Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
Studio Photos by: Peter David Wragg, Live Photos by: Keegan Richard
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
A: We’re a band that plays heavy, aggressive music influenced by punk and hardcore. We like to be creative and noisy and hopefully make music that’s interesting and thought-provoking.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
A: We come from Thunder Bay Ontario. It’s our hometown. I lived away for about a dozen years and when I came back I started this band, playing with a friend and then after a few line-up changes it got more and more serious and our line-up grew into what you see before you.
PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?
A: Anything that’s thought-provoking or artistic or unusual is inspiring to me. Listening to a band like the Melvins that doesn’t follow any particular rules. Our songs are generally sad, weird or pissed off. A lot of this album is expressing dissatisfaction with society and our institutions; the people in authority, either religious or political figures that lie to us on a regular basis. There are also songs with subjects like grief and loss, depression, anxiety, trauma etc. These are a lot of the experiences I’ve had and it feels like part of the healing process to scream about ‘em sometimes.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
A: My aspiration is to make music that I find interesting. If I like it and the other guys like it, then I feel good about it. At the end of the day, I’d like to have a body of work I can look back on and be proud of, so being able to keep making records is a major aspiration.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
A: I think coming together and making this record despite all the obstacles that were in our way due to the pandemic and how crazy life has been for everyone lately. That gives me a feeling of accomplishment.
PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?
A: It’s going. I enjoy the creative aspect of music a lot more than promoting music but I understand why it’s necessary. It is great that anyone can make an album in their bedroom but the result is also a lot of extra albums to sift through. It helps that we’re able to get out and play live in front of people again.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
A: We have a big Halloween show (which might have happened by the time this comes out) and our album release show coming up here in Thunder Bay. We’d booked a few shows in Toronto and Montreal back in 2020, which had to be canceled due to the pandemic. Online and word of mouth have worked for promotion so far.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
As a consumer of music, I think it’s really handy to have anything you could imagine at your fingertips. I simply couldn’t afford or wouldn’t be able to access a lot of the music I enjoy, if I had to buy a physical album. It’s a double-edged sword in terms of artists being able to support themselves. I think that’s getting harder than ever but this is the world we live in now; a million choices and music is free.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
A: The Green Manalishi with the Two-Pronged crown by Fleetwood Mac. Legit one of the heaviest songs ever written. Judas Priest covered it and did a decent job and so did the Melvins but actually, I prefer the original.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
A: The commodification and commercialization of art sucks. It’s about how many units you move or how many clicks you get or how you are willing to prostitute yourself out vs. the quality of your work it often seems.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
A: Writing a new album. Playin’ shows. Writin’ interviews.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?