Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
OTS: I create in order to grow, so it’s always been important to me to not become too reliant on the things I’ve already discovered or learned. A new work should exhibit a new skill, concept, or reflection. I also believe that the work of an artist should be unique and novel, so the approach to creating should be just as individual. It’s in how a person thinks, how they see the world and all the things unseen.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
OTS: I grew up all over the US because my folks were young, broke, looking for work, and having kids along the way. I’ve got 3 siblings, and we were tight throughout childhood. I was big into drawing at an early age, and horror movies were my first drug beginning at 4 or 5. I still miss that kind of terror. Ma used to play an electric organ at home all the time and would let us take a crack at it. Pops was singer and bassist in a garage band when we settled down for a time in southern MD, and I used to play in pretend bands with my siblings, emulating his band until picking up real instruments and doing the thing at a young age in SC. The first actual band I played in with my siblings was called Little Wing. We played classic rock covers, almost the exact same catalog as our dad’s old band, Full Tilt. Then we started writing our own stuff, and it got heavy. We broke apart as a band, reformed, and changed our name to Aftermath, playing regionally between Myrtle Beach, Fayetteville, Charleston, and surrounding areas for a few years. I graduated high school and started building houses with my father, and the band carried forward. We broke apart again, reformed, and then became Of The Sun after recording our debut record, A.M. RADIO, in Myrtle Beach. The family business tanked with the recession, and I got familiar with working all kinds of jobs. OTS broke up, and I moved to Austin with my brother and our dog to start over again. We connected with some awesome people out there and went through 3 different lineups in TX (as well as a 3 year hiatus). We connected with Sebastian Cure, a truly great dude, at a show. He struck a deal with us then and there that he would do whatever it took to make records with us. The band then dissolved, but my brother and I stayed in touch with Sebastian. I helped to build his studio as payment for 2 EPs while looking for a drummer. We found one, but he stuck around just long enough to record the first EP, BEFORE A HUMAN PATH, before quitting. Then my brother, David, quit. He’d been there since the start, but had had enough of starting over. I recorded guitars and vocals and programmed drums at the studio to outline this coming EP, PATTERN REBIRTH, before moving to Germany to live with my girlfriend. We got married and built a house together while I learned how to speak German and work as a Hausmeister. Sebastian connected with Bryce Butler (drums, Shadow Of Intent) and Jacob Umansky (bass, Intervals) in this time, and they were recruited as drummer and bassist for this record, along with drummer Rom Gov (Tibetan Sky Ritual), who performs on the track, Lost Tongue. Sebastian moved back down to Barranquilla, Colombia, and built PEREGRINO Media Studios. From there, we completed PATTERN REBIRTH, coordinating between Europe, South America, and the US. I’ve just been doing what I can to stay connected with everyone from back home interested in hearing this music when it comes out. I built my own DAW here at home and continue to track new music. My wife, Elena, just gave birth to our son, Henry.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
OTS: The influence of Nirvana cannot be overstated. A cassette of Nevermind was constantly being played, stretching the tape itself and dropping the tone and speed of the music over time. They led to Alice In Chains and Soundgarden, both bands exposing me to their own unique horizons. Jimi Hendrix was the first person to really impress on me what it meant to make a guitar scream. Pantera was the first metal band to reach through to me and make me realize the energy behind the sound. From there, it spiraled out to Psyopus, Car Bomb, Opeth, Revocation, BTBAM, TTDTDE, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Intronaut, and the list goes on. Frank Zappa and Mr Bungle had a particular influence in my disregard of song structure and genre loyalty.
Outside of music, I am inspired by leftist and stoic ideologies, world history not taught in public school, mythology and the parallels tying it to reality, geometry and design, and the wonder of simply looking inside my psyche and finding things to unearth.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
OTS: I strive to die satisfied with who I am and what I’ve done. Part of that is to always experiment with music, and to break through to everyone who wants to hear this rendition of songcraft. I’d love to be in an actual band again, too. Of The Sun has been a solo project since 2017, and I really miss playing shows, or just rehearsing with other people.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
OTS: I’ve always been the primary songwriter, approaching my band mates in the past with the general song structure of nearly every piece. Each song is its own animal with varying themes, but there is a common thread of facing the uncomfortable truth being pulled through most of my material.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
OTS: I’ve got a mailing list that I am active with, and people can sign up to it by sending a message to email@example.com. I’m also active on the standard social media platforms, and have been working with C-Squared Music to promote this next batch of material in particular. Curtis Dewar promoted our last release, Before A Human Path.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
OTS: It makes the experience of consuming music less personal, not at all the same type of investment it used to be. However, people aren’t getting burned for $20 buying an album they find out they don’t like anymore. There is a lot to say about this. The sheer volume of options is staggering and can easily overwhelm instead of inspire. But finding incredible, obscure artists has never been easier. It’s hard to hate.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
OTS: I’ve never asked myself this question before. I’ll go with Sleep Is Wrong by Sleepytime Gorilla Museum (also a huge inspiration). It’s a brilliant fucking tune.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
OTS: I just get disappointed when I hear a song for the first time and know exactly where it’s gonna go. I wanna go for a ride, damn it. Also, christo-fascism.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
OTS: Without a doubt, my proudest achievement has been putting PATTERN REBIRTH together from overseas without a band. First off, how sick is it that I got to work with dudes from Intervals and Shadow Of Intent? Combine that with the fact that it was coordinated by my producer, Sebastian Cure, rooted in a 10-year-old promise. It feels downright ethereal.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
OTS: I’m developing the cover art for the next batch of singles at the moment. This is something I’ve done for my bands since day one. I also created a couple music videos for the upcoming release of the single, PATTERN REBIRTH. I’m debating which songs will also have music videos made for them. It might just be one more, but I can’t say for sure just yet.
There is a plan to recut elements of the last EP, BEFORE A HUMAN PATH, starting with the drums. Without going into too much detail, some bad energy needs to be exorcised. More details on that as things unfold. I’m also wrapping up some songs for the next record, though I’m still feeling out how long I’m trying to make it.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
OTS: A.M. RADIO & BEFORE A HUMAN PATH are on all streaming platforms. PATTERN REBIRTH (both the single as well as the EP) will follow suit soon. Just know that I’m releasing it piecemeal. You can buy my music by visiting noiseofthesun.bandcamp.com.
Of The Sun links:
Band/Artist location – Germany
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