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?
The Under: As a band, we have a lot of diversity but much of it is rooted in 70’s prog and heavy rock, 80’s thrash, and a 90’s-00’s type of general melodicism.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
The Under: I grew up in both New York City and Miami before settling in Boston some 20 years ago after leaving home. I grew up listening to the radio and watching MTV like it was my job. I was also very affected by the music my Brazilian father and Cuban mother listened to. I was fascinated by singers and songwriters throughout my formative years. But it wasn’t until I was a young teenager before I tried my hand at vocals, my first instrument. As I got into my 20s I picked up the guitar and never put it down until I got good at it!
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?
The Under: Music is like a reflex at this point, in that it’s become both somewhat effortless and something I have to do. Riffs and melodies can come easily and I feel a perpetual need to come up with ideas. The very act of playing and singing is its own inspiration. My songs tend to have loose existential musings that allow the listener to work on coming up with a subjective interpretation. Many times the music comes before the melodies, which come before the lyrics. Songs tend to write themselves versus coming up with an idea and forcing it into existence.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
The Under: For the most part, to have fun. Music is about expression, performing, having things to look forward to, and making friends and connections.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
The Under: Having gotten to a place in my playing and singing where I can create freely and focus on giving a good performance. I get a lot of joy from the process itself. Otherwise, I tend to stay away from getting too proud, as the other show is always ready to drop!
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?
The Under: Admittedly, it hasn’t been very easy! It’s like having to employ a whole other set of skills in addition to the ones you’ve spent so long developing. At some point you hope to farm much of the promotion out, but you need to have a good grasp of how it all works first. We’ve gotten a good bit of help promoting our single from Metal Devastation Radio and are now talking with Sliptrick Records about potential distribution.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
The Under: We promote through various means, as any smart band should do…social media, mailing lists, tapping books who will be sure to promote the show. Right now we’re just working on releasing the next single from our forthcoming The Fathom EP. We will get to booking an EP release show in the Boston area once that single drops. Hopefully we can embark on a small tour once we can secure some distribution.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
The Under: My first thought on this tends to be that streaming and file sharing has made music a lot more disposable and thus, less valued. But that’s really not the fault of any one streaming service or type of music file. Unfortunately, artists missed the boat on cornering the digital distribution market when the RIAA was still floundering. So a lot of financial practices have stayed the same despite the increased avenues of distribution.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
The Under: I can’t think of any songs, but guitar a few guitar solos come to mind. Randy Rhoads’ solo in Ozzy’s Believer. The Marty Friedman solos in Holy Wars. Any Angus Young solo for the most part.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
The Under: I’m not a fan of how music tends to incidental to an artist’s profile. This is nothing new, but we’re getting to a point where the industry doesn’t take musicians seriously unless they fulfill certain identifiable metrics on social media. Again, if artistic minded folks controlled those platforms it might be a different story. But for the most part musicians are slaves to fickle algorithms dedicated to advertising trends, not the needs of the artist. That tends to detract some the sole focus which should be the music.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
The Under: Right now, we’re just working on promoting our new single Divine Drive and The Fathom EP which will be out soon! Music creation will need to take a back seat for a bit.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
The Under: We ask that folks visit our Linktree, listen to the single, sign up for our mailing list and follow us on our socials in spite of my comments above! And tell us what you think! We really wanna know!
Thanks so much Pete for taking the time to reach out to us. We really appreciate it!
The Under links:
Band/Artist location – Boston, Massachusetts
Website – Facebook – You Tube – Bandcamp – Merch –
Twitter – Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – LinkTree –
Check our page for The Under