Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
U: A jack of all trades, master of none.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
U: I scream in a metal band called Svengali based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. When the pandemic and lockdown happened I started a livestream called “Unmuted Show” where we talked about everything rock and metal; from getting guests on for a podcast conversation all the way to breaking down and discussing subgenres.
In late 2021 I decided to work on and release some solo music. The name Unmuted and the people supporting that show had grown and meant so much that I decided to keep the music under the same umbrella and release it as Unmuted.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
U: Machine Head, Lamb of God, Chimaira, Hatebreed are some of my favourite bands and I pull a lot of inspiration from them and that New Wave of American Metal era. I think what makes it a little different is that I bring the experiences of being from and living in the Middle East to the mix. Which in metal… is still very rare to find.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
U: I have very simple goals with Unmuted; Make the listener feel something.
Like it, hate it, get happy, get angry, feel sad or nostalgic… whatever it may be, the goal is to make you feel something.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
U: I write the songs along with my producer Rayan Bailouni and the subject matter varies across a very wide spectrum. I try to make sure that honestly and some sort of personal experience comes through in the lyrics for every song.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
U: Since we do not plan on playing any shows, the promotion and bulk of the legwork is done online.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
U: I think there is no way around it. I am from the Napster generation and embrace the idea that music will be delivered either downloaded or streamed. What I try to do is give the audience another way to help support if they do like the music, with merch, subscription, patreon and straight up donation links.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
U: Descend the Shades of Night by Machine Head might have to top that list.
In 2005 Machine Head were one of the first major metal bands to play the Middle East’s first metal festival (Dubai Desert Rock Festival)… and as a 16 year old kid seeing a huge band like that for the first time, when they started that song, it made me want to write songs without the hard boundaries of what most consider metal. A beautifully written dynamic 8 minute classic.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
U: In 2015 my band Svengali released out debut album, Theory of Mind and it hit the regional Virgin Megastore charts at number 2. We never and still don’t care about charts and awards but I was proud to see the community of metalheads in the region come out in support of us. We made so much noise that the “commercial” world recognized it and we were asked to do interviews and articles for publications that had no idea about metal, or even rock for that matter.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
U: As Unmuted, I just released a single titled “Vultures” on September 2nd. Svengali is currently writing and we will be releasing a bunch of music and playing shows around the region and Europe again (finally). I’ve also been involved with a lot of collaborations with regional artists and bands that I’m stoked to release… and finally, I still stream three times a week on Twitch @ unmutedshow!
A lot of things. Always working!
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
Band/Artist location – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Website – Facebook – You Tube – Patreon – Merch –
Twitter – Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – LinkTree –
Check our page for Unmuted