DevilDriver Interview

Napalm Records

There have been several lineup changes in the three years between the release of Dealing With Demons, Volume I and Dealing With Demons, Volume II. Guitarist Mike Spreitzer fills us in on those changes, the second installment of the album, tour plans and more.

Chad Bowar: What led to bassist Jon Miller’s return to the band?
Mike Spreitzer: Jon and Dez started re-kindling their friendship a few years ago over text messaging. I don’t think Jon had the intention of coming back to DevilDriver when they first started talking again but it eventually led to conversations between the three of us about him returning.

What has been the effect of guitarist Alex Lee’s addition to the group? How do your styles complement each other?
Alex brings a very positive vibe into the DevilDriver camp. He’s an absolute shredder and I’m sure he’ll be a fundamental part of the writing process for the next record.

Was Dealing With Demons Vol. II recorded at the same time as the first installment, or was it recorded with the current lineup?
All 20 songs were recorded at the same time between July 2018 and February 2019.

What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
For some reason the pre-production we did in Chino, CA is the most memorable. It’s something we have never done before as a band.

How would you characterize the similarities and differences between the two albums?
Think of Volume 1 and 2 as whole movie. Volume 2 is the second half.

With so many albums under your belt now, is it easier to write songs because you have so much experience doing it, or is it a challenge to not repeat yourself?
It’s always a challenge to write music. The only thing that has become easier is avoiding writer’s block. Over the years I’ve discovered techniques to work around it.

How was the video shoot for “If Blood Is Life”?
Too easy. It’s all composed of live footage from the last tour we did with Cradle of Filth.

Do you enjoy filming videos, or it a necessary evil for promotion?
I don’t love shooting music videos but I don’t hate it. It’s 100 percent necessary. I think it’s important to have visual candy for the fans.

With how the music industry has changed, how do you go about setting expectations for a new album these days?
I used to focus heavily on first-week sales. These days, I tend to pay attention to the number of streams more than anything else.

There has been a huge resurgence in vinyl over the past several years. Are you a collector?
Yes and no. I raided my father’s collection many years ago but I don’t listen to them very often. I only buy vinyl that was recorded pre-2000 on analog gear.

What were some of the highlights of your recent tour with Cradle Of Filth?
Albuquerque, New Mexico. I don’t have a happy history with that city (long story). But this last time we played there was one of the coolest shows on the tour. Cradle of Filth pranked us while we were playing “Sail” and apparently someone shit in the pit during our set. I’m not kidding.

How did the inability to tour during the pandemic affect your perspective about life on the road when you were able to get back out there?
The fact that I might have outgrown the touring lifestyle was weighing heavily on me for a the last couple years. But as soon as I stepped on to the bus it felt like home. I can honestly say it was one of the most fun tours I’ve been on since 2004.

With some downtime between legs of the tour, what are your plans for this summer?
Writing a new record with Jon Miller and surfing as much as I can.

What’s the timeline for the next outlaw country covers album?
I don’t see an Outlaws Vol. 2 happening anytime soon.

What are some of your non-musical interests and hobbies?
Surfing, surfing, and surfing.

What’s the best thing you’ve binge watched lately?
I’m currently watching “The Last of Us.” So far it’s damn good.

Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Dealing with Demons Vol. 2 is coming May 12th!!!!

(interview published May 11, 2023)

Watch DevilDriver – “If Blood Is Life” Video


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