Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
RF: Goth Pop Visionaries.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
(CURTIS) We’ve been making music all our lives, making it together for five years or so. We finally got round to finishing a debut album during lockdown when we could do literally nothing else.
(JOE) Bit of furlough helped.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
(ANNA) We all have very different backgrounds and personalities so the range is huge as far as influences. I think it shows in the production ideas and vocal melodies within a usual trip-hop backbone. We all love Portishead and Massive Attack, but when we’re in the car together we sometimes fight over what to listen to unless its Radiohead and then we’re all happy. My personal favourites that may or may not show up in my writing are Weval, Daughter, Sylvan Esso, Garbage, Foals to name a few. Also, one that we sound nothing like, The National, because they’ve gotten me through some hard times.
(CURTIS) Kendrick Lamar, Jenny Hval, Bowie, Portishead, FKA Twigs, Arca, Bjork. My most loved visual artist is Egon Schiele.
(JOE) We definitely all share Portishead and Massive Attack. I grew up teaching myself REM bass lines as well and hopefully some of that influence comes through in my playing now and again.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
(CURTIS) We want to make something worth remembering.
(ANNA) Also we’d love to get to a point where we can just focus on writing and playing music and not worry so much about all the admin and social media stuff that comes along with being a musician these days.
(JOE) Playing a show without fucking up.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
(ANNA) The songs start from a small production idea from any one of us and then I make them into a song with lyrics, melodies, and a structure. We then work on the production together once the bones are there, usually remotely but sometimes we’ll lock ourselves in a studio and see what develops as well. My writing, especially for this album, tends to lean heavily on my depression and anxieties. I can never write in the moment as I’m deep in a depressive state, but the reflection afterwards produces my best stuff. I also draw from observations around me or things my friends and family go through. I usually lean into how a production idea makes me feel and then the melodies and lyrics just pour out of me. Dreaming for example stemmed from a production idea Curtis put together and the vibe made me reflect on remembering fun nights while I was stuck in lockdown and the lyrics and melodies just flowed from there.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
(CURTIS) We try to make the previous show enjoyable, hopefully people will come back.
(JOE) Anna really does a great job with our socials as well and working with promoters. It’s more important than ever to establish an identity to go along with your sound, and we love and appreciate every one of our followers.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
(CURTIS) All music should be free and all artists should be paid £500 a day by the British government. We will pay for this by taxing seagulls.
(ANNA) rolls her eyes Agree with free music, but also its so difficult to be a musician these days financially. I think a lot of people take for granted the amazing range of music they listen to, especially with the ease of streaming and downloading, and overlook the work and passion that goes into each track without having a physical representation of it in CD or record form anymore.
(JOE) There’s definitely a sense that the industry has found a way to monetise streamed and downloadable music, which is great, but that smaller artists still struggle to get themselves heard and fairly compensated.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
(CURTIS) Heartbeats by the Knife brings out the purest feeling of joy in me, I can’t imagine how fun it must have been to make.
(ANNA) So many it’s hard to narrow it down. We do a cover of Wicked Games and every time I sing it, I wish I had written those haunting and beautiful lyrics.
(JOE) Jezebel by Iron & Wine is poetry. Just love the vivid imagery in Sam Beam’s lyrics. Urchin by Labyrinth Ear is probably the song I most wish was one of ours.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
(CURTIS) Sad white boys with acoustic guitars. Intros to albums that build up loads of tension then fade out. The British indie accent. Posh people pretending to be working class in rock bands. Spoken word music that is constantly obsessed with boring middle class minutiae and has nothing outward to say.
(ANNA) Musicians who are super connected through family or whatever and get everything handed to them without working for it or deserving it.
(JOE) Keyboard stands, probably.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
(CURTIS) Finishing an entire album by ourselves with no outside input and it’s actually fucking good.
(JOE) Curtis said “that’s nice” once about a bass part I was recording. The warm glow from that will keep me going when I can’t have the heating on this winter.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
(CURTIS) A few more upbeat tracks to play live. Some music videos to show off the songs we’ve already recorded. Visuals to go with the sounds.
(ANNA) We have a few new tracks we’re working on that I’m really excited about and will hopefully have some more singles to release after our album comes out.
(JOE) Other than that we’ll be promoting the album and hopefully playing a series of shows in the new year. We love to have our live set flow with interesting transitions and take the audience on a bit of a journey so we’ll be working hard on getting the set just right.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
RF: Dreaming is the first single from our new album Nighttime Economy. It’s going to be out everywhere on December 2nd.