Arrowtown’s quaint village atmosphere will be rocked to its foundations when high-flying Kiwi mettalers Devilskin stop by on Friday.

The idea to include Arrowtown on the national 12-date ‘We Rise — 10th Anniversary Tour’ came from manager James Southgate, who recently brought The Feelers — another band he represents — to the Athenaeum Hall.

Formidable frontwoman Jennie Skulander’s excited to get here.

‘‘It’s cool — it’s one place we haven’t really played; I really hope we get time to look around.’’

There are few bands in this country who’ve attracted such a strong fan base or matched the achievements of Devilskin.

Since forming in 2009, there’ve been gold and platinum records — including for We Rise — multiple tours of the UK, Europe and Australia, and they’ve shared stages with some of the biggest names in rock, such as Haelstorm, Disturbed, Alice Cooper and Motley Crue, while
lead guitarist Tony ‘Nail’ Vincent’s recently been formally selected as a Gibson artist.

How have they done it?

Skulander: ‘‘I guess just sticking at it and making sure we are putting that time in and making sure we get our rehearsals in.

‘‘We all handle the songwriting, so Nail and Paul [Martin, bass] and Nic [Martin, drums] probably come up with a riff and we start to jam and try to come up with something.’’

Maybe their cohesion stems from the fact they’re related.

Paul is Nic’s dad, while Jennie’s husband is Paul’s wife’s little brother, making Nic her nephew.

Growing up in Tokoroa, then Rotorua, Skulander says she ‘‘just liked singing a long to a lot of stuff’’, but has never had a formal singing lesson.

‘‘My dad loved Judas Priest and metal, mum was more into Elvis and Rod Stewart.

‘‘I joined up to a vocal class at school — mostly to skip lessons.

‘‘I used to see the boys at school performing in bands in the auditorium and thought, ‘man, I wanna do that’.’’

Her parents didn’t know she could sing till she told them she’d entered a talent quest at school, but says the nerves she felt back then are still present today.

‘‘I was a shy kid and I used to get really, really nervous — I still get nervous before gigs, [but] once I’m up there singing it all goes away.’’

While Skulander may look to live the rock’n roll lifestyle, she notes she has a house, mortgage and a day job, working for Waikato
Regional Council travelling around teaching kids about road safety.

She also has an 8-year-old daughter, Georgia, who went on her first European tour with her mum and dad when she was just six months old.

‘‘At times it was quite hard,’’ Skulander says.

‘‘I’d do a show and straight afterwards have to get back to breastfeeding.

‘‘It just takes a bit of planning.’’

She’s taking a bit of time off from her day job once the We Rise 10th Anniversary Tour starts on Thursday, in Invercargill, ‘‘to really focus on the band’’.

Meantime, keep an eye out for Skulander’s distinctive voice in a Led Zeppelin tribute, part of Jon Toogood’s successful ‘Come Together’ shows.

‘‘I’ve had one little practise with the band and I’m really excited about it,’’ she says.

’We Rise —10th Anniversary Tour’, Arrowtown Athenaeum Hall, Friday, May 31. Tickets from $79 + booking fees, via eventfinda

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