Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
L: I’m a multi-instrumental artist, mainly creating alternative/indie rock. I started playing music when I was around 9 years old. My main instrument is the guitar, but I can also play bass, keys and piano.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
L: I started playing in bands when I was 14. I played with my band The Cliftons in my hometown of Aberdeen. I was with them until 2017, where I moved to Edinburgh and joined the band Lost in Vancouver. I spent two years with them, and after the disbanding, myself and Jake (frontman) formed Vandal Palace. We had a great albeit it short run, after we went on hiatus I decided to pursue a solo venture in hope to have more creative freedom.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
L:I have a long list of musical influences, so to name a few – Benjamin Francis Leftwich, John Mayer, The Wombats, Little Comets, Paris Youth Foundation. As far as non-musical, I’m a massive fan of motorcycle racing. Valentino Rossi is my main non-musical influence, especially with his curly hair and Italian tongue. I’ve got an ear piercing that resembles one he used to wear!
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
L: Ideally I would love to be able to financially support myself from my music. I’ve always worked full-time alongside my music, so it would be amazing to be able to dedicate all of my time to music. I don’t want to be rich, just well off enough to not have to work 40 hours weeks at another job.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
L: I usually write all of the initial music and lyrics. I have a team of friends who create parts for me like bass and drums. Usually they’re about my personal experiences. I often find it easier to get my feelings out by turning them into a tune. I’ve only recently started to explore writing about concepts and fictitious stuff, which is refreshing.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
L: Unfortunately due to COVID we haven’t had the chance to do any live shows. In prior bands, we’ve relied mostly on social media and word of mouth. I handled all of the PR stuff myself in all the bands, but recently I’ve started working with Pufferfish PR to give me a hand and relieve some of the work. It’s hard to build momentum when you’ve never played a show. It’s really a great loss that shows have been away for a year now, the connections you can make and relationships are invaluable.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
L: I love the fact that music is so easily available now. I remember when I was a kid and it wasn’t as easy to get your favourite songs. But I don’t love the fact that artist get paid in peanuts for their streams. If streams equated to record sales then I’m sure a lot of us would be in a much better financial position. I spend days, weeks and months on my music, and I really feel that should be represented in the payment that I get for people listening to my work.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
L: Tough one. I wish I’d written ‘New York State of Mind’ by Billy Joel. I listened to a lot of his music growing up and it’s one of my favourites. The chords he uses and the way he words his lyrics is just unreal.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
L: Grumpy sound techs, people filing their nails and people who have a socially distanced convo taking up the whole aisle in Tesco.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
L: I think my proudest moment was being included in three Spotify playlists. It had been a dream of mine for many years and it was incredible to finally have a few inclusions.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
L: I’ve got a music video coming out shortly which was all filmed during lockdown. I’ve got a small team of creatives who have been amazing and done an immense job in such a short time. Watch this space!
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
L: All of my releases are available on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Soundcloud, Deezer, Amazon Music tec.