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: Experimental thrash/speed metal, perhaps. I’m interested in a wide variety of musical styles: classical, european folk music, classical persian folk music, jazz, gypsy jazz, etc.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
S: I grew up in a military family, so I travelled frequently when I was young. We settled in the small town of Olivet, IL – nothing but fields, woods, cemeteries, etc. Around the age of 6, I worked my way through the Doug Marks Metal Guitar Method beginner-advanced series. My parents then sought out private instructors – a blues/bluegrass instructor for 2 years and a Steve Vai enthusiast I had for over a decade. At 14, I released my first album which was voted #4 independent metal release in 2004 by Tower Records – Forest of Witchery (Invokation of the Ancient One). Over time, I’ve sought out instructors specializing in very niche styles of playing, such as those mentioned above. Persian folk music is by far my favorite. I’ve played in various bands over the years – many black metal bands. Sepulchra was started after the disbandment of Virgin Idol, about a month ago.
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: I have a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a Master of Arts in Humanities (Specializing in Classical Literature). I tend to write through the lens of human suffering, inspired by Miltonian and Schopenhaerian themes. In terms of what inspires me, musicality is innate – so in this sense, I’m compelled to create.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
S: To continue creating music that others can (potentially) resonate with.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
S: I would have to say my proudest moment was when the directors of Hellhounds reached out to me to utilize my music for their film and I was invited to the premiere. Secondly, the Virgin Idol debut album beating Skullfist on the NWOTHM charts. I was astonished, to say the least!
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 going well, and I have an excellent PR team. I’m not seeking to make a fortune – I’m simply making music.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
S: No plans to play live. I’ve parted ways with that and have decided to go the Bathory/Darkthrone route. I’ve toured and have done the festival circuit with many bands. The cost of touring alone is not worth it – it retracts a certain aesthetic I’m not willing to part with.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
S: I’m 100% in support of streaming. I was reluctant at one point, but this has changed. The music model itself has changed drastically.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
S: Burning Leather by Bathory. It has a definitive W.A.S.P./Motorhead sound – it’s one of those riff structures that gives me chills when I hear it.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
S: I think it’s kept with its ultimate destiny. There’s nothing I would personally change.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
S: Several Sepulchra singles. Well over an album worth of material for the coming year.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
S: Check out any of my past bands – including Virgin Idol and Forest of Witchery. You can follow Sepulchra on Facebook (through the Virgin Idol Records page) and find our music on the Virgin Idol Records Bandcamp page.
Virgin Idol links:
Band/Artist location – Indianapolis, IN
Facebook – Bandcamp –
Check our page for SEPULCHRA