18 Aug 2018

The Mixtape: Devilskin

From RNZ Music, 4:00 pm on 18 August 2018

Hamilton rockers Devilskin sell out shows all over the globe and are one of New Zealand's biggest independent bands. In the build-up to their latest nationwide tour, bassist Paul Martin and vocalist Jenny Skulander join us to select some of their favourite tunes for the RNZ Mixtape.

Black Sabbath - 'Hard Road'

Paul's choice

"I was growing up in Wellington, my dad was working at the post office in Newtown and there was a little record shop and I would go and waste time after school there. I’d never really listened to Black Sabbath but I saw the record cover for Never Say Die and thought it was pretty cool. I bought it, I think it was like three dollars or something back in the day.

"I really connected with the band on that album especially: their songwriting and just the use of lyrics. Geezer Butler wrote all the early lyrics and his imagery really struck a chord with me.

"I ended up going back to that record store week after week and buying different Black Sabbath records. I got them all in a higgledy-piggledy order, but each one opened up a whole new world to me.

"'Hard Road' was a bit of an awakening and it's stayed with me for years because I’ve used excerpts from the song's lyrics to remember my mother every year. She passed away when I was quite young, so every year I put a little thing in the local paper and use a snippet of these lyrics to remember her."

The Mars Volta - 'Roulette Dares'

Jenny's choice

"This is probably my favourite song of all time. I’m not sure if people who listen to Devilskin would think that I’d be a fan but I am a massive Mars Volta fan. I’ve seen them live five times.

"I remember I was into At The Drive-In [which included members of The Mars Volta - Cedric Bixler and Omar Rodríguez], when I was a bit younger but hadn’t heard anything like The Mars Volta.

"When they released Delousing the Crematorium - which this song is from - after that my days of listening to just metal-core was over. This song is amazing, full of emotion. It’s long, but it’s got so many parts to it. It’s one of those songs I could listen to over and over again."

Glen Campbell - 'Galveston'

Paul's choice

"This one came out in 1969. My mum and dad used to listen to Glen Campbell and Howard Morrison and all sorts of music. This song I just loved - the guitar tones and his voice are just amazing.

"Then getting a bit older and just the lyrics really struck me. It was written by Jimmy Webb [a professional songwriter who composed songs including 'By the Time I Get to Phoenix' and 'Wichita Lineman'] who did his own version in 1972, which was really cool too, but Glen Campbell’s version was the first one I heard and it was just super emotive and just beautiful songwriting."

Stellar - 'What You Do'

Jenny's choice

"I was fourteen when this came out. That was the time when I really started to get in to music and I was watching bands in the music room at school. I was thinking I would love to be a singer in a band, but I didn’t feel like I could do it.

"I remember seeing Stellar on TV - Boh Runga with her bright red hair and playing the guitar - and just thinking, 'Oh my god, here’s a woman doing it and she’s a Kiwi,' and I sort of had a light bulb moment where I realised, 'I have to do this. I want to be in a band.'"

Pantera - 'This Love'

Paul's choice

"When I first heard Pantera - the Cowboys From Hell album, which was their third album, but the first one that really put them on the map - Dimebag’s guitar playing was just out of this world. I hadn’t been struck by a guitar player since Randy Rhoads who turned up with Ozzy Osbourne. It just captured me.

"Then when [Panter's sixth album] Vulgar Display of Power came out and featured 'This Love'... just the production, the sound and the depth that the song had. The production blew me away: the clean juxtaposed against the really heavy.

"The lyrics are really beautiful too man. It’s quite a trip. This song was the first of the new school stuff that really blew me away. It’s been non-stop since."

Deftones - 'Diamond Eyes'

Jenny's choice

"Deftones have been one of my all-time favourite bands since I was a teenager and even to this day. 'Diamond Eyes' is a song I play a lot when I’m on tour or am away from home. It’s one of those bands I normally play to hype me up before shows.

"They’re a cool band and they’ve got a cool style and a cool sound and I hope they just keep going."

Blackjack - 'Now You Fly'

Paul's choice

"This is a bit of shameless self-promotion I guess [Paul's in the band]. It was a while ago now and we [Blackjack] put a lot of hard work into what we were doing at the time and achieved some minor success.

"This song was the first independent Kiwi song to chart in fourteen or fifteen years at the time. Since the Clean’s ‘Boodle Boodle Boodle’ I believe. We did a couple of albums and slogged our guts out like every other band in the country, and then it all exploded like many do.

I wrote 'Now You Fly' basically about losing a good friend in a car accident and also losing my mother at a young age. So kind of rolling both those things into one song about despair and depression and trying to make it a little bit uplifting. It seemed to strike a note with a lot of people and this seems to be the one that the band are best remembered for."

Jeff Buckley - Lover, You Should Have Come Over

Jenny's choice

"Just a big fan of him really and the album Grace. My daughter’s middle name is Grace actually - named after this album. This is another song that I like to listen to in warm-up for a show, just because of his vocal range in the song.

"I think it’s a beautiful, emotional song"

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    Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

    Music details:

    Artist: Black Sabbath
    Song: Hard Road
    Composer: O. Osbourne, T. Iommi, Geezer Butler, B. Ward
    Album: Never Say Die
    Label:  Warner

    Artist: The Mars Volta
    Song: Roulette Dares
    Composer: Omar Rodríguez-López & Cedric Bixler-Zavala
    Album: De-Loused in the Comatorium
    Label: Gold Standard Laboratories

    Artist: Glen Campbell
    Song: Galveston
    Composer: J. Webb
    Album: Galveston
    Label: Capitol

    Artist: Stellar
    Song: What You Do
    Composer: B. Runga
    Album: Mix
    Label: Sony

    Artist: Pantera
    Song: This Love
    Composer: Pantera
    Album: Vulgar display of power
    Label: Atco Records

    Artist: Deftones
    Song: Diamond Eyes
    Composer: Stephen Carpenter, Abe Cunningham, Chino Moreno, Frank Delgado, Sergio Vega
    Album: Diamond Eyes
    Label:  Reprise

    Artist: Blackjack
    Song: Now You Fly
    Composer: P. Martin
    Album: Deal
    Label: Hark Records

    Artist: J. Buckley  
    Song: Lover, you should have come over
    Composer: J. Buckley
    Album: Grace
    Label: Columbia