Backwoods Payback Interview

Backwoods Payback Interview

Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (


PD. What type of artist are you?

BP. I guess I’m a writer primarily. Music has been the primary means through which I can deliver the writing, but even when I’m not playing I am always writing. I’m sure I fall into the clichéd tortured artist model more times than not.


PD. Tell us the brief history of yourself.

BP. I am an only child, raised by a single mother. Strong female role models have always circled me. I found a love of music super early on in life, my first record was Neil Diamonds “Heartlight” single and I played that thing to death on a Fisher Price suitcase record player. I started playing in bands when I was about 13/14, started touring at the age of 19 and I just haven’t stopped.


PD. Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

BP. Musically speaking I have so many. Neil Young has always been a giant influence as far as songwriting for me. Growing up in the hardcore scene sometimes I didn’t show my love of Neil and Depeche Mode and Willie Nelson, but those all had definite influence on how and what I write. Non-musically the poet Rumi has been a steady for a lot of years. Something about his wording and capturing what sometimes seem to be modern feelings and problems even back in the 13th century rings so true.


PD. What are your dreams and goals?

BP. I want to be happy. I want to keep moving. I want to keep creating and playing and writing. I don’t have delusions of grandeur, but I want to feel like I’m continuing to accomplish something at all times.


PD. Who writes your songs, what are they about?

BP. I would say I am the primary songwriter for Backwoods Payback but we each bring something to the table for sure. Lyrically I tend to be all over the place, although most of it is from a personal place. The characters might have different names at times, but I’m always in there someplace. Our new album is bit of a story arc about being disillusioned with the world around you, searching for your people, finding them and losing yourself.


PD. How do you promote your band and shows?

BP. We use the usual social media type stuff, but we are still VERY old school when it comes to promo. I love making fliers and posters for everything. I always send posters out to local record store and coffee shops, hangouts…wherever people might see it and be down, I try to make sure something is hanging up letting them know we are coming.


PD. What do you think about downloading music online?

BP. I think its rad we can have something SO immediately and enjoy it just about anywhere in the world at any time. It does bum me out sometimes because I think songs tend to be viewed as “files” and the art of the full album (both creating and enjoying) can get lost in the process.


PD. What’s your outlook on the record industry today?

BP. Man I feel like I am so far removed from whatever the “industry” is right now I wouldn’t even know how to answer. The fact that you can write, record, publish, sell, and distribute an album entirely on your own right now is incredible. I think we have to keep moving forward and adapt to new ways of thinking. You can’t go back ya know? I have friends and peers that long for the old times, but they are gone. Time to move on.


PD. What song do you wish you’d written and why?

BP. I don’t think I ever wished I had written something that someone else had, but “Me & Paul” from Willie Nelson is just about the best summation of this strange and traveling life we live as I have ever heard!


PD. What are some of your pet peeves?

BP. Passive aggressiveness most definitely. It’s my number one most disliked thing.


PD. What is your proudest moment in music?

BP. When we started Backwoods Payback we made a list of bands we wanted to play with, places we wanted to go, and people we wanted to work with. Over 15 years we slowly crossed off just about all of them, but playing Roadburn Festival last year was definitely at just about the top of that list. I have watched that fest develop over the years and I always said I wanted to travel Europe for the first time in my life as part of a tour with my band. We did that last year and you couldn’t wipe the grin off my face!


PD. Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.

BP. We are playing the final day of the Maryland Doom Fest June 24th in Frederick MD. The Maryland Doom scene is just about the strongest bonded family of musicians and friends in the world. They adopted us into the family from the start and this year we are finally playing the fest with some amazing bands. After that we hit the road for a run through NY and New England ending with a Philadelphia show supporting the incredible Bongripper on July 24th. That run of shows is the debut for a ton of songs off the new record “Future Slum” which comes out August 3rd. The record release show will be that same day in our hometown of West Chester PA alongside our sisters in Heavy Temple and The Age of Truth. We are stoked on everything and ready to get back out there….no sense makes sense

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Band location – West Chester, Pennsylvania

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