Devil You Know are currently doing an extensive run of dates throughout the UK. A couple of days ago when the package arrived in Glasgow, I had the opportunity to have a chat with guitarist, Francesco. Amongst other things, we discussed how he ended up playing Ibanez guitars and a band that caught his attention recently. Read on for the full details…
It’s been really good. It’s been kind of a surprise as it’s our first time here and we didn’t really know what to expect. The first time you come to a place, you can have a really good city and then a really bad city. There may be like a radio show in one city that plays some of your tracks and people come out and in another city there may be no promotion at all. So far though, it’s been good every night.
They Bleed Red came out around sixteen months ago. How do you feel it’s been received?
It’s been really good. We had a lot of support from satellite radio in the States and we had three or four songs in rotation and we still have one song in regular rotation. When we play shows in the States now we’ve got folk coming to shows that are saying they heard us on the radio. I’d never experienced that prior to this album and it’s been really cool to see that radio is still going strong.
In Europe we didn’t really know. We released the record while we were on tour so we didn’t really tour with that record in Europe and we’re now touring in the UK for this at the end of cycle. Overall though, it’s been really well received.
Is Nick Augusto (Ex-Trivium) still playing with you?
He’s playing with us. This is the third tour we’re doing with him now. In honesty, we had a drummer before and he’s no longer with us. We’ll really decide what to do with the drummer situation once we’ve done the album. We’ve started writing for it now so once that’s done we’ll decide.
In terms of gear, I gather that you use Ibanez and Laney amps…
Yes, that’s right. When I started playing guitar, the first one I got was an Ibanez. When I started playing guitar, I was really influenced by Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Dream Theater. Then I started playing other instruments as well as I wanted to get a good feel for the other brands out there.
When I joined All Shall Perish, I got in contact with the company, they started talking about endorsements and began sending me guitars. It’s been a lot of years already working with them and I have way too many guitars at the moment. You can never have too many guitars though!
On this tour we’ve been swapping between cabs due to the logistics of some of the venues. But I’ve been with Laney since about 2010 and we normally hang out at NAMM each year.
Are there any bands that have captured your attention recently?
Given that we’re now writing music now, I kinda stop listening to a lot of metal and listen to a lot of jazz and classical music. Howard and I both do that so that we can clear our minds and avoid any outside influences. There is a band that we played with recently called Wovenwar.
We did a tour with them around the time their second album was coming out and I really enjoyed them live. I then got their new record and I love it. I highly encourage folk to check them and the album out!
Is there any advice you’d give to new bands?
I would say it’s getting tougher and tougher. You can criticise a lot of things such as stealing music but the result is that the value is music is pretty much nothing now. When I grew up, there was that one song that changed your life or that one record that changed your life. I think that’s going to get harder as the value of music has just gone.
I’d say be prepared to have all the hard work you put into an album to be devalued and have people not really care about it. If you’re ready to accept that and work hard then you’ll be ok. I’m kinda glad I started when I did as starting now I think it would be nigh on impossible for us to get where we are now.