Rees’ Pieces: A Devil Defined

Posted: November 22, 2011 by Windsor Zene in Interviews


I first met Bruce Munro, one of two fabulous guitarists in the local metal band
Devilz By Definition, not at a live show, but when he gave me my very first tattoo in January of this year. Since then, in just under a year’s span, I’ve probably seen DBD perform live over twenty times and am proud to call these guys friends of mine. It sure was nice, having just moved to Windsor, to discover a group of talented musicians who had formed a new band, bringing a unique sound within the heavy metal genre, and an energy that is off the charts at each and every live show. Here is my one-on-one with Bruce.

Rees: Devilz By Definition! That is a name that sort of floats around the local scene a lot. Who came up with the name Devilz By Definition, and how have you “branded” that name as you have gained popularity?

Bruce: Noob, our singer, and myself came up with the name to describe who we are in this society. We’ve made homemade stickers, t-shirts, hats, and wrist bands. We also have a nine-song demo we distribute to our fans.

Rees: Tell us how and when DBD was formed and some of the musical tastes coming from each member that make the music what it is.

Bruce: Devilz formed officially last August as a full-force band and started writing material and playing shows immediately. As far as musical tastes, I’m big into metal of all genres from Black Sabbath to Lamb of God and back, as well as old rock n’ roll. Noob is definitely more into punk/hardcore like Anthrax, NOFX, Choking Victim, Leftover Crack, and Slayer. Good shit. Markuz (our bassist) is into a wide variety of music from Red Hot Chili Peppers all the way to Dying Fetus and Belphegor. “The Alien” (our guitarist, Mat) is an 80’s hair metal kind of guy and definitely death/speed metal as you can clearly tell in his style. And Mailbox (DBD’s drummer) is odd-ball. He has a hip hop/ jazz background and has been integrating metal into his style just since we formed.

Rees: How often does the band jam? Do you think having your very own jam space contributed to your success in the first year?

Bruce: We jam twice a week every week no exceptions. Having our own jam space definitely helped not only our success but keeping band camaraderie up, which keeps that energy pounding through our sound.

Rees: At the Venue Rock Parlor Battle of the Bands this year Devilz made it to the final round. Was it business as usual, or did you put on a special game face for this show? Tell us some of the judges’ comments that really stuck with you.

Bruce: We for sure brought it a little harder at the BotB than usual. Not that we’re ever tame, but we were all amped to a new level. Things we heard from the judges that really stuck include being told by Mark McKenzie (a.k.a. The Baconator) that we were like the spawn of Pantera and Cannibal Corpse, as well as being told that if we aim our aggression towards Europe, we could make it. That’s always awesome to hear.

Rees: If you took a random member out of the band, would Devilz By Definition be the same? Explain.

"We're a brotherhood that lives for our music. Irreplaceable."

Bruce: I truly believe that if we replaced or removed any of our members we wouldn’t be the same Devilz that you hear now. We’re not just a band. We’re a brotherhood that lives for our music. Irreplaceable.

Rees: Your first year together must have been a huge blur of live shows, both in Windsor and out of town. Which show was the most fun for you personally, and what are you looking forward to doing as a band in 2012?

Bruce: I’d have to say the Battle of the Bands, and playing for Emancipation Fest at the new Amphitheatre by the river were the most fun thus far. Granted, we love the Coach and Horses like our home, but those shows were epic to me. So much fun. I’m looking forward to recording a full length CD this coming year and getting out there on a tour and meeting more awesome friends, fans, and of course, other kick-ass bands.

Rees: In your interactions with other bands in Windsor, have you found that bands here support each other and come out to shows even when they aren’t playing? What are your biggest “likes” and “dislikes” about local musicians’ attitudes?

Bruce: You know as far as the “scene” goes it has seemingly gone downhill from when we first started. Bands don’t even stick around for their owns shows half the time, let alone come out to shows they’re not playing. There’s a few that do but out of all the bands in the city and county it’s rare to receive support from most. We receive the most support from our building fan base. I think the problem with most of the bands here is that everyone thinks they’re the best. Too many Chiefs, not enough Injuns, you know? On the other hand they are great bands and regardless of attitude it’s still always good shows and good times. We just need to rebuild the scene the way it should be.

Rees: On a personal note, how did you become a tattoo artist? Has any of your own art been used to “brand the band?”

