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 think as artists we’re very passionate about not stagnating both musically and as a live band. We’re always trying to write innovative and unusual songs that don’t place us in a specific box. We’ve been compared to such a variety of bands – Deftones, Lower Than Atlantis, even Husker Du – because we try to never sit in just one spot. We are also really good and write exclusively bangers.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
D: We’re actually all from different places. I (Will) am from Leicester, Sam and Ben are from Cambridge and the surrounding area, and Billy’s from Hertford. Sam brought us all together to make music, but I don’t want that to get to his head so don’t tell him. We’ve all been in bands before, some more than others, and have played music from a very young age. I played Sunshine of Your Love really badly at my school fete once when I was 12, so I’ve always loved performing. We’ve been playing together since just after lockdown and we clicked so immediately that it felt wrong not to make something out of it.
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: We all love watching the Korn set from Woodstock ‘99 to inspire us. Although that festival was a shitshow for a multitude of reasons, to see the thousands of people losing their shit to what is undeniably very weird music is really inspiring. I love hearing bands that do odd and strange things with their genres – Turnstile and Angel Dust are two that come to mind.
Billy seems to like to write about the very specific pain that comes from dissatisfaction, whether emotional or situationally, and I think although that is well-trodden ground it is an endless well of inspiration in such a tumultuous time as this. I don’t know whether that’s a good thing to be inspired by, but I like to think of him as spinning straw into gold. RumpelBilltskin.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
D: Just to write and play music that we’re incredibly proud of, hopefully for people who appreciate it as much as we do. Honestly, for me, just being able to hold something that I’ve made in my hands is the ultimate aspiration. Everything after that is a bonus.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
D: We were lucky enough to support Jamie Lenman at the Corn Exchange in Hertford a few months ago, which was surreal for Billy and myself as lifelong Reuben fans. He said we sounded like an angry Weezer, which was nice. We’re also mega proud of our first EP which will be out in a couple of months – buzzing for everyone to hear it.
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 definitely a struggle, and we’re constantly debating starting a TikTok account. On the one hand, it’s probably the best place to promote music nowadays, but on the other, we’re in our mid-twenties. We try and get our mates to share it, add it to playlists, all the boring algorithm stuff – but also we just play a lot of gigs to get our stuff heard by as many people as possible.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
D: We mostly do our own booking by asking mates and promoters to hop on gigs. A lot of our biggest gigs we’ve just got by chancing it and asking. Being cheeky seems to work. We’ve got a gig in Norwich on the 21st May with our mates in Mountain Peaks and Chainlink so come through!
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
D: I think it’s cool. In the age of Spotify you barely make any money through streaming, so I’d rather people download and keep music forever – even if they don’t pay for it – rather than pay a tenner a month so that Spotify can make more money. I’ve been gutted in the past when Spotify has taken albums I love off Spotify and I just don’t get to hear them anymore, so I’m totally pro downloads to whatever level of legality.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
D: I don’t want to speak on behalf of the band as I think we’d all have extremely different answers, but I wish I could’ve written Paid To Smile by The Lemonheads. It’s such a beautifully simple song but endlessly catchy and the lyrics are so witty and sharp. I think it’s the perfect pop song and I’d love to write something so effortlessly cool.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
D: I mean, there’s a lot of things extremely wrong with the music industry, but I’m not sure how wise it is as a new band to call them out for it. In very generic terms, I think it would be better if the majority of the wealth remained in the hands of the artists and didn’t get siphoned upwards into the hands of those at the top who don’t have a clue about music except as far as how much money they can make off it. Don’t get me wrong though, we would sell out in an instant.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
D: We’re in the process of writing songs for our second EP, which is somehow an improvement on our incredible and near-perfect debut EP. The EP that is about to come out is like a 9.9/10 and the new one will be a perfect 10. The critics will all agree!
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
D: We have a big cartel page at drownbanduk.bigcartel.com where we’re selling really cool tees that our mate Harry Irons designed. Check his stuff out at __larrystyles on Instagram. The tees are very affordable too.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
D: We have two singles out on Spotify so far, More Life and Love (which will be on our EP out in June). We are about to release our next single Butterflies on the 12th May, so check that out too. You can buy our music at drownuk.bandcamp.com or stream it on Spotify. If you message me I’ll send you a download.
Band/Artist location – South East of England
Facebook – You Tube – Merch – Instagram –
Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – LinkTree – Last Fm –
Check our page for Drown