Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself as an artist?
oRR!: If a humanoid sentient blender ate up Oh Sees, King Gizz, Syd Barrett, and The Shaggs, then proceeded to overindulge in some trippy substance, and afterwards let forth a chunder into a cassette deck… then that would describe my overactive imagination and maybe a bit of my sound. Also I’m pretty colourful I guess?
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
oRR!: I’m from Swansea, but in reality my head is in a cloud.. I started music because sometimes you have these ideas in your head that you want to let loose and music is a great outlet for that. doodling stuff also.
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?
oRR!: I listen to and have listened to a lot of psychedelic music, be that 60’s garage rock like The Seeds or the more modern interpretations of that sound such as King Khan and Ty Segall, as well as the other aforementioned blender bands just to name a handful of stuff. Psychedelic culture appeals aesthetically because it’s a lot of wavy shapes, vibrant colours; real dopamine firing stuff both visually and aurally because of how out there it is the brain just soaks it in like some sort of a fun-sponge. A wise wizard called Ian Holloway once told a group of floaty entities, including myself, that there’s no limit to what you can write songs about… space pirates, zombies, Parrots that spew ants made of jelly as paraphrased examples… That’s stuck with me so I try to write about a variety of topics that most wouldn’t necessarily write about. ‘Tastebuds’ by King Khan springs to mind as a perfect example of this sort of songwriting approach. I’ve also started doodling stuff so might start using the doodles as a basis for starting up a song… with my upcoming song ‘Venomous Vines’ being an example of that.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
oRR!: I mean if I’m honest with myself I don’t see my creations being a mainstay in the mainstream anytime soon, or ever. But who knows. Definitely though I want to have my own Wikipedia page written by someone else who did it out of their own pure fanatical necessity. If I get to that point with my music and creations in general I’ll be quite happy. At some point it’d be cool to have my own DIY music printing business i.e making my own vinyl and that sort of thing which is something achievable if not a bit expensive a venture (financially) to jump headfirst into. John Dwyer is an inspiration for my aspirations as he basically runs on the fuel that he creates (his career as a musician appears to be self sustained). Speaking of which if I was in association with one of the aforementioned Oh Sees and King Gizz dudes on their label or something would be radical magical.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
oRR!: There’s a lot of stuff I’m proud about with my music so this might be a ramble. Having people actually buy my music is pretty awesome to be honest, which I didn’t expect to happen anytime soon but there we go. And also I’m going to use this question to say that it’s amazing to have people such as yourself take an interest in what I’m doing enough to feature it and stuff, so thank you. I’d say it’s pretty cool that Matthew Evans from Keys has taught me some stuff, which I would say also loops back to the question previous about inspirations. But also I don’t know his music is groovy as heck so I’m kind of proud to be communication in some way with him. That and knowing Stanley from Black Market Karma, which again his music is really inspiring. I’m actually proud as heck to have met the groovy people from the Psych Lovers gorup on Facebook because it’s a welcoming community and to be accepted by them is rad as heck. I’m not sure if I’ve answered the question correctly but there we go.
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?
oRR!: Man all I can say is Sponsored ads ain’t it chief. Saying that I’ve got a few followers from that but seriously it’s kind of expensive to promote yourself fruitfully usually.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
oRR!: I mean I’m playing in a band called These Thrilling Lies and we’ve got a show coming up on 30th October 2021. It’s a gig we’re putting on ourselves so that’s one way. The other way is to approach venues with an Electronic Press Kit of some description, and ask politely if there are any support slots coming up. To be honest it really isn’t my forté to promote myself in the communicative sense; I mostly just create stuff and send it to people who I think might be interested.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
oRR!: Aw crikey, here we go. As a consumer, Spotify is great for playlisting, sharing music, finding stuff in the more obscure corners of the past. But to be real, it isn’t great for artists. I primarily use Bandcamp for publishing my stuff, with the aim to maybe push it on Spotify after a year of it being released. I want my music to feel valued and Spotify kinda enforces the vibe that music is worth nothing. You even have to pay to get your music on there which sucks. Again though, as a consumer it’s great… I just wish Bandcamp had a playlisting feature and then we’d be golden.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
oRR!: There’s a whole slew of King Gizzard stuff that I wish I’d written. Particularly on their ‘Nonagon Infinity’ LP
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
oRR!: I’d love my music to be popular haha. But nah for real, the whole devaluation of music through streaming kinda sucks, so maybe if there was more commercialisation for music? But also then again I wouldn’t be able to buy all the music I want to listen to from recommendations I’ve read. So to be fair it’s a double edged sword with no clear answer. Just wish people would buy my music I guess.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
oRR!: Ahh crikey; so I’ve got an upcoming Halloween release called ‘POT SKULL GRIM’ which is essentially me and some dudes making some Drum n Bass Krautrock Psychedelic Garage Rock. There’s also the aforementioned ‘Venomous Vines’ track which is kind of Industrial Psychedelia and my first go at using the Roland SP404. I tell a lie there’s a Shrek themed Lo-Fi instrumental beat that I’ve made that’s not been released yet. I’m going to try and use the SP for more stuff moving forward but figure out a way to make it less mechanical sounding perhaps. Big thing though, although the aforementioned are going to be epic, is that I’ve recorded a Psych Folk LP with the working title being ‘The Void’. It’s kind of nasty sounding so I’m not sure how peeps will perceive it but it’s definitely out there enough to put out there. I’m also making an E.P or something using just toy instruments, but I’m not sure where that’s going yet. After all that I’ll probably work on making a string of singles based of off the artwork I’ve been making lately. At some point I am also planning an experimental genre mashup thing that’ll be a Neopolitan ice-cream of sorts, although not so chill and not so sweet… I maybe also want to make a minimalist bedroom pop thing but that might be on the backburner for a while we’ll see though… I’ll make music as I feel like it
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
oRR!: I’d say my Bandcamp to be fair; https://onlyrainydayrainbow.bandcamp.com/