After two groundbreaking demos (also under the predecessor name Aslan), Psychotic Waltz's 1990 debut "A Social Grace", the debut of the century, thrilled the metal underground with brilliant guitars, hypnotic lyrics and melodies - and even flute interludes. After their fourth album "Bleeding" (1996) the band broke up completely. Only at the beginning of 2011 the sensational live return in original line-up followed. With "The God-Shaped Void", the band from El Cajon, a suburb of San Diego, is now back on record with a prog metal exclamation mark. We talked to singer Devon Graves in his adopted country Vienna.
eclipsed: Devon, even before the reunion gigs in 2011 together with Nevermore and Symphony X you were talking about a new album. Why did it still take so long until the final release?
Devon Graves: I am basically a very positive person. At the time, I thought that two years until the completion of a fifth album was quite realistic. But times changed and many new factors played a role. First and foremost, of course, we're no longer wild kids rehearsing five times a week. Besides, the guys always sent me every song only when it was really finished. They are all pretty busy with "adult stuff" and if they could meet once a week on Sunday, that was outstanding. Add to that the fact that many of those Sundays had to be used for tour and festival preparations.
eclipsed: That means you're basically not into "grown-up stuff"?
Graves: (laughs sheepishly) Well, I have six children. But I also have my own studio where I produce bands and where I can retire to any time I want.
eclipsed: Your flute has always been a special trademark in the context of the hard prog metal sound of Psychotic Waltz. Do you practice regularly?
Graves: (amused) I never practice. Unless there's a concert coming up (laughs). I improvised the parts on the new album until I was satisfied. I haven't played them since. When I wake up in the morning, I have to remind myself that I am a singer first and foremost. So singing exercises always come first.