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?
JF: I would describe Fell Harvest as a band reflecting a number of styles. We try to combine the somber emotional weight of doom metal with the directionality and hook of melodeath, but aren’t afraid to leverage anything that fits a song and it’s musical goal.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
JF: I grew up in upstate NY in the 90s and discovered metal via Metallica. They were the first band to inspire me to take up an instrument, and remain a huge influence right through today. I studied composition and operatic voice in college but then largely put music on hold to pursue more responsible adult activities like building my career. I began pursuing music again about 10 years ago when I moved to Denver and Fell Harvest is the latest evolution of that.
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?
JF: My influences are a collection of the usual suspects in terms of metal: Metallica, Dissection, My Dying Bride, Samael, King’s X and Type O Negative are all pretty strongly connected to how I approach and write today. I also listen to a wide collection of arists in other styles, from Pink Floyd and Queen to Prince and Rachmaninoff. As for specific musical ideas they come from all over the place. What unifies my approach to writing is that I try to take these kernels of ideas and build them into something that communicates a bigger experience. One of my favorite things as a composer is when I hear someone say “Oh this song means this to me” and it’s some interpretation I never considered. I think its great when you can write something that means one thing in your mind but evolves into something entirely different in the mind of the listener.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
JF: I want to play more and larger shows in different places. That’s really the primary goal right now. Playing live and having the chance to connect with audiences directly in hopefully far flung places is really my north star for this band. I’d like Fell Harvest to reach the point that we can do festivals and overseas dates, though the logistics of those are really challening.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
JF: Releasing this most recent album, The Dying, has been a great feeling. This album is 100% as we want to do it right now. There was no need to take shortcuts or workarounds (musical, technical or otherwise) such as with our first record and some of my earlier projects. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve been able to do with 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?
JF: Well it’s just starting, we released the album last week online and did the album release show last weekend. So the record is only just starting to make it’s way into people’s awareness. We did release two videos beforehand, both of which have done reasonably well, so it’s encouraging. There is definitely a ton of music out there in the world, especially in metal we are really spoiled for choices which I think is great. So much talent no longer blocked by labels and other factors. But you do have to really stand out to grab people’s attention for more than a few seconds. What matters is writing music that creates genuine connection to a listener. Those are the people who will not only keep coming back but who will tell others about you.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
JF: We rely heavily on our great manager Sharone to book shows, as well as our personal connections. Our next show will be in July in Johnsontown CO followed by a few others around CO and WY in the summer.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
JF: They are definitely a double edged sword. On one hand these things have really hurt a lot of artists and made music trival as a product. On the other they’ve hugely democratized music and removed a lot of the gatekeeping that used to exist in the industry. I certainly feel some jealousy of classic bands that could make art and have that be their whole world, but at the same time I am aware enough to know that it took a very specific set of factors beyond just music for that to happen. A band like Fell Harvest never would have made a demo in the 80s or 90s.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
JF: The Somberlain by Dissection, its one of my favorite pieces of music ever and is the song I’d like played at my funeral. Runner up would be Enter Sandman because I’d never have to work again.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
JF: How expensive everything has gotten for bands, especially with regard to touring. There are a lot of great bands that I will probably never get the chance to see because coming to the US, esepecially coming to places like WY where I live, are just not practical. No one likes to talk about connecting money and art but if you can’t create conditions for artists to live then you end up with world where all art is produced by corporations and trustfund babies.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
JF: Well the album is out now so its time to swing into live shows and getting out to promote it as much as possible. We are also planning an EP for release later this year with some extra material that didn’t quite make it into this record, so we’ll be working on that here shortly.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
www.fellharvest.com and fellharvest.bandcamp.com
Fell Harvest links:
Band/Artist location – Cheyenne, WY
Facebook – You Tube – Bandcamp –
Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – ffm.to –
Check our page for Fell Harvest