Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
P: I am simpler than I may appear. I am an engineer and a nerd; I get very passionate about my creative work and anything else I find interesting.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
P: I grew up in a relatively comfortable middle class family, though we moved around a lot, which made it hard for me to put down roots anywhere. I took ten years of classical piano as a kid, and while I haven’t kept that up since, I did get very deep into composing music, and that’s gotten me where I am today. I’ve also done a lot of writing (fiction and nonfiction, check out Endian Project), but I make my living as a software engineer. A big theme in my life is finding ways to combine my disparate interests, which has amongst other things resulted in songs based off my fiction on the upcoming Transactinides LP.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
P: I grew up reading lots of sci-fi and playing old video games (thanks, Home of the Underdogs!); those are probably my biggest non-musical influences. In the mean time, I have a shortlist of musicians who are particularly inspirational to me at the moment, though it’s always changing. The current list goes as follows – Bal-Sagoth, Sigh, Igorrr, Blut Aus Nord, Devin Townsend, Samael, Autechre, and Susumu Hirasawa. I think Arca’s probably going to make her way onto that list real soon, but I’m still digesting the Kick series.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
P: I think the big stretch goal is to reverse entropy and become a god, though the odds of that are not looking great at the moment. In the shorter term, I want to advance my creative projects – making bigger, more ambitious stuff, and in particular, collaborating with musicians. I do want to form a full band at some point, but I don’t know if that’s going to be for Planepacked per se. In fact, I had the idea to create a new project other musicians – ideally something where I can do something I wouldn’t think to try on my own.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
P: I write my own songs. Planepacked has typically been instrumental; I’d describe the 2017 and earlier era of the band as having a vaguely optimistic, technophile/futurist sheen to it. I seem to write more personal/emotional stuff these days, though – things about social strife, gender identity, self-fulfillment, though cloaked in metaphor. Fun fact – the album after Transactinides (the as of yet unnamed Album 3) is going to have a song about cheese. I eat more dairy than is strictly healthy, so it seems like a logical choice.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
P: Really active, militant promotion is still pretty new to me, and I’m not in a position to perform live yet. I have a bunch of socials for Planepacked (FB/Twitter/Instagram), some of which are admittedly still coalescing into a form I can use. One interesting promo method I’ve explored a little is to get your music into games. Admittedly, I’ve only done this with one purpose-written EP (Alien Minds), which amongst other things has been published as a music mod for Stellaris. Whatever the method, it’s a good chance to experiment with style and technique.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
P: I get the feeling this question’s about piracy. I can’t in good conscience fret about it; in this part of my career, I figure anyone going out of their way to acquire my music is a potential fan who might get into sales later, whether they got it “legitimately”, or by sailing the high seas.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
P: Why just wish? I’m still youngish, I have time to write them. The big goal on my end is expanding (pun intended) the Planepacked sound. More cool synths, more noise, more vocal work, longer songs when it makes sense, etc.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
P: Bad song parodies/pastiches, extreme minimalism in pop music, people who Capitalize Every Word In A Sentence (I know a little German, and while they’re aggressive about capitalizing nouns, they don’t go that far)…
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
P: Might re-evaluate this at some point – but I want to say the first time I actually collaborated with another person on composing. This would be back in my OpenMPT days – an acquaintance I met through social media requested tracks to mix and master as part of his education as an audio engineer, so I sent him a song I was working on. He did a great job with it, and I eventually sourced his efforts for more early Planepacked material.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
P: Album 3 is cooking as we speak. This is probably going to have lots of songs with vocals and lyrics and relatively fewer instrumentals than before. I’ve hinted at at this in the earlier questions, but the goal is currently to push my existing metaltronica sound further.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
P: Everything available for purchase has been uploaded to planepacked.bandcamp.com. That’s currently only the first album (Critical Mass) and a spinoff fully electronic EP (Alien Minds). I’m also on Spotify for streaming, as well as any other services that Distrokid puts me on (which should be all the major streaming services et al).