Cape Town, South Africa: a band who has not easily escaped discussion at local social gatherings throughout the last nearly two years since their arrival on the circuit is DevilSpeak. Whilst it is easy to find hard working metal bands (look in any direction), it is not always so much so to find those who work to include a little more than just some good headbanging into their live presence, and even less to find a band so very… likeable. Since the band’s sudden arrival on the scene in early 2015, we have been watching DevilSpeak with interest as they check all of these boxes. They bring a fierce extreme metal sound blended with a charismatic stage setup, and their use of social media has set an example which many of the rest of us are still trying to find the wisdom to follow.
However, this weekend begins the band’s true test to a new phase in their existence: touring. In anticipation of this milestone where DevilSpeak embark on a coastal journey to appear at the Port Elizabeth installation of The Metalist‘s national birthday celebration with Facemelt Fest, we caught up with the band for moment of introspection on the journey thus far:
“Highlights for me so far include opening M4A‘s WinterFest’15 last August; releasing our first single, ‘Violently Leading The Blind’, in September 2015; supporting NervoChaos from Brazil alongside Boargazm in February this year; supporting Rotting Christ from Greece alongside The Fallen Prophets in July, and; our first event which we hosted ourselves, being Local Aid: South Africa in October.” ~ Derrick Leppan (bass/backing vocals, DevilSpeak)
If that sounds like not enough momentum for a band, apart from this weekend’s tour, DevilSpeak will also be joining Italy’s Pulvis Et Umbra as support on Thursday next week along with fellow locals Wargrave. “We’ve had an awesome run so far” tells us Francois Meyer, the band’s drummer, and rightly so, to which vocalist Jarred Williams added: “Being able to keep it all together and consistent for this long is reaching a milestone on its own, juggling five lives to make DevilSpeak a reality.”
As to the tour, DevilSpeak are excited for their first appearance to new audiences. In addition to Facemelt Fest on Saturday, the band will also play in Jeffrey’s Bay on the Friday night. We asked about what the guys think expectations from the metalheads in the Eastern Cape should be:
“Funny enough I come from the Eastern Cape; it’s where I grew up having moved to Cape Town in 2001. I used to play in a band that side in the late 90s, so I’m super excited myself to go back there with the band I’m in now. As for the people there, I think if most of them have no expectations that can work in our favour. With our stage set up, I think it would be something Port Elizabeth and Jeffrey’s Bay don’t see too often, which can be exciting on a different level to the music. When the two combine properly, it can elevate the experience for everyone involved, in the band and the audience.” ~ Derrick Leppan
Of course, DevilSpeak have always shown a dedicated attitude towards bringing more-than-required to a show, no matter how big or small.
“There has been a seriousness about the whole trip, but that hasn’t made it less exciting. We are all fucking amped! I think that individually, each member takes everything that we do seriously enough; we can all have peace of mind in the trust that none of us is going to fuck around.” ~ Jarred Williams
“I’m treating it like our very first gig we played in Cape Town: being super tight and giving a great performance. I’m not sure how the local scene there would react to our music, but I’m sure we’ll blow away someone’s mind! We are quickly learning what it takes to become a professional band and with that comes certain responsibilities.” ~ Francois Meyer
Members of the band also express excitement at reuniting with Port Elizabeth locals Mezzanine Floor with whom they played M4A‘s WinterFest’15 together in Cape Town, plus meeting new people from other Eastern Cape bands. Also on the Port Elizabeth Facemelt Fest are Undead Generation, Monolith, Mezzanine Floor and Forsaking Fate. Mezzanine Floor will also be joining DevilSpeak on Friday in Jeffrey’s Bay, along with locals Behold The Silence.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know Mezzanine Floor as people now. I know their vocalist is from Uitenhage which is also where I grew up, and it’s not often in this scene of ours I know of someone else from such a small town being in an active metal band, so that’s nice for me. I have not seen any of the other bands live before, but I’m very much looking forward to watching them all. I really enjoy discovering a new great local live band, and maybe all of them will be in that category. I’m most excited to see Monolith, I’ve been wanting to see them live since I heard their first EP last year, and their style of music is geared to my taste very much.” ~ Derrick Leppan
“I’m especially looking forward to Mezzanine Floor since I last saw them when they played M4A. I’m also excited to play with new bands as we haven’t shared the stage with the other bands before, so who knows what’s in store. Every band brings an unique energy and it’s always great to experience that for the first time.” ~ Francois Meyer
As to what the public can expect of DevilSpeak, if these guys could make such a noteworthy splash in the bustling live scene of Cape Town in their short time, then we’re confident that they will be enjoyed most thoroughly by headbangers in the Eastern Cape. The band will be packing their stage props, and frontman Jarred hints at the likelihood of a new song which is bound to make home-city fans just a tad jealous for not getting first dibs. Apart from ending this year with a bang, DevilSpeak already have a bumper 2017 queuing up with the promise of an EP release, a trip to play in Gauteng, and a confirmation to appear at the Cape Town installation at Witchfest. In short: DevilSpeak are on a role – come and get it whilst it hot!