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?
MA: I’m a deathmetal vocalist but my writing style musically is mainly thrash. I do my best to incorprate deathmetal and thrash together in my music.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
MA: I live in Kitchener Ontario Canada, but I’m from Leamington Ontario, it’s a small town. I started playing metal in the late 90s and early 2000s. I played alot of shows in the Windsor metal scene back in the day with my main band, Aquila.
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?
MA: I’m a big Metallica fan, but it wasn’t until I bought Death’ Sound of Perseverance cd that I wanted to play in a metal band. I bought a guitar and tried to learn guitar. The first band I was in was called Defaced and we couldn’t find a vocalist. The drummer, Richard, suggested that I should try singing. So I did and I have never looked back.
With Aquila, the lyrics are about the Roman empire mainly, which is a great topic and theme. It was brutal times back then, it’s fun to learn about and sing about. So you get a history lesson with us.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
MA: Honestly today I just enjoy writing songs and playing music with my friends in Aquila. I did my solo project to challenge myself as a songwriter. I want to get better at writing and producing my music.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
MA: My proudest moment was releasing Aquila’s debut album back in 2009, Imperium, and touring Canada 3 times promoting that album. It was the most fun and most challenging thing I have ever done as a musician. I have so many great memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
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?
MA: Promoting your music and creating your own music has never been easier. It’s easier to get your music out there by streaming, facebook, YouTube, etc. The problem is that there so many bands out there. You need to entertain people and get people’s attention. It isn’t good enough to just have good songs nowadays. You need to grab people’s attention and hope they like it.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
MA: At the moment, I have nothing planned for live shows. With Aquila, we are planning to play shows again in the future, but we all have families and careers now. It has to be the right time and show for us to play. It will happen, we just don’t know when.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
MA: Honestly I miss going to a record store and picking a cd just by the album artwork. Hoping that it’s good. You spend your money and your invested in that album no matter what. I miss those days. Now with all these streams, it’s easy to listen to a full album of your favorite bands and listen to a band’s full discography. It’s there and I use it. Streaming is here to stay. I think that bands should get more money for streaming. It’s hard being an artist if you’re trying to make money.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
MA: Enter Sandman by Metallica because it changed the metal game and put metal on the map.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
MA: The music industry is hard. It’s not for everyone. It’s all about money, it’s a business. When business is good, it’s good. When it’s bad, it’s really bad for the artist.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
MA: Right now, Aquila is working on finishing the mix on our new Ep called The Great Fire. We are hoping to release it soon. On my solo stuff, I’m working on a 4 song Ep and I’m hoping to release that early next year.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
MA: Go to www.aquilametal.bandcamp.com and you can download all of the Aquila albums for free there. You can also download my solo album on there as well.