Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
d: Ben: Emo/pop-punk
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
d: Ben: Liam and I have written and performed in bands together for the past 8 years. In 2018, we decided to branch out and do it 100% ourselves, and that was when we formed downcast. We’ve since had Jeff and Jamie join to make us a four-piece.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
d: Ben: I think my biggest influence at the moment is my Spotify Discover Weekly. I put it on and hear a whole variety of new bands and music. I mainly find influence in music I am not concentrating fully on, so it’s difficult to give names.
Liam: One of my main musical influences has always been Dan Campbell from The Wonder Years. I’ve always admired his honesty and unique way of telling a story within his writing. Outside of music, events that take place in my own life are my biggest inspiration; I’ve always tried to keep things honest. Sometimes performing our songs feels strange, like I’m channeling a past version of myself, as they’re often about things that I have moved on from since writing them.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
d: Ben: My biggest goal has always been to do a USA tour. I also wouldn’t say no to any endorsements though; being in a band is expensive.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
d: Liam: As we spent a lot of time as a two-piece before forming a full band, our songs so far have been written by just Ben and me. We’ve written this way for years, with Ben writing the music and me writing the lyrics and most of the vocal melodies. It seems to work really well. The songs are always about events in my own life or people around me. I’m looking forward to writing as a full band and seeing how that affects our sound.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
d: Liam: We try to stay active online and engage with our audience as much as possible. That way, when we post about shows and new music, they’re more likely to pay attention. Throughout lockdown, when we haven’t been able to play shows or release new music, this has been particularly important. It’s always funny to me how we rock this serious-ass horror aesthetic, yet our Twitter feed is complete jokes. That’s range.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
d: Ben: I think downloading music seems pretty outdated. I just buy physical copies or stream it.
Liam: I’ll admit that I mostly just stream music these days and will sometimes buy physical copies. I will occasionally pay to download an album though. When Holding Absence’s album had a chance of getting a placement in the UK charts, I bought it on iTunes to help out.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
d: Ben: Any Christmas hit for the money.
PD: What is one of your pet peeves?
d: Ben: The power button on my TV remote doesn’t work, so I have to get up and turn it on manually from behind, but all the other buttons still work, which just makes it even more annoying.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
d: Ben: Whenever we get our mixes back from the studio, hearing the finished product after weeks of work always blows my mind.
Liam: It’s also a really proud moment for me when we get recognition from publications like Kerrang! and Alternative Press. I always think about how cool my younger self, who used to buy Kerrang! magazine and watch the TV channel all the time, would have found it if he knew.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
d: Ben: Currently, I’m writing a bunch of demos. As a band, we are recording music videos and preparing for our tour and album release.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
d: Liam: Our music is available on all major platforms.