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?
X: Xenomorph Black Metal is an expression of the will to exist in an oppressive environment. The energies drawn upon for this band are the same that gave me strength to survive and evolve in wholly foreign surroundings that did not accept my life experience as valid. Nihilistic Rustbelt Black Metal is a record of that overcoming journey for others to draw upon.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.:
X: Thank you! I was born and raised internationally, moving to a different country or community every few years, then enlisting in military service where I experienced horrific acts of violence, experienced true nihilism, finally landing a broken and destitute soul in the bowels of the American Midwest industrial landscape. Extreme music and fantasy escapism were my path to redemption in this place.
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?
X: A lifetime of exposure to a large array of art, combined with extreme exposure to the power of mythology and storytelling, combined with dramatic life events and stages of psychological reconstruction directed me to make music. I enjoy communicating topics about philosophy, finding purpose amid nihilism, the realities of suffering around us, and the application of fantasy to everyday life.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
X: To connect with humanity, and find common experiences, and assist in forming community.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
X: The first time someone bought a copy of my demo tape and recommended it to others publically.
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?
X: This is an excellent question, and one we talk about quite a bit in the underground. My experience is that with so many new artists emerging, there are x10 as many new fans emerging as well, with highly diverse expectations of what they want to hear from any given genre. It’s simply a matter of connecting to fans on an authentic personal level, speaking your heart and finding people who feel similarly. Then delivering work that satisfies their expectations, with a good eye for branding and what your audience really wants to experience in music. If you really do the work on the countless platforms available for exposure in today’s world, one will find a nearly limitless opportunity for one’s music.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
X: For now Xenomorph is a studio only solo project. There are plans for an eventual live act but not in the near future.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
X: I think it is fair, the amount of exposure I’ve gained from leveraging online free streaming sites has resulted in plenty of sales from my personal store from individuals who want to pay me for my efforts, or purchase physical merchandise. This money I’ve traditionally used to give back to the scene economy, and I find it is reciprocated well.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
X: Often I find I could write much more hateful and malicious songs, but at this point in my life I don’t find these productive uses of art. But I’ve definitely left many ideas attacking others’ personal beliefs through the lens of my uniquely dark personal experience, on the table.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
X: I don’t like the state of the music industry’s emphasis on overproduced, intellectually bland formulas of delivering “products”, these are typically panned anyway. Such a waste. So many great bands have suffered the fate of putting out mediocre music after once being powerhouses of momentum in their respective genres.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
X: My next EP “Delusions oV Morality”, which will expound on philosophies taken from the point of view of characters from the Alien franchise films. Stay tuned!
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
X: You can find more about me at www.XenomorphBlackMetal.com where I also promote other underground black metal bands through reviews, as well as provide access to my merch and music offerings.