For Austrian musician and songwriter Peter Royburger writing music for his one-man project Devcord is a fun and enjoyable process. And this can certainly be heard on the project’s sophomore release–this year’s GODISNOWHERE. Coming out some three years after the debut Dysthymia, Royburger gives his creative everything on GODISNOWHERE, delivering a powerful combination of progressive and death metal in the way of Opeth‘s pre-Heritage era.
You have recently launched a new full-length album with Devcord entitled GODISNOWHERE. How do you feel about the release?
I am satisfied and also relieved to have completed the project. Towards the end of the production, I had time pressure because the birth of my daughter was just around the corner. But everything turned out nicely. The album is out and my daughter Mona, who was born a few weeks after the production ended, is doing great!
Where does the new record stand comparing to the debut album—2018’s Dysthymia?
I would say that compared to my first album the new one includes more different styles and sounds. For me, GODISNOWHERE simply is a musical addition to Dysthymia and in general to my musical repertoire.
I do not only make music because the creation process is fun, I also make music to enjoy listening to it myself. Actually, that was the reason why I started Devcord. I just wanted more of a special kind of music to listen to.
How much of a challenge was it to work on GODISNOWHERE?
I am not a professional sound engineer. Finding a satisfying sound is always a challenge for me. Sometimes you sit for hours just for an optimal snare sound. After all, you want to get the best possible out of the record and, ideally, improve the sound of the first album and that put me a little under pressure. In addition, I didn’t want to waste too much time between the first and the second album. I never had this stress with Dysthymia (the first record). In summary, I can say that the time factor was my greatest challenge on GODISNOWHERE. And as already mentioned, my unborn daughter ultimately set the deadline.
Speaking of challenges, have you set any in the early phase of what has become the final result?
I didn’t really have any expectations or set musical frameworks from the start. Almost each song was created step by step, just by improvising and working on them. I just started playing, recorded what I liked and added it to create my songs. So they literally are pieces of “progressive” work.
Tell me about the topics you explore on these new songs.
I am very interested in human behaviour and the dynamics of society in their most questionable forms. That is why there are topics such as decadence, narcissism, antipathy, cynicism, pedophilia in my music and especially on the new album. Most pop songs are about love, I think it is wiser to use music to point out issues.
What is your opinion about the progressive rock/metal scene in 2021?
I have to admit that in the last few years I’ve become a little lazy when it comes to exploring new bands, although nowadays it is easier to discover new music with Spotify or genre-specific online magazines. And I also have to admit that I´m more and more into the music of the 70’s and 80’s. Nevertheless, I keep finding new “rough diamonds”. So I think the rock and metal scene is in good health in 2021 still.
Perhaps it is also worth mentioning that the following albums are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year.
Nirvana – Nevermind, Soundgarden – Badmotorfinger, Metallica – The Black Album, Red Hot Chili Peppers – Blood Sugar Sex Magic, Guns n´ Roses – Use Your Illusion I+II, and some more…
Let me know about your influences—the artists that in a way shaped and continue to shape the music of Devcord.
I can’t deny that Opeth’s influence is very strong. But other artists definitely also have an impact on my musical work. I’m thinking of Alice in Chains, Haken, Sepultura, Extol, Wilderun, but also bands like Toto, Led Zeppelin, Steven Wilson and Eagles played a little role for Devcord. Besides, I like to listen to orchestral music, which you can easily hear on GODISNOWHERE in the pieces “Silhouette” and “Entreat The Purge”. I also wanted to include sounds from different decades on the new record. For example, “The Lament” and “Scourge Of The Present” sound more like 70’s progressive rock than modern metal. That was really important to me: creating different sounds.
What are your top 5 records of all time?
Since I’ve released two metal records, my top 5 may come as a surprise as there is only one metal album included. But I have to say that the following (unsorted) list is about those who have touched me the most in my life.
Opeth – Watershed
Nirvana – Nevermind
Foo Fighters – The colour and the shape
Silverchair – Diorama
Muse – Absolution
Besides the release of the album, are there any other plans for the future?
Definitely! The only question is when. I’m currently thinking about doing something like an EP for Devcord in the next few years with quieter and more atmospheric songs. In addition, a few years ago I started an industrial metal project called “Optimum 10” with a friend, which has been pushed into the background due to the work of GODISNOWHERE. Now, I can fully concentrate on Optimum 10. All songs have already been recorded. Unfortunately, almost all of the vocal parts, as well as mixing and mastering, are still missing. But I can’t say at all when it will be published.
Any words for the potential new fans?
Welcome to the world of Devcord and enjoy the melodies!