Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
AF: I’m a poet. I put my thoughts into the kind of songs I’d like to hear myself. I’d like to think people can relate to them and that my life experiences will resonate with listeners.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
AF: I grew up in a shitty town that was full of people who were only too willing to tell me what I couldn’t do. Can’t be a surfer in the west of Scotland? Fuck you; watch me. Can’t join the RAF? Fuck you; watch me. Can’t be a professional musician? Fuck you; watch me. Sometimes the people that stifle your dreams the most are the people closest to you. Family and friends. They don’t mean to, but they do it anyway. My answer is this: If you laugh at my dreams, maybe your own dreams need to be bigger.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
AF: I have a fantasy dinner party where I’m burning steaks on the grill for my guests. They include Simon Neal (Biffy Clyro); Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) and Ewan McGregor (Actor, adventurer and someone who cares about our planet). I am connected to people who understand the concept of creating more than they destroy. Those people inspire and influence me. I’d also love to have a pint with Scott Hutchison (Frightened Rabbit) but sadly; his dark seeds got a hold of him too soon. I’m attracted to anyone who doesn’t accept the normal as normal. Great change happens when independent thought happens.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
AF: I think it’s a tragedy for anyone to go to their grave having not reached their full potential. The universe has given me many gifts, once of which is to write music. I’m very grateful for those gifts and I intend to explore them to the fullest extent. My musical dream is that someone, somewhere, connects with my music and maybe it helps them through a dark time or helps them have a great time. One day I would love to have the crowd sing my songs back to me at a festival. I would imagine that would be quite soul-affirming.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
AF: I write all the songs for Arcade Fortress. They are quite simply about life; my thoughts, musings and experiences over the years. Hopefully relatable to many people. A few of my songs focus on the fleeting nature of life. It’s something I feel to the core of my being. Wasting minutes is tantamount to not appreciating the plethora of gifts we’ve been given. My greatest fear is getting to the end of my days and thinking ‘oh, I wish I’d have done this [insert dream here]’.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
AF: Arcade Fortress has a presence on all social media and music platforms, but the driving force is Knight PR. The founder (Lisa) has supported our music from the beginning when I lived in London back in 2014. Now I live in Lincoln her support has never waned. She is the linchpin in getting our music out there. When the current situation allows; Arcade Fortress will be on the road again, playing up and down the UK and beyond. Until then, word of mouth and Knight PR are our best friends in terms of promotion.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
AF: I appreciate the appeal of more traditional forms of music consumption, but I also understand that the market has shifted. There’s little point in complaining about the woeful remuneration of platforms for music artists. Last time I checked, there are 7.7 billion people on planet earth. 51.4% have access to the internet. That means they have access to Arcade Fortress. If you have a quality product, there’s no reason you cannot be successful in the music industry. Good music is simply good music, no matter what. It will always find its way to the people that need to hear it.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
AF: ‘Many of Horror’ by Biffy Clyro. It’s a passionate, heartfelt rock song with a killer riff and chorus. Biffy were 5 albums in when they wrote that song, so there’s time yet for Arcade Fortress. It was a game-changer for them and put them firmly into the category of rock giants. I’ve got a song like that in me, but you need to write a hundred songs or more to be inspired to write a song of that calibre. I think my best is yet to come. Watch this space.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
AF: People who have a false sense of entitlement. ‘Oh, the placemats are dirty, let’s just use iPads’. For everything that I am fortunate enough to have in my life; I worked my ass off for. I have no time for people who think everything should just happen for them by magic.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
AF: Releasing ‘Create More Than You Destroy’ across the planet. I move around a lot with my job, so putting 11 songs together that had been recorded in different studios and with different band members at times has been a labour of love. It’s fantastic that there’s now a tangible output to that effort. When my daughter (currently 5 years old) is old enough, it will be really great to answer the question “Daddy, what did you do with your life?” with the answer: I followed my [fucking] dreams darling, you should follow yours.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
AF: Album number 2 is well underway. During the current climate, I am gathering equipment for a professional-grade studio in my spare room. I’ll be working with classical musicians for some of the tracks to include cello and violin on a few of the songs. I have 30 or so songs written and ready to record, so I guess the hard part will be refining those down to the strongest 11 that complement each other and make up a cohesive theme across the album.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
AF: Create More Than You Destroy was released by Arcade Fortress on 11 September 20 and is available on all streaming services. Links available here: https://linktr.ee/ArcadeFortress
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