The Cranberry Merchants – Interview
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
TCM: We’re primarily a rock duo, but we like to dabble in elements of other genres when putting our songs together.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
TCM: We’ve actually been writing music together for over 25 years and were in a band called Halcyon AD back in the 90’s, at which time we got a little bit of airplay on college radio. We had kind of strayed from music for many years due to other life responsibilities and circumstances. But this past fall, we found ourselves with the golden opportunity of TIME to once again put our full attention into our music. With doing our own promotion being more feasible now with social media, we decided to make a couple of music videos as well, so as to offer that extra layer of visual art to the music.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
TCM: Dianne grew up in the 80’s listening to a lot of new wave bands like Duran Duran and The Cure, while Steve listened to mostly classic rock such as Led Zeppelin and The Who. However, we met in the middle with a love of stadium rock bands of the 80’s, such as Foreigner and Heart. So it’s made for a pretty eclectic mix of influences!
As for non-musical influences, Dianne is an avid reader of history, historical fiction, and classic poetry which has definitely made an impact on her as a lyricist. Steve has always been a big fan of simplicity and minimalism and loves the works of Norman Rockwell and Steven Spielberg because they can find such great beauty in the simplest of things. But he also loves the works of Rod Serling and George Carlin for their ability to say so much by saying so little.
PD: What do you hope to accomplish with your music?
TCM: To bring fun and energy back to rock music! But we’re finding that there actually is a lot of great rock music out there being produced by other indie bands… music much better than anything you hear on commercial radio… so we’d love to help bring that music to the masses, as well as the great internet radio stations who are pioneering its rise.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
TCM: We both do! But we never really set out to write about any particular subject matter, just whatever strikes us with each piece of music. It’s made for some rather unconventional lyrics, such as with our song, “The Black Maria” which is historically based, whereas “In the Blood” tends to be more socio-political.
PD: How do you promote your band?
TCM: Currently, primarily through social media and the use of music videos. But we’re also gaining a lot of traction through internet radio stations, which are an amazing “venue” to play in, as it’s gives you an instant global audience. We’ve been TRULY amazed by the wide range of people from all walks of life that have reacted to our music. It blows our minds to see that we have folks such as a pizza shop in the Philippines, a youth hostel in Moscow, and British seaside pubs as our social media followers! We’ve also found it really interesting to know that we seem to have struck a chord in certain metropolitan markets that we in no way targeted, such as Barcelona, Rome, and Tokyo, where a number of our social media fans seem to be concentrated.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
TCM: While it’s incredibly convenient to find and buy our favourite music online, we personally are big fans of owning hard copy recordings of music, as our rather enormous collection of records and CDs will attest! There’s just something about seeing and holding the album art and liner notes that enhances the whole experience of collecting.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
TCM: For Dianne, probably “Come Undone” by Duran Duran, as it’s such a well-crafted arrangement and the lyrics are a very unique take on the whole sentiment behind a love song. Although there are SO many classic rock songs he could name, Steve would probably pick something like “Wearing & Tearing” by Led Zeppelin because of the sheer raw energy of it.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
TCM: Auto-tune, auto-tune, AUTO TUNE!!! We wish this musical fad would just die already! LOL!
Also smarmy DJs who like to try to play God with people’s music, and will only do so if you kiss up to them, rather than on the merit of the music itself. We’ve loved that the general attitude of the DJs we’ve encountered on internet radio has been so cool and that they really believe in the music.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
TCM: We’re not sure if we’ve really achieved it yet, but we are very proud of the way that our video for “The Black Maria” turned out, especially considering it was made with a shoestring budget. The song itself was a grand experiment in minimalism that really worked.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
TCM: We’re currently working on video #3 for our instrumental piece, “Going Nowhere.”
PD: So what’s next?
TCM: We have a lot of new songs in various stages of composition and production, so we hope to get back into the studio this summer to work on this new material.
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Band location – Atlanta Georgia
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