Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
S: Solo musician/producer, making everything from metal, to indie rock, to alternative electro rock hah.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
S: Hmm where to start.. Well, I was born, I’m sure that sucked for my mom. Then I showed a heavy interest in being a musician as my career at the age of 15, which I’m sure sucked even more. I learned every System of a Down song on the guitar by ear, and basically just wanted to be like them. I started doing a little bit of recording around that time too, and was in a few high school bands. Worked a bunch of meaningless jobs around the country, while focusing mostly on just producing music, and how the hell I was going to make it as a solo artist. I would get in bands, and stupidly hope that I would be able to sway them to just play my songs. Never worked out that way, and I was disappointed with what they were writing. I had a job as a chef just before COVID hit, and I wasn’t able to do much music work at that time. So when everything shut down, I had my first real opportunity to go all in with music, with no distractions. The pay off was tremendous, so it was at that time that I decided I wouldn’t ever be returning to the 9-5 type life.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
S: Musical would be Daron Malakian of System of a Down, Bradley Nowell from Sublime, Brian Eschbach of The Black Dahlia Murder, Matt Bellamy of Muse, surprisingly Danielle of Computer Magic, Jack White, Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth, Trent Reznor of Nine inch Nails, Mastadon, Ordinance, Leprous, Ordinance, oh and of course Chuck Shuldiner of Death. I could keep going on, but I feel like I already have gone way too far with that answer hah.
Non musical, there isn’t as much. I’d say, Bill Hicks, TJ Kirk a youtuber (The Amazing Atheist) (I actually did his theme song) ummm… My brother and my cousin, who are both artists (visual artists) have actually helped me stay inspired, and given me some good advice over the years as well. My main black and white image of me sitting beneath a tree was done by my cousin, and my upcoming album’s artwork is an old piece of my brothers.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
S: I just want to be able to earn enough from music that it can continue to be my primary focus in life. I’d also really like to do more guest vocals, or perhaps guitar for some of my friends, and other bands. I love singing, and writing melodies, so it’d be really fun to not have to worry about the production end of things and just sing.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
S: Myself Sam/Samtar, writes everything. They vary a lot. I’ve done stuff with concrete storylines, which is fun and all, but I honestly like being vague and having things be more about the feeling – which also allows for everything to be ambiguous, so the listener can kind of decide what it means to them. However, I will say there is usually a shadow over all of my songs: introspection, misanthropy, mystery, rebellion, self empowerment, and overall just weirdness.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
S: Exclusively through social media at this point. Since I’m still small enough, I try to actually individually message most people that follow me, just to try to get them off instagram or facebook, and really listening on a platform that helps me. Messaging random people has actually led to some super fun conversations, and new friends, so I honestly love it most of the time.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
S: I’m not thrilled about piracy, especially when it’s a smaller artist like myself. I know my music actually gets pirated a decent amount in Russia. But if I had the choice of them not listening at all, or pirating, I’d always choose pirating. Other than that, downloading through iTunes, Bandcamp, or listening on Spotify, I’m all about. Honestly, I love the Spotify thing the most, because while they may pay shit, they can help traject an artist from being super small, to being heard by soooo many people, simply because of similar musical tastes.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
S: Map of the Problematique, and Knights of Cydonia.. I know, super weird that they’re both Muse songs haha. But they both so perfectly envelope a sound and feeling I want to create.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
S: People looking me in the eye, people talking to me. haha, just kidding. Ummm, I kind of hate when people comment on my music just to promote their own music. Something about that is particularly scummy. This one person used to comment on all of my stuff saying they loved it, and begging for me to listen to theirs. I felt horrible, because I just didn’t like the genre they were working on. It wasn’t bad by any means, but it was like religious R&B or something – just something I have literally ZERO connection to. So I kind of told them like hey, it’s not really my style, and I never heard from them again. I just find it odd that you’d act like you love what I do just to promote yourself.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
S: That’s a toughy. Probably releasing my first album, and selling some merch to people I’d never met. Overall I’m just continually proud with how far I’ve come with all of the instruments I play, and my production ability. I also used to honestly be scared of releasing my music into the world, in fear of people hating it. So I’m proud I got over that bullshit, because there’s always going to be people that hate what you do – no matter what.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
S: I can quite literally never stop writing, so I’m working on some new songs for album 3 already. I’m tentatively planning on doing some type of music video for one or two of my songs off my upcoming second album, “The Curse of Infinite Luminosity” in January. I also really want to start working on my death metal project.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
S: My physical merch, like shirts, CDs, and my upcoming album are all available at my website SamtarOfficial.com
I also have links to other streaming services there.
Band/Artist location – Madison Wisconsin
Website and Merch – Facebook – You Tube – Soundcloud – Bandcamp –
Merch – Twitter – Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer
Check our page for Samtar