Interview with Terence Stevens (Vocals and Rhythm Guitar) with Suspyria and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
That’s not the easiest question to answer, it’s hard to summarize a feeling and put it into the exact right words. But I think as an artist I’m striving to be passionate and humble, and to create art with depth and emotion.
As a band I think Suspyria really symbolizes new beginnings, it’s about feeling through pain and striving to survive. Moving through life and the journey it takes us on. Not letting trauma own you. A lot of the music can be surface level sounding like this sad heavy stuff, (a lot of metalcore I find can really dwell on the negatives) but if you pay attention to the lyrics, there is perseverance and strength to overcome lying underneath.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
We’re an Australian based band, from Melbourne specifically. We had all been in the music scene for a few years, some of us trying many different projects without really finding that spark. It’s hard to find people that you not only get along with but also, artistically gel with. When we eventually all came together it felt like striking gold. It started with me (Terence, Vocalist) working on music with our lead guitarist (Mitchell). He was originally trying out for my other project (DEADFALL), but we decided to start from scratch and build something new altogether. After writing a few songs and landing on a name (SUSPYRIA), we eventually recruited our Drummer (Beau). At this point we wanted to get into the studio, we’d had around 6 songs finished and ready. This would become our debut EP Regression.
Funnily enough we hadn’t found the right bass player and it took a while before someone came along who was ready to really jump in with the passion we needed. We had no intention of slowing down, and had already planned a music video for our title track “Regression”. This was when Christian hit us up and we honestly all got along pretty instantly. Except Beau really didn’t like him at first. It was pretty funny, the first time they met properly was actually on the music video set. I guess that they rubbed each other wrong? Haha, but they’re all good now. After hanging out a few times they really clicked.
Fast forward to now, going through a pandemic, mental health ups and downs and lockdowns in our city and state, we all get along really well. We gel with writing and playing music together. As corny as it is, it feels like we’re basically family now.
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?
We have such a wide range of musical influences between us. Some of the ones more geared toward the heavy music side of things are artists such as; Architects, Motionless in White, Parkway Drive, Breaking Benjamin, Polaris, Deftones, Rise Against.
Most of us grew up listening to metalcore, hardcore heavy rock and emo. All of us played our instruments all throughout highschool and as adolescents. It feels so natural to write music. Like it’s coming out of our blood and bones.
“My parents influenced me a lot, same with my older brother. They all played large roles introducing me to instruments, music, and helping me define myself as a musician. They helped shape me into the person I am a lot more than they know.” – Terence
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
We want to create music with depth and character to connect to people. Tell stories through music, with visual creations that bring the audio to life. And move our listeners with vicious heavy instrumentals backed by soaring melodies. All of us want to turn this band into a lifelong career full of opportunity. Tour the country, tour the world. Meet amazing people, and live through the journey as musicians as far as we can take it.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
The proudest moment would definitely be a few shows ago, there was a blind guy at the back of the audience. Standing and listening to the music. It really shook us. For so many beautiful reasons.
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?
It’s honestly going pretty well. Sure there are a lot of things we would love to achieve moving forward. But taking a moment of grace to reflect on even the small achievements helps us persist. It could easily feel like you’re drowning in the scene sometimes, the amount of amazing bands coming out of the woodwork. It can sometimes feel really competitive? I hate that competitive attitude though. We’re all in this together and we should lift eachother up as musicians and artists. – Terence
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
We are under a management company called UAC, but we mostly coordinate and book our own shows within the band. This does require a professional demeanor to be organised in the approach. Which can be difficult but we handle it well. We do frequently get approached by booking agents and other bands for shows, so there can be a bit of picking and choosing. Our next show is at The Tote Hotel, in Collingwood (Melbourne, Aus) on the 2nd of September.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
We love how accessible music is these days to the average listener. It’s really an amazing situation where all over the world these platforms allow you to get music into the ears of people everywhere. The downside? Extreme loss of profits to artists, more specifically and especially the smaller artists. Downloading music, and now streaming music has completely changed and shaped the entire way that the music industry works. It’s a double edged sword.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Save Me by Avenged Sevenfold. It’s just beautifully well crafted music. The way the song builds up and crescendos accompanied by the grit and emotion in the melody. It’s a really long song, 11 minutes, but you can just listen to the entire thing and not feel like any time has passed. It’s one of those songs for me that feels like it transcends time.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
That inner circle mentality, and the competitive attitude. I do understand why some people and some artists have it. But it can sometimes feel like an exclusive club where bands aren’t wanting to play with you unless you’re in with that crowd.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
Right now we are gearing up for our Single launch on the 2nd of september. Our new Single Tabula Rasa will be released. It’s a dark and heavy song. Then we’re going to be getting ready for the album to drop on october 7th.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
You can buy our merch on our website www.suspyria.com and follow our socials to keep up to date with what’s going on in the band.