Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
GCB: That’s not an easy answer. I grew up playing the blues and early rock- n- roll then became a huge metal fan in the 80s especially as my playing improved. In the mid 90s, I turned my attention to classical guitar and composition. About 10 years ago, I really got back into playing my electric and have had so much fun writing solo shred stuff as well as re-birthing my metal band Age of Fire. In the past decade, I’ve also really gotten to jazz which has been great and still learning of those nuances. I’ve been at this awhile 😊
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
GCB: I’ve been playing guitar and writing for over 40 years now. My first was gig outside Miami at age 14 and haven’t looked back. I still really enjoy the process immensely: writing, performing and sharing my music with people. I spend as much time writing classical music as I do metal, I feel they compliment each other. I’m in the process in bridging those two worlds as we speak so stay tuned for some cool stuff coming up before the end of the year. I dabble in many genres and always try to challenge myself and push my creative envelope. The industry has changed so much over the years so I’m always trying to adapt and reach as many people as possible. In essence I do now what I did when I was younger, I write music and perform anywhere I can, the methods have changed and the venues and I get to travel more now 😊
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
GCB: Well musical I’d say Metallica, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Overkill, Queensryche, Savatage, Nevermore, Nightwish, so many really. As far as non-musical goes, people inspire me. I read a lot of autobiographies. I’m a huge Bruce Lee fan and also of the NASA astronauts, how they faced all those unknowns so bravely astounds me. I’m a space/science nerd so I’ll read books by Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson and so many others.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
GCB: To play and write music full time but I’m very grateful for where I’m at today. I’d love to play some big festivals and jam with some of my heroes. As always, just trying to get as many people possible to listen to my music.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
GCBI write all of the music but open to collaborate if the opportunity presented itself. Just doing my thing. My solo electric music is instrumental but in Age of Fire the themes can be about warfare, history, subjects from literature and even from my dreams (nightmares from my youth).
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
GCB: The internet is the battleground right now for exposure and promotion. There are some grassroots stuff I’ll do for more local shows but the internet is key. Where I live there isn’t a metal scene so I’m always looking and trying to reach places beyond and where there is a more vibrant following for metal. The web has been great with forums, and groups chats and like-minded people sharing music and being able to reach and talk with fans and other musicians immediately is incredible. I’m as much a fan as I am a musician. The caliber of musicianship and sings coming out right now in mind-blowing.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
GCB: Double edged sword. On one hand you have a global reach and unprecedented exposure but on the other hand so does everyone else so it can be difficult to cut through all of that. The fact that most streaming platforms pay a fraction of a cent per stream while they walk away with billions is criminal in my mind.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
GCB: I don’t think like that. If I hear a killer song, I try to see what grabbed me, tempo, key, subject, structure and perhaps see if a tune I’m writing could benefit from any of those things. We are all borrowers as songwriters.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
GCB: I try to not focus on negatives but I know I have some peeves. A couple things that leap to mind is punctuality and people who can’t respond promptly to messages. This is part of my livelihood so when it comes to that I’m very serious and want to get things done. In the music business, I try to surround myself with people who have the same work ethic.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
GCB: Wow, that’s a hard one. I’ve been at this awhile. Just the support from fans around the globe. It is very humbling and moving when people reach out to me and say what a certain song I wrote means to them. At the end of the day its all about connection. People are so busy so when they take the time to listen to one of my tunes, it means the world to me.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
GCB: I’m finishing up a string trio and writing a string quartet that will both premiere this Summer. Age of Fire is finishing up it’s EP called Through the Tempest and will be out this Spring. We have already released two singles from it “Children of the Night” which came out on Halloween and just this past week we put out the title track which is an instrumental. I also have a bunch of sketches for another solo shred disc but I need to wrap up these other projects first, you might hear something by the end of the year.
PD: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
GBC: Because they’e fun? I have some solo classical guitar gigs coming up and some virtual electric showcases/clinics as well. Stay tuned to my social media pages. I’m also in the process of getting my Master’s in Music Composition but graduate in August, so there will be more live shows once that is behind me.