Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
JL: A hard rock/metal guitarist music writer. I would say song writer but lyrics aren’t my strong point. That’s why I’ve got all my singer friends in to make the album with me.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
JL: I was born and raised in the East Midlands. I’ve always loved music from as far back as I can remember. Pop music on the radio in the 90’s and my dad vinyl collection of rock/metal from the 80s was mainly what I heard. I loved watching live concert videos and remember Iron Maidens ‘Maiden England’ very fondly. I thought guitar was the coolest thing in the world so I started playing it at the age of 13. I got really good really fast and was playing maiden songs including some solos after a year. It’s all I wanted to do. I’ve always been in bands since I was 15. As soon as one ended for whatever reason I joined another and carried on. I’ve played all around the UK and a few European countries along the way but 20 years later I’ve decided to take a new approach and just release things solo. This means I can now do everything the way I want it with everyone who wants to do it without the hassle of a traditional band.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
JL: Musical I would say Joe Satriani is number 1, then Zakk Wylde and George Lynch but I could names guitarists I love forever. Non musical is more difficult. Just anyone who really believes in what they are doing and is passionate about it.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
JL: To play on/make as many albums as possible. I write a lot of music and being in the band format there was always a reason that making albums was held back be it financial or just general commitment from other members. That’s why I’ve taken the opportunity to go “solo”. Back in the 70s/80s bands would put out full albums every year or two and it was great. That seems to be lacking these days. Maybe I’m asking too much?
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
JL: I write all the music from the guitars/bass/structure point of view and then a chosen vocalist will write the lyrics (which I’m not good at) and melodies. We both then go over all the harmonies and tidy it all up. Lyrically they the usual ground of love/lust/good times/bad times but there are tracks on the album about having enough of your job and wanting to be taken away, friendships and overcoming hard times. A bit of everything.
PD: How do you promote yourself and shows?
JL: I haven’t done any live shows as this project so I’m kind of starting from the ground up. I’ve made what I think is a very sexy video for a track called “Can you feel it?” which is out now on all platforms. You should check that out. With so much competition for attention these days I think promotion is one of the hardest things any artist has to deal with now. I’ll have to get back to you when I figure it all out.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
JL: If you mean legally then It’s perfectly fine. If you mean illegally then I’m not one to judge because I used to do it just as much as anyone else so I would be hypocritical to take a stance against it. People will do whatever they want when it comes to music. I think its better to just make it available wherever actually want it. Whether it’s YouTube, Spotify, CD’s, Vinyl or illegally downloaded you can’t make people do things the way you want them to. I just accept it for what it is. It doesn’t do any favours financially but to use myself as an example if I downloaded someone’s music for free I would almost always go see them on tour and maybe buy some merch as well so I’m not averse to spending money on an artist I enjoy. I use Spotify these days so I’m all above board on that front.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
JL: Too many to mention. If I had to pick one then maybe something like “Back in Black” by AC/DC because it’s one of those classics that never gets old and I’m sure the royalties from that track alone would keep me comfortable.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
JL: I was going to I’m quite relaxed so I can’t really think of any but then I remembered one. “Guilty Pleasures”. I hate that term because no one should be guilty about anything they enjoy. Especially music. Why be embarrassed all guilty that you enjoy something? It might damage your street cred? Anyone who knocks you for a so called guilty pleasure is borderline bullying. On that note I’ll admit the Backstreet Boys have got some right bangers. No shame. It’s true.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
JL: I think playing at Bloodstock 2011 opening the Sophie Lancaster stage on the same day the Motorhead headlined. That was a great weekend.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
JL: Trying to promote my upcoming album “Hot and Dangerous”. I’m also writing and recording albums for two other people off the back of this one so keep a look out on all the main social medias. Hit me up if you need any guitar work.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
JL: I’m on all Streaming services and also on www.justinlarner.bandcamp.com has all my currently released music. Thanks for taking any time to check it out.