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?
Pain Descendant: I am mostly cynical with a dark view of the world and a patience for long riffs and drawn out vocals. There are many musical influences in my life that have led me to this point.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
Pain Descendant: I am from Massachusetts, US. Music has been in my life since age 5. I started with piano and then guitar. Over the years I’ve learned to play other instruments like Chapman Stick, cello, mandolin, bass, and drums.
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?
Pain Descendant: Living with depression and anxiety mixed with the smell of Autumn in New England into frigid winter draws a certain creativity out of me. Most of the songs relate to that depression and despair and suicide. Several friends and influences have taken their own lives in the past 20 years of my life. There are traces of their existence in all of these songs. Band members from previous projects inspire me to create. There are hundreds of riffs sitting in the riff garden that were written with my friend Dan Rubin. We will put something together with that collection. Another friend, Mike Lachance, started a radio show in the US where he plays whatever metal he wants and doesn’t necessarily care what anyone out there thinks about it. I look up to him for that.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
Pain Descendant: Writing music is therapy to me. I mostly aspire to staying alive so I can create more and never stop listening to the amazing work that others have created. There is never a day without music.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
Pain Descendant: Releasing the first album for my other project with friend and musician Chris Svenson, Maestus Caelum, was a proud moment. It was a summary of 28+ years of built up grief for absent friends. I felt relieved after it was released and immediately started writing the next one, and the first Pain Descendant song.
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?
Pain Descendant: I am comfortable in the batcave that is my home studio. I’ve found that Bandcamp does a good job of recommending music to others, and in some cases that leads to them recommending it to their peers. Being an extreme introvert has always made it challenging to put myself out there and promote something. Social media has always sort of made me cringe.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
Pain Descendant: With both projects there are no shows or tours planned yet. I’d love to play this music live. First I would have to find musicians that are wanting to learn this material.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
Pain Descendant: When I see the mp3s of my songs being downloadable on sites in random parts of the world, it makes me a little frustrated. I feel for the musicians that fully depend on music to survive. You can argue that it is free promotion, but it still feels not great.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Pain Descendant: Opeth – To Bid You Farewell. It’s a beautiful song with its dissonance in places and vocal harmonies / guitar harmonies. The acoustic pieces of their old catalog are what I practice to keep my chops. The story in that song mixed with the recording quality and notes is life ending (in a good way?).
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
Pain Descendant: I am not well versed in the industry necessarily. Most of my experience is in studios and practice rooms. I’ve played some live shows in the past with metal and hardcore bands, but it has been over 20 years. The industry seems like a challenging place to survive. I hear of venues taking part of the merch sales and think it is impossible to actually break even on tour as a young band. I’d like to answer this question in ten years.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
Pain Descendant: My other project, Maestus Caelum, has a second album that is just about finished being mixed. We will release that early 2023. I started writing more material for another album with them. A day after the latest Pain Descendant EP released I wrote another song to use on a third production. I am looking forward to writing more for this project in the coming weeks.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
Pain Descendant: There’s really no place to get merch at this point. That will be an investment I’d like to make eventually, but can’t make it work yet. My friend Mitch Bushnoe has been creating some amazing art for my projects that will be great for shirts, though. The music is on most streaming services and Bandcamp. Purchases can be made through channels like Bandcamp, Amazon Music, Apple Music. I had CDs made for each project because I still collect. If you see me somewhere I’ll give you a few.