Interview conducted August 3 2019
Interview published August 14 2019
"Cemetery Junction had great reviews and it's
done quite well, but it's never gonna be Night Of The Demon or The Plague."
British NWOBHM legends Demon were
playing at the Swedish festival Skogsröjet and Metal Covenant took
this opportunity to talk to the group's co-founder and vocalist Dave
Tobbe: It's been 3 years since Cemetery
Junction was out and will we see another Demon record out any time soon?
Dave: Well, actually there's gonna be a soundtrack
to an online game that's coming out. And there's a new track on that.
The actual soundtrack is called The Devil Rides Out. It's, like, tracks
from the first two albums [Night Of The Demon, 1981 and The Unexpected
Guest, 1982], so there's, I think, 7-9 tracks. It will be coming out
If you were writing new songs, is it much harder today to get creative
than it was back in the day?
Dave: I don't think it's more difficult to be
creative. We've been going for nearly 40 years and I think what happens
with people is that they put you in a particular period. Cemetery Junction
had great reviews and it's done quite well, but it's never gonna be
Night Of The Demon or The Plague . So, basically, as good as the
albums are you are categorized as a particular period in time. Which
is not a problem; it's something you do. But creative? Yeah, I think
we're still creative.
Tobbe: Could there ever be some kind of
experimental album coming out from Demon again?
Dave: Yeah. I mean, never say never. We have
got quite a lot of material that we've been working on. Quite a few
ideas. 'Cause obviously the last 12 months we've been featuring on stage
the first two albums mainly, because people have asked us to do it.
But we have accumulated quite a lot of material. Like I say, The Devil
Rides Out, which is a new track, and there's several other tracks as
well, so we will be recording them. As to where they end up I don't
really know. But yeah, there's lots in the pipeline.
Tobbe: Some bands, very few though, have
started to release singles instead of full albums and what's your take
on doing so?
Dave: I think the business has changed. Obviously
the world has changed. I mean, CDs have gone. Everyone puts something
out on vinyl. We're gonna do a video the week after next for the The
Devil Rides Out track. Yeah, I think it's different. We're having to
listen to what's happening out there. Lots of people put two tracks
out, or they put one track out, and they do a video for YouTube.
So yeah, we're open to
You know, we don't
wanna be something of the past and say we're gonna do a new album. We
have enough tracks for an album. So, we're making a video in two weeks'
time and then maybe we put some more tracks out. But I think that you're
right in what you're saying. I mean, the LPs, as we know, or albums
It's changed, it's different ways of advertising, different ways of
putting things out.
Most rock bands, hard rock bands and heavy metal bands have often taken
pride in doing full albums instead of depending on one single song at
Dave: Yeah. I mean, I'm old school. I was brought
up with Pink Floyd and Deep Purple, so to me the moment of having the
album with a gatefold sleeve is really part of my youth. I found the
new way. You know, you can go and download a Demon album, but I tend
to think you miss half the fascination of walking in the record shop,
or seeing it in the window on the Friday or Saturday.
But the point is I would like to make albums
again. I don't think vinyl's gonna take over the world, but it's certainly
made a comeback. The soundtrack that's coming out, The Devil Rides Out,
is gonna be on picture disc; it's gonna be on blue vinyl. I'm, as much
as anyone, looking forward to having it in my hand.
Tobbe: Like you mentioned, you've been out
for the last year and playing certain stuff. At Sweden Rock you played
almost the full album The Unexpected Guest and you're playing the Taking
The World By Storm album  in Hamburg in a couple of months.
Dave: Yeah, the promoter, Oliver, in Hamburg
is a friend of ours and he said "Would you play Taking The World
By Storm?" and I said "Well, we'll play most of the tracks.".
It's only 7 tracks on it. So we are being rehearsing the album. Yeah,
that's nice, because he said that people wanted to hear it in Hamburg,
or wherever, and a lot of people came to us at Sweden Rock and said
"You're gonna be playing this album. We're gonna come.".
So it's nice, 'cause you don't always think that
anyone would be interested in doing that with, you know, a particular
product. And there's a lot of interest and I think the presales are
quite good. Yeah, we look forward to it. It's part of our history, it's
something we did and it's a moment in time.
No amounts needed, but can you raise your fee a little bit when you're
playing entire albums live?
Dave: I don't think it was particularly about
the fee. I mean, he didn't suddenly say "I'm gonna give you a million
pounds.". He'd heard us before and he heard us doing 4 tracks of
the 7. The album, I think, is only about 45 minutes long [It's 51.],
so we're gonna have to play Don't Break The Circle, Night Of The Demon,
blah blah blah, as well. So it's not a big issue to do it. And it wasn't
about money; it was just the fact that it would be nice to play. I asked
the band and the band said "Let's play that album!".
Tobbe: Last time you and I talked was in
2016 and I kind of asked you back then if you see the end of your career
one day, which you didn't at that point. So in what way do you look at,
should I say, retirement today?
Dave: I mean, you can't go on forever. I was
just talking to Bob Catley in the hotel. We didn't touch on that [Laughs],
but I mean, how many times are we gonna meet in a hotel or play on the
same gig? I mean, it'll have to end one day. I try and keep fit. I go
cycling. I'm reasonably okay. But as long as I can sing and hear I just
look at it one year at a time. You can't say 5 years' time. You know,
it's not possible.
You know, the old-timers, like we are, got to
look at this particular year and say "Well, let's see how that
one goes.". 'Cause it's great to play and it's good to feel good
while you're up there, but I think if it came down to I couldn't sing
or not able to do what I've always been able to do, then I'll just have
to say "Look. I don't wanna be out there and making a fool of myself.".
You know, going through the motions or miming to some music. That's
not rock 'n' roll. But at the moment I'm feeling quite good.
It's a different profession, where you actually can go on for a long time,
while regular people kind of stay at home after their retirement.
Dave: Yeah, of course you do. Yeah, they've finished
work, they're retired. I mean, I do pot around in the garden and do
all those sorts of things. I mean, I'm somehow retired in that respect,
but the rock 'n' roll thing is with me every day. You know, when you
talk about songs, I probably don't go more than a week without putting
some ideas down. It keeps you going. It's difficult, when you've done
it for 40 years in a band, to say, you know, "Outside the window.".
As long as you can perform, as long as you can still write some music
Tobbe: Like you said, you've been doing
this for 40 years and it was 38 years since Night Of The Demon was out,
and did time just go by?
Dave: I often say: The late Mal Spooner and myself
wrote Night Of The Demon in the back of a shop in between playing clubs
and pubs and whatever, and to be quite honest, at that time, if I would
have thought a year later or two years later that anyone would remember
the album or the tracks, it would have been a bonus. But here we are,
38 years later. I was saying to someone the other day: All the albums
and all Demon I did, I've been married 45 years, so it's all a part
of my children and my grandchildren.
When you get to be my age [Dave is 72] and people
ask you, you know, about something that was 40 odd years ago, then you
think "Yeah, it was ago.". But at the time it was growing
up, it was just part of our life, it's part of my children being born,
part of being married, part of rock 'n' roll, so you never stopped.
You finished that album, you moved on to the next one and you lived