. It felt like a major departure from our usual style as we were putting the record together and recording it, but now that everything is finished and mixed, it is a different animal. It clearly fits right in as a Bible record, even though we didn’t approach it as such.

M: – There is the same attention to big guitars and hooks, but I’d say the vocals were a lot more of the focus this time around.

According to your site, your new album will be much of a wrap-up of the time you’ve spent together and of what things you’ve encountered on your way. Will this be one of the last ones you release, or is it just explanatory for anyone that haven’t followed you since way back?

M: – That synopsis more means that it is a round-up of the events and characters we have encountered since the last full-length. Most of us have had some weird and traumatic shit happen in that time. I don’t think we will ever declare any release one of our last, because you never know what may happen in the future.

N: – It isn’t like we covered “My Way” or anything. The songs are a bit like little case studies of the people in our lives. But everyone has people such as these in their lives and should be able to relate to lyrics of the songs. Unless, of course, you are a total bore and spend all of your time in your room in front of a computer; in that case you probably don’t know anybody interesting. As far as future releases for the band, I see no reason why we wouldn’t have another few records in us, I personally don’t have any reason to stop writing songs with these guys.

This question could be a cliché one, but when I interviewed Mike from Slough Feg, he told me that you hadn’t gotten the recognition you deserve. How is it that you’re not more well-known considering your great musicianship?

N: – That’s very kind of Mike, whom incidentally has not gotten the recognition he and his band deserve. We have gotten a lot more recognition than a lot of bands. As far as why we are still firmly an underground band, it could be a lot of different things. Not to congratulate ourselves too much, but it is not easy to keep a band together this long. We are on the 4th record in a row with the same lineup, how many bands can say that? We have sacrificed a lot to make this work.  We have done a lot of work on our own and we’ve never really felt uncomfortable with the choices we have made and kept a pretty high level of integrity towards what we do, but this band has always been difficult to “market.” Maybe we’re too classic sounding for the punk people, and a bit too melodic for the super hardcore metal guys, and too heavy for your typical “college rock” fan? It’s too bad everyone is so segmented in what they allow themselves to listen to. It’s lame.

M: – The fan base we do have is extremely loyal and supportive, so we are grateful for that. As for recognition, well I guess our style of music is not exactly topping the charts right now, at least in the United States.

What do you guys prefer to do when you’re not playing with the band?

M: – I try to make time to see the good bands that ARE out there, watch baseball, cook, travel a little bit, get laid, and the glamorous part, work.

N: – I have another band I play in, Knife of Simpson. Other than that, I guess sleep!

If you’d get to choose, what band would you like to do a split with in the future?

M: – The Devil’s Blood. Then again, a lot of people might buy it thinking it is Black Metal and get pissed off.

N: – Kiss.

When you’ve been out playing, what would you recall to be one of the best shows you’ve ever done since you started out?

N: – I had one show on my birthday at the Empty Bottle in Chicago, opening for Dead Moon many years ago, I recall that to be one of the best. Probably for all of the wrong reasons though!

M: – We opened for Kyuss Lives! in Chicago to the biggest crowd we have ever played for recently. That was cool just in terms of the sheer number of people there. Other than that, playing with Slough Feg at Spaceland in L.A. a couple years ago was pretty epic.

At what venues will you be playing in the near future?

M: – We are about to do a big, raunchy turn around the Midwestern U.S. and down to Texas in May. There will of course be the requisite local appearances in Chicago, and then we are looking forward returning to Europe this Fall.

Do you have any last words of wisdom?

M: – Use tube amps and never, ever wear shorts on stage.

N: – When the river runs red, take the dirt road.

Here’s Bible of the Devil with their song The Turning Stone:

You can find them over here:

Homepage: www.bibleofthedevil.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bibleofthedevil

MySpace: www.myspace.com/bibleofthedevil

Label: www.cruzdelsurmusic.com

Contact: botdmusic@gmail.com & bible_of_the_devil@yahoo.com

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