When we last checked in with 2003 Battle of the Bands champions Devil To Pay, the doom-rockers had been added to radio playlists around the nation and had received national distribution for their debut CD, 30 Pieces of Silver.
Since then, they’ve done regional touring and taped a Pathways Productions video (for the song “Tractor Fuckin’ Trailer”) at the Melody Inn with director Matt Mays. Now, they’re getting ready to embark on a national tour with the Maine group Conifer. The tour kicks off at the Patio on Thursday night, takes the band to the West Coast and ends Oct. 2 in Little Rock, Ark.
Band leader and local music icon Steve Janiak says the 2003 battle experience helped the group become better performers and they’re looking forward to taking their act on the road for a few weeks.
“The tour is something we’ve always wanted to do, but economically speaking, we’ll be on the road for about as long as we can go and still do the day job thing,” says Janiak, who’s a graphic designer with Benchmark Records when he’s not melting lead with his guitar and vocal work.
“We feel like we should go out and promote the record in the best way that we can,” he says. “Last December, we toured in the Southwest but we didn’t have anything in stores anywhere, but it helped generate a little interest. Now that we’ve gotten the album released national, we feel like we should hit the road and be a real band for a while.”
The band will still be on tour when the 2004 BOB Finals at the Vogue takes place Sept. 30, which will keep DTP from handing over their crown in person. Janiak does give this advice for all of the combatants in this year’s finals.
“Just go up there and play and try not to think about it too much,” he says. “One of the reasons we were able to be as comfortable on stage as we were last year is that we really didn’t expect to win. The competition was really good, and we didn’t think we’d be able to get the votes of the fans and the judges.”
Also performing at the Patio show Thursday will be 2004 BOB finalists About The Fire and John Zeps’ new band, Lukewarm Bodies at Best. The cover charge is $5 at the door.
For more information on Devil To Pay, visit www.deviltopay.net.