Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
TO: We are a death metal band, that dabbles in all forms of extreme music. There are some bits of alternative, pop, spoken word, and electronic. But, for the most part just straight up death metal.
PD: Tell us a brief history of yourself.
TO: For me (Terry) it’s just a life long labor of love. I would be recording, and doing music even if the internet wasn’t around to release. I’ve been making music the past 20 years. Everything from indie rock, hip hop beats, and and electronic, mostly instrumental. Death metal was always what I wanted to do, but learning how to record, write, and play has been an ongoing process. I originally wanted to use a drum machine, but at the time I didn’t think it sounded that good, and my ability to program it wasn’t the best. I looked around for session drummers, and clicked with Shane. For the most part, the art work, themes, instrumentation, and vocals are all me. Shane and I work on the tempos, and style he plays in, then he records. After that I write and record, and basically fill those in. That has been the process for the last three or four years, and it’s been great.
PD: Who are your musical and non musical influences?
TO: I’ve been listening to music my whole life. There are so many favorites in all categories. I’ve always just consumed music. Brian Wilson is probably my biggest musical influence, just how he puts everything together. There are so many. It’s one of those things where you can talk for hours about it, and you don’t have answers till after the fact. Ridley Scott would be a non musical influence. I love almost every one of his movies, and his imagery really influences all aspects of what I do.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
TO: I’m pretty happy with everything I have, and what’s going on in my life. Doing a death metal project is the dream. It takes up most of the free time I have. I guess my only goals with it are to get people to listen, and to be a part of extreme metal in general.
PD: Who writes your songs, and what are they about?
TO: I write everything except the drums. On the music side I’ll put a drum track in, and just start playing. After I have it arranged, and practiced I’ll start laying it down. Then I’ll build up all the other things in the track, instruments etc. then I’ll do the vocals. On the lyrics side I have a running list of song titles. I’ll usually build the music with the same feeling as the song title. Our album that just released is the first part in a four album concept. We’re doing an album for each of the tarot queens. The lyrics are mostly abstract, and the song titles more or less tell the story. It’s more of a feeling though, and the whole package, album artwork, everything helps the listener make the concept/story up for themselves.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
TO: That’s a good question. Lol, it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. When I put our debut album “Black Light” out, I wasn’t really aware of how big of a space that all the people that self recorded and release their own music is. I kind of figured fish would just be jumping in the boat, cause you’re just giving music away. Once I realized that I couldn’t even give a Void Collapse hoodie away in a contest because Instagram doesn’t reach far at all, I knew I was in trouble. It’s a hard thing to tackle. 97% of the population doesn’t have a clue what death metal is, and the other 3% that does has thousands of bands grabbing for their attention, so even paid ads are not effective really. It’s frustrating for sure, but it gets out there slowly. You just have to keep at it. As far as shows we don’t play out unfortunately. Shane lives in Texas, and I live in Michigan, so it’s probably never going to happen.
PD: What do you think of downloading music online?
TO: It’s fine to me. Although I’m not expecting to make a living off music, so I’m probably on the more relaxed opinions side of it. This is another 3 hour conversation. It puts your music out there, that’s half the battle. You have to take the good with the bad. Up until the last ten years, most up and coming musicians would have to make it to some sort of “next level” to even get a record into stores. Being your own record label is a lot of work, and takes a lot of money. Downloading is the way it is.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
TO: Tonight, Tonight by The Smashing Pumpkins. I realized last week, that if I had to pick one song to take with me where there would be no other music, that would be it. I don’t know it’s just perfect. It’s complicated, and catchy. There isn’t much I’d rather listen to. It matches my melody set.
PD: What are some of you pet peeves?
TO: Listening to people eat. Lol
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
TO: Our latest album Gwenda. It came out how I wanted for the most part. There are a few things I would change, but I’ll take those lessons into the next one.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
TO: Right now I’m just finishing up the release of Gwenda. I’m going to have one more video/single for that. We’re starting the next album right now also. Shane is doing the drums at the moment, and I’m working with some left over drums from his last batch he sent me. We have a split with Before the Storm We Flourished coming up, and a Guns N Roses cover. I’m trying to get these tarot queen albums done and out, so it’s just write/record/release for the next couple years.
PD: What music have you online and where can we buy it from?
TO: All the major streaming services, Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp, YouTube, all that. Spending your time, listening, and checking us out is what we value the most, and what we’re most appreciative of.
Thanks so much for the interview Pete!