Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
C: Whoa! Opening with a tough one, huh? Well, I guess I’m more of the obstinate type. A bit of a loner too… I mean, one thing I learned about myself over the years is that, as much as I enjoy working with other people, I’m only capable of doing so if I also work by myself on what I want, the way I want to do it.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
C: Well, I’m 39, born and raised in Rio, and I started gigging and recording in the local metal scene in the late 90s. That lasted until 2009, when I felt it was time to focus on paying my bills, growing professionally, that kind of stuff. After basically a decade of band drama and very little financial return, I was fed up – even though I knew I would always be a musician first and foremost. It wasn’t until 2019 that I decided to finally create, by myself, the type of death metal I always had in mind, what came most naturally to me. But I did experiment with many different styles in that mean time, which was enriching, no doubt.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
C: Musically, the most obvious ones are probably Death and Carcass. But so many musicians influenced me in deep ways. For example, Frank Gambale had a huge impact on me, but so did other much more obscure acts, such as Theory in Practice. But, when it comes to the messages I try to get across, I think my background in philosophy plays a huge part, as it affects not only my work but the very perspective from which I experience the world.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
C: When I was a kid, as many kids do, I dreamed of seeing a better world. But I’m not so sure about that anymore, to be frank. Chuck Schuldiner has come and gone, Black Sabbath did all they did, so much wonderful art and music was made, and here we are: knee-deep in shit, on the verge of a fucking ecological cataclysm, with fascist idiots and religious fanatics screwing everything up while dancing billionaires clearly pave the way for what some consider a new form of feudalism. But does all that crap make the work of such artists any less important? No, it doesn’t. That music saved my life, helped me find meaning in my life, and, just as philosophy did, gave me tools to decipher some of this context in which I find myself. So that is what I hope for my own music: I want it to make a difference for whoever is not a moron, I want it to keep company with the lonely.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
C: I do, which allows me to make it very personal overall. I am not writing hymns, you know? Nothing of that ‘metal brothers united’ makes sense from my perspective. I’m writing from this very individualistic vantage point, so I am talking to individuals, not masses.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
C: There are no immediate plans for live gigs, not only because of the pandemic, but also because, at the moment, I’m absolutely focused on making the best music I can. Of course, that also requires promotion, so, beside keeping a production log of sorts on Instagram and Facebook, I rely on small and specialized PR agencies to spread the word.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
C: I think it’s something that has come to stay, for better or for worse. The streaming platforms really should pay us more, there’s no doubt about that. Nevertheless, I think it’s great to see physical media, such as vinyl and cassettes, are still a thing, and even more so than a few years ago.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
C: ‘The Juggernaut Divine’, by Armageddon. But, of course, I didn’t – and I’m so glad Amott wrote it, since my own music would probably be different if I had never listened to it.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
C: Not that many, I guess. Well, I do appreciate grammatically correct lyrics, and it kind of ruins a song to realize that especially catchy chorus or verse either makes no sense or is just plain wrong. Of course, I find it even more disturbing when I realize I made such a mistake and only notice it after it’s out there, for anyone to see.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
C: Being invited by Jacob Holm-Lupo to play the lead on a track for Telepath, for sure. Not only it was incredibly generous of him, but that was a considerable part of the motivation I needed to get back in the saddle, stop wasting my creative energy in a bunch of semirandom directions, and focus on the music I should be making. No wonder I reached out to Jacob for mixing tips, and for the mastering itself. Jacob is a very high-calibre musician and engineer, he’s really in a whole different tier, and being able to rely on his help and talent made a huge difference.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
C: I’m recording the other tracks for Cactek’s first EP, which will include ‘Spam with a Plan’. I expect to release it in the second quarter of 2022.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
C: Well, as I said, ‘Spam with a Plan’ is Cactek’s first single. At the moment, you can either listen to it for free on YouTube, or support my work by getting the high-quality audio from Bandcamp.