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?
IW: We as a band play in the heavy metal and thrash metal genre, but at the same time we are neither heavy metal or thrash metal fully. For us when someone asks about what kind of other bands, we are similar to, we have to think very carefully. Because in the music making process we are combining classical heavy metal riffs with thrash metal groove elements. We always think that in our music every heavy music fan can find something that they would like. It is very loud to say that we are different, but we think that we are different in our way.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
Andris: I started learning music from the age of 5. I come from a family of musicians. Mom is a music theory teacher and dad was a rock musician, guitarist and guitar builder and craftsman. I grew up between academic music and rock music all my childhood. I also studied both academic music and rock music during my school years. Over the years, I graduated from the music academy with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. In addition to academic education, learning such musical deviations as Asian & African traditional music, Nuovo tango,Post-folk, rock and metal music. When you’ve been in music so much it suddenly comes naturally. That desire to write and perform my own music.
Dainis: At an early age, when I was about 12, I got really into metal, especially folk metal, from then I knew I wanted to make music. I learned the basics on an acoustic guitar, and then got myself an electric one. Got influenced by Iron Maiden, and Children Of Bodom etc. Started playing in different local metal bands, and now I’m here.
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?
Andris: I get inspiration from everything that happens around me. Both in the events of your internal and global world. I have never tried to force or artificially create emotions to write anything. It usually comes naturally. Sometimes the music of other performers also influences or creates an impulse to want to write something new. Iron Wings’ music and the message of the lyrics are about different things in life, events, using quotes, symbols and often speaking in songs about things that people tend to keep quiet about or don’t want to talk about. We would not like to say when we are a group of political orientation, but we definitely represent freedom, equality and true values.
Dainis: For me it`s a lot of 80s music that inspires me..
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
Andris: One of the biggest desires I strive for is to be heard. Performance, communication with the audience/listener. The exchange of energy that I receive from the audience and that I can give in return from the stage is like a drug for me. This is what guides me in the whole music process, it is that magical moment that you want to experience again and again. It’s an addiction for me. Of course, you could mention world fame, platinum nominations, record labels and mountains of money. But all this is not more important and should not be more important than the music. Music must be real and true, high quality, full of emotions that can captivate the listener. Only when you are yourself and the audience appreciates it, you can reach the top.
Dainis: To play at the bigger venues, for a lot of people. And to inspire someone else to do what I am doing.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
Andris: Over the years, I have reached various heights that I would like to be proud of. Each has come in its own time. Both school-time music competitions, larger international competitions and events during music academy studies. At the same time, for myself, I can be very proud of the fact that I have both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in music. Everything I have achieved together with the band and other music projects. The possibility that I can be on stage and play music.
Proudest moment…we think our proudest moment is that we are still going, still making music. We have accomplished a lot. Two full length albums, one EP. Everything we do is our proudest moment.
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?
IW: We would lie if we said that it is easy J It is not. Promoting music is a challenge, constantly having to think about new ways to get attention and interest us.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
IW: We start with social media. And we still sometimes do flyers and posters, it depends on the event.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
IW: Well…in ideal world we would be happy that all these streaming services only would work as a 30 second preview for new music. Otherwise streaming services for us don’t do us any favors. Of course at the same time it is awesome that you and I can hear music from all over the world and that’s amazing, but financially we are not very happy about them.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Andris: It should definitely be powerful, true and something that listeners listen to and make them think about what the song is about. Maybe it would be too loud to say that such songs have already been written, but we are definitely on the right track. It would be beautiful to write a song that could live in the history of music through the centuries and be remembered many decades later. This might be the biggest achievement of my career.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
IW: If we could change one thing, that would be the idea about buying music legally. For us and for every band on this planet Earth that is the most disturbing thing. We can’t understand why you can buy 3 beers at the pub but with that same amount of money you cannot buy an artist CD. It’s weird how people who are telling you that “Hey, that was an amazing show!” at the same time is telling you that your physical and sometimes digital CD is too expensive.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
IW: We already have ideas about new music. But for now we are pushing everything we can with this new album – Ritual of Rage.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
IW: Definitely for news it is Facebook, Instagram. Music and merch – bandcamp.com.