Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
C: We’re just super stoked music fans. We grew up on crossover and thrash stuff in the 80’s and what we do with Clusterfux is our twist on all of that.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
C: We’re based out of Denver Colorado but all grew up together on the other side of the state. Our drummer actually still lives over there. We played in bands together when we were younger and it’s great that this line-up of Clusterfux is all friends from 30+ years ago. We were the punks, metal dudes, skaters in high school back in the late 80’s. In 95 I loved to Denver to join a band my brother had put together, that was an early version of Clusterfux.
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?
C: Its hard to explain but its like we have no choice. We have to make music. Its in our blood, in our DNA. It just goes back to the teens years and that shot of adrenaline you got when you first heard Black Flag or ‘Kill ‘Em All’ or whatever ya know? Its gets shot into your veins and your in it for life. Lyricaly we tackle political and social issues. As I get older there is more self reflection in the lyrics and stories of personal challenge even, stuff that most people can relate to when they stop and look in the mirror. The song ‘Rawhead’ is based on the horror movie but at the same time its really about toxic masculinity. The original story by Clive Barker was based in that. But we also just have songs like ‘Blood’ about skateboarding!
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
C: We want to top ourselves, our only competition is us and doing more and doing better than we have in the past, even if it was just yesterday. We’re thankful to be able to make music together, thankful for our lasting friendships after so many years, lots of ups and downs but here we are. We’re still homies and we’re still at it. We’re thankful to get to play shows with some of our favorite bands, thats always so rewarding to us. Like I said before, we are fans first!
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
C: Its hard to put that into one moment but really it the opportunities we’ve had to play with our favorite bands and to make friends with some of those dudes. Weather it’s DRI, Agnostic Front, Naplam Death, Verbal Assault… Its all just amazing!
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?
C: I own a record store and its just nuts. There are so many new bands, so many records come out each week. A band is hot for a minute and then forgotten about. I think our age and our experience, our humility all helps us manage through that. We just focus on ourselves and not worry about the trends. We do what we do for fun and hopefully others like and want to have some fun too.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
C: For the longest time (20+ years) I booked all of our shows but now we work with 4130 Management. We’ve always worked through the network of friends and bands we got along with ya know. If we want to play a show in LA we get a hold of Big Mike, he’ll book a few shows in the area. Ya know, that kind of thing. Right now we have a show in Denver Feb 3rd, in March we’re going to Colorado Springs, April we’ll be in Casper Wyoming and we’re working out something for Grand Junction in June. We work with the local promoters and try to keep good relationships there. If they book us a sure they can be assured that we’re going to put a ton of effort into promoting it, even when we are on with a bigger touring band I still run paid ads and promote the shit out of it.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
C: I still buy records even CDs sometimes. But thats me, the older generation. Downloads are part of the world now, that just the way it is. Streaming is just the way it is. You have to embrace it, you cant fight it. Figure out how you want to use these platforms as a band and make them work for you. Its the best way possible to get people to hear your band. From there they come to the shows and buy merch. I look at streaming as the best advertisement possible for the band.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
C: Wow! There is a million of them! Haha! ‘Fade to Black’… That song moves me man! Haha! Maybe closer to our sound, something that fits the band more? ‘War Inside My Head’ by Suicidal or ‘The Eliminator’ by Agnostic Front. Fuck, those tunes just kick my ass and are so raging!
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
C: Like it says in the question, its an industry. You dont always get the recognition to match the passion and work you put in but there are those moments you do and your’re on top of the world. The machine is always turning, somtimes you riding on it and sometimes its riding over you. I dont like how the industry has chewed up and spit our some amazingly talented people just for profits. The artistic element gets overlooked for quick money.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
C: We’re demoing some songs for another ep that we hope to record this year. From there we hope to keep playing good shows with good bands and enjoy what we have going on. Maybe someone will want to help us out and release some of this for us. If not we’ll keep doing it ourselves.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
C: After the show on Feb 3rd we’ll have some shirts and hoodies online, in the meantime there are CDs and tape available at https://chainreactionrecords.bigcartel.com/category/chain-reaction-records
Social Media all links below:
Thank for the opportunity! We appreciate it!