The Cowls – Interview
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
TC: I’m a solo electronic indie rock artist.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
TC: I was born in Saginaw, Michigan, and have bounced around the USA since then. Years ago, I was in several indie rock bands in New York City, mostly playing guitar and singing a little. I started the Cowls in 2018 and have recorded four EPs and three albums under that name in the time since.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
TC: Musical influences are all over the map. I was raised on a steady diet of American guitar rock, which led me to bands like the Pixies and Dinosaur Jr. For years, I had a secret crush on electronic pop (Phil Oakey of the Human League was my first love), but never felt like I was allowed to act on that until I started the Cowls and began messing about with synths. It’s been downhill ever since.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
TC: I’m already way past my goals. All I ever wanted was to record my own songs in my own style. The thought of having an audience was too audacious to imagine. Now my goal is to keep pushing myself artistically until it all collapses and I’m reduced to a single ambient drone.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
TC: I write all the songs (mostly because I have no bandmates and someone has to do it), and they’re about whatever is on my mind as I record them. I always start with the music, and the words flow from there. In fact, I usually start with a title based on the chord progression, then fit the song into that theme.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
TC: Social media and lots of hassling my friends and neighbours. It’s a fine line between confident and annoying.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
TC: It’s all we got at this point (though the new album is available on cassette). It’s tough to get paid that way, and I do think streaming services get away with too much, but there are ways to make it work. It is a lot of work, though.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
TC: I wish I wrote “Raspberry Beret” by Prince because it is a perfect song.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
TC: People who don’t like “Raspberry Beret.” People who are rude. People who rudely tell me they don’t like “Raspberry Beret.”
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
TC: Finishing my first solo show at the Bread Shed in Manchester in 2019 without vomiting or collapsing.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
TC: More songs. Always more songs. I throw out more than I keep, and I am constantly trying new things and refining my technique. My latest batch of songs is just two percussive synths and a very angry guitar. It’s chaotic and wonderful.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
TC: I have a bunch of EPs and three LPs on Bandcamp (including cassettes!): https://thecowls.bandcamp.com/