Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
RK: We play stoner doom!
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
RK: Well, I’ve been playing drums for as long as I can remember and in more recent years I learned guitar and whatnot so I could write full songs. I wrote a bunch of material when I was playing in a punk band in high school and it was too heavy to use but then we formed Rat King around those songs.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
RK: There’s so many talented musicians and other people within the industry around me that I look up to and owe a lot of thanks to when it comes to the advice and support they’ve given me over the years. In terms of more general music influences, extreme metal drummers like George Kollias from Nile and Martin Jovanovic from Belphegor always make me want to push myself further as a drummer and be able to do what they do!
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
RK: If I can get to a point where this music is self-sustaining, that’s probably all I would ever ask for. That is, it would be able to fund itself so I could truly commit to it as full-time as I would like it to be!
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
RK: I write the majority of them, except for one or two. Generally speaking, I try to keep the lyrics as open to interpretation as I can because I want people to be able to find their own meanings and resonate with them that way. They’re almost always some sort of cathartic way of me processing whatever was going on at the time that I wrote them. We have songs about betrayal, songs about depression and anxiety, songs about the effects people have on the environment, things of that nature!
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
RK: I learn how to promote our music better everyday! I’m lucky to have all sorts of awesome people that know how to do this a lot better than me giving me advice on a daily basis. I think we are definitely fortunate to live in this digital age because it seems easier than ever to use social media and tools like that to your advantage when it comes to DIY band stuff.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
RK: I don’t think it’s inherently bad, but I think it can contribute to people appreciating music less. Everything is so on demand now, I think it can cause people to view music less as a form of expression and art.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
RK: I always thought it would be really cool to see the response to a song like Raining Blood or Master of Puppets in person. Like, a song that on paper seems inaccessible, too complex, or generally just “too heavy” to a wider audience or whatever, but then it defies all odds and becomes this classic to so many people anyway!
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
RK: People that classify and categorize music to a fault! It’s so easy to limit and pigeonhole yourself or your band if you go into something thinking, “Okay, everything we write has to sound a certain way” or contain certain elements of a genre or whatever. A good song is a good song, so don’t throw it away just because of something like that!
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
RK: I’ll never forget the 4/20 show we played with Weedeater and The Skull! It’s still almost like a fever dream, and it was the whole band’s first experience on a bill of that caliber.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
RK: It’s definitely been busy tending to everything having to do with this album release. Orders to fulfill, shows to book and prepare for, and getting other things like that in place. Even then, the writing never stops! We make sure to find time to just jam and write and be creative whenever we can!
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from
RK: Our whole discography is available at ratkingdoom.bandcamp.com!