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?
DE: I am expressing myself, my feelings and thoughts via my music and lyrics, basically I guess there’s nothing special in this term, it’s just like most underground artists/musicians do. The only thing I could add is that it’s not interesting for me to do something that I’ve already done, I mean, I always try to find some new things, new elements to add to my music. I would hardly be able to make the same music for 30 years. Probably this is the main reason for so many changes in my style during 15 years (from Raw Black Metal in the beginning to Blackened Heavy Metal today).
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
DE: I was living in Belarus until the age of 15, later my family moved to Israel, where I still reside. I was always passionate about (mostly) Rock and Metal music, always interested in the musicians from my favourite bands, the lyrics they wrote etc. I started collecting tapes and CDs when I was a little kid, at the age of 12 I’ve got my first acoustic guitar (that’s still with me by the way, haha!), at the age of 15 I bought my first cheap electric guitar and a little amplifier. A couple of years later I became a fan of Black Metal and realized that this type of music is what I want to compose and perform myself. In 2007 Die Entweihung was started as a One Man Project.
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?
DE: I’d say, it’s life itself! After some years of different musical and lyrical experiments, I found myself in 2014 writing the album “Neverending Terrorism” about the events that were going on in the world, but here I mean not only some political or war events, but different aspects of life, for example, the internet and smartphone addiction, religion, greed, etc. Put it shortly, my lyrics describe the dark sides of our reality. Musically I am always inspired by the music I love at the specific period of time, it is always reflected in my stuff, being mixed with my own musical vision as it should be.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
DE: Constantly develop creatively (modestly hoping that someday I will be able to earn music for a villa with a golden toilet)! Hahaha!
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
DE: Well, talking specifically about my music – I won’t be original here – it’s my newest album “Strict Regime Country”, that will be released late November. It’s a really big step ahead for me and it’s a very special thing for me not because of the music I wrote or sound quality – this is the album I dedicated to my native Belarus, and all the lyrics + cover art are telling about the events that have been happening there for the last 2 or 3 years (although, to be honest, all of this has been going on since the mid 90s). My country is an excellent example of what can happen to a place where the dictatorship and craziness and hate towards his own people from the so called (self-proclaimed) “president” is leading the nation to more and more poverty, regress (welcome back to USSR!) and getting the real prison term just for 1 comment or even because you were at the wrong time and in wrong place!
If we’re talking about the proudest thing beside of creativity – I am very proud that I could meet so many great people who help/ed and support/ed me during all these years, many of them became my friends, with some of them I ‘ve lost contact but I am grateful to everyone and everyone who was there with me since 2007! Underground movement won’t die until people are supporting each other…no matter what.
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?
DE: Oh yes, you’re right. Internet has absolutely changed the rules of this game, on the one hand you have all the instruments for promotion in your computer, and any just mixed song can be uploaded to youtube or spotify with easy access to it for everyone. But here we have that on the other hand it’s very difficult to make the potential listener to take a listen to what you created, exactly because of what you’ve already mentioned – every day we have lots of new performers – the market has become so oversaturated, that many very talented bands just wouldn’t get their chance to get the deal with really big label that could help them, because many many bands are in this huge swamp, and if some years ago you could hope that people would notice your band if you’re going to play shows as much as possible, then today you have much more chances to be noticed if you’re some goddamn blogger, playing in the band.
If you’re asking how it goes for me – just the same way it goes for thousands of other bands, I guess there is no point in telling what everyone already knows – most of artists use the same tools for promoting, hehe.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
DE: No live shows, sorry. This project was the studio one since day one, and I have no idea what could change it, you know… actually I feel very sorry for the live shows industry these days, every month I read how this or that band has to cancel their tour… and I’m sure the problem is not only that everything’s going to be more and more expensive. The problem is that many people prefer to sit on their asses watching “live shows” on youtube instead of going to a real live show. This is not the new tendency, but together with all these logistical problems, all of this often makes even famous bands cancel their tours.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
DE: This is the question that I see almost in every interview, and the answer is always the same – I don’t use it, I don’t listen to music via streaming sites. I can check some stuff on youtube or bandcamp, some social media… if I really like the album – 99% that I will order it on CD in the near future. Concerning the popular opinion that “using Spotify you’re supporting your favourite artists” is just non-sense. Seems like Greg from Paradise Lost said something like “I’d prefer people would download our stuff the pirate way than support Spotify”. Streaming sites like this is just the way big bosses found their way to make piracy to their advantage. But, you know, I don’t really see the point in discussing it, anyway most people will continue using it no matter what – you’re paying 10$ and getting all the music you’d like. It’s legal, you’re not stealing it, musicians get 0,000666$ per streaming, the big bosses get the real money. Everyone’s happy! (Well, probably musicians not really, haha… but who’s gonna ask them?!)
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
DE: Interesting question and hardly I could answer it – too many songs that I love and feel connected to, so I’d say it’s impossible to choose. On the other hand, I am happy with my own songs that are 100% my personality. If I’d say that I wish I wrote Bohemian Rhapsody or Master of Puppets, that would note that I’d prefer to be someone who’s not me and I’m ok actually with what I am, haha.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
DE: I think I told a lot about this topic here, so there’s no point in repeating myself. I’d say that as a physical media fan I would really like people to pay more attention to CD, tape, vinyl, and in general physical things – like Magazines/fanzines, real shows instead youtube videos etc. At the end of the day all that can be reached by 1-2 clicks is just losing its value, and I’m not talking about money here… Often it’s just about the way like “swallowed – chewed – spat out – forgot”.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
DE: Nowadays I’m only starting to promote the upcoming album “Strict Regime Country”, and I guess it will be the main goal for the next months… of course I’m working on new music, collecting ideas, composing riffs, etc. But it’s too early to even think about how the next album will look like.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
DE: The best way is to follow me on facebook.com/entweihung, there are all the news and info. The new album on CD is available for pre-order and soon for order via https://witchesbrewthrashes.bandcamp.com/album/strict-regime-country
Tape version will be available in December here: https://clandestinerecords.bandcamp.com/album/strict-regime-country
All this stuff as well as the previous albums are/will be available of course via my bandcamp: https://entweihung.bandcamp.com/
Feel free to write me via FB page or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to ask or order something, I’m always online. Thanks a lot for the interview! Best regards!
Denis / Die Entweihung