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?
TG: As an artist I am unafraid to experiment with different genres and deliver lyrics and visuals which some might say is provocative. I don’t provoke for the sake of provoking, I just feel like there’s some important shit to say, and having been an artist in British Society, there’s always plenty to be inspired by.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
TG: I’m from Peckham, an area in south east London in the UK and the music thing pretty much started the day I was introduced to Logic, a recording software program, whilst I was at school. The Music Department showed me their little MIDI studio set-up and from the age of 14 I was composing Dance music on synthesisers and listening to Tony De Vit on Kiss 100. That all changed when I went to college. By the time I was 18, I had fallen in love with Rock music and I wanted to be legit at singing and writing lyrics, as well as music production. I worked with producer Julian Chown during my 20’s and he became a collaborator of mine for about 10 years and eventually in 2015, after shiz loads of studio sessions and touring, I released my debut single “I Don’t Love Nobody Anymore.”
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?
TG: My influences are a bit all over the place. One moment I could be listening to Tricky, the next moment I could be listening to Avril Lavigne, and the next moment I could be listening to Skunk Anansie and so on, but if I had choose one artist who I admire for their strong songwriting skills, fearless experimentation with genres, diverse vocal ability and insane guitar playing, it would have to be PJ Harvey. Is This Desire will forever remain one of my favourite albums of all time.
On the other hand, what inspires my lyrics writing varies. On my debut album “Cloud Zero In Society,” there were very few songs which were directly about me. During that era I was deeply inspired by the way in which incidents occurring within British society, such as terrorist attacks, had emotionally affected people. It was an empathetic record. Not so autobiographical, and I don’t know if that style of lyric writing will continue in the future. However, what I have noticed is that with the new music which people are yet to hear, the lyrics are very politically driven.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
TG: To simply get better and better and better. Making music excites me the most when I am either challenged or challenging myself and at the moment, I am facing one of my biggest challenges to date which is setting up my own music production brand. It’s been in the works for quite some time but I am now beginning to build up my portfolio which I am hoping will be of interest to anyone that needs music. Besides this, I just want to continue making music as a solo artist and tour.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
TG: Releasing my debut album. “Cloud Zero” had actually been finished for a few years before it was released but, after some delays and of course Covid, I finally put it out last year in 2022. The fact that I’ve also been able to direct my own music videos for singles such as “The Dirty Nasty Truth” and “Brown Eyes,” again makes me feel so happy to be doing what I’m doing.
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?
TG: It is a challenge and I am only referring to my own experience when I say that most of the time, social media updates haven’t been enough. I feel as though as an artist I have needed much more than social media to promote my music. It’s only as of recently that I have had the support of a PR agent and in the end, if you are an independent artist, I feel as though you need at all, a PR agent, a booking agent, social media, the works.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
TG: I don’t currently have a booking agent. However, tour dates will be announced at the start of the Summer on my social media channels and I can’t wait to get back on that stage, rock out and sing my songs.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
TG: I’m a typical 21st century kid. I love Spotify and I can be a typical man of convenience. If there’s anything easier than sticking on a CD then I’ll go with the easier option, and I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing that streaming has allowed us, for example, to create our own playlists. The same way that artists should be given the freedom of how to make music, consumers should be given the freedom of how they listen to it, within reason of course and as long as the music has been paid for.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
TG: There’s so flipping many. Emeli Sande’s “Clown” is one of them. The chord structure performed softly on the piano, the supporting melodies performed on the strings, Emeli’s captivating vocal performance, the catchy hook, the heartfelt lyrics, the whole thing is emotive and makes me cry every time I hear it, which is why it’s a song I choose not to listen to often. An artist that can evoke that kind of reaction from the listener is a rare talent.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
TG: Honestly, the structure. There’s no other industry like it and not in a good way. The structure is very complex and unnecessarily so. For example, if you’re an actor you go to audition for the role, if you’ve graduated from Law school you then go to a job interview for a law firm, if you’re dancer you audition for a show and so on. Although there are jobs in the music industry in which you would go for the job interview, being an artist isn’t one of those jobs. There is no interview process, there is no audition. An artist simply relies on luck if they don’t want to be independent anymore and I find that weird. Many, I’m sure, would disagree with me but I just don’t understand why the only route to getting signed is luck, which is partly the reason why I gave up on the goal of getting signed years ago.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
TG: Two things. The first thing is working on getting my production brand up and running and the second thing is finishing my new record. I have a second album in the works and all the songs have derived from studio sessions which have taken place during a Masters in Music which I am in the midst of completing. I’m so excited for it to be finished and I will have a brand new single out in July this year, with the new record to follow.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
TG: Definitely follow me on Instagram at www.instagram.com/terryguyofficial and my YouTube channel which is www.youtube.com/terryguyofficial And you can stream all my music on Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/artist/5QiLXu1ADmX9M0VyK1jAdP My official website will go live this Summer once there is an official release date for my second album.
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