Replicant Theory Interview
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD. What type of artist are you?
RT.As Replicant Theory I am a solo artist that creates original music with a blend of guitars and synthesizers. My sound is somewhat hard to describe, yes, it’s alternative Hard Rock, but there are a lot of industrial & metal influenced guitars, quieter prog riffs reminiscent of the 70’s and a load of synth. With my newer work, the synths are becoming more prevalent.
it’s alternative Hard Rock, but there are a lot of industrial & metal influenced guitars, quieter prog riffs reminiscent of the 70’s and a load of synth.
PD. Tell us the brief history of yourself.
RT. I have always had a love of music. My rock and roll journey really started when I was 16 and bought a cheap Memphis Les Paul knockoff electric guitar. I played in and out of a handful of bands playing originals but nothing really stuck or gained traction. I decided to hang up my hat and retire to settle down with a wife, family and job.
As several years passed by and I felt the need for an outlet… I formed Replicant Theory around 2005 and started working on an album with a talented singer. As the album was being finished and we were looking for musicians to form a live band, the singer relocated half way across the country and everything fell apart. Dismayed, the drive to work on material and record diminished and eventually I went into another retirement, again.
Sometime around 2014 I had to address an minor but painful medical issue and after getting through the ordeal I had asked myself if I had not pulled through, was there anything in life I wish I would have done or regretted… I had a burning desire to make music again… I picked up my instruments and knocked years of rust off, worked on a few collaborations, got some music in short film and a game and started working on new ideas. Replicant Theory returned.
PD. Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
RT. In high school, the main two bands that drew me in were Nine Inch Nails and U2… somewhat opposite ends of the spectrum….
NIN led me to other bands that would help shape my love of industrial music like Filter, God Lives Underwater, Stabbing Westward, kidney Thieves, Zeromancer, Ministry, Deadsy or The Birthday Massacre.
U2 led me to a love of everything 80’s, especially new wave. It also led to other bands that I love such as Placebo, Keane, The Cure, The Smiths, Radiohead, Muse, Pulp and many other bands from the U.K.
As an adult (I use the term loosely) I have really found a deep appreciation for Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Queen, Electric Light Orchestra and many of the classic prog bands.
Most recently I have been enamored with the synthwave, outrun or retrowave musical movement with bands like FM84, Lazerhawk or Dance with the Dead.
My son (11) can recognize David Gilmour’s guitar when he hears it and my daughter (9) loves David Lee Roth era Van Halen, so I hope I have done something right in preserving good music upon humanities future.
In high school, the main two bands that drew me in were Nine Inch Nails and U2… somewhat opposite ends of the spectrum….
PD. What are your dreams and goals?
RT. Ha, contract for fame and fortune? Tour the world playing on all endorsed gear? Stop losing my hair and going gray? Lol…. I think there are tons of pie in the sky things you could hope for, but at some point you have to be honest with yourself and what you may or may not achieve. I would be happy to write music for an audience that wants to listen to it. Anything beyond that is a gift.
PD. Who writes your songs, what are they about?
RT. As a solo artist I have written nearly all of the songs to date. There are a few tracks from my first album with a vocalist in 2005 where he had a few concept ideas that I fleshed out. In the collaboration Magadore, I tended to write the main structure and the other guitarist would add shredding solos and input here and there occasionally.
When I am working on a song that is not for a game application I tend to have science fiction or apocalyptic concepts or stories in the back of my mind. Themes of lost love or desperate adventures are not uncommon. A question I will often ask myself on a heavier track is if I could play the original “Doom” fps video game from ID Software to it.
PD. How do you promote your band and shows?
RT. I have found that a mix of social media and networking with other artists, fans and bloggers / podcasts has helped me gain exposure. Some sites I think have done more for me than others. Twitter has been my favorite so far. I see other artists who have thousands of followers and I always wonder how the hell they pulled it off.
I will be looking at doing more promo’s and give aways of downloads. If people are willing to give your songs a chance and like them you would hope they would spread the word.
If people are willing to give your songs a chance and like them you would hope they would spread the word.
PD. What do you think about downloading music online?
RT. In the past 10 years I have bought MP3’s on iTunes and have yet to physically to go to a store and buy a physical CD. I think as a society we are moving to a digital / streaming system and away from the traditional collections. On the flip side some of my friends are into collecting records and focus on the sounds of vinyl and I am fascinated by it.
PD. What’s your outlook on the record industry today?
RT. I honestly have had little dealings with the “industry” outside of several show promoters for gigs. Being a DIY artist and self releasing music on Bandcamp, SoundCloud and digital distribution partners has been a decent starting point for me.
PD. What’s your claim to fame?
RT. I am famous? Wow, when did that happen?!? I did have a few songs in the mobile game “Dead Hunt” before it was pulled from the App Store by the developer. I guess I am different… I use an iPhone and apps for all of my guitars, soft synths and recording. I do all of my own repairs and modifications to guitars and other effects. Lastly when playing out, I tend to play so hard and aggressively I have occasionally ripped apart my right palm and left blood splatter all over my guitars strings, pickups, knobs, bridge and body…. Always fun to clean up biohazard guitars the day after gigs…. I have pics, but they are mildly gruesome, lol.
PD. What are some of your pet peeves?
RT. Man, where do I start… I will keep it to 3. Lol
For pet peeves the main one would be playing a show with another band and not having them stick around for your set. It is a jerk move to play an earlier set then bail on everyone else. The scene in Milwaukee is small for original rock acts and it is tough to get people to pay 5 to 10 dollars for an evening of original music. Spread the love, if your fans come to a show, ask them to stay for the other bands and promote them during your set. It makes a difference. Nothing sucks more than playing the last spot to a tired bartender and like 3 people…
For pet peeves the main one would be playing a show with another band and not having them stick around for your set.
Drunks jumping on stage and taking the mic is definitely up there on the list. For one, it is super disrespectful to the band playing, depending on the band it is a good way to get your ass kicked and lastly when you are on stage, gear costs money. Talked to another musician about this and some idiot that went on stage and took out his guitar stand breaking off the head stock of his Gibson SG…
My other big pet peeve is communication. When you are working with other creative people tensions can flair at times. Being honest with your feelings and criticisms is important to work through conflict but being able to be tactful and respect is equally important. Nothing ruins a collaboration faster than when another member goes off the rails and becomes a jerk.
Being honest with your feelings and criticisms is important to work through conflict but being able to be tactful and respect is equally important.
PD. What are the biggest obstacles for artists?
RT. Exposure and getting fans… I think getting the word out, getting people interested to come to shows, getting people to listen to your music and being willing to look out side the box and adapt to the audience.
PD. Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
RT. My last show was in May with a collaboration. For right now I am not looking at playing any shows as Replicant Theory. I am in a holding pattern until next spring when my spouse finishes college. My goal is to have 2 albums released by then and in spring decide how I want to move forward. If I can find an awesome synth artist to team up with I would want to pursue Replicant Theory as a live band. If not, I envision doing a side project playing some real groove heavy riffs on guitar with a drummer, bass and singer.
You should come to the shows because I like to perform and throw special effects into what we do like fog machines, custom foot activated strobe lighting and other things like that. The visuals are as important as the music and I believe you need both to give the audience something special and memorable.
Replicant Theory links:
Band location – Milwaukee Wisconsin
Find more info about Replicant Theory on their Website
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Listen to Replicant Theory music on their Soundcloud page
Listen to and buy Replicant Theory music on Bandcamp
Listen to and buy Replicant Theory music on Google Play
Listen to Replicant Theory music on Spotify
Find info and links for Replicant Theory on their Reverbnation page
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