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?
D: I’m mainly a guitarist/singer who really enjoys writing and arranging songs. Since I went properly solo as Denfire, I had to do all the other parts too, which is a lot of work, but very satisfying.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
D: Rock music such as The Beatles and Elvis Presley were shyly present in my childhood here in São Paulo, Brazil, until I got into “heavier” stuff like GnR and Aerosmith in the late 80s, which culminated in metal and punk devotion right after. In 1991, at the age of 14, I got my first guitar and wrote my first song (music and lyrics) and at the age of 20 something I packed up and went to live in London/UK for a whole decade. After playing in different bands, I now decided to go solo as Denfire, the nickname I have been using for many years.
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?
D: Too many great musicians to mention, but mainly old school metal and punk, with a good dose of 50s/60s rock and 70s fusion and hard/prog rock. Lyricwise I get inspired by those genres too, but it’s mainly by day-to-day life – existential and philosophical subjects come out naturally with a fair dose of anger because there’s just too much stupidity out there. Like Ronnie James Dio once said: “Let’s change the world and I’ll change the lyrics”.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
D: To continue evolving in every segment. There’s no perfection to be reached, yet I aim for it.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
D: Each and every time I stood against adversity.
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?
D: It’s absolutely flooded, so it takes a bigger effort to cut though the mediocre nowadays. Fortunately, there’s still great meaningful music to be found.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
D: Not performing live at the moment, as I’m literally solo and enjoying the format.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
D: There are both positive and negative sides to it. Too bad people in general are not apt to enjoy the extraordinary facilities without giving back the power to the industry, i.e., letting them rise up from the ashes with different forms of artistic exploitation. Having said that, even as someone who still buys vinyl and CDs, Spotifys and Bandcamps have their benefits.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
D: There have been many absolute masterpieces of different sub-genres written across the decades. Usually, strong melodies and lyrics are crucial to grab my attention, but sometimes the riffage and arrangements are so captivating, or the dynamics so intense, that they put everything else to second plan. These just crossed my mind as examples of the first and second types, as well as the combination of both: “Working Class Hero” (John Lennon), “Rebel” (BOA), “Nadine” (Chuck Berry), “Countess Bathory” (Venom), “Painkiller” (Judas Priest), “Rainbow in the Dark” (Dio), “Starless” (King Crimson), “Bird of Prey” (Uriah Heep), “UK 82” (Exploited), “Stranded” (Saints), “Burning Heart” (Survivor), “Babylon’s Burning” (Ruts), “Sanctuary” (Iron Maiden), “Love or Confusion” (Jimi Hendrix), “We Gotta Know” (Cro-Mags), “The Truth” (Master), among countless others.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
D: It’s never been fair, but wishing it was, would be like wishing the minimum wage was higher. It’s not given, needs to be taken, and we’ve missed our chance to turn the tide every time their empire started to crumble.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
D: I’m halfway through a new song, although I already have another 4 drafts pre-recorded on my port-studio. Three of them will make to the next EP, which should see the light of day in the first semester of 2023.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?