INTERVIEW: Darkc3ll – Devolve Destroy

Interview by Duncan Therkildsen Jones


Darkcell is one of Australia’s fastest rising acts. Formed in Brisbane in 2012, the band has performed over 200 shows to date. Visually and musically Darkcell have proven themselves as a world class outfit and shows no signs of slowing down. Packing stadium level hooks and a loud, abrasive and industrial rock sound, they have been tagged as a ‘modern day Kiss’. Larger than life stage show, party vibes and dance grooves give a fun atmosphere and keep fans coming back for more. Touring highlights to date include the prestigious Soundwave Festival nationally in 2014 (with Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Rob Zombie etc) and countless other headline and support shows across Australia. We catch up with the newest member of the band to talk all about it.


Metal-Roos: First of all – it must be pretty exciting to head over to the US for a tour – whereabouts are you heading? Any particular cities or places you’re especially looking forward to?

We are really just excited to experience life on the road in a whole new part of the world, not only the landscape and the culture but playing our music to an entirely new audience. We’ve all got a little bucket list of things we want to check out, however it really will come down to managing what little spare time we have between shows to experience as much as possible. Sleep will definitely be the enemy!

Metal-Roos: How do you think you would have reacted when you first played with Darkc3ll to know that you’d be heading over to America with your band only a few years down the track?

I am the most recent addition to the band, joining just in time for Dead of Winter Festival in July 2013 so for myself at least, it has been a whirlwind journey. We’ve all been in the scene in various ways for at least a decade so opportunities like this really just drive us to push to the next level. I think it’s safe to say we all have big dreams when we start out in this game, but to see it actually come to fruition, that is something to cherish.

Metal-Roos: It must be pretty exciting to head over to the US for a tour – whereabouts are you heading? Any particular cities or places you’re especially looking forward to?

It truly is an exciting time for us at the moment, 2015 is shaping up to be a year to remember! I can’t go into detail about places and dates as yet, as nothing has been officially released. [Update: tour dates now available at bottom of page] It will be the most concentrated run of shows we’ve ever done.

Metal-Roos: Can you tell me a little bit about your new EP? What should the American crowds expect from Darkc3ll when they come to see you play?

The new EP, ‘Devolve Destroy’ consists of 5 brand new tracks that build on the sound we have established over the last two albums. These songs are made for playing live and we cannot wait to unleash them. Anyone who comes to a Darkc3ll show can expect a party. We love what we do and don’t hold back when the energy starts to flow.

Metal-Roos: A few Australian Metal bands head over to Japan or Europe for their tours. America’s a big undertaking! How did you decide to head to the USA for your tour?

We have been working towards an international tour for some time as it is the next logical step in our growth as a band. We were offered the tour and with the new EP about to be released it just seemed like the right time.

Metal-Roos: From what I’ve gathered, this will be Darkc3ll’s first international tour, although it’s not the first time you’ve hit the road – for fans not so acquainted, Darkc3ll have previously toured with the Soundwave festival – how is this going to be different from your Australian tour? International touring sounds like a logistical nightmare!

This is Darkc3ll’s first international tour. We have toured Australia pretty extensively over the last year on the back of our album ‘Dark Verses’ which did include the national run with Soundwave last year. I imagine the most contrasting difference between touring Australia and somewhere like the U.S is both the length of the tour and the concentration of shows. We can cover most major parts of Australia over a few weekends, whereas this tour will see us away from home for a month, living on the road and playing nearly every night, it is pretty much the experience most musicians dream of from the moment we start our first band. Logistically, yes it is a heavy undertaking, one which we are in the thick of right now, organising travel, visas, accommodation, itineraries, the last few weeks has been a bit of a blur. It is a lot of work, but the end justifies the means.

Metal-Roos: Tell me about the other bands on the lineup – anyone there you’re particularly keen to share the stage with, or have a past history with?

