DVNE – band from Scotland is going to release their second full-length album. I had the opportunity to talk with the vocalist and guitarist of the band – Victor Vicart about the creation process, the concept of the album and changes in the sound of the group.

You’re working on a new album. How does it go so far?

It’s almost finished. We’re ending mixing and then we’re going to move to the mastering which is happening probably in a week or two. When that’s finished, we just going to move on to add salt to songs. Artwork is also finished. 

When can we expect it’s release?

That’s a good question. It will be in 2020, but I don’t know when exactly. I’d rather not speculate. We’re waiting for the label to put a date to it.

You said that you don’t want to make an Asheran 2 so what can we expect this time? 

It’s definitely us but it’s very different. A bit more complex at first, but also feels more mature too. Still very melodic and heavy. The main difference is we’ve added synths and keys. We’ve got a synths player, he wrote quite a lot of a new part for this album and it sounds cool. We’ll really dig it. Sci-fi is a big part of DVNE overall, especially wizard concepts and all these kinds of things. Synths helps us musically but also in term of atmosphere. It gives a really cool vibe to the song sometime, a bit of retro kind of the 70s or 80s. Sometimes it gives proper weight to some parts in the music. lt’s just great for textures. I love it personally.

Does this album have any theme like it was on Asheran

Asheran was a story of a civilization coming back to their homeland planet which they left in the miserable state. This story is a bit different. We all have our own interpretation of it, but mine is that it’s a society that has been building enormous cities around big towers. On top of them live more wealthiest people and on the bottom live the normal population or the poor. The top one is so powerful that they kind of made themselves godly, like celestial figures. Essentially it’s about the rise and the fall of this civilization. Everything that goes into it says tons of different topics that are getting touched on. It’s a dystopian society that we went into. When people are gonna read through the lyrics that will give a good understanding of the vision we have for it, but I think people will make their own interpretation of it as well.

How your working process looks like when you enter the studio?

When we went into the studio I guess the music and the structure overall were 80% done. We had all of the tracks nearly finished by that time. We demoed quite a lot of them – drums and guitar mostly. Then in the studio, we recorded the drums and did a track-by-track. I think it worked well because this gave us time to be creative in the studio and try some other things. Actually, we changed some of the structure as well. It’s pretty much the same as with Asheran. The drummer, the bassist and I wrote quite a lot of the music together. We just rehash it until we were happy with what we had and the structure starts making sense. Also, our sound engineer and producer Graeme has been really involved as well giving us straight feedback as we were recording it for instance. If something didn’t make much sense he would tell us. Sometimes he just comes with suggestions as well. It’s always good to work with him. He’s the same guy who worked on Asheran as well.

As you said – since Asheran times band members have changed. How did it happen?

When you go on tour and spend 3-4 days in the practice place it clearly shows that at some point your social life is dead (laughs). Our previous bassist Allan, who worked on Asheran, has two kids. It’s not really suitable for him to spend that much time playing music with us, which is a shame. We’ve had another guy for a while on bass, but that wasn’t working out. Essentially we got two guys from the band which play progressive sludge metal. We were good friends with them and asked them to join us on keys and bass. The good part is both of them are really good guitarist as well. It allows us to have a wider range of ideas coming from everyone in the band. Since then it’s been pretty stable. I don’t see no one wants to go anywhere. I think we all are in the same place and want to do the same things, which is just releasing this album, going on tour and making more music.

Why did you decide to add specifically the keyboard?

We had a bit of keys on Asheran. They were more textural, not leading like guitars or vocals would be, but they were there. For me, it’s been something I had in the back of my head for a long time. My first instrument was a keyboard. I wanted to dig into that. Our taste also has changed and evolved with time. We are listening much more varied stuff as we grow up and getting older. It also allows us to do something completely different than the previous album. Also, sci-fi is a big thing for us. If you watch any sci-fi movies or animation – synths and keys are all over there. Some of my favorite soundtracks are using them. That makes sense of concept stories. When you listen to music it becomes as much cinematic as it is. That’s the best decision we’ve made recently in the band and I’m really excited to see what’s going to come next after that. See how are we going to push the keys on the next album.

What was the hardest part of making a record?

Recording is not that hard. I guess the toughest thing is coming up with fresh material. Like how always coming up with something that doesn’t feel like the last album. Something that feels also better than the last songs you made, challenges you musically that’s probably the hardest. Then once you are recording it’s finding places for the different instrument to sit because there is two guitars, bass, drums, synths, and vocals. The music is quite fast-paced. Because of it, you don’t have that much space sonically for things to actually shine through so that was extremely tricky. All comes down to how you record your instruments and the mix is done. We’ve got a good producer. I think it’s coming together very nicely, you start hearing the definition between the instrument which is extremely tricky when you’ve got so much going on. 

Have you ever been in a situation that you got an extremely different vision about one song?

Yeah, of course. Especially when we start coming up with the initial ideas. Let’s say someone brings a riff to the practice place. We’re going to shred it to peace and try to come up with the best version of that riff. The thing is that the arrangement is very democratic in the band. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse, but it means everyone gets a chance to have a say on the songs and I think most of the time it’s rare that someone gets voted out. It tends to be that everyone had something to say about the song. We usually go for something that pleases everyone. I wouldn’t say that we had drastically different visions. It’s been pretty like a seamless on that side of things. 

Have you had an opportunity to play new songs for the audience?

We are doing that next week. We’re playing a show in London. Then we’re going to Berlin and Cracow of course. We’re gonna play a couple of new songs. We’re excited about that. Moving from the studio to making those songs happen liv is a challenge but it’s super exciting. It feels as fresh as well to do new things.

Have you thought about making any visualizations for the concept of the album for live shows?

Yes, since Asheran we wanted to do that kind of thing. We’ll do it when the time is right and when we’ve got the money as well for it because obviously, you need to get an artist who is involved. We can do a lot of things in the band. We can have some time coming up with some designs but the animation is another set of skills. If we’ll do it we want to do it right and in a place where it’s going to look great. Besides that, it’s a massive amount of logistics to get something right. We will push towards that in the future, but I think right now is not the right time for it.

Thank you for the interview and see you in Cracow!

Piotr Kleszewski