DEVILDRIVER have been an important face in the American Heavy Metal scenario. Nearly a decade and a half into its existence, the band has written some tunes that remains an anthem to many such as, Clouds Over California, End of The Line to name a few. The band recently released their album Trust No One via Napalm Records and have been touring extensively. We are interacting with the guitarist Mike Spreitzer. Here is the quick interview we did. Excerpts:
MJM. Tell us about your early days with DevilDriver. How did the band enter your life?
Mike: When I was in college I joined a band called Grolby along side Jeff Kendrick, John Boecklin and Jon Miller. The band didn’t last long after I joined and one by one we all eventually became a part of DevilDriver. I wasn’t part of the first record or the first two tours. I was supposed to be a temporary replacement when Evan Pitts couldn’t join the band on our first European tour. Shortly after we returned home I was hired on permanently.
MJM. How would you describe the band’s sound? People have always had different views with DD’s style. What goes into the writing?
Mike: It’s always hard for musicians to describe their own music. I percieve our music much differently than our fans do. A lot of people tend to describe us as groove metal.
MJM. You once cited Marilyn Manson as one of your biggest influences. What is that one factor which left an impact in you?
Mike: I am a huge fan of Marilyn Manson’s early records and Antichrist Superstar is by far my most favourite record of all time. It had a huge impact on my life when I was 15 years old. It definitely changed me. It taught me to focus more on myself and gave me the much-needed confidence I was lacking at that point in my life.
MJM. Back then the band was also signed to Roadrunner Records, until it signed with Napalm Records, 3 years ago. How important is it for a band to have a record label and go ahead with their releases?
Mike: I feel record labels still play a very important role in the music industry. It’s not all about recording a record and releasing it. Promotion and marketing is not an easy thing for a band to do. A good record label will have the resources a band needs in order for their music to reach a wider audience.
MJM. In 2013/14, the band went on a hiatus during the recording of ‘Winter Kills’; with also in change of members. How did this add to the band’s creative input?
Mike: The band went on hiatus in 2014 during the writing process for ‘Trust No One’. Some members were not happy that Dez wanted to put things on hold while he did his reunion with Coal Chamber. Personally, I was happy to take the time off. I was in the middle of building a recording studio and moving into a new house. I felt like it was a good time to take a break and it could not have come at a better time.
Watch the video for Daybreak–
MJM. Let’s talk about what you and the guys do on a daily basis. Tell us about the others.
Mike: When I am home I spend time working with my Dad at his hardware store. I might take it over one day but haven’t made up my mind yet. I also work with other bands in my studio doing recording, mixing, and mastering. I also spend a good amount of time surfing. As far as the other guys in the band and what they do in their spare time, you’ll have to ask them. It’s not my place to disclose my band mates personal lives with the public.
MJM. You released ‘Trust No one’ recently. Tell us about this album. What was the pinnacle behind it?
Mike: ‘Trust No One’ is by far my crowning achievement since I joined the band. I was fortunate to take the lead role in the writing process and when Neal and Austin joined the band I felt like I had finally found the best writing team I could find. They made ‘Trust No One‘ progress from being a good album to being a great album.
MJM. You also played in a band called ESO right from the UK? Is it still active? Are you still involved with them?
Mike: My involvement with ESO was very little. I added some guitar tracks to one of their songs. I became friends with their guitarist Bari Parrot when I saw them at a bar in the UK. Unfortunately, they disbanded shortly after the record was released.
MJM. What’s your take on religion and spirituality? What’s your conscience?
Mike: I’m not a huge fan of religion. I’m an agnostic. I believe religion can be a great comfort for some people but I also believe that it can be responsible for some very horrific events.
Listen to My Night Sky–
MJM. Any new albums you are looking forward to this year? Metallica perhaps?
Mike: I’m curious to hear the new Marilyn Manson album when it comes out early next year. Although, I haven’t been impressed with any of his records since Holy Wood. But I can always find a few songs on every record that I will like. I was very impressed with Gojira and Megadeth’s new records that were released this year. As far as Metallica, I’ve heard two songs so far. I like them, but I don’t love them.
MJM. DevilDriver have been touring very extensively this year. Any thoughts of coming down to India?
Mike: I would absolutely love to come to India. Unfortunately, I have not heard of any concrete plans yet.
MJM. Any bands you enjoy listening to at the moment?
Mike: Gojira, Whitechapel, Testament and Megadeth.
MJM. Well then, thank you so much for speaking with us. All the best with your endeavours.
Connect with the band