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?
S: Not sure exactly how to describe it. I make music that I like to hear myself and I bring in Pagan themes. I guess Extreme Pagan Metal is a good description
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
S: I’m originally from Ukraine. I moved to the US as a teenager and been here ever since. I picked up a guitar at 13 because of bands like Kiss and AC/DC. Started playing in bands in high school. Eventually I got to join Necrophagia and that’s the band that put me on the map and I’ve been touring ever since then.
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?
S: Musically I have lots of inspirations. It all started with Kiss and eventually I got into stuff like Slayer, Metallica and Pantera. Dimebag was a huge inspiration in the earlier years. That’s what helped me get into heavier stuff. Eventually I got into Death and Black metal bands. Trey Azagthoth is one of my biggest guitar idols. Also Jon Notveidt from Dissection, Nergal of Behemoth and Helmuth from Belphegor. Theme wise I get inspired by bands like Watain, Belphegor and Cult of Fire. That whole ritualistic satanic/pagan approach to it and of course the whole stage show part.
I write about Slavic paganism. On the debut album I wrote about the ancient European traditions to do with death and reincarnation. Specifically the origin of Halloween.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
S: Definitely to make a living of my art and travel the world more.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
S: Probably when I got to tour in Europe with Necrophagia and played every night along side David Vincent of Morbid Angel. That was like winning a lottery ticket. I went from playing in local bands to traveling on the bus playing with my idols.
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?
S: It’s definitely a challenge. But I’m getting out there either way. I know the proper ways of doing it and I’m lucky enough to have a manager to help me with that! Hi Al!
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
S: I used to have a booking agency but recently I’ve been booking myself. I’m currently booking a US tour for February 2023. So be on the look out for that. Promoting wise I just post on social media and usually get a whole pr campaign set up.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
S: I mean it’s definitely bullshit but gotta go with the current times. I think it’s another way of making money of off your music but of course it’s not very much. I personally still buy physical records.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
S: That’s a tough of one. I’ve never thought about that before. Maybe Scourge of Iron by Cannibal Corpse. Every time I hear that song I just wanna destroy everything around me and start head banging.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
S: There’s definitely a lot of stuff I don’t like. Labels try to own your music which is the biggest problem I think. You constantly have to be present on social media these days because labels don’t promote as much or only promote their biggest bands. They don’t invest as much money onto newer acts and you’re basically out on your own trying to stay afloat. Everything is about your online presence anymore. That’s how they judge you. Don’t have enough likes, views or followers then you’re not very interesting to the industry folks. What I would change is probably make labels invest more in up and coming bands instead of throwing all their money at old bands putting out the same recycled albums. I would make sure that the focus of the industry is not on the trends but rather on the actual talent.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
S: I’m currently working on the follow up album. Hoping to finish writing by this summer
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?