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?
TH: As far as our sound goes, we hate to be one of those “it’s hard to describe our sound” bands, but we kind of are. There’s no doubt you’ll hear glimpses of some of our favorite bands (Green Day, Jimmy Eat World, Arctic Monkeys, The Hold Steady… just to name a few), but we make a strong effort not to latch on to one style too much.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
TH: We met in high school, growing up in central Illinois. Music was something that we immediately bonded over. It wasn’t just the glue to our friendship, it was more like a catalyst. We’ve been in bands together since we were 14 and don’t plan to stop anytime soon.
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?
TH: Our favorite bands are what inspire us most. There is constantly new music being released by incredible artists. And it’s easier than ever to be catching those releases immediately. Nothing makes us want to pick up the guitar more than a really powerful new release. We tend to draw inspiration from other bands, music, movies, books… you name it. One of the most prevalent themes in our songs is nostalgia. It’s a powerful thing.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
TH: Mostly, we just want to show off our songs. We write music that we love to listen to and we hope others do too. We don’t care if we’re selling out Wembley, or playing a local open mic. We just hope people enjoy the music as much as we do.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
TH: That’s a tough one. In October 2021 we released our debut album, Skeleton Tracks. That release was a really powerful moment for us. To be able to hold that CD in our hands and see the album art was so thrilling. Physical releases are kind of a lost art but we’ve always been big into nostalgia. You’ll also see a retro-technology motif in some of our artwork. We’ve always appreciate that aesthetic. And it seems CDs are now also part of that bygone era. So it feels fitting that the CD should fit right in with that.
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?
TH: Promotion is never-ending and never free. With other hungry bands, not to mention the endless stream of ads we’re constantly subjected to, it’s hard to stand out amongst the noise. That’s were live shows and word of mouth really work some magic. Nothing will ever beat that human-to-human connection.
It’s also vitally important to constantly be putting your best foot forward. People aren’t often willing to give a second chance if they don’t immediately appreciate your work. So each release needs to be your best. Each post needs to be attention-grabbing. There’s an art to it and we’re always refining it.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
TH: We have some shows we’re booking in May. Currently, we’ve been doing a lot of self-promotion and booking. We have some great friends in great bands who are always willing to throw us on a ticket.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
TH: We’re all for whatever exposes new music to new fans. We we don’t love the collapse of album-writing as an art, we accept that as a necessary evil if it means listeners all over the world can hear our tracks. The freedom of the service, to have entire discographies, is such an exciting thing. While the system isn’t perfect, we think there are more pros than cons.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
TH: “Happy Birthday” because we’d be so rich on royalties and can finally buy ads to promote our actual music.
All jokes aside, if we had to pick one, it would probably be “Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance. It’s a song that practically owns the entire emo/punk movement of the mid-2000s. The Black Parade is a flawless album, start to finish, and that lead single is one of the most powerful pieces of music we’ve ever heard, even 16 years later. It covers so much ground musically, including time changes and wide array of instruments used. It’s truly perfect.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
TH: Sometimes it’s hard to not be cynical when dealing with people in the music industry. There are always those who can’t see the art because they’ve got dollar signs in their eyes. They give a bad name to the entire industry.
We’re of the opinion that intellectual property should be owned and managed by the artists. And so the profits shouldn’t be scrubbed by those who had nothing to do with it.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
TH: We have a new single and an EP in the works that we’re super excited to release! We are also booking some shows to unveil these new tracks.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
TH: Our music can be found on Spotify, Apple Music, or any other streaming service.
Digital downloads and physical CDs of our album “Skeleton Tracks” can be purchased from our Bandcamp: https://tonightshero.bandcamp.com/album/skeleton-tracks
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Tonight’s Hero links:
Band/Artist location – Nashville, Tennessee
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