Mullen – Interview
Andrew Mullen Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
1 What type of artist are you?
At heart I’ve always been an Alternative Rock artist. I love guitar riffs and driving drums. When I started writing for my debut album ‘intox’ (due for release later this year), I wanted to write songs that I would be proud of and enjoy playing. This naturally evolved into rock tunes that are full of dirty guitar riffs and large drums. The songs are socially aware and I try to make the songs matter as so people can connect with them. I feel that rock music is far to safe and generic nowadays, so I really did want to challenge myself to write about topics that people could relate to and be impacted by them.
I wanted to write songs that I would be proud of and enjoy playing. This naturally evolved into rock tunes that are full of dirty guitar riffs and large drums.
2 Tell us the brief history of yourself.
Would you believe my first guitar was a Tennis Racquet? Ha ha, it’s true. I grew up in a small town in Australia called Yackandandah. It is an old gold mining town with not a lot to do. So I used to play the tennis racket as a guitar while listening to Dire Straits. Soon enough I picked up an actual guitar. Dad taught me a few chords and I was away. To be honest, it was quite the obsession for me. Through high school I played in Grunge cover bands and was writing songs for these bands. I moved to Sydney with a band, where I learned that what I really wanted to do was play my own songs. I did get distracted by the corporate life for a bit where I traveled a lot as an IT consultant, but I was always writing, determined to be the best I could be. A few years ago now, I decided that I needed to be selfish, and focus on my music. It was risky, but totally worth it. This leap of faith in my music, and trust in my songs has liberated me. With the support, reaction and engagement I have been getting, it is something I am very thankful for.
3 Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
I am heavily influenced by Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits. I even named my first dog after him! Tool, The Tea Party, Pearl Jam and The Smashing Pumpkins are bands I idolise and more recently Biffy Clyro and Muse are what I inspire to be.
I am heavily influenced by Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits. I even named my first dog after him!
Non-musical is a tougher question. My parents are without doubt very influential. Their values, compassion and unconditional love has certainly shaped me.
4 What are your dreams and goals?
World domination, accolades and groupies. Ha ha, I wish I were joking! For now, my immediate goal is to secure a solid position on the 2018 European Festival Circuit. My debut album will be release later this year, and I would like to do everything I can do build on the success of the first single (The Devil Is Innocent), to ensure the album is received internationally with respect. Dreams of the red carpet and stardom will always be there, but today I will focus on the baby steps.
5 Who writes your songs, what are they about?
I am the sole songwriter. The songs on the album are all socially conscience. The topics range from Mental Health Issues, Addiction, Marriage Equality and Political Corruptness. There are songs on the album that are directly personal to me, and others that relate to society as a whole. I believe we all have a responsibility to make the world safe and fair. For me, this is through music.
6 How do you promote your band and shows?
Social Media is extremely powerful for promotion, but it is also saturated. I promote on social media, but I do prefer to use it as a place to announce, interact and keep people updated. The real power of promotion is actually getting into the human world and playing shows, creating a buzz, connecting with people, being accessible and doing something that matters to the audience.
7 What do you think about downloading music online?
I have no problem with downloading music online providing the artist gets the recognition and the revenue for the art they are creating. Even illegal downloads can be used to the artist’s benefit.
8 What’s your outlook on the record industry today?
I am very excited by the industry. I think we are coming towards a cross-roads where the monopoly that was once held by traditional record labels, and now online services, is about to bust wide open. I think the saturation of rubbish music will be filtered out, DIY sites will disappear and labels will lose their influence as ‘money lenders’.
The good thing about the traditional labels when they were more than just a bank, was that they wanted good music. They filtered out the pretenders and provided good music. The benefit with the DIY market is that it has given a voice to good musicians that weren’t being heard by a label. Sooner or later the traditional and DIY will evolve into something where quality music is easily accessible, the rubbish is filtered out and large budgets are not as influential.
I think the saturation of rubbish music will be filtered out, DIY sites will disappear and labels will lose their influence as ‘money lenders’.
9 What’s your claim to fame?
Does creating the world’s first Music Therapy App count? I can’t really say I have a claim to fame, that is in the eye of the beholder!
10 What are some of your pet peeves?
People that chew loudly! Seriously, I can’t think of anything I find more irritating! I’d probably rather go through some sort of CIA sound torture than sit near someone who chews loudly.
11 What are the biggest obstacles for artists?
Themselves. It is my opinion that artists are focusing too much on themselves and not enough on the music. Crowdfunding is all about them. Getting votes and ‘likes’ is all a popularity contest and the world is growing tired of self-entitled musicians who write a nice song and expect everyone to drop everything to support them. Artists need to pay more attention to what their audience wants, to writing better songs, and to take a few risks when it comes to their career.
It is my opinion that artists are focusing too much on themselves and not enough on the music. Crowdfunding is all about them
12 Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there
I am currently booking a tour for the UK and Europe for the 2nd half of this year. We are almost able to announce the dates, but for now I can say it will include England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, Netherlands etc. I am very excited by it. These shows will give all lovers of rock music and those who appreciate good songwriting, the opportunity to connect with the music at a very intimate level. You should expect a very passionate performance, you should expect to be charged and fired up and you should expect to leave the gig exhausted and saying ‘wow’!
Thank you Pete, for this interview opportunity. Your support is greatly appreciated and I am very grateful to be able to share with your readers. I would like to invite everyone to pop onto social media and say hi to me. Here are the best ways to say hello and keep up to date.
Visit our page for more info on Mullen here
Official Website: http://www.mullen.com.au/