Local peak in mind for music

2016-10-04 06:00
DevilSpeak, whose name was inspired by our local mountain, will be rocking out for charity this weekend.  PHOTO: Keets Designs And Photography

DevilSpeak, whose name was inspired by our local mountain, will be rocking out for charity this weekend. PHOTO: Keets Designs And Photography

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Don’t let their name fool you.

Their name may conjure up images of fire and brimstone, but underneath the tough persona, the DevilSpeak members are actually a band with lots of heart.

In fact, the local thrash metal act will be showing just how big their hearts are when they host the South African leg of a series of charity concerts at Aandklas in Stellenbosch this weekend.

The show forms part of a Local Aid initiative, started by UK-based Live in the Living Room, which will see six events taking place across three different continents on the same night. Each show will be raising funds for a local charity near the venue.

In the case of Local Aid South Africa, funds and donations collected will go to the Stellenbosch Animal Welfare Society.

DevilSpeak have enlisted the help of bands Nebula Disrupt and Subject to Slaughter to also perform on the night.

So just where does this band’s dark name come from? It’s a nod to the beautiful mountain that looms over their rehearsal space: Devil’s Peak. “It’s a play on words,” bassist Derrick Leppan from Milkwood Park explains. “We’re trying to say we’re a metal band and we’re from Cape Town.”

When they chose the name, it was at a time where there were talks of changing the mountain’s name. Rhythm guitarist Aza­liyah Bester from District Six points out: “It’s kind of like preservation.”

The band got their start in 2009 when lead guitarist De Wet Loots from Bothasig posted a Gumtree advert looking for someone to cover Slayer songs. Azaliyah answered the call and the two showed each other their original material. They were later joined by Derrick, forming a band under another name.

They came across Oranjezicht vocalist Jarred Williams when he also posted an ad looking for a band on Gumtree. Drummer Francois Meyer from Muizenberg joined the fold after the group heard him jamming on his own. They invited him to come and listen to their stuff.

By 2014 the current line-up changed their name to DevilSpeak, and the rest, as they say, is history.

They practised “solidly” for about seven months before getting up on stage. “Since then we’ve played about 30 shows,” Derrick says.

Some of those shows include opening for international acts and bands from Johannesburg.

In June they were awarded the Best Newcomer prize at the South African Metal Awards.

Although DevilSpeak are still working on their debut EP, they released their first single, “Violently leading the blind”, in September last year. Jarred says: “That single has taken us pretty far in the right hands.” The track has received lots of airplay on overseas radio stations, including Rock Radio UK, who asked them to bring the Local Aid initiative to South Africa.

Jarred describes DevilSpeak’s music as melodic and entertaining. “It’s death metal with a hint of thrash,” Derrick says, before Azaliyah quickly adds: “For someone who hasn’t experienced metal before it will probably sound like your brain being drilled right through, but in a very rhythmic and melodic way.”

“It’s high energy, fast and loud,” she says.

Metal fans can experience DevilSpeak in action at their Local Aid show at Aandklas in Stellenbosch on Saturday.

The entry fee for the night is R20 at the door, but the audience is invited to donate more if they’d like to. DevilSpeak are also encouraging audience members to bring along donations of pet food, blankets and toys. You can also donate to Animal Welfare Society Stellenbosch directly if unable to attend the event. V For more information about DevilSpeak, visit www.facebook.com/devilspeakofficial. For more about Local Aid South Africa, visit the Facebook page with the same name, where you’ll also find links to more about the other bands performing and other Local Aid events.

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