Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself as an artist?
NR: We’re an alt rock band with influences from across the metal, punk and rap spectrum. Our sound consists of hard hitting drums, distorted guitars, synths, and sung and rapped vocals. We’ve been told we’re not quite metal enough for some things, and not quite punk enough for others, but we think we probably fall in that sort of ballpark!
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
NR: We formed in Cheltenham, England towards the end of 2019. Kieran, our vocalist, moved to the area from London earlier that year and had put some ads up online looking for like minded musicians, and we haven’t looked back since. We’d all been in bands before Neptune Rain but we’re really excited about the journey we’re on together, especially as we’ve become such good friends over the last eighteen months.
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?
NR: Music for us is very much a way of expressing ourselves and channeling the emotions and experiences that we find hard to deal with on a day to day basis. There is a theme of battling long term depression throughout the tracks we’ve released so far, as well the pain left behind from a relationship breakdown. Our next single is a reflection on the destructive side of humanity, and a call to remember that as humans, we share a common journey for a safe and fulfilling life. It is reflective of our hope to one day see a kinder and more peaceful world, with systems that enable us all to thrive. In terms of other artists that inspire us, we share a love of bands like Linkin Park and Bring Me The Horizon, but our individual tastes are all quite varied and eclectic.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
NR: We’ve really been humbled by the amazing support we’ve had since we launched during the first lockdown of 2020, and are really excited to see where our journey takes us. Ultimately we want to be performing on the biggest stages we can, and have our music reach as many people as possible. We also want to create a community of like minded people and make some life long friends in the process. We know it’s a tough industry and potentially a long road ahead of us, but if we aim for the stars and only get halfway there, we will still have had one amazing adventure.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
NR: We would probably all say something slightly different, as there have been loads of really lovely moments. Having our first radio play and interview, and it being on BBC Gloucestershire, was an amazing experience and not one we had anticipated so soon after launching. We’ve also been really blown away by some of our fans recently, one of whom uploaded a video of herself singing one of our songs, beautifully we might add, and one who had done some incredible research about us to write an amazing review of another of our tracks. It really means a lot when people take the time to show you how much they connect with the music, we’ll never grow tired of that.
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?
NR: It’s funny that you mention home studios, as that has pretty much been our entire journey! We launched during the first lockdown of 2020, with a series of songs and videos all recorded from our individual homes. Our debut EP ‘Chaos & Light’ was all recorded at Kieran’s home studio before and between the first two lockdowns, and mixed and mastered by Christoph Wieczorek (Annisokay). Our next single has all been recorded from our respective homes due to the ongoing UK lockdown. In some ways, because of the pandemic, and because we can film and record ourselves, we have been able to be really creative and present on social media, more than we would have been able to had we been gigging. It’s meant that we’ve been able to begin building this really amazing community online, and hopefully one that will keep growing once live music resumes.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
NR: As we only launched during the pandemic, we have still not done our first live performance! We thought it would have been last May, but it just hasn’t been possible. We’ve made loads of full band and vocal covers for social media in the meantime though, and there’s loads of other Neptune Rain craziness on our social media channels. We are playing our first online festival, Homefest, for Voice FM on 3rd April 2021 so we’re really looking forward to that. Hopefully once live music resumes, the support we’ve gained online over the past 10 months will mean that we aren’t starting completely from scratch in the real world. We can’t wait to finally perform live to people, and meet them face to face.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
NR: The internet has obviously changed the industry massively, from the one we observed from the outside as kids, to the one we find ourselves working in now. It’s no surprise really that on demand music services are dominating the listening experience, and it will be interesting to see how that continues to evolve. I think it’s great for the artists if audiences still want to pay to download music, as it generates a much higher income than streaming services, but triggering those Spotify algorithms and hitting their editorial playlists seems like such a key part of gaining traction currently that it is hard to ignore. However people discover us, we would just always encourage them to say hi and join our community because we’ve always got loads going on and we’re pretty friendly, in our own quirky little way.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
NR: Baby Shark, or one of the big Christmas songs, so it could pay all our bills and we could just write, record and tour full time haha! Joking aside, we would probably all say something different as individuals, if we could even manage to decide! Or we’d probably all agree that it would be a Linkin Park track, because we are huge fans and their music has always connected with us on such a deep level. I think possibly, rather than their being a specific song we wish we’d written, maybe we just hope that our own music resonates with people in the way that our favourite artists have resonated with us over the years. That would be incredible.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
NR: We’re still early in our careers with Neptune Rain so it’s hard to say exactly what we would change, or if there’s anything we don’t like about the industry. None of us are under any illusions that it’s perfect, and it still feels like there is a lot to be sorted out between artists, the industry, social media and the streaming giants in terms of fair royalty rates. There is often such an undervaluing of the arts in society, and businesses which are thriving on the backs of poorly paid writers, producers and musicians should probably be doing their part to make those career choices sustainable. But the wealth and power of some organisations probably works in some artists favour too at times, so like everything, it’s not quite black and white, and there is possibly no easy answer.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
NR: At the time of answering this question, we are only days away from announcing the upcoming release of our next single. Due to the lockdowns, the recording process took longer than we would have liked, so it feels long overdue, and we can’t wait for people to hear it and see the different videos that will accompany it. Following that, there’s two more tracks that we are in the process of recording, and we are keeping our fingers crossed that the release of the third track will coincide with the return of live music!
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music online?
NR: The first point of call is normally our website, weareneptunerain.com – and from there you can get to all of our social media platforms, which we are always active on, and we would encourage people to come and say hello and get involved. Our debut EP ‘Chaos & Light’ is available on all major streaming platforms and digital stores and our next single will not be long. We hope you enjoy it and we hope to talk to your readers soon! Thank you for having us!
Neptune Rain links:
Band/Artist location – Cheltenham England
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Check our page for Neptune Rain