Demon Eye

Demon Eye are back with their third full-length album, Prophecies and Lies”, almost two years after the previous “Tempora Infernalia”. Grande Rock had a chat with the band’s vocalist & guitarist Erik Sugg about the new album among other interesting things…
Demon Eye band pic

Hi Erik, I’m glad we’re given the chance to talk about Demon Eye’s new album “Prophecies and Lies”. First of all, how did you come up with the album title and what does it declare?
 
E: Thank you for getting in touch. The title is a reference to the here and now, a sort of “How did we get here moment?”. I found myself wondering how much of what we’re experiencing in the here and now is due to misinformation and false history, or if there truly is some sort of predetermined, natural flow to things. I don’t have the answers, of course, but I feel the question itself is what matters. Humans are flawed and often repeat the same mistakes throughout history. Sometimes I feel we are witnessing that very thing unfold right now.
 
 
Which are the main differences between the new album and the previous one “Tempora infernalia” according to you?
 
E: I feel like we took more risks with the songwriting for this new one. I do love the songs on the last record, but for “Prophecies” I think we gave ourselves a little more time to plan things out before heading immediately back into the studio. We started on working on “Tempora Infernalia” almost immediately after “Leave the Light”. That’s not a bad thing, as I believe that artists should always move on things whenever they’re feeling inspired, but for “Prophecies” we took a little more time and I think that allowed us to mix things up a bit.
 
 
Did you follow the same songwriting process this time? Which are the new elements that you introduce with the new album?
 
E: There was a moment when Larry and Paul and myself had the opportunity to sit and work on riffs and arrangements together as a group. This was during a hotel stay on the way to a festival performance in New England (quite a far drive from where we live). Generally we all come up with riffs individually and work them out at rehearsals, but this was the one time I can remember us working on things together from the beginning. Even though we’re all good friends, we seldom spend time with one another whenever we’re not rehearsing, performing, or traveling. Some of the material had significant changes in rhythm (like “Infinite Regress”), others like “Redeemer” were more stripped down, and for some we tried some new things sonically, like the outro to “Morning’s Son”.
 
 
Tell us a couple of things about each track…
 
E: “The Waters and the Wild”: This song is about how the natural world will one day take control of the earth again. It will be as if humans have never been. We thought the “gallop” riff would make a good album opener. I also like that it has a bit of a dark folk vibe.
 
“In the Spider’s Eye”: Sort of a carryover theme from previous albums; choosing the left hand path at the end of your life rather than asking for repentance and forgiveness. The slow, doomy fade may be one of my favorite moments to any of our songs. We had never ended a song like that before.
 
“Redeemer”: About people who have devoted themselves to a life of cruelty, judgment, and meanness having one last chance to do things right. Larry wrote this riff. I liked it a lot because it had a lot of space and it sort of sounded more like an early ‘70s British glam song then a metal tune. It has that classic Slade/Sweet/Bolan-esque “stomp”.
 
“Kismet”: About people who have devoted themselves to a life of cruelty, judgment, and meanness realizing they lost any chance they ever had of turning things around. I wanted to write a song that sounded like a heavy, but melancholy Thin Lizzy.
 
“Infinite Regress”: Based on the saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. This one was fun, with all the quirky rhythms and cold stops and such.
 
“Dying for It”: For this one I was thinking about cause-driven people who attack those whose views differ from their own. I was wondering if they would truly sacrifice themselves and their lives for what they believe in. Larry wrote the music for this one. I liked it because it had some Voivod-type dissonance and I wanted to try to sing it like Ronnie James Dio would sing over something (“try” being the important factor here)…
 
“Politic Divine”: A lament regarding the power that politicians have over the lives of people everywhere in this world and how foolish it is treat their word as if it were the word of god. This is one of Larry’s songs. I liked the groove that he and Bill came up with. It was fun working out the vocals to this one.
 
“Power of One”: Awhile back I read an article about a prominent American businessman (who may or may not be the current president of the United States), about how underneath all of his money and political power that he was very a lonely and unhappy individual. It got to me to thinking that power can often leave someone powerless when it gets down to it. The music was very Trouble-influenced. We love them.
 
“Vagabond”: The lowly class getting their due and taking over a society that has shunned them. I was listening to a lot of early ‘70s prog when I came up with the riff for this, particularly Captain Beyond.
 
“Prophecies and Lies”: Paul wrote the music for this one. I loved the groove and the changes so much that I didn’t want to mess with it by adding a vocal melody, (which is rare for me because I always enjoy finding a way to sing over music that I did not write). Because it had an ominous, foreboding feel to it, all I could really imagine was a spoken word segment that served as a sort “warning” for all. Yeat’s poem, “The Second Coming”, worked perfectly.
 
“Morning’s Son”: This was our only real “Satanic” song on the album. It’s sort of like Sabbath’s “N.I.B.” where it’s from the point of view of the devil. The song is essentially about the evil one kicking back and enjoying watching mankind destroy itself without ever having to intervene much on his part at all. This song was different for us in that it’s major scaled based and has the slow, epic fadeout. Generally, we’re fans of cold stops. We knew we wanted this one to be the album closer from its inception.
 
