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?
T: Hey Pete, we are an old school thrash metal band and focus on the 80’s and early 90’s – of course our music is spiced with new ideas and we have developed our own style over the years.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
T: TRAITOR has been around since 2009, and in the meantime we have already released four albums, two DVDs, a live album recorded in an amphitheater, several sampler contributions, split cds with other bands, and just released our latest album “Exiled To The Surface” in July 2022.
Geographically we are located in southern Germany, Baden-Württemberg, Balingen. You might also know the city through the “Bang Your Head” festival!
Gerd (guitar), Matze (guitar), Andi (drums and vocals) and I (Lorenz, bass) have been making music for a long time and got to know each other old school through flyer ads and the rest is actually history, hahaha!
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?
T: Thematically we often sing about movies, old video games, series, historical events and everything that interests us or pisses us off! We are/were especially impressed and influenced by the Teutonic Thrash Metal, but also the US scene from the Bay Area. But we don’t see all that very narrow-minded – that’s why we get our inspiration from different corners.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
T: Writing great songs, being able to express yourself through music, and also reaching people you might not have reached. If we have played a concert and afterwards we can look at the totally sweaty, laughing and satisfied faces, then we have done everything right and that motivates incredibly!
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
T: Probably our new album “Exiled To The Surface”! With the album we entered the charts for the first time, wrote the soundtrack for the Thrashmetal documentary “Total Thrash – The Teutonic Story”, which was in cinemas everywhere, had Tom Angelripper from Sodom on a song as a guest vocalist, and nationally and internationally we got mega good reviews and people celebrate the songs, the videos, the movie and whatnot! This is already really cool!!!
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?
T: It’s actually going very well for us! We are not a newcomer band anymore – especially not in Germany and the neighboring countries. There we have built up a very good and even big fan base over the last years. But you also have to say that we’ve all been doing this for more than 13 years. At some point it should work out, otherwise you would do something wrong. I still take care of a lot of promotion work, but we also have external companies that also do a great job!
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
T: We do it all ourselves. We used to have an external booking agency, but we were extremely dissatisfied with them. We played less concerts, earned less money and the booker was generally bad anyway, although he works or has worked for many world greats. Anyway, we prefer to be in control and do everything ourselves – more work, but also more income and control! Next shows are the following, and tehre will be a little Tour with the mighty Sodom in the End of the year, if nothing comes in between, fingers crossed:
20.08.2022 Burgbrand Open Air
23.09.2022 Coast-Rock Festival
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
T: Well it has positive and negative aspects. On the positive side, of course, making music available generally reaches a lot more people. Of course, the monetary aspect suffers – if you buy a CD or a shirt, for example, that’s the equivalent of about 50,000 streams, and of course you have to achieve that first. Nevertheless, I find Spotify, Dezzer, Apple Music and Co. uniformly quite great, because you can also discover many great new things! But somehow you should get a few more cents per click – the artist and not the companies!
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
T: Difficult question, but I would take any song by Jimi Hendrix, all awesome! And probably Warpigs by Black Sabbath. But the songs will 100% change tomorrow – there are so many great songs but Black Sabbath and Hendrix wrote timeless songs and therefore changed the music history. You have to create something like that first!
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
T: The artist himself should get more money for his work. Musicians and artists in general should also be treated like a carpenter, doctor or someone at the cash register. Simply as a normal job and there is also not everything for free and you pay for the service . Nevertheless, I must also say that the entire situation in the music industry has also only developed because the music industry has allowed something like this and has also jumped on the bandwagon. Sure, it has to be affordable for the companies but this bubble will definetely bust one day!
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
T: On the upcoming live-Shows, new music and some more recordings for the upcoming big festivals! So anyone who can’t attend on our shows can watch it on YouTube or sth. like that!
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
T: You will find everything on our website: www.Traitor-Band.de
Also visit our Socials (IG, YT, FB, Bandcamp, Twitter) and if you like to you can listen to our music on any music platform of your choice!