2016 Devil You Know interview with Francesco Artusato
Devil You Know began its young existence in 2012 as a side project for drummer John Sankey (Devolved) and guitarist Francesco Artusato (All Shall Perish). The duo began kicking the tires on song ideas, and eventually reached out to former Killswitch Engage vocalist Howard Jones. Jones liked what he heard but was initially reticent about any commitment to joining a band. As the songs and project evolved Jones gave in and joined the group. The band’s debut, The Beauty of Destruction, was recorded and released to unexpected success. Bassist Ryan Wombacher (Bleeding Through) was added to the line-up in time for their first tour.
Now with two years of touring together under their belt, Devil You Know has released its sophomore album, They Bleed Red, and what began as a project has solidified into a true band. This week, Devil You Know hit the road, to headline its Make America Metal Again Tour. Metalholic chatted with Artusato about the tour, the new record, and the young new band ONI they are taking out with them.
“Absolutely. The first record was totally—we were all in different bands. Howard didn’t know if he even wanted to be involved with another band. For him it was kind of like, ‘I’m just gonna have fun.’ So that was the attitude. With that attitude comes more–who cares? Let’s do whatever. To me, to be honest with you, some of the songs sounded more immature. We were signed before writing the record. It was like, okay let’s write the music now. It’s kind of cool but very different and unusual. Then this record we had more in mind what we wanted to do and we had already been on tour and we knew with this group of people what works well live. We see people’s reactions to certain songs and parts. Now if I’m writing a part, I know Howard’s voice a lot better and I’m thinking of things to compliment his vocals.”
Knowing each other better and developing their chemistry live is not the only factor that played into They Bleed Red being an overall stronger more cohesive record, this time they worked with producer Josh Wilbur (Lamb of God, Megadeth, Gojira) as well.
“We worked with an extremely talented producer. I really think we found the right producer for the sound we’re looking for. When we started writing and talking about this record everybody thought, ‘okay, let’s make this one heavier.’ I probably, more than the other guys, like the progressive element and you can still hear it. Even the song you wouldn’t expect kind of gets to like different places which is more like a progressive mentality of writing. But then you also have songs that are really simple, more hardcore. So there’s still variety.”
Catch the full interview with Francesco below as he talks about some of the songs on the record, why John Boecklin is playing drums on the current tour, and his thoughts on the state of American politics. Get ready to catch them on the road this spring.