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?
G: Hi Pete! Before anything else we would like to thank you for reaching up to us and for this interview. Well, this is a hard one to answer. Although you may have heard this from many bands, the truth is that we’ve always tried to do something different, something that could define us as a whole. That being said, musically speaking, we try to mix a bunch of influences that thrives from each band member and fuse it in a way that everyone is pleased. Sometimes its not easy, but we always find a way to do it. But perhaps the best word to define us, individually, and as a band is resilience because, at the end, if we think about it properly, after more than 20 years since the beginning, we still manage to be here!
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
G: We’re from Portugal. As you may know, a small country in the southern west of Europe but, surprisingly with a strong metal underground movement. We started long ago, way back in 1999. At the time we’re just a group of teens that shared a comum passion for metal music and lots of free time. So, we got together and amazingly things started to work out for us. A demo in 2000, an EP in 2002 and an another one in 2007. You guys can check it out on several streaming platforms like Spotify, for instants, or at our site at https://www.godivaofficial.com. Those recordings, specially the one from 2007, “Spiral”, really gave us the push we needed and played a major role in the band’s consolidation in the portuguese metal scene.
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?
G: We believe that, after more than two decades as a band, our inspiration is still our love for metal music and music in general. If that passion fades, so will Godiva. That being said, of course our sonority had evolved over these years. From the death/black of the early years, to the introduction of some gothic elements, currently the band has incorporated elements of symphonic and death metal, while maintaining a critical approach to social and psychological issues in their lyrics. The main purpose is the one thing that haven’t changed. Godiva always aimed to carve out a unique identity and create meaningful music that resonates with its listeners.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
G: This is a question with a simple answer really. Just keep enjoying our music and being able to manage for it to reach others, so they can, hopefully, share the same feelings and thoughts we did when we wrote them.
In truth we aren’t too concerned about the industry per se, although, of course, at the end of the day, it’s something we desire. To have a good contract with a good label. Still, we don’t want to be too constrained by it. We enjoy the freedom to evolve and we really cherish all moments that being in a band provides to you.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
G: Fortunately, we have more than a handful of moments to cherish and of which we are really proud of: major gigs, sharing the stage with great bands, amazing studio moments, amongst others. But we believe that playing live in one of the biggest metal festivals in Portugal, in front of thousands, with a live orchestra, is, perhaps, the winner. It was an exhausting but truly rewarding work. You’ll be able to check it out soon as a DVD of that gig is being worked on as we speak.
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?
G: It’s an everyday challenge! One that we have to cope with. As you’ve said, nowadays everyone is a producer or an artist. You just have to get your hands on the right equipment and have the imagination and skills, of course. Also, the social networks changed everything. We had to adapt and fortunately things are working well. We have a lot of contacts to help us divulge our music and promote our work, domestic and abroad, and, of course, we are always producing contents to keep the interest of the listeners and followers alive. Recently we’ve released the videoclip for our music “Media God”, after we already had released the videoclip for the advanced single “The Meaning of Life” last December. Both themes will be part of the track list of our soon to be released album “Hubris”, on next February. You can check them out, and other content, in our official you tube channel: https://youtube.com/@godivaofficial.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
G: We have some promoters with whom we work with, but nothing exclusively. Usually, we deal directly with the show’s producers and discuss and work out the terms and conditions, as well promoting strategies and tools. At the time we’re working on setting some dates, so we hope to have some news for you soon, but only around or after the album released date, in Frebuary.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
G: Well nowadays it’s the new normal, isn’t it? And we have to accept it. More than accept we have to embrace it. The music world has changed and that’s ok. That doesn’t mean we must abandon the idea of releasing physical CDs or LPs or something. There’s still a lot of people out there that likes to collect music in a physical format. That being said, downloading music online, despite the piracy, can also have a very positive side, as can help you to promote your work. It’s easier to click a download button than to get out and go to the disc store. Platforms like Spotify, if managed properly, can help to normalize it and be a win-win situation to everyone, bands and listeners.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
G: That’s a tricky question, and a very hard one to answer. Of course we could place here an almost never ending list. We could go through the classics from bands like Iron Maiden, Slayer or King Diamond / Mercyful Fate, for example, or something more “recent” like Death, COF or Dimmu Borgir, but it would be a very hard and unffair exercise. So the best is to focus on what we have done already and on what we can still do, always having in mind our very diverse individual influences and putting all together to enjoy ourselves and others. We belive that if we stay focused and on track, with any luck, maybe someday, when you ask this same question to other bands they may answer Godiva.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could
G: Entering the dinamics of the music industry was never an easy task. Far from it. Specially in the begginig and for new formed bands. It was always a very competitive and, most times, closed world. So you really have to struggle. Don’t really now what to change, but more than a changing, maybe we could leave here a couple of advices, directed to both labels and bands. It’s important that labels really bet on bands, investing more and maybe take a few more risks, conceding more support and open a little more to new incomers, because, as you know, there’s a lot of quality in the metal underground. To the bands, the advice is to never throw the towel down. Perseverance has to be the key word if one’s really want to pursuit some achivement.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
G: Well at the moment, fortunately, things are plenty busy. As we’ve told you before, we’re working on the release of your debut album “Hubris”, on February next, and on the DVD of our concert at Vagos Metalfest with a live orchestra.
Also, we are working on a couple of new videoclips to be released further on, and setting an agenda for the promotion of “Hubris”, in Portugal and abroad.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
G: You can find us on social media, Facebook and Instagram, or you can check our website at https://www.godivaofficial.com/.
You can also check out our you tube channel at https://youtube.com/@godivaofficial for video content or follow us on Spotify to listen to some of our music.
For booking, or a more personal contact you can reach us by mail: email@example.com.
Finally, you can get our merch at https://godivaofficial.bandcamp.com/merch.