We toured with Ill Nino on Soundwave so it will be great to spend some time with those guys again. The tour also includes Kittie, 36 Crazyfists, Davey Suicide, Motograter, Thira, Lydia can’t Breathe and a heap of special guests at various shows. It’s one hell of a lineup.

Metal-Roos: The touring schedule sounds really intense – playing show after show for a month. Many metal acts are notoriously taxing for the players, especially to put on lively and engaging shows, or playing the kit. Some bands I’ve spoken to really practice themselves to the extreme, but others take a different approach of being in a stress-free mindset before the tour. How do you feel about playing so many gigs? Have you guys going to approach such a marathon?

We usually approach a tour with some weekly rehearsals in the month or two leading up to the first show. This is of course going to be the most extensive touring we’ve done so far so we’ll really be focusing on bringing our ‘A’ game for the Australian shows. I think that will definitely help centre us before the Civil Unrest tour.

Metal-Roos: Can you tell me about travelling as a drummer? One of the obstacles many touring metalheads I’ve spoken to face is dealing with different kits at every single show, or being stuck with a kit for a whole tour which doesn’t quite suit them.

As a drummer, it isn’t always feasible to take your own gear, maybe cymbals and kick pedals at most. I have always embraced the opportunity to play different drum kits. I understand the solace that comes with playing one’s own gear but I think it is important to step outside of your comfort zone every now and then in order to grow as a musician. Another very important factor of being a touring drummer is to create relationships with fellow drummers, you never know when you might need to use someone’s gear or someone may need to use yours. One of the most important things in this business is to network, and for drummers touring without the bulk of their own gear, it is essential.

Metal-Roos: There’s a fair bit of travel time involved in tours, driving/training/flying from city to city. How do you wind down from shows, and how do you spend your time when travelling between gigs?

Downtime between shows is often spent driving/flying to the next show, we run a pretty tight schedule when touring Australi , more often opting to drive/party through the night than to spend money on a hotel room. When driving, it’s all about the tunes, Jesse will often bust out his ‘Devilicious’ mixes to get us through the wee hours of the morning. I expect the same for us in the U.S., except maybe a few extra stops to take in some sights.

Metal-Roos: Also – if money or shipping was no obstacle at all, what would you bring back with you from the states?

I could definitely deal with bringing back a new drum kit!


We wish the lads in Darkc3ll the best for their US tour! Here’s a list of their dates!

Jun 3 – The Black Sheep – Colorado Springs, CO Jun 4 – The Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO Jun 6 – Skyway Theatre/Studio B Minneapolis, MN Jun 7 – Mojoe’s Joliet, IL Jun 8 – Q&Z Expo Center – Ringle, WI Jun 9 – Emerson Theater – Indianapolis, IN Jun 10 – The Reverb/Spicoli’s – Waterloo, IA Jun 12 – The Music Factory – Battle Creek, MI Jun 13 – The Warehouse – Clarksville, TN Jun 14 – The Ready Room – St. Louis, MO Jun 16 – Trees- Dallas, TX Jun 17 – Scout Bar – Houston, TX Jun 18 – The Dirty Dog Bar – Austin, TX Jun 19 – 210 Kapone’s – San Antonio, TX Jun 20 – Jake’s Back Room – Lubbock, TX Jun 21 – Tricky Falls – El Paso, TX Jun 23 – Club Red – Phoenix, AZ Jun 24 – LVCS – Las Vegas, NV Jun 25 – The Whisky – West Hollywood Jun 26 – Fulton 55 – Fresno, CA Jun 27 – Club Hydra – Long Beach, CA Jun 28 – Corona, CA – M15 Concert Bar

Interviewed by Duncan Therkildsen Jones
Ever since Duncan Therkildsen Jones discovered metal at the age of 14 he’s been obsessed with putting it under the scalpel. His twin passions of Heavy Metal and classical music saw him found a Sydney Speed metal band, and complete an honours degree in music studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of music. He is currently studying a Masters degree in Musicology at the Con, specialising in ethnomusicology/ethnography of Heavy Metal.