Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
S: Hey Pete. Some have called it alternative metal or progressive metal or rock. who knows. We use a lot of different instruments though and use a lot of ambient textures to try to build that tension and tell the stories. While we do have those heavy downtuned guitars, that’s not the basis of our music. It’s just one weapon
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
S: Well the group started during the first part of the pandemic. We all had experience and mild success in other groups but just kind of brought it together. All the songs that I write are the stories of the dead. Ups and downs, triumphs and tragedies. Years ago I lost someone very dear to me and I began trying things like communication with the dead, séance, etc…I encountered so many of the stories and ideas that I just started putting them to music.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
S: Musical? Tears for fears, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran. Basically all that later era darker new wave stuff. As for the heavier aspect, Machine Head, Sepultura, Pantera, Deftones, and recently; Alpha wolf, architects, and at latest converge record..
Non-musical..? Tom Paine, my grandmother, all the Cowboys in my family who lived out in the west Texas desert and did hard labour with their hands . Even though I’m not religious in the slightest, religions and religious iconography in general were a big influence. Obviously it plays heavy into death, someone’s faith. And since that’s the majority of what I write about, it’s a natural fit.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
S: I think everyone in this band tries to be honest with themselves… Even if Stoneside continues to grow in “success“, it’s a short ride. These days, most bands have the same shelf life as an American football running back which isn’t long…..So my goal in the short term is to have as much fun as we can, work hard, get more live shows going and try be honest in the stories and music we write. when it ends, I’ll go back to the little town where I live in Texas, play my guitar on my front porch and watch the sun go down, and you’ll never hear from me again lol.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
S: I do usually. We write songs to tell the stories of those who have passed away. If you follow us on social media you see that this is not a gag or a schtick. People ask us a lot if this is some put-on. it’s not. I go to the cemeteries, I feel the headstones, I read the engravings and feel that energy… I come back and I write songs about it. Every song on our upcoming EP, ‘The Water’, is a true story of someone who has passed away. We wear masks to make sure that the focus is on that “ghosts” story and not our own egos.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
S: All social media right now. Currently in the market for experienced competent management. But you know how that goes… Just have to see how the pieces fall.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
S: I mean you’re missing a key component ,right? You’re missing the art that you can touch with your hands. You can feel those textures on the album cover. You can read those lyrics like a book. I think we all know that’s why vinyl is so hot right now. It’s about the aesthetic and the art as well. Not just the sound. That said, where the hell would we all be without downloading these days? If it weren’t for the streaming services I’m not really sure what we would do in 2021. Almost everyone I know these days learns about new music from the suggestions that the algorithm makes on platforms like Spotify. And while It might feel a little soulless , the soul is still in the music
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
S: I’ll go with a cliché but it’s one I think most people would understand… Bohemian Rhapsody. For any number of reasons.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
S: Know it all’s. The kind of people that when they’re proven wrong with actual facts, they double down on their dumb ass opinion and just stick to their guns . people who constantly interrupt. That’s one as well. From a musical perspective, the general slimy nature of the “music industry “. I have no problem with the hard-working musicians. I have a problem with the bookers and promoters and self-proclaimed gurus who bleed the musicians dry even during a pandemic. Leeching off the royalties and hard work.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
S: Well basically anytime we get to share the stage with a national act that I respect. But personally, it was competing against nearly 300 acts and winning a spot to play at the Super Bowl live festival in Houston ,Texas. We had two weeks to practice the set and it was just run and go. I think we were terrified but we just went up there and said, just throw everything you have into this moment. Disney and Pixar hand-picked us… I know it sounds silly right? To think of Disney and Pixar in the same sentence as weird experimental or heavy music….but there I was LOL
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
S: Just all the stuff that feels weird but gets the message in the music out there. Social media, interviews, things of that nature. But really where the heart is, it’s going to the Battlegrounds, burial sites, etc. I just can’t really lose sight of that. As far as the music goes, I’m basically riding all the time. I think I’ve got about three albums worth of songs to the point where I just have to tell myself, you have to stop. You have to put this down and take a rest.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
S: You could find clips on all our social media. We are on nearly everything. But on April 16, we were released a video and single for history of violence on all streaming platforms.