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?
JG: I am Jeremy and the vocalist and guitarist of Fearwell. A melodic death and power metal band from Leiden, The Netherlands, formed in 2020.
We’re a band that make you experience a night you’ll never forget, one that’ll make you say “Fearwell” instead of “farewell”. An hour long apocalypse with comets of songs and asteroids of riffs, maniacal machine gun drums, volcanic eruptions of bombastic bass, virtuoso vocals and jolts of epic orchestras and an intimidating band mascot that’ll keep his green eyes on you. Fearwell is a lot of things. Fearwell is catchy, Fearwell is virtuoso, Fearwell is show, Fearwell is Fearwell.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
JG: It’s a funny story actually, I was a huge fan of Body Count when I was six. I am sure it was because of the explicit lyrics. My mother was religious at that time and we went to church with her strictly religious friends, I started singing their title track and yelled “tell us what to do, F*** you!”. My dad and I were in big trouble, I am sure due to his rebellious nature, my father thought it was hilarious. When I was three years old, I also ran circles around the table dancing to Michael Jackson’s Bad. Moreover, my mother and my old man used to play eighties, nineties and metal music in the car, I liked every song with killer guitar and singers, you know and when I was twelve I got the chance to play guitar with my uncle (known from Rowwen Hèze, a famous Dutch band), the amp wasn’t grounded, shocking me nastily. I vowed to never touch a guitar again. But when I turned eighteen I was a huge Children of Bodom, Iron Maiden and Yngwie Malmsteen fan because of their insane guitar riffs and I wanted to be able to make songs just like them. My uncle gifted me his guitar and an amp. I started out learning Maiden right away, but my dad and uncle told me I should slow down and start with the basics. They told me less is more. I refused, because I wanted to play metal ASAP. My dad made a bet: “Well then… If you can play Aces High within a month, including the solo, I will give you a thousand euro’s”. Of course I started learning right of the bat and I succeeded. I sank all my free time into learning Aces High. My dad was astonished and realized he needed to keep his word when I played it for him that day. He laughed. He told me that he would pay up when the time was right. After a year he bought me a Dean ML Lightning (shockingly ironic) for my birthday which I even use to this day! I started writing when I picked up that guitar and eventually many riffs became Well of Fear. I gathered musicians, mostly friends (including my singing mentor, Johan, who does the heavy vocals on the album) and we started annihilating venues!
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?
JG: Almost all of our songs are about life lessons and human emotions. Especially when I am in an emotional state (any emotion will do), it allows me to write meaningful lyrics that resonate and allow me to write better riffs and melodies! Furthermore I have been inspired by Children of Bodom, Kalmah, Iron Maiden, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dimmu Borgir and even 80’s pop, gaming and classical music composers!
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
JG: To become a great band with a major following, so we can share our music with everyone that’s willing to listen to us. I’ve personally always wanted this and still do, music is my life.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
JG: Apart from our album and many noteworthy shows, there is one thing I thought was kinda badass. When we played at a local event, our snobbish mayor was supposed to show up. It wasn’t a metal event, so you can guess what happened. After two songs of playing loud metal on stage, she told the audio technicians to shut us down. They refused, because the crowd (who weren’t metalheads) were loving it! When we nearly finished our set, she sent some of her people to shut us down. We refused and started to play our heaviest song. When we left the stage, they wanted to tell something to the crowd and wanted to take my microphone away to speak, so I removed my microphone and handed the guy the cable. The crowd laughed, it was one of the most metal things that happened in my music career and I loved it. I always heard stories of badassery from the bands I grew up with, never thought, the modest guy I am, I would have such a moment.
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?
JG: Yeah it’s tough, but you gotta believe in your own music. It takes more skill, patience and you need to be unique nowadays. Everything has been done already. Be passionate about it, so others can be as well. We’re like an avalanche, we started out very slow, but we’re accelerating and won’t stop!
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
JG: We’re on a Dutch, Belgium and German tour at the moment. We’re definitely looking to expand to other countries as well in the near future! We get gigs handed to us and we’re often contacting venues directly via connections I made when I was touring with my Iron Maiden tribute band Piece of Maiden NL. We’re also looking for a great booker.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
JG: I would sound like a “hypocrite” , which is a song on our album, if I said I opposed downloading and streaming. We’ve all been guilty of it. I bought only a few albums to support them, but often downloaded or streamed music. Now I’m in the business on my own and saw more than 1000+ copies of our album ripped on a site I used to check, but none sold, I was kinda disappointed. We could do major tours with that kind of money, invest and grow. Not to attack fans who downloaded our album or anything, if you’re a fan and listen to our music, we love you. But someone who supported us financially, by buying our merch or a ticket to our shows, will of course be loved even more! They’re the reason we can do this! Spotify is bad for new musicians. You only make like one penny for every 3 streams. You’ll need to be a big star to make a living out of that!
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
JG: That’s a hard one. There are so many songs that are interesting. But it has to be “Kissing the shadows” from Children of Bodom. That guitar, that melody, that solo. It’s so damn awesome. It’s the sole reason I started playing guitar. The same goes for “The Seventh sign” by Yngwie Malmsteen. Another masterpiece, but especially the vocals of Vescera. It’s what got me into singing as (Fear)well!
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
JG: Yes. I despise auto-tune and the lack of creativity in the music industry. At least the 80’s had interesting melodies and concepts. It’s all risk-free music nowadays and everything is either stolen/resampled or dragged into simplicity so the industry can make a buck. I know most people feed this kind of entertainment, just like movies, modern art and games, but it’s a trend commonplace in this age. Everything is optimized to make money. I dislike that trend, because it kills creativity. Music is about creativity and being passionate. Of course you can love the simpler music, but it’s a problem when creativity and passion is not rewarded. It will do long-term damage to artists and music. A reason why we’re so different. Do you really want to listen to 4 minutes of the same stuff over and over again for an hour? That’s boring! I always disliked when my favorite bands became an empty shell of their former self and became sellouts. I hope we’re the exception. Critics might say our genre is all over the place and they find it hard to get into. Good! That’s exactly what we want.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
JG: We’re working to be unleashed on a larger audience and gathering more fans while we tour and destroy venues on our path, figure of speech of course.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
JG: We’re on all major streaming platforms and you can buy our digital album on our website www.fearwell.com or any other store! Merch will come out soon, at this moment we’re only selling physical copies and shirts at our shows!
Band/Artist location – Leiden, Netherlands
Website – Facebook – You Tube – Bandcamp – Merch –
Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer –
Check our page for Fearwell