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?
BS: Broken Side is a band of five guys who have figured out that if we make music that we enjoy listening to, others will probably enjoy it too. That’s sort of the driving force behind our band. Our music is heavy, moody, driven, and melodic with a huge variety of influences that shape our sound.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
BS: Our backgrounds vary somewhat. Jesse (main vox/guitar) and Jonathan (backing vox / guitar) actually started this group. These guys grew up together as cousins in the Maynardville area of East TN, just outside of Knoxville. Jesse and Jonathan had previously had a couple of local rock projects that hadn’t panned out. They met Justin (Drums) through a Facebook posting, got together for a jam, and showed Justin a few song ideas that they had been working on. It was pretty obvious during that jam session that our minds were in the same place musically. John Wiest (guitar / backing vocals) was brought in after meeting with Justin after a Tool concert they had both gone to, and Skylar (Bass) was the last to join the group.
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?
BS: As a band, our influences are all over the map. From Gojira, Tool, Tremonti, Creed, Dave Matthews Band, Country Classics, Nine Inch Nails, we all draw on our lifelong love of music. Good Music is just that: Good Music no matter the source. A few of us grew up in musical households watching family members play live music on stage.
Our songs are left up to interpretation usually, with a theme or an emotional feeling at the root. As an example, our song -In Defeat, is based on the character from Moby Dick (which was actually based on a real person) who had decided to remain on a deserted island after being shipwrecked by the whale. The song is written in movements. If you were to listen to it and relate the emotions and desolation of deciding to likely die on an island, rather than possibly face the whale again at sea.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
BS: Our plan is to spread our music. We want to share these songs to the world, and hope that they speak to someone in the same way that our favorite songs have spoken to us over the years. We would love to get out and tour the US, or the world some day, but right now we are working to put our next set of ideas into recordings.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
BS: Having our songs recognised regionally and being asked to open for national artists. The big shows are the best, and being asked to return to a venue because they like our drive and music is a huge point of success.
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?
BS: The days of physical media are almost gone, which means anyone with a computer and a DAW can put out music to the masses. We like the fact that finding something new to listen to is as easy as scrolling through a spotify playlist, but at the same time the magic of visiting a record store and shuffling through discs / tapes / or vinyl is something we miss. The digital age is a double edged sword, independent bands like us can finally get there music out to everyone, but we all end up scrounging for ways to better promote and get into a listener’s ear.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
BS: Currently we do all of our own booking for shows, and have just signed up for help with promotion through Metal Devastation. These guys have been in the game much longer than us and know how to reach a more specific group. People who will like our music.
Our schedule currently has us playing Regional Tennessee shows, getting out to Asheville, Chattanooga, and Johnson City. We will be opening for Drowning Pool and Through Fire when they swing through Knoxville on October 11th during their current national tour.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
BS: It’s the newest means to getting into someone’s ear. While we would love to have sold 7,000 CD’s during the past year, we understand that with streaming there is a constant revenue stream not just a CD that is sold once. It is a medium for moving our music organically through shared playlists across the world.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
BS: We wrote it. This last release -Fathom- is a reflection of us as a band. Making music is a personal journey, even as a five member band. We all have our favorite songs which mean something individually to each of us. Now we wait to see if someone else might say “wow I wish I had written that Broken Side song, thats a damn good song”.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
BS: The monopoly that “big music” has on most of the US based radio stations is a sham. You have to be picked up by, and backed by the money of a label in order to gain traction. It’s always been hard to make it in the music business, but it seems that now it is even harder.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
BS: We are currently writing new music while balancing a show schedule. We are planning an 8-10 song album for the next release and have really hit a stride as a band. We now feel that we have our own sound and have grown to understand how eachother like to write music. We would love to play a few festivals in the upcoming year and get out on tour.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
BS: We are currently on all streaming services. You can check out our videos on youtube, as well as follow us on Facebook, instagram, and even TicTok (sometimes). Check out our website at for all the applicable links: www.brokensideband.com