INTERVIEW: DEMON EYE
Congratulations on your debut album 'Leave the Light', it's been in heavy rotation around here at OccultRock.com. I know it takes a while to build a band but are you pleased with how well it's been received by rock fans so far?
Thanks! We are incredibly pleased with the reception, particularly since we had zero intentions of things gravitating towards this level. All we were initially concerned with was writing songs for fun and performing them at our local watering holes to anyone who cared to listen. Once we started receiving praise both locally and overseas, in addition to getting asked for interviews and being granted opening slots for bigger bands, it completely blew our minds. The label signing was the icing on the cake.
Was this album done before you signed with Soulseller Records or was it made afterward?
Half of it was. We originally recorded six songs, merely for demo purposes. An Irish label called Sarlaac Productions contacted us about releasing those tunes as a six song cassette. We titled that the “Shades of Black” EP. It was literally a matter of days after we discussed that scenario with Sarlaac when Soulseller contacted us and offered the record deal. We mutually agreed those six songs should be included on the debut record. Soon after, we went back to the studio to record the rest of the album. It all seems like such a blur now. It was a fun time.
Was it made in your hometown of Raleigh, NC?
“Leave the Light” was recorded at Seriously Adequate Studios in Carrboro, NC by Alex Maiolo. It was sent off for mastering at Verdant Green Studios in Vermont courtesy of Pete Weiss. It was a north/south collaboration! Alex and Pete were such great guys to work with. We consider them both unofficial members of Demon Eye.
You were telling me the band name was inspired by the Deep Purple song. Would you say they are a major influence or did you just like how the name sounded?
Both. We’re all huge Purple-heads. Larry and I are both greatly influenced by Ritchie Blackmore’s playing. I remember being a young boy and blasting my dad’s eight track copy of “Machine Head.” My jam was “Never Before.” I loved that song. When I was thinking of our band name I figured it’d be good to choose something that was an homage to the groups who provided the core influence for the sound we were going for. Those being Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Pentagram, and Iron Maiden. Naturally, it’d be way too obvious to name the band something like “Electric Funeral,” but once I thought of that Deep Purple tune, “Demon’s Eye,” my mind was pretty much set on that. We chose the non-possessive title version to avoid confusion with all the Deep Purple tribute bands out there who named themselves “Demon’s Eye.”
Some great heavy bands have come out of NC including Corrosion of Conformity, Buzzov-en and others. How much has your local scene influenced the band?
I’d say it’s been a huge influence. Every day I’m thankful for all the great bands here in North Carolina. Just in the Triangle alone we’ve played with so many inspiring groups, everyone from Widow, to Colossus, Solar Halos, The Church of Zann, Horseskull, Voidward, Corpse Mountain… There are so many great heavy bands around here. We played with C.O.C. this past spring, which was an honor because I’ve been a fan ever since I was a young skate rat in the ‘80s. Everyone in Demon Eye has remained C.O.C. fans throughout all of the different incarnations of the band. Buzzov-en was actually a group I was more exposed to when I was living in Virginia. I’ve always really dug the sludge bands from the coastal area of North Carolina, like Weedeater and Sourvein. One North Carolina band that all of us really loved, and were seriously bummed over when they called it quits, was the great Hour of 13. I really think they were the best traditional doom band in America.
Were any of you guys in bands before that maybe we've heard of?
I was in a band during the late ‘90s/early ‘2000s called the Dragstrip Syndicate. We were a three guitar, MC5-meets-Skynyrd kinda thing. I also did a short stint as hired gun for the Raleigh band, The Cherry Valence. Bill and Paul played with a bluesy grunge band based out of New York, called Goodnight My Love, and Larry and Bill also play with Richard Bacchus, who was in the classic New York glam/trash band, D-Generation. His current group is called Richard Bacchus and the Luckiest Girls.
If you could play the world one Demon Eye song, which would you choose?
Tough call! I’d have to go with either “Hecate,” “Shades of Black,” or “From Beyond.” Those tunes seem to encompass what we’re all about, musically. Maybe "Secret Sect" as well? All of our songs are our babies. It's hard to choose one.
Do you guys have any touring plans?
Yes. We’ll be doing a quick run of the Midwest in the latter part of the summer and will probably branch out more along the eastern seaboard. We’ve also been talking about hitting the west coast with some friends out that way. Ultimately we want to tour Europe as well, especially since a large part of our fan base is there. Hopefully the latter will happen in 2015!
Thanks for your time but before we go, any idea when you might start working on a follow up to 'Leave the Light'?
We are all set to return to Seriously Adequate Studios in October! The next record will be titled, “Tempora Infernalia.” People can expect the same riffing styles and melodic song structures as the previous record, but I think one noticeable difference will be that it’s a little less mystical and “witchy.” Rather than using old world mythical horrors as our backdrop, the themes behind this record will be more about the tangible darkness in the world, about how mankind has created its own hell, thus rendering the Devil’s work unnecessary. To give you some song title teasers, so far our favorite tunes are “End of Days,” “Listen to the Darkness,” and “In the World, (Not of It).” We can’t wait to get “Tempora Infernalia” into the hands of our fans. Until then, Demon Eye will see you on the road!
Keep up with Demon Eye here... http://www.facebook.com/demoneyenc or here on Spotify