DEVCORD: On a Humble Mission

Peter Royburger (Devcord)

Devcord is a one-man progressive death metal project by composer and multi-instrumentalist from Spillern in Austria, Peter Royburger, who on September 1st launched its debut album entitled ‘Dysthymia.’ Peter spoke for Prog Sphere about his vision for the project, creative process behind the album, influences, and more.

Define the mission of Devcord.

On the one hand, my first intention was to create music that I like listening to. On the other hand, the more people enjoy the album Dysthymia, the happier I’m with it. So, it was never really about making money or becoming famous. I never had any intentions to become big which isn’t easy in that genre anyway. Therefore, Devcord’s mission is rather humble.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your recent album Dysthymia and the themes it captures.

Well, the initial goal was to compose a progressive album. That was clear, but there was no definite concept. More or less, I thought: “Let’s see what happens.” Normally, songs are completely arranged before you start recording. In Devcord’s case, most of the tunes developed spontaneously while recording – bit by bit, so to say. That made the creative process especially exciting for me!

What is the message you are trying to give with Dysthymia?

The word “dysthymia” describes a form of depression. This is why most of the music sounds dark and conveys a spooky, gruesome atmosphere. After the tunes were finished, I tried to find lyrics to underline the mood. All in all, it wasn’t really about a certain message, but rather about the right ambiance.

Devcord - Dysthymia

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

As I said, most of it came to my mind spontaneously while recording. Sometimes I made something up during the day, so I simply took my guitar and recorded it with my phone. I am just too lazy to write down the notes.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

It was one of my priorities to cater for dynamics in the songs. This is also true for the order on the album, afterwards. In my opinion, this kind of music needs calmer parts as well, especially, because the songs are quite long. For example, the song “Melancholia” serves as such a breathing pause.

Describe the approach to recording the album.

I didn’t have special approaches or expectations. I just started this project without any idea where it could end up. My only target was to produce a progressive death metal album which I would buy if I hadn´t done it by myself. I wasn´t even sure if I should publish it. But as you see, things worked out well and I did.

How long Dysthymia was in the making?

This is quite difficult to answer, because the work in the studio was no continuous process. Sometimes, weeks passed before I could proceed with a song. Additionally, I have other studio projects on which I work now and then. Unfortunately, I can’t work on my projects on a daily basis as I’m employed and I also play in two other bands. But I can say that the first recordings of Dysthymia were about four years ago.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

Obviously, I can’t deny that Opeth had a big influence on the album. But bands like Wilderun, Extol, The Faceless, Fleshkiller, Haken or Porcupine Tree also played a role in the making.

What is your view on technology in music?

The fast development of new technologies is a blessing as well as a curse. On the one hand, it gives hobby musicians like me the chance to get good results with home recording without having to invest a large sum of money. On the other hand, small well-equipped studios with professional staff die out. Personally, I experienced that two very good local music studios had to close down for that reason.
 Additionally, I have to say that I am a big fan of CDs and vinyls and that I don’t like the development of online music providers. I still prefer albums including a nice booklet to heartless downloads, because I think it completes the CD as an artwork.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

No. I just try to tell stories packed in atmospheric songs.

What are your plans for the future?

That’s easy – to reach lots of people with my music and obviously to produce a second album!

Dysthymia is available from Bandcamp as digital album and in CD format.

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