 
I know that the album was recorded by Mike Dean of Corrosion Of Conformity in your own hometown in Raleigh, North Carolina. How did you choose to cooperate with Mike and how was the whole procedure?
 
E: Mike is a good friend of mine. I play in a band with him, called Lightning Born, and we record a lot of our practices and demos in the studio he operates. I really like his studio and like the way he works, so it was pretty much a no-brainer to have him do the Demon Eye record. He’s a lot of fun to work with. A funny guy who has a lot of quick ideas that he runs with from the very moment they enter his mind. It makes him seem like a bit of a mad scientist.
 
 
Who produced, mixed and mastered the album?
 
E: It was produced and mixed by Mike Dean in Raleigh, North Carolina, and was sent off for mastering by Brad Boatwright at Audiosiege studios in Portland, Oregon.
 
 
Was it less stressful to record the album in your own hometown?
 
E: To a certain extent, but the previous two records weren’t recorded very far from where we live, so there wasn’t a huge difference there.
 
 
Do you plan to release any lyric or concept video anytime soon?
 
E: Yes. However, at this moment we still haven’t chosen which song.
 
 
Are there any touring plans for 2018?
 
E: We are about to do a mini tour throughout the Midwest and are hoping to do the northeast and the deep south in 2018. We have yet to tour Europe, but hope to do so in the future.
 
 
What are your expectations from “Prophecies and Lies” and what do you wish to achieve with Demon Eye at long term?
 
E: Basically, we want to keep writing and performing music. We love working with Soulseller Records. Naturally, we always want to increase our fan base and hopefully get involved with bigger festivals. Touring Europe is always something we project for our future as well.

Demon Eye band pic
 
It’s time for our Weird Questions!!! How did you come up with the name Demon Eye initially?
 
E: It is borrowed from the Deep Purple song, “Demon’s Eye”.
 
 
If you were an animal, which animal would you be and why?
 
E: I know most people would choose to be something that flies, but I’m really into sea creatures. I would be an octopus. I find them very beautiful and otherworldly.
 
 
If you could “erase” one thing from modern music, what would it be?
 
E: Negativity. I strongly dislike media wars, like bands vs. bands, journalists vs. bands, fans vs. other fans, etc.
 
 
Which is the record you wish you had written and why?
 
E: “Kick Out the Jams” by The MC5. I can think of no greater record that captures the power and ecstasy of music. When I first heard that record as a teenager, from the very second the fade-in of the audience occurs, I knew that record was going to change my life for the better. I hope the surviving members of the band realize how much positive change occurred in the world as a result of that album and their music.
 
 
Which is that band that you’d like to be part of (any time & era)?
 
E: It’s probably a generic answer, but honestly I’d have to say The Beatles. They were four young people who never had to work a regular job ever. They could concentrate solely on their art and their creativity. They traveled the world and gained perspectives from cultures that differed greatly from their own and were able to pass those things on to the masses. They were in the unique position of being students and educators at the same time. I always admired that.
 
 
Which are the best 3 Heavy Rock albums of all time according to you?
 
E: I’d probably give you a different answer depending on the day. Since I already covered the MC5 in a previous question, I’ll go with The Who – “Live at Leeds”, Black Sabbath’s first album, and The Stooges – “Funhouse”.
 
 
Fill in the phrase… “Heavy Rock music wouldn’t have evolved the way it did, if it hadn’t been for…”
 
E: Link Wray discovering the break-up sounds in his amplifier.
 
 
Which do you consider to be the best male & female vocalist in rock history?
 
E: My personal favorite for a male would be either Otis Redding or Rob Tyner. They had swagger and soul and the ability to energize and inspire audiences. Choosing a woman is difficult because I really love the sound of a female voice with rock and roll. Some of my favorites are Mary Wells, Mariska Veres, Janis Joplin, and Joan Jett. As for contemporary women, I love Andrea Vidal, Uta Plotkin, Miny Parsonz, Elin Larsson, and Alia O’Brien. I think they are the best singers in the world right now.
 
 
Were you obliged to give just one album to extraterrestrials that would represent the whole human music, which album would it be and from which band/artist?
 
E: I’d probably choose either a Hendrix or Bowie record. Those two artists always struck me as having universal qualities.
 
 
If you had the chance to travel in time… where would you choose to go? To the past or the future and why?
 
E: I grew up in a colonial town steeped in history, so I’d probably want to visit the past and see history unfold. Selfishly, I would love to go back and correct a thing or two from my personal past.
 
 
Where would you like to live… in Middle Earth, in the Seven Kingdoms or in a post-apocalyptic world like the one on “The Walking Dead”?
 
E: Middle Earth for me. It strikes me as the most united.
 
 
That’s all for now Erik! Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview. Take care dude!
 
E: Thank you. You take care as well.

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