Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
DS.J: A rock artist, predominantly. Though I’d like to spend my career exploring every facet of music – discovering what I could learn and contribute.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
DS.J: I’ve been performing for as long as I can remember. I’m a working actor and have been since about 2004 – my latest single, Reckless, is actually about that! I started writing music and being interested in pursuing it when I was a teenager. That said, I was anxious to deviate too far away from acting, as I didn’t want it negatively impact my employability. However, thinking “I’ll get to it later” just ended up making me miserable – especially as my health started to deteriorate in early 2018 and it became clear that getting to it later may be harder than I thought. So, I figured “fuck it” and started releasing music in late 2018! It’s the best choice I ever made
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
DS.J: Oooo. Well, I’ve always been massively inspired by classic, grunge, and psychedelic rock. Steven Tyler’s showmanship and voice, Patti Smith’s words and actions, Jimi Hendrix’s sheer talent and genius. I’m also particularly inspired by the sounds and styles of the 90s. Nirvana, Alanis Morissette, Blind Melon, etc. Culturally, I adore the punk and hippie ethos and being an actor, I’m a HUGE lover of storytelling. Film was my first love! Whether you’re telling a story in film, TV, theatre or music – I love it all. What I think I love most about music is that it’s a vibration – it’s the most personal way to make someone feel something.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
DS.J: It’s my dream to earn the respect and admiration of people I respect and admire and then go on to work with them. I know it’s “cool” to think “I don’t give a fuck what you think!” – and for the most part, I don’t – but yeah, I do give a fuck what some people think. It’d also be nice to create a video game. At the moment, I’m writing one that’s been an idea I’ve had since I was about 17. It’s a big project though – it’ll need a big budget. I’m still a little far away from that one!
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
DS.J: I write the lyrics, and I usually know how I want the song to sound – I just find it hard to put anything onto the piano or guitar. So, I’ll sing the melody to my friends, explain the intention of the song, and we’ll write the music together. I’ll write about all sorts of things – same as everyone, I suppose. Observations, opinions, experiences. Though I have written a song about a woman walking in on her husband cheating on her – I’ve never been married nor been cheated on so that one is just a story!.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
DS.J: I’ll promote it on social media, tell my friends, write the details in Sharpie on every available public surface. (just kidding.) (sort of.) If there’s a new release coming up I’ll hire a freelancer or company to help with the PR. I don’t have a label or manager, so it’s really up to us how the word is spread. PR is such a coin-toss, though. I’ll be happy if / when I don’t have to think about it!
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
DS.J: I think it’s great. It’s certainly way more convenient from a consumer’s perspective. However, having a collection of private companies be responsible for an entire industry is never that great of a thing. Especially if the industry is earning money through something that’s basically like a religion to some people. Music is too spiritual to have this much of a commercial chokehold. Though, because of how much people worship music, of course it’s a huge earner, so of course corporate societal bullshit has a firm grip on it. Anyway, it’s great. It’s annoying, but it’s great.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
DS.J: Ah! Hm. Well, to be honest I think if I’d written anything that I adore I wouldn’t adore it as much as I do and it wouldn’t have shaped me as much as it has. Plus, all of my favourite songs were written at a time when they were relevant to the time. I think if I released them now, they wouldn’t be nearly as successful. Plus, plus, plus, a song is amazing largely because of the people that wrote / released it. Even if I wrote a more modern release that I love – something from Twenty One Pilots, AWOLNATION, Ecca Vandal, Paramore / Hayley Williams, Nova Twins etc – it wouldn’t be nearly as successful. There’s also a hell of a lot of modern rap that I love – Little Simz, Ocean Wisdom, Four Fists, Token, Sampa The Great – but it’d be way weird if I released any of it. I can rap, and if I explored it, I’d hope it’d be just as strong as what I love, even if it is different – but that’s probably the most personally specific music out there, so I’d need to be specific.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
DS.J: I hate apathy. I really hate when people don’t care about anything. Especially themselves or the people around them. More weirdly, though – I really can’t stand the letter ’S’ at the end of words. It was genuinely hard for me to write “themselves” and “words” and some other stuff in this interview – I don’t know why! I don’t know where it came from! It’s bugged me for a long time now, and bizarrely, an apostrophe is fine, because the ’S’ is like a separate entity? I don’t want to succumb to avoiding certain phrases because of it, so I do make an effort. Though, there will be times when I’ll rephrase a sentence so I can avoid a plural. (For example, I said “avoid a plural” rather than “avoid plurals” – ugh, yikes. I hate it!!!)
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
DS.J: There was a time when a big-shot came to see my show, and I was the first one on. She left after I was done. I felt bad for the other people performing, but it WAS cool that she came out to just see me, and no one else! I wish I had a better proudest moment. That was the first thing I thought of!
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
DS.J: At the moment, I’m in the process of demoing new stuff, organising a video shoot, preparing for the next release, and getting ready for an acting job in February
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
DS.J: You can find all my releases on pretty much every available streaming/download service. Spotify is probably the best bet – I’m trying to feed that hungry algorithm.
Deva St. John links:
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