Bruce: I became a tattooist about four years ago when I decided it was something I wanted to accomplish. I’ve always had a love for art of all kinds and especially for tattoos so it only seemed natural. And yes, I’ve definitely branded it into Devilz By Definition. Noobie’s left upper sleeve is all my work and The Alien is wearing a couple of my favourite pieces.

Rees: When your vocalist Noobie broke his foot this summer, how did this affect the live shows you had booked already?

Bruce: When Noob broke his foot we kept our momentum for the summer shows we had booked but unfortunately we had to take September and October off. We used it to create some new dynamics and wrote some killer new material, though.

Rees: As for the music itself, how does one of your songs get created? Do the songs come together easily or is the process of perfecting it long and complicated?

Bruce: Well it’s safe to say that we have a unique style to writing our songs. I can’t really explain it but for the most part they come together almost unnaturally. We have a powerful chemistry that kind of just pulls our music together.

Rees: We want an album! Tell us what songs you picked for the new recording and when we can expect a copy in our hands.

Bruce: I can’t drop an entire track list but I will say that our new tracks that some of you may have heard at our Devilz Nite show will be hitting the album as well as a couple that we’ve been honing over the last year. It’ll be worth the wait, rest assured. As far as a release date, that’s still unknown to us, but we’re hoping by spring at the latest.

Rees: What are your goals for the future? Is this something you can see the band making money with one day? Would you ever go on tour as an opener to a big band, or are you hoping to be the big band one day?

Bruce: Our goals are simple: to make distinct sounding, hard hitting music and bring it to as many fans, both new and old, as possible. Money … That’s not an issue. Sure, making money to do what we love would be awesome, but it’s not necessarily a goal, not a driving force. We just love what we do. Touring with big bands would be fuckin’ ultimate and the thought of being that big band is intense altogether. Were just a home-town band doing our thing, and that stuff seems out of our world right now, if you know what I mean.

Rees: Tell us about the support DBD gets from family and friends. Do you find that many of your fans have become your friends throughout this process?

Bruce: Our support systems runs deep from both friends, family, and fans. I mean, we’ve had help funding our demo and merchandise from my family, as well as a tattoo fundraiser. Every show we play there are lots of heads banging and that’s why we do it. For sure a lot of fans we’ve met have become friends, and in some cases family. We all love and appreciate everyone involved with Devilz in any way.

Rees: What has been the biggest obstacle Devilz has faced this year? Do you see obstacles themselves as a thing to be overcome and conquered, or do they tend to go unresolved and cause bigger issues later, as they do with many other bands?

Bruce: Since forming as a band I’d say our biggest obstacle has been figuring out how to communicate musical ideas and song structure based on five very different mindsets and backgrounds. But once that was overcome the rest is history. We’ve only gained more speed. Obstacles are definitely something to be overcome. Dominated. It’s human nature. We try to solve all issues no matter how small immediately. Sometimes we’re successful, but sometimes not so much. The point is it always gets taken care of so that it doesn’t become a band-ending problem. It’s like any other relationship, but amplified by five.

Rees: What words would you have for a band just starting out that wants instant fame and glory?

Bruce: For a band with stars in their eyes, I would say that nothing in music comes instantly, regardless of talent. It takes hard work, dedication, and climbing a long ladder over time to gain respect and recognition before record labels will even look at you. If every kick- ass band could make it based solely on talent, Windsor alone would be full of famous people.

Rees: Finally, throw us a plug for your next show! When and where can Windsor Zene readers who have never heard of DBD come check out the band?

Bruce: Our next out of town show is the 26th of this month in London at the Richmond Tavern. But locally, we’re booked at the Coach and Horses with other awesome local talent such as Slaughterhouse on the Prairie (of which Bruce is also a member), NeanderTHRALL, and Repetitions on December 23rd. Please come out and enjoy some of the heaviest metal in Ontario. See you there!

 

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Comments
  1. DUCKSTER says:

    KEEP UP THE GREAT SOUNDS GUYS……. 🙂

  2. brandon/weezy says:

    look at this siick band keep it up guyss devilz by defenition rulee!

  3. […] will be hosting a night of metal on Friday, include scene staple Devilz By Definition, (check out a recent interview with band member Bruce Munro) Reasons Lost, heavy metal from Leamington, a new metal-core band from […]

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