1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
Like with most other bands and musicians the global pandemic has forced us to cancel any plans of playing shows. Fortunately (if that is the correct way to look at it), we only had one show booked before the outbreak, but we probably won’t be able to have a proper release party either. We recorded “Rotting dreams…” as a trio, but we are looking to get a new second guitarist, so some of the time has been spent trying to sort that. Also, we recorded the album before signing to a label, so we spent time negotiating a deal. And of course, we have started thinking about the next album. At this point there is very little written, but because there will not be any shows to play for some time, I think writing is the obvious thing to do as a band now.
2.You have a new album coming out in December, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
I think the new album is a bit more diverse than the previous two albums, as we have some doomy elements on this one, and a touch of industrial as well. I also think there is more old school Death Metal on this one than on the previous album. But I still think it sounds like a natural follow-up to “Lightning Bolts”, and all the elements from the last two albums are still there, and plentiful. It is relentless.
3.From 2005 to 2018 there was no new music being released, can you tell us a little bit more about what was going on during that time frame?
After “Ravenous …” was released we did the usual thing, played some shows and started writing new material. Sadly though, it soon became evident that our drummer Blod had to stand down, and the band eventually ended up being just me and Violator. On top of that, our label at the time (Tabu) lost its steam and eventually went out of business, so our contract was obviously not renewed. The band just faded away, as I was also busy with Gehenna for a few years after that. The Deviant was basically on hiatus for most of those years. We restarted the band in 2014 or thereabout, with a new drummer called Bomber (whom had also played with Violator in 122 Stabwounds) and a new guitarist called Ruiner. We set about writing for “Lightning Bolts”, end ended up using most of the material we had worked on prior to the hiatus.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years/
To sum it up short, the lyrics are about the darker sides of existence, the darker sides of humanity. Some of the lyrics have occult themes, and some have themes of war, and some are just about being who we are. I think as we progress, we try to expand both the musical and lyrical expression, and I personally feel there are more themes I am comfortable writing about today, than there was when I first started in music. Looking back at all these years (including pre- The Deviant), it is also fairly evident that we have incorporated more elements in the music and that our writing evolves and gets more complex as we get better and learn more just as instrumentalists and writers. I think today we have reached the point where we are comfortable writing both very simple and more complex material, so long as the feel is right.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'The Deviant'?
The name is inspired by the song “Circle of Beliefs” by Slayer. It just had the right feel to it. We know it is not the most original name in the world, and when we first signed with Tabu for “Ravenous…” we did for a very short time consider changing the name to avoid any confusion. In the end, though, we just said Fuck it, and went with our gut feeling.
6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
The theme of the vulture and of carrion is from some of the lyrics on the album. The vulture can be many things, and although I am very in favor of letting people have the pleasure of interpreting art themselves (not just from album covers, but art in general), I think one possible way to interpret the vulture is as a symbol of the opportunist, feeding on the sick and the weak. But there are other possibilities! In the lyrics the vulture is also linked to the warmachine, and inside the album artwork you will also find a link to a more traditional rock/metal use of the vulture. We also wanted it to have a visual link to the previous two albums, in tone and presentation. I do not think we can ever have colors on an album cover, hehe…. We had great help from the designer REH, who also did the artwork on “Lightning Bolts”, in getting our visions and ideas for the artwork to look right.
7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
So far, our shows have been clubs and small festivals, and The Deviant have never played outside of Norway yet. In general, a great show is one where there is a lot of energy both from the band and the crowd. The Inferno festival in 2006, and one of the local shows (Tribute, Sandnes) shortly after the release of “Lightning Bolts” are both fond memories, but most shows have been energetic and good. We do not, at this point at least, have any pyro or effects. It is just us, lights and sound. Stripped to the bone, I guess you could say. Energy and music.
8.The new album is coming out on 'Soulseller Records', how would you compare working with this label to your previous label 'Tabu Recordings'?
The business has changed quite a lot in the 15 years between us being signed to Tabu and Soulseller. I think to a certain extent the business was still struggling a bit with the aftermath of the filesharing/nappster-thing in 2005, whereas now labels and the business have at least found some ways of using the new technologies and come to grips with the changes. Back in 2005 it was still mostly about trying to sell cds, whereas now we have several digital solutions, as well as physical (cd and lp). So, we see that Soulseller have a very different way of working with promotion and digital distribution, stuff that was not necessarily possible or available in 2005. It might be a bit difficult to compare the two because of this, but I will say that I feel Soulseller is A LOT more involved than I think Tabu were. Tabu spent a bit of money making a video and trying to promote the band that way, but it felt a bit like they gave up after that. In the end they gave up the entire label though, so that probably explains quite a bit, hehe… Tabu gave us a shot, and they tried to make things work for a while, so I will salute them for that. My main thorn in that side now is that Tabu sold their catalog, and today we do not have any control over the “Ravenous…” album or any contact with the label who owns it.
9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black and death metal?
Mostly it has been good. Some will of course compare it to bands and music we have been involved in prior to The Deviant, which is understandable: But I am pleased to say that for the most part people judge it as its own thing. I also get the impression that we appeal to people from both the Black Metal and the Death Metal parts of the audience. There will always be a few who do not like it, for whatever reason, but that is fine. We all have different tastes and preferences in music. We do not have a very mainstream appeal of course, most nobody in this genre does, and we do not aim to be rock stars, haha, so as long as we can reach out to as many as possible within the limitations of the genre, we are very pleased.
10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I do not think there will be a major leap from this album to the next. Just enough of a development to make it stand on its own, and not be a “part II” of any of our previous releases. As of writing we are very early in the process, so I cant really say anything for sure, but we are very pleased with where we are at musically, and I do not think we want to stray to far off the path. That being said, we are not afraid of experimenting a bit, so long as the core identity of our music is still there.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Right now I am listening to the new Isengard album, “Vårjevndøgn”. A bit of a mixed bag I think, but mostly enjoyable. Anyway, I tend to listen to the same bands I listened to years ago, and I confess I am not very good at checking out new bands and artists (although it does happen). I think you can hear on “Rotting Dreams….” that we have been listening to a bit of late 8os and early 90s Death Metal lately. As well as Bathory, which have been a major influence always. I am also very into regular/classic (whatever you want to call it) heavy metal, and bands like W.A.S.P., Judas Priest, Kiss and many more have been a part of my musical diet since I was a kid really. And early thrash bands like Slayer, Megadeth, first few Metallica. And Possessed was also a big thing early on.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Yeah, I feel like I am promoting two albums at the same time, both “Rotting Dreams of Carrion” and “Lightning Bolts”. We released “Lightning…” ourselves, and did a very poor job at promoting it, so it mostly went under the radar. “Rotting Dreams… is still a few weeks away from release, so people interested in the band should check out “Lightning Bolts” while waiting for the new album. Thanks for the support and interest, keep it burning!!! Dolgar