The story of DVSTR is a really interesting one. Forged from a couple of mates just seeing if they could make some studio tracks, to finding a superb young drummer online who happened to be within a reasonable distance, to suddenly playing live and writing full, dynamic progressive deathcore. DVSTR have packed a huge amount into a small space of time, they’re crushing it within the UK scene. With some insane singles out, we caught up with the four piece about being a modern band, their experiences and what’s in store going forward.
All based within the north of the UK, DVSTR are still able to chop and change their parts in home studios and not have to worry about all being in the same space to record. “It’s crazy how technology has made things different, but easier in some regard,” guitarist Sam explains. “Previously in our old band, everyone would kind of get together in the same room, and you’re trying to accomplish things. Me and Louie, we’re trying to write drums, and we aren’t drummers. Whereas now we come up with an idea, we might put really basic drums on it, but then just send it over to Matt and just go, ‘these are the bits that I’ve done on guitar, chop it up as much as you want, you know, move things around, extend bits, you know, do whatever you want.’ And because we do it mostly remotely, we can just send files back and forth; Matty will be on his computer while we’re all on the call to him, and he will make the changes and then send it into the group chat. And that’s how our songwriting is done now, and it’s great. Like, it’s absolutely brilliant.”
While DVSTR have a super polished identity and sound, it didn’t necessarily start out that way. “The difficult part when it was writing, just with me and Dave [vocals], we kind of didn’t know what we were,” guitarist Louis relays. “It was just throwing ideas into a melting pot that we thought sounded good. But it really came to fruition when Sam came in and started coming up with some ideas. He’s a more technical player than me, I tend to just chug. And then as soon as Matt [drums] got behind it with real drum parts, he couldn’t resist putting blasts everywhere or a triplet, double snap. And suddenly we had a more consistent sound.”
It’s a massive blend of death metal with some beautiful flourishes that make the progressive elements stand out from the rest. “The extreme part of it is all of us. That’s something we’re all into. The lighter parts of it and probably say a me, and the more technical parts come from Sam. With the vocal side of things, one of the best things that I had with recording with Dave is how unique his voice sounds. I’ve never heard a vocalist that does it. It’s weird. It’s gravelly, nasty and harsh but still sounds articulate.”
With a lot of experience behind them all in their various bands from the past, one of the reasons DVSTR have been turning so many heads is because of how professional their shows are. “The thing is, with gigs,” Dave notes, “I believe that bands need to play the horrible gigs to learn, to experience – to basically cut their teeth in the music scene. We’ve all done that, hundreds and hundreds of times before. I’m 40 years old. Now, I do not have enough time for bullshit. So it’s like, we either play great gigs or we don’t play all.” With a no-nonsense mentality, a winning writing formula and the mailability to work apart and together, DVSTR are a band to keep an eye on in the UK scene, no question.
The band have a ferocious sound that managed to balance itself with unexpected moments of rest and reserve before utterly smacking your around the chops with technical, progressive elements. While every track the band play is superb, and they whip up a storm in their live shows, DVSTR aren’t necessarily looking to release music in a traditional way. “Yeah, you know, it’s hard to judge because everything is affected by social media these days,” Sam says. “It’s building an audience and keeping people interested. And obviously, you know, with social media, everything’s kind of got to be new.”
“You know, I think with albums, you have to be quite a well-established band, and have to have a big enough audience in order to get material onto an album. Knowing that people are going to listen to it from start to finish. It’s almost got to be a full-time job in order to write enough songs that are strong enough for an album, because I’ve certainly listened to a lot of albums that I’ve kind of gone, you know, what this would have been better as an EP. So bands like ourselves, I think we’re leaning towards doing an EP next. We might have one or two singles that we release, then the focus will be doing an EP. Hopefully, it just keeps the audience interested and helps us keep growing.”
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