When the lead singer of Devil’s Tower starts throwing blood from the stage in Langley on Saturday night, it won’t be a tribute to the dark one, he insists.
Despite what the band’s growing fan base in Europe seems to believe, the Fraser Valley-based metal band is not about Satan worship, laughs James Buhs.
In actual fact, they’re named after the Devil’s Tower national monument in Wyoming — the same one Steven Spielberg used as an alien landing pad in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Buhs describes the group — made up of himself, drummer Scott Aquino, lead guitarist P.J. and bassist Kenny — as a progressive metal band, which means the music is more intricate, more melodic than straight up metal, he says.
But don’t confuse it with elevator music.
“It’s about aggressive music — stage presence, an assault on the senses,” he says, throwing out terms like “speed, precision and crunchy riffs.”
And the band’s singer-songwriter-promoter who, like his drummer, hails from Langley, freely admits he loves the theatrics of the metal genre — the leather and make up, the fake blood that he’s not above tossing on the crowd.
And if he doesn’t feel like they’re paying close enough attention, well, there are always a couple of pitchers of ice water on the stage as well.
This weekend brings another chance to get drenched in fake blood and cold water, when Devil’s Tower’s is in concert — along with Surrey bands Entropia and Iron Kingdom — during a metal night at The Troubadour Club on 203 Street and Industrial Avenue. They’ll be shooting a video the same night.
The band formed in Maple Ridge about 10 years ago. After releasing their first CD in 2002, they took a long hiatus. After getting back together, they quickly climbed 201 to 16 on Reverbnation for most listened to metal band in Vancouver.
Devil’s Tower also came first in a Vancouver battle of the bands, beating out 68 other acts, then went on to take second place out of 650 acts between B.C. and Alberta — the first metal band to reach that level, said Buhs.
But with song titles like Blood Addiction, Rapehound and Dead Friends, the singer admits his style of music isn’t for everyone.
“The idea of metal kind of leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths,” he said.
So it’s important, he said, to maintain a good relationship with the community.
With that in mind, the band will have a booth at Cruise-In, earlier on the day of their concert.
They’ll sell the usual swag — T-shirts and bootie shorts, stickers and CDs — but they’ll also collect non-perishable food items for the food bank and sell hotdogs and water by donation. Part proceeds from food and water sales will go to the Vision Quest Recovery Society, which has a house for recovering addicts in Langley.
The rest will help pay for the band to record their next album.
Buhs is hoping the massive crowds that will be in town for the annual Cruise-In will translate into a sellout that night at the club.
For more, go to reverbnation.com/devilstower.