After first coming to the attention of the public and critics with their debut album Takin' Over, New Device have seen their popularity skyrocket -- as well as having been lucky enough to tour with the one and only Bon Jovi.
Now, having challenged themselves to release four interlinked records within 12 months -- an impressive feat of creativity if ever there was one -- the band are set to release the second album in the collection, Devils On The Run, on September 30th. With a busy few months ahead, vocalist Daniel Leigh kindly agreed to this interview to chat new music, tour plans and ultimate ambitions.
PW: Please introduce yourself.
Daniel Leigh: My name is Daniel Leigh, and I am the vocalist for New Device.
PW: How would you describe your music in a few words?
DL: Melodic hard rock.
PW: When did you realize you wanted to make music a career? Was there an album you bought or concert you attended that inspired you?
DL: I think I was seventeen when I decided that I wanted to be a musician. I had been playing music in bands for about three years, but, when all I was looking forward to doing was playing music, I realised that I had found a path.
PW: Which bands or artists influenced you growing up, and have those influences changed over the years?
DL: The most inspiring records in my early years were Nevermind by Nirvana and Load by Metallica. I don't listen to either of these bands much anymore, but, when I do, I can hear the teachings from their work in the music I write. My music taste is very eclectic. I like a great deal of artists from Robert Palmer to Trent Reznor to Imogen Heap. I like good beats and a good melody. I think every artist has a great deal of dead wood, but there are few out there that don't have at least one thing that grabs my attention -- and I'm always listening for inspiration.
PW: Is there a band or artist you might say you're similar to?
DL: I'm sure this would be best answered by someone else, but we have been likened to Alter Bridge, Guns 'n' Roses, Bon Jovi and many more.
PW: Tell me about your upcoming album, Devils On The Run. How would you sum it up?
DL: Devils On The Run is the second installment of four releases over the next 12 months. The four releases consist of our live album, two electric EPs and an acoustic-based record. It’ll make you want to dance, make you want to rock, creep you out and tug on your heart strings.
PW: Do you have a favorite track on the collection, and, if so, which is it and why?
DL: It's hard to say which song is my favorite on the record, but I like how the audiences have been responding to ”Hollywood Radio.”
PW: Who or what most inspires your song-writing?
DL: As a song-writer, I'm constantly looking to tighten up my craft. This means diving deep into the inner workings of a song. Learning from song-writing masters such as Ralph Murphy, my understanding of writing and making music have grown considerably.
PW: In your opinion, which is the greatest song ever written and why?
DL: The greatest song -- or the song with the most relevance in my life -- would have to be “Smells Like Teen Spirit” for the simple reason that it made me want to play guitar, and it was the song that I played to death throughout my teenage years. It was simple yet filled with metaphors, calm and hauntingly aggressive, which made for a very powerful impact on me in my early years. I still love to hear it now.
PW: What are your upcoming performance plans?
DL: We are wrapping up a string of UK dates now and are prepping for TV and radio performances. We are booking shows for later in the year and 2017. We are playing at the Camden Underworld on the 14th September, which is going to be a great night!
PW: You've already supported Bon Jovi and Backyard Babies, among others, but, if you could share a stage with three other bands or artists (who can be living or dead), who would they be, and where would you play?
DL: I think I'd have to do something really weird if that wish could be granted. I'd have to resurrect Beethoven to conduct an orchestra, resurrect Phil Lynott on bass and vocals, and resurrect Garry Moore on guitar and vocals -- that would be a great performance! We'd play at the Sydney Opera House.
PW: What are your thoughts on social media, and would you agree it's a vital tool for bands and artists today?
DL: I agree that it is vital because everyone is plugged in to their phones these days -- even now I am typing up this interview on my phone! If you asked me if it's had a positive effect on the industry, I'd have to say no. I think that things are going to need to change if the industry is going to survive in a way that guys like me can call themselves "professional" musicians. Too many promoters now only promote through Facebook pages and think that is all you need to do. There is something very anti-social about social networking, and, while the popularity of social media continues to rise, the venues that support the rock scene continue to die.
PW: What else does the rest of the year have in store for you?
DL: Along with playing shows, we are getting to grips with writing our next record. We have finished recording the acoustic record and are booking shows to promote the record in 2017.
PW: Finally, then, what's your ultimate ambition as a band, and, with that in mind, whose career would you most like to emulate and why?
DL: In today's day and age, I think that earning a living from making your own music is an ultimate ambition. I don't think that any of the musicians that have come before me have a career that could be emulated now. The money and paradigm that was in place in the 80s and 90s just isn't there anymore. I think that, if bands are going to survive, we are going to have to start thinking outside of the box in a big way! It would be very nice to have a career like Axl Rose or Gene Simmons, but even those guys are crying about the way the industry is now. I'm in competition with no one but myself, and all I want is to be the best I can be and take New Device as far as it can go in this crazy industry. I love music, and I love writing it and performing it and meeting all the characters on the way -- as far as adventures go, it's been a pretty amazing one so far!