Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD. What type of artist are you?
S. I’d say I’m a death metal artist, primarily. I take from a lot of different wells, but at the end of the day, it all seems to coalesce as death metal.
PD. Tell us the brief history of yourself.
S. Well, I recorded my first demo back when I was 18, back in late 2002. I wrote a song and my buddy drummed and recorded it on his 8 track digital recorder. It was sloppy-ass Dismember worship and I initially went with the name “Blood Red Sky.” Eventually, through the magic of Myspace, I discovered there were A LOT of bands with the same name, and I’d discovered Kataklysm, so I changed the name to “Stormland” because it sounded powerful and bad-ass, like the song. In 2005, I went to college for audio engineering, learned to program drums and record myself en route to getting an associates degree. I built a little recording rig at home and slowly but surely started writing and recording songs by myself. I ended up with a live band for a short time, got one gig out of it around 2007-2007 at one of Thrash Wrestling’s annual Super Evil Bloody Death Hell Elimination Tournament shows. It broke up shortly after that and I made the decision to just go it alone because keeping a full band together is too much of a headache for me, since I’m too sensitive for it. Since then, I’ve just kept at it, writing batches of songs, just trying to get better and better.
PD. Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
S. My musical influences? Too many too list. Kataklysm’s probably the base of it all, but since then Allegaeon has become a big influence, at least in terms of songwriting and pushing myself as a musician. If I like something, I’ll take from it, doesn’t matter what genre. Non-musically? Since I let go of a lot of the anger and hate I used to have as young man, It’s science fiction, fantasy, and anime mostly, at least as far as what I bring into the music.
PD. What are your dreams and goals?
S. My musical goal? Make an album that people thinks is worth their money. My musical dream? Sell enough copies that a label decides to take a chance on licensing “Songs of Future Wars” for physical release. And maybe some t-shirts.
PD. Who writes your songs, what are they about?
S. I write the songs. I’m the Barry Manilow of Death Metal! I write the songs that make the world’s heads bang! Haha! With “Songs of Future Wars,” all the songs are about characters and/or mecha from the Mobile Suit Gundam meta-series. Trying to get into their heads or tell a story through them.
PD. How do you promote your band and shows?
S. I’m a one man band, Pete! That means my most viable means of promotion is social media and talking to fine folks like yourself if I want to reach the music-buying public. So I go out there, try to make friends and influence people and hope they’ll dig what I do.
PD. What do you think about downloading music online?
S. Like torrenting and all that? I used to do it, but then I felt like a jerk for doing it and went back to buying what I can. What I can’t, I stream legally and generally try and urge others to buy. So don’t torrent music, kids. Buy your downloads from places like Bandcamp!
PD. What’s your outlook on the record industry today?
S. The record industry is still in flux. As much as I said I stream music, and I do, the royalty rates that the streaming services get to pay artists are downright exploitative. And with Apple killing the iTunes store in the coming years, it seems like vendors are starting to think that music isn’t worth owning. And that’s garbage. Music is absolutely worth owning! It’s nice to be able to look at even a digital download and say, “I love this so much that I spent money on it! This is worth money to have forever!” Because it is. It is 1000% – that’s not a typo, either – worth it to own music, and I think the fans know that.
PD. What song do you wish you’d written and why?
S. Wow… That’s a good question, Pete! Probably “Of Mind and Matrix” by Allegaeon, because that song is tremendous. I just love it. I wish I was that good a musician! I used to chase after Kataklysm as far as the level of playing and songwriting I wanted to be at, but now it’s Allegaeon, and “Of Mind and Matrix” is a great example of why. Greg Burgess and Mike Stancel are always pushing their playing and their songwriting with every album, and that inspires me to push myself as well.
PD. What are some of your pet peeves?
S. My pet peeves are bigotry of all kinds, fascism, and low-energy music.
PD. What is your proudest moment in music?
S. My proudest moment is a tie between two things: The first was when Karl Willetts of Bolt Thrower and Memoriam heard my cover of “The Killchain” and didn’t hate it. The second is any time people buy my music. Seriously! I put it out there hoping people like it, but I’m still surprised anybody drops their digital coin down on it.
PD. Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there
S. I don’t have any shows, but I want to take a moment to promote some other bands, it that’s alright. First: Gross Misconduct. They are to me what Sliang Laos are to Lamb of God: The local band that influenced them but never got their due. Anyways, Gross Misconduct has a kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/ projects/grossmisconduct/help- gross-misconduct-get-you-our- new-album-merch) going for the physical release of their third album, “Equinox.” It’s going to be another fantastic slab of technical death/thrash, for fans of Martyr and Death. Next, my friend Dan has a new Void Ritual album, “Death Is Peace” coming out on August 3rd as well. That’s available on Ipos Music (https://iposmusic.bandcamp. com/) and will rip your faces off. Next, the bearded good brothers in Allfather have their new album, “…And All Will be Desolation” coming out September 7th on their Bandcamp (https://allfather1.bandcamp. com/). And finally, the homey Richard Weeks of Blackened Death Records (https://blackeneddeath. bandcamp.com/) is always putting out some solid music. Dude’s ridiculously prolific and his catalogue is worth your time.
Thanks for your time, Pete! This was fun!
Band location – Enderby, British Columbia Canada
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