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On The Grind: Portuguese hardcore powerhouse DEVIL IN ME discuss new album, the pandemic, touring and more

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A little over one month away from their upoming tour with COMEBACK KID, BE WELL, and SCOWL, Portuguese power hardore punks DEVIL IN ME join us for a special interview on their upcoming albumOn The Grind“, slated for a January release via Dead Serious Recordings!

UPDATE: January 10th: COMEBACK KID have cancelled their European tour with Be Well, Devil In Me, and Scowl. “We made it sooo far and…No shortage of trying to make it happen,” said Comeback Kid in a statement. “Sorry Devil In Me, Scowl, Be Well and XL LIFE but we will not be able to make the EU/UK dates happen. We are as mad as you are about this. Out of our control. We will make it up to you.” – comments the band.

Founded back in 2004, DEVIL IN ME quickly became well known for their strong, groovy melodies and dynamic delivery that shine through a thickly blended rhythm section, offering some serious bursts of energy during their live performances. This year, after a long absence, the boys are back, stronger than ever. Their new album contains their most aggressive songs yet and leaves no questions unanswered. Packed with razor-sharp riffage, angry vocals, groovy bass lines and power drums, “On The Grind” sounds like a 90s crossover record with a great modern production that explodes the senses!


Hey there guys! Thanks so much for taking some time with us. How are you? How have you been through the pandemic? Did it mess you up badly?

Hey! We´re all good. It surely hasn’t been easy for anyone, but I think so far all of us are doing a god job surviving it and keeping our minds focus.

How are things in Lisbon after the recent restrictions? How do locals experience this tough era?

Pretty much the same like the rest of Europe, you just dont know if “they” will shut us down again,people are losing and business, anxiety building up all around, crazy times,meanwhile, more and more people are getting fed up with most of the none sence involved with and in it.

How have you been doing during quarantine and the (post) pandemic times? How has it affected your creativity? What did you learn from the experience?

I will be honest, it has been more of a pusher than anything, because we started having time like never before to sit down and write as many songs possible, take what we liked the most out of each song in order to achieve a certain energy or melody that we relate to and that was a good experience for us, to have way more time to invest in the record.

“On The Grind” comes as a strong reminder that you can still arise hit hard after so many years of being active. How were the new tracks recorded and how easy was it to craft this new offering?

Yes, that´s what its all about. The day in day out struggle, it´s that inner voice that keeps telling you believe and move on even when it all looks kinda lost of broken. We recorded a bunch of live takes for a while down at EYEBALL STUDIOS owned by Carlos Rocha (D.I.M´S drummer) and than move along to track piece by piece, I must say, it wasn´t easy, but man we had fun with it, we really did. We’re also really conected as a band and friends and I think that´s also a major role in the making of this album.


You guys make it look so effortless to just keep coming up with straight up, energy filled bangers, based ont the classic hardcore foundation, but with your own twist? How hard is it, in reality, and what’s the secret to this?

We have just been honest all along,we write in a way and style that comes from the roots but always felt free to add whatever we wanted to our sound,this is about freedom and expression and we ´re all about that in any way possible and that might be our secret if we can call it like that,we have really been doing what we feel that its honest as an HXC band and that’s all there is to it.

There are always challenges in making an album – be it technical, or merit stuff. Were there any specific challenges in the creative process this time?

Yes, this time I had more work than ever the lyrics, I was a bit blocked sometimes. I guess that it was due to my will of using diferrent words that I was more familiar with and also trying to go a bit deeper with the short amount of bars that one can sing in a verse and reach out, on the other hand we had a blast adding João guitar solos and licks and that was something we always enjoyed and wanted to have more.

How did you tap Scott Vogel for this great guest appearance?

Just asked him if he was down,at that time we shared a couple of songs like “War” so he could have a glimpse of what this album was all about and he was kind enough to jump in and support,a really nice dude and of course that we are TERROR fans,we are honoured to have SCOTT VOGEL.

Content wise, what would you say the unifying themes might be throughout your new album? What inspired the name “On The Grind”? What’s the message that you hope fans take away from it?

We think that all of them, but I could say that “War”,”D.L.T, “Will” and “Never give in” unify the entire record. Regarding the theme I believe it’s a easy one to understand, keep pushing, inspire and get inspired by others and your surroundings, open heart and strong-minded, some people forget to practice some of these ways and get caught up in the trap. This is a reminder that we are way more than and have a greater purpouse to live and give love even if you have to face a bunch of battles, you must never give in.

Entering the maturity phase and turning 18 years next year, you are recognized as one of the most charismatic and high energy hardcore bands in Europe. How do you look back at your story and the evolution you have experienced as a band?

Yeah that long already…crazy!! We basically just been living our lives the best way we could and can. I don’t recall on us having a plan or dream besides wanting to play punk-hardcore music, because it’s our scene and its our lifestyle since we were kids, one thing we admit, we always wanted to play well and try to dignify our culture sound-wise and as we started touring with older bands. We started learning more and more about it, the scene we love, the music, roots and our industry, always learning and improving ourselves, like the name of the record.

If you could go back in time, say 10 years ago, what would be the one thing (be it advice or a warning) that you’d tell your 2010 self?

I would say “Take it easy”.

How has you local hardcore scene in Lisbon changed over the years?

Let me start by saying that we are not a LISBON based foundation. Back when started we were 50 per cent ALGARVE (Southern coast) and 50 per cent LISBON. Around that time we felt it was easier to say we were from LISBON,b ut the foundation is not from Lisbon and these days the band is 100 per cent Southcoast Portugal.

So let’s talk Portugal and yes it has changed a bit but we feel that it’s a good one. A bunch of new bands are now emerging and taking a stand and they are all amazing from Take Back, Stay Away to Fear the Lord, Dead END or even NEIGHBORZ that have been around for while now. There’s plenty more around that we really like and all of them are doing their best and killing it. Hopefully we’ll start having more show, so these bands can play more and our scene will keep shinning.


Streaming has obviously helped thousands of artists get their music out. How do you assess the current digital revolution and how it affects independent artists?

I guess it does help out a lot and musicians get to be a bit more independent ia a way, but also feels like it made everything disposable, fast and easy and that’s a bit sad. I’m not the best person to talk about this matter also this days bands can buy followers or pay to get more views, so it’s a shady game all in all.

Did anything about the experience of the recent music related solutions surprise you? Are there any tools or online opportunities that particularly caught your attention in recent months?

Nothing beats a live show so….. not really, it was all being done before, the live cam shows all of that, it just got more intense due to the orona circus, but nothing special.

Ok, so lastly, please give us some details behind your upcoming touring plans in 2022.

We will be touring with our good friends CBK along with BE WELL and SCOWL and for us that’s a dope ass line up. We will be promoting our new record “ON THE GRIND”, so a bunch of new songs will be played and hopefully you guys get to see us live. Have fun and grab a copy. Let’s hope that Corona won’t shut this one down.

What bands and records released in 2021 would you recommend for our end of the year wrap-up?

SECTION H8 – Welcome to the Nightmare

SCOWL – How flowers glow

EKULU – Unscrew My Head

Thank you so much for your time guys. Is there anything else you want to say to the readers out there?

We want to thank you and everyone for the support and love throughout the years and we wish you all the best and see you soon. ON THE GRIND!

Catch the band live this January alongside COMEBACK KID, BE WELL, and SCOWL! GO HERE to see the details.

Karol Kamiński

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels.
Contact via [email protected]

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