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?
IV: Well, as a musician in general, I liken myself to an alchemist of sorts.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
IV: I’m born and raised in Wisconsin and been attempting to create music since a very young age. I remember my music tastes in the mid-80’s being in 6th grade: Weird Al, Run DMC, Cro-Mags, and Napalm Death – just to give you an idea of the chaos that was in my head musically (and still is).
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?
IV: I’ll write about whatever, really. These days, I find the lyrical subject matter to be of lesser importance than the overall construction of whatever I’m trying to achieve musically in the moment. As far as inspiration, I keep myself open. It can happen through any number of ways… reading, contemplation, discovering music previously unknown to me, a novel combination of sense-based aesthetics. Stuff like that.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
IV: To be left alone in a grand attic filled with fantastic tapestries, candles, incense, forgotten items from all ages, strange and obscure vinyl records, a couple guitars, and some recording gear.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
IV: I’ve had a number of really awesome things happen, and have personally achieved many landmarks. But to name one, maybe opening for Slayer years ago with one of my previous bands.
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?
IV: I find that you have to be extremely dedicated to that aspect if you want any kind of artistic recognition. You also have to think outside the box. For myself, I built the Altrusian Grace Media YouTube channel as a platform for all my creative endeavors.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
IV: I have pretty much retired from live performance and prefer to be creating instead.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
IV: I think streaming sites should pay artists more, it’s literally just pennies for a thousands of listens. On the other hand, I never have liked paywalls (unless it’s something like a pre-order) and like to make everything I do accessible to everyone. That means working to put out my music through every avenue available, and usually people that like you will support you if it’s a ‘value-for-value’ model.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
IV: I am always chasing that dragon. The I wish I’d written is still out there floating around in the aether.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
IV: Pay to play bullshit. Elitist artists, bands, labels, club owners. Don’t like ’em. Would I change it? No. You need resistance and opposition to build yourself up as an individual and artist in a strong and mature way. Challenges provide the opportunities to develop the important aspects of oneself. Those things I dislike are reminders of what I don’t want to be and give me a map of the territory I have to navigate.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
IV: Many audiobook projects, the next Sleestak album, just to name some.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
IV: I encourage everyone interested to subscribe at https://www.youtube.com/c/AltrusianGraceMedia and from there you can find all the different ways to explore my music and other projects.