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?
DC: Derision Cult is an Industrial Metal project founded by Dave McAnally which has grown into a collective of like minded artists from Chicago and beyond. We play big angry industrial music and i draw on my experiences in the ad industry to shed light on how media and big tech manipulate our perceptions of the world.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
DC: I grew up in Iowa and came up through bands there in the mid 90’s and moved to Chicago in the early 00’s. I started out as a thrash metal kid and got sucked into industrial soon after. I took about a 10 year hiatus from music and picked up Derision Cult in 2014 producing demos largely on my own. In 2021 I connected with Glitch Mode and here we are!
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?
DC: With Derision Cult I am inspired to address issues of overstimulation and how media is creating anxiety and paranoia in society. It’s something I’m pretty passionate about as I’ve seen first hand how it can wreak havoc in people’s lives. I’m influenced by the Wax Trax! artists from the 80’s and 90’s as well as my thrash roots (Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, Exodus etc). I’ve also been a hardcore David Bowie fan since the early 90’s and I’m also a big blues and outlaw country fan. All of these influences show up in Derision Cult across Mercenary Notes PT 1.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
DC: They change all the time! When I started I just thought it’d be cool to put tracks up online. Then that aspiration evolved to creating a full identify as an artist. Today, my aspiration is to collaborate and connect with other artists tnat inspire me. I’ve been really fortunate so far!
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
DC: From a pure pride perspective, the track Deaf Blood is probably my top moment. That track features Chris Connelly singing a killer old school vocal with Reeves Gabrels doing an awesome lead on it. Just being in the mix with two heroes was a real thrill. I’m really proud of how successful the video for that track has been for us. Empire Animation made a full on animated video that really ties Chris’s lyrics to the broader theme of the album. We even put all that in a bottle and sold it! That’s the Deaf Blood Hot sauce we released.
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?
DC: It’s going good for me. Mercenary Notes Pt 1 is by far my biggest success. Being on Glitch Mode definitely helped with that. I’ve really made a point to get immersed in video and content creation. I’m seeing some dividends from that. I think just consistent content is really what makes it all work. You need to be out there!
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
DC: We’re talking about it! I would work with the label to book the shows. It would make the most sense for me to do some things around Chicago and then maybe a 2 week run with the rest of the Glitch Mode crew.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
DC: It is what it is at this point. I’ve been in that game for along time. I had a best selling mp3.com track way back in those days. Back then my attitude was basically that it was going to be the new radio. I’m paying more attention to Spotify now than I have in the past. I’ve been telling people I think the major difference is that you can cast a wider net, but the actual fans within that net are less. So like in the 90’s, you might say 80% of your sales comes from 20% of your fans. Today, I think due to downloading that ratio is more like 95/5. If you look at it in those terms and know that just because you have a million streams doesn’t mean you have a million fans, then it’s a numbers game. It all goes back to content though. You have to be offering something for people. The song and the stream are table stakes now.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
DC: Oh man that’s a tough one! I’d have to say Eighties by Killing Joke. That track still pumps me up after all these years! Even though it’s about that decade, it feels more relevant than ever in a weird way.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
DC: I haven’t really thought about that. The way active rock charts work kind of bugs me as an artist who doesn’t make that kind of stuff. I mean, I totally get that pop music is popular for a reason. There’s stations that are owned by these big conglomerates that get told what tracks they have to play. As a result, there’s all the same songs. It’d be cool if that somehow got back to the way it used to be where a DJ might flip over a B side and next thing you know, Stairway to Heaven is playing in the dentist office. Stuff like that feels like it’s kind of missing nowadays.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
DC: I”m pulling together Mercenary Notes Pt 2! Sean and I are working on that as well as a few remixes for some other artists. I’m also going to do a stream of remixes over the course of the year leading up to Pt 2. I’ve got another project called Sys Machine which I have some tracks ready to mix that I am figuring out what to do. Then I have yet another project called Purgatory Line which is more straight ahead grunge rock that has a bunch of tracks lining up. So never a dull moment!
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
DC: JCheck me out at Derisioncult.com! You can get to us on all the socials and our merch is available on Bandcamp and Spotify!
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