Centuries of Decay (Band Interview)
Today we speak to Devin Doucette -guitarist/vocalist from Centuries of Decay:
Let’s start with this: What’s the history of your band?
Centuries of Decay formed in 2013 in Toronto, Ontario by Myself (Devin Doucette) Derrick Doucette Rob McAllister. Derrick and I grew up in Charlottetown and were involved in the music scene there. I went to school for photography and digital imaging and decided to move up to Toronto in 2005. The love for music was too strong and after a while, I put down the camera and went back to school for Audio Production at The Harris Institute, where he met guitarist Rob McAllister, who shared the same passion for heavy music. All this time, Derrick was still playing in various acts (Uigg, Slave Class). While he enjoyed the projects that he was involved in, he felt that he could do more. Derrick moved up to Toronto in 2013 and both of us started jamming and writing music. Rob joined shortly after that and Centuries of Decay was born. The last piece of the puzzle that we needed was a bassist, which turned out to be really difficult to find. We had auditioned a couple of guys and jammed with one for a few months, but it wasn’t until we found Anthony Zhura that we began to play shows. Anthony Recorded bass with us on our album, but announced his departure before it’s completion. Matt Hems (former bassist of Fragile Existence) has replaced him for our live shows.
What’s your musical history? (Trained or Amateur)?
I played trombone from grade 7 till grade 12 and studied some theory while at Harris, but I am totally self taught when it comes to guitar and vocals. Rob on the other hand has extensive training in piano and theory.
So what can you tell us about your latest album? (Inspiration. Sound. Style.)
Our album covers a lot of territory in only 7 songs. Three of those songs straddle the 10 minute mark. Each song has it’s own character, but fits together well enough to tell a narrative. The lyrics are written in almost cyclical fashion and once you got to the end of the last song, it could roll right back into the first.
Moving to the city was both exciting and disappointing. At some points, I began to feel very disillusioned with the idea of chasing a career and working myself to the bone for nothing. I decided to channel that negativity into something constructive.
How did you go about making it?
We had the idea of recording an album over 2 years ago. Because Rob and I went to school for Audio production, we felt that it was something we could do ourselves. But we wanted to have all of our songs written beforehand to streamline the recording process. After I graduated from Harris, I got a job at Deluxe Post Production and became a dialogue and VO recordist. Our studio has a big recording floor for recording large groups of people. During our christmas break, we rented a bunch of mics and dragged Derrick’s kit to the studio and tracked our drums in a marathon recording session. Vocals were tracked in the same room at a later date and the rest of the instruments were recorded at my home studio (….room).
Anything you’ve learnt as you’ve gone along? Or have you simply tried a bit of everything to see how it works?
The learning never ends. You’ll think you have a grasp on how something works, and then the rules change or you’ve discovered something that you missed. There was a ton of that during recording, which is why it took almost 2 years to finish this album. But having the education that I had really helped. Youtube is also an amazing asset. There are so many techniques and viewpoints that can be drawn upon with a simple click.
What sort of technology and instruments do you work with?
The album was recorded, mixed and mastered using Pro Tools. Since I work on it every day at work, I’m very comfortable with it. As stated earlier, Drums were tracked on the recording floor at my work. For guitars, I tracked the with my Mesa Boogie Roadster and ran it into a Two Notes Reload and used impulses to simulate the guitar cab. The Reload is incredible and allows me to crank any amp without disturbing my neighbours.
Anything you’re keen to use on your next album?
We haven’t thought too far ahead of this album. That being said, we have a couple of song ideas that we’ve been jamming out and they are pretty unique sounding.
Any future plans for your solo work, or do you have other projects on the horizon?
At this time, I have a full time job on top of being in Centuries, so I have zero time for any other projects.
Any plans for upcoming live shows?
We are doing a special Joint CD release show with our friends in ‘Black Eve’. at the Coalition in Toronto, Ontario.
Let’s have a few general questions now.
What do you see as a musician’s role in society?
I think a musician’s role is no different than a role of any artist. We are to express our emotions and ideas through our medium. I feel that being a musician, specifically a metal musician, give me a huge palette to work with in terms of musical composition and lyrical structure and themes.
How’s the scene different in your country to what we’re familiar with? -Anything unique to your country?
I have only had the privilege of playing in Canada. I was involved in the music scene in Prince Edward Island and I can say that the community is much larger and more supportive than back on the sandbar.
Where do you stand on music videos? -Do you see their value in today’s world?
I think they can still be interesting if they are not too on-the-nose. I don’t like band videos that put on the whole “I am tough” vibe. I’m personally more interested in well recorded live videos.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Since we are starting out, I don’t really have much of an opinion to express. Ask me again next year and I may have several points.
Any advice for new bands?
Be kind to the bands in your community. Support them and go to their shows. If you will help them, then they will help you.
Anything you’d like to tell our readers?
Centuries of Decay’s self-titled debut album, Centuries of Decay come out on August 4th on all online streaming platforms (spotify, itunes etc.) You can pre-order the digital album from our bandcamp store.
Any last words for our readers?
Support your metal scene. Local bands are future national bands!