The devils you should know

MIKE MATHER
Last updated 15:17 22/07/2014
Devilskin
Steve Dykes/Supplied

SATANIC VERSES: Devilskin - Paul Martin, Jennie Skulander, Nick Martin and Nail - are a Hamilton hard rock band whose debut album We Rise has flown to the top of the New Zealand charts.

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As album titles go, Hamilton rock band Devilskin's debut release We Rise certainly proved prophetic.

Released on July 11, the 14-track album was immediately elevated straight to the top of the charts, selling record numbers in its first week.

Devilskin now sit ahead of international superstars Ed Sheeran (2), Sam Smith (5) and Disney's Frozen Soundtrack (3) - a great feat for the band and a substantial coup for an independently-released and distributed recording.

At some stores like Hamilton's JB HiFi, pre-sales of We Rise outpaced previous record-setters such as One Direction.

But conquering the charts was just the first step in Devilskin's plans for world domination, vocalist Jennie Skulander told the Waikato Times.

''We are already trying to get international recognition. After we finish our New Zealand tour we are lining up some Aussie gigs, and are looking towards breaking into the United Kingdom, Japan and the [United] States.''

The four-piece metal group formed in June 2010 and in the ensuing four years have gained a solid reputation with fans thanks to their intense, sonically-empowered sets.

Having amassed in excess of 450,000 hits on YouTube, the buzz surrounding the band is growing by the day, thanks to the popularity of singles Little Pills, Never See The Light and Start A Revolution.

Devilskin have just embarked on a nationwide tour, which includes a date at Hamilton's Altitude Bar on Friday, August 15.

The group could be described as a heavy rock all-stars ensemble.

Skulander, who is increasingly being hailed as one of the best female vocalists in the country, is already well known in music circles as the face and voice of her earlier band, the Rotorua-based Slipping Tongue.

Another member with a high profile is bassist Paul Martin, who is perhaps better known as The Axeman, the host of the Axe Attack show on The Rock radio station.

His son Nick plays drums in the band and completing the line-up is lead guitarist Nail, known to his mother as Tony Vincent.

Nail is also a familiar face to Hamilton audiences, having played in the popular band Chuganaut, who won the New Zealand Battle of the Bands and the World Battle Of The Bands in 2004, played the Big Day Out in 2005 and opened for Iron Maiden at Mt Smart stadium in 2009.

After four years playing together, Devilskin were becoming family, Skulander said.

''I've known Nail for close to 10 years now, from the days when Slipping Tongue played alongside them in Hamilton. It's kind of the same with Paul. My partner is the brother of Paul's wife. And Paul has known Nail for so long as well - he says Nail is his evil twin brother.''

For more information go to facebook.com/devilskinnz or devilskin.co.nz.

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