Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
C: Catercorner is an experimental metal project that creates heavy music that is hard to categorise. I am technically a solo artist but I write music within a band context. Despite there only being a single member I still can’t stop referring to the band in the collective third person. Old habits die hard, I guess.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
C: After playing guitar in a bunch of bands spanning various metal genres, I decided to take a break from it all and just write music for myself, without bothering with the practicalities of live performance or even if anyone would like it. It’s fair to say I went a bit off-piste. At one point I started to write an electro-rock opera featuring a diverse cast of characters such as Fingers Yam-Toucher (vegan activist), Gordon (porn-obsessed coprophiliac) and Sackbaby (born with no limbs or sensory organs but was the physical conduit to an alternate reality called Blung). It was about this time that I went a bit mental and had the opportunity to take a few months off to ‘readjust’. The demos I made during that period formed the basis of the Catercorner EP. Anyway, skipping forward a few years and some major life events, I built a project studio and recorded the EP properly. Most recently I’ve been carrying on with the DIY ethic and making a music video with the limited resources available during a national covid lockdown.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
C: I generally only listen to contemporary stuff but these guys probably had a profound long-term effect over the years: Faith No More, Tool, Meshuggah, NIN and Aphex Twin.
I think post-metal, and its related genres, has really bloomed over the last decade. So many interesting bands occupying my attention these days; Intronaut, Zeal & Ardor, The Ocean, Russian Circles, Erlen Meyer, Herod, Boss Keloid, Barrens, Asian Death Crustacean to name just a few. On the more far-out side of things I’m currently loving Igorrr, Zombieshark! and Colossal Squid. It’s nice to see Mr Bungle re-emerging too. At the heavier end I’m loving the new Humanity’s Last Breath and a whole host of emerging mathcore bands. I was fortunate enough to be included on ‘They Call Me Armageddon Vol. 1’, a compilation with loads of awesome new bands on the crazier end of the metal spectrum. Well worth looking that up on Bandcamp or Spotify.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
C: Well I’ve got two small kids and a cat so my current life goal is an entire night of uninterrupted sleep. Musically speaking though it would probably be playing Arc’Tan’Gent Festival in the UK. It’s not the biggest festival but it certainly has the best music and vibe. To be perfectly honest I’m just loving it when someone completely unconnected to me has bought the EP or perhaps follows on social media or Spotify or if I randomly discover someone enjoyed the music enough to share it with friends.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
C: I’m not sure if there’s any common theme that runs through my songs. The EP touches on the various concepts; artistic inspiration, introspection and metaphors for life. The songs I’m working on at the moment seem a bit more personal and darker in nature on the whole. Not sure if that’s by-product of long-term sleep deprivation or a global pandemic. Probably both.
PD: How do you promote your band/project and shows?
C: It’s mainly a case of desperately spamming social media, emailing blogs and playlisters and just trying to get it out there into the world. If there’s enough interest when world eventually re-opens i might look into how I can make it into some sort of a live experience.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
C: Whatever works for you. I used to be a physical media purist but then I just got fed up with the inconvenience of it. I had a 400 capacity CD player which was great at the time when I had one listening space but it just became a burden. I listen to music mainly on my computer or phone through various speaker configurations and in various places so I tend to use a mixture of MP3s and streaming. I like to support the artist by purchasing on Bandcamp and then stream it on Spotify.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
C: No idea. There have been so many amazing songs over the years. Rather than pick a classic I’m going to shout out to Hardcore Anal Hydrogen for their song Jean-Pierre. It is just batshit crazy and was apparently my most listened-to song on Spotify in 2020.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
C: At the moment it’s probably dealing with playlist curators. They tend to have very fixed audiences in mind and no time for anything that strays from their blueprint. I’ve had countless curators say the music is unique but doesn’t fit with their audience; too aggressive, not aggressive enough, too dark, too much electronica, too chaotic, doesn’t fit the mood, etc. No desire to present new ideas to their listeners. And that’s just the legitimate guys. There are so many fakes with thousands of followers they just bought or guys who want you to stream playlists overnight. So lucky to have tools like Chartmetric to help spot them.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
C: I was pretty chuffed to get the EP out. Partly because I’d been boring my friends for ages about it with minor updates and I was fed up with that glazed look I’d get every time I mentioned it but mainly because I managed to complete something that is truly representative of the best I could do at that point in time.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
C: I’ve been getting songs together for a full length album. I’ve got demos for about seven songs so far and I’ll be developing those over the course of the year. It’s shaping up to be an interesting selection which will require another new set of genres to describe it. I’ve struggled with the EP as it is. Math-electronicore? Metal IDM? The new stuff is harder to pin down; blackened post-breakcore, post-electronicore. I’m just making this up. I really have no idea.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
C: The Catercorner EP is available to download or stream online right now in all the usual places. The Other Osmium video hits YouTube on Feb 19th.