Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
TDH: It’s Brewin here to talk about The Calling concept album by the artistic collective known as The Dark Horde. I’m primarily a writer myself (also a games designer and programmer among other hats), and wrote the lyrics for this album, created the story/concept that precedes my supernatural horror novel (also entitled The Dark Horde) and directed/co-ordinated the project with many other artists.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
TDH: Since I could write I have wanted to be a writer in the realms of horror, fantasy and science-fiction (and I’m proud to say even my first story I wrote at the age of six was a horror story where everyone died haha), as well an entomologist. I graduated with a first class honors science degree (with Entomology and Bio-Statistics as the emphasis) in 1998, and have worked in areas of analysis and development ever since (primarily in the market research industry). I published my first novel, Evermore: An Introduction in 2001 (published again 2003 and 2012), The Dark Horde in 2012, wrote and designed Infinite Universe – a science fiction digital gamebook – that was published through Tin Man Games in 2012, and edited/rewrote five titles in their fantasy-based Gamebook Adventures series of digital gamebooks around that same time. After a hiatus of a few years, I’m back with The Calling – the musical prequel to The Dark Horde novel – and always have many other projects I’m working on in various stages of completion.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
TDH: In terms of The Calling album, which is set in 1989, we wanted the music to reflect the heavy metal sounds of that era – bands the likes of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Alice Cooper – and the horror movie soundscapes by composers such as John Carpenter and Giorgio Moroder.
Conceptually the biggest influences on the album are Jeff Wayne (in terms of the execution of the concept album), and the creative works of writers such as H.P.Lovecraft, Clive Barker and H.G.Wells.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
TDH: What drives me as an artist is to “create the things that would not have existed had I not created them”, thereby “making the world different, in whatever slight way, by my having existed in it”. Like any artist really I guess the “dream” is to be able to make a living from art, but that’s an exceedingly rare thing to actually attain (let alone maintain), so my goals tend to be focused on simply doing what I can (with limited time) to create and to tell others about it.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
TDH: I wrote all the lyrics and created the concept for The Calling, recruiting other artists to compose and perform the music, sing the vocal lines, act out the various parts, create the artwork and some of the videos, and to mix and master the recordings.
The story of The Calling (which is a studio-based concept album) is that of Henry Wilcox, a young and broken man living alone in south-eastern Australia in 1989, who records “his final words” in the hope that “someone hears his words and knows of what is come”. It is a story of supernatural horror and the otherworldly (and thoroughly malignant) entities known as “The Dark Horde”. The book that follows continues this story…
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
TDH: Promotion is primarily done through the internet – reviews/interviews/articles etc through sites that cover metal and/or horror topics. Given it’s a studio-project with some sixteen people involved (depending on how you count), the logistics of getting everyone in one place for a live performance is daunting, but not impossible, and we have plans to do something like that in 2022, but those things are not our main focus right now…
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
TDH: Technology is always changing the way in which we interact with art (and everything else), so it really doesn’t matter what I think (in my view), it’s simply a matter of understanding how to access your audience and provide art to them in the format they want.
As for piracy (perhaps this is what you really mean by this question) it’s something I think you can’t really prevent (going after sites doing it is like whack-a-mole), but even this has its upsides too – there are many who access your art this way that otherwise wouldn’t have (whether it be music, books or games), and some of these will even go onto buy your product too.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
TDH: I’m actually stumped by this question cos I don’t think I’ve ever thought “gee that’s a great song – wish I’d written it” as if all you need to do is create a great song and presto! you’re a success. I can certainly say from my own experience (perhaps bitter experience haha), that most of what makes an artist successful is not the product itself. It’s promotion and marketing. Having a good product certainly helps, but even well-marketed garbage will sell, while the best art won’t sell without good marketing.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
TDH: Depends on how honest I am haha. Let’s just say I’m a scientist in training and outlook, and there’s little in this world I have faith or trust in outside of science. I think the most ignorant voices tend to be the loudest on social media, and typically come from those who have no understanding of how science arrives at the things we call “knowledge” upon which virtually everything that makes up the society we have now is now based (things like studies needing to be peer-reviewed by independent experts in the field, independent replication of studies, statistical testing versus the null hypothesis etc). So yes undermining of “what scientists say” like it’s equivalent to “an opinion” annoys me, as do binary black-and-white sweeping generalisations (such as “politicians are all corrupt”, “the media is hiding the truth”, “pharmaceutical companies are in a conspiracy”, “men do this”, “women want this”, “Asians do this” etc etc). Reality is a lot more nuanced than such blanket statements and cannot be reduced to such simplistic summaries – but that takes effort to understand, and in many cases decades of work in a given field to be considered anything close to “expert” on a subject.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
TDH: In music? Creating this album (which I’ve worked on with many artists spawning many unreleased versions since 2000 only to be released now). I, as is everyone else involved in this project, am extremely proud of the finished product, and believe that it deserves to be heard. But whether it’s actually heard or not, I (we) know that we’ve created something that we can all be proud of and will endure for many years to come (at least), so that is its own reward.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
TDH: I’m always working on numerous creative projects (it’s what I do and have always done – I have drawers and drawers full of creations, some of which eventually get released). Probably the two main ones of note at the moment are a sequel to The Dark Horde novel, and a board/role-playing-game hybrid I’ve worked on since 1985 that fills over two drawers on its own (that project in particular is still some way off). But there’s numerous others in the works, so we’ll see what actually gets released next…
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
TDH: The Calling album, and the three singles released in the lead-up to its release, are available on all major digital platforms, with physical copies to be available any day now (and possibly by the time this interview is posted).
All of the details, including listen/download/buy links, details on the internationally-recognised artists involved, youtube links, artwork and reviews can be found here:
And the facebook page where news is more frequently posted is here:
And a full lyric video playlist for the entire album can be found on youtube here:
Thank you for having me and your time!