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?
V: I describe our band as very different and creative distinct individuals that try and create something together based on their abilities and knowledge. Myself, I listen to metal very little, and so I am taking influence from music outside the metal spectrum, whereas I think a lot of metal musicians are regurgitating metal and don’t know any better.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
V: I am from Welland Ontario Canada, and come from a very white-washed background of immigrants from Poland, Germany, Scotland, Ireland……no one speaks any of those languages or cooks meals from those cultures. I am the only musician in my entire family, but my family loves music and I watched lots of music videos growing up. I remember my sister catching me playing my lightsaber like a guitar on my bed, playing along to Do You Really Want To Hurt Me by Culture Club, and I chased her after hahaha. One of the best memories was watching Genesis 1983 Mama Tour concert with my dad and uncle. I always wanted to play drums and I remember telling my closest friends that they are going to be in a band with me and I’ll be the drummer. I had no money and was probably in grade 3 so, all I could do was draw pictures of drums. I later watched Guns N Roses at the Ritz 88, Def Leppard In The Round, and some Warrant live videos, and then I wanted a guitar and had to cut lawns and shovel driveways to buy my first guitar, a Cort. During that time I was listening to hair metal like Skid Row, Poison, Motley Crue, Def leppard and Guns N’ Roses. I eventually learned of Metallica and my first real band was playing old school metal covers, mostly Metallica.
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?
V: The most inspirational musicians for me are Lenny Kravitz and Prince – two guys that started by writing music they performed and recorded themselves. They have so much to say and its expressed by the varied styles in each song. Being mature enough to decide if they want to play drums on one song but want a drum machine line on another. Their choices in guitar tones, that they sing each and every vocal harmony, that the bass line isn’t basic root notes and also adds to the syncopation (did you know Prince’s “When Doves Cry” actually had a bassline at one point? He felt it was “too conventional” with it and muted it. That’s a bold move). And also knowing when to step back and when to flaunt. With our band, this comes into play sometimes when you’ll hear me hit some open chords and rest the listener’s ear for a few moments, before the pummeling continues.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
V: As an artist I am just riding the wave of my creativity and I just would like to have more time to get all my projects done. I have a solo project called Threats In Type that’s more straight-metal and I play live with backing tracks I performed and with a projector video to express what you’re hearing about. I play drums as well and spend most of my time playing drums, and recording Threats In Type songs.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
V: I’m always proud when an album comes out, and I like our new album better than the first album so I’m sure we have reached that point.
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?
V: We are just happy being able to contribute and to have our fish in the pond, meet new people, play shows and have cool Facebook profile photos hahaha.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
V: We have some shows coming for a brief local Toronto run, looking like April 1 in Guelph, April 20 in London, and April 28 in Toronto. Updates are posted on our Facebook page.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
V: I think its all great. Its out there and there’s really no coming back from that reality. I’ll check out bands on Youtube and have a Sirius Satellite membership, and buy band’s cd’s at shows so they can make some decent money. But yah, here we are and there’s so much music out there for people to check out. I’m not sure if anyone has a “favourite band” anymore because you like one song a lot but don’t get into anything else by that artist.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
V: I wish I’d written Pull Me Under by Dream Theatre. It’s moderately performance-oriented and takes you on a journey.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
V: I really hate these insanely priced concert tickets. I really don’t go to big shows anymore. I can’t pay into that. Instead I make a big deal about my favourite local musicians and marinate in the sounds of my local scene, and hopefully that comes through in the music I write as well.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
V: I am always writing music for my Threats In Type solo project and generally if I come across a riff that’s very complex, I’ll bring it to VileDriver band practice and we’ll toy with it. We have enough for another EP with VileDriver and our music has taken us to yet another place for audiences to follow us to in the future.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
V: Please head to CDN Record’s website and buy cd’s there. You can search us out on Bandcamp and buy the album there as well. We will be waiting to put the music on the streaming sites for a couple of months.
Band/Artist location – Mississauga, Ontario Canada
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Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer –
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