Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (https://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
A: Well as most everyone else producing and releasing music these days,
I work very hard both at my full time job as a mechanic at a mining operation here in the high desert of Southern California where I live and I write and produce my music in my spare time in my home studio.
It’s been a very crazy journey in setting up my studio to professional standards, very expensive, very frustrating and exciting all at the same time.
I recently turned my digital studio to an analog hybrid system, not to mention learning my sound engineering skills as I go now a year and ten months since I produced my first record.
I’ve gotten better at it since I first started.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
A: I grew up in a small country house in Del Rey California which is in Fresno County California with two brothers and five sisters.
All of them loved music from Motown to Rock N Roll and I was the youngest.
My older brother Robert had an electric guitar and I used to watch him play all the time.
When I got older, about ten years old, he started teaching me guitar.
I had some lessons at my school as well. One thing I always remembered what he told me was “Learn to write your own music that’s what you need to do”
So I started writing music at a young age or at least trying to. I also met my dad’s cousin and his wife who worked for the owner of A&M Records way back in the day.
He always told me “if you write some music let me know I can get your records made”.
Ever since then the idea stuck with me and I always wanted to do that.
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?
A: All the old school thrash metal bands inspire me because those are the days I come from now at a ripe age of fifty six years old.
To name a few Exodus – Testament – Dio – Warbringer- Tankard- Municipal Waste- Black Sabbath – Judas Priest – Death Angel – Sodom – Overkill – Sepultura – and many more it’s impossible to name all of them.
The world around me gives me plenty to write about from ancient people and the ruins of civilizations’ past to raging out against the world leaders and their constant feeding us bull shit.
Speaking out against the tyranny they keep practicing against the common man like you and I.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
A: In the short term I’m trying to widen my fan base and get this next album out. Long term, I will start making some money on my releases.
I’m working on my analog version of my last release called: “HORRIFIC”. Re-tracked and remixed and mastered with my new analog gear here in my studio.
It’s the title track of my full length album I hope to release some time toward the end of next year 2023.
Maybe sooner but the process is slow because I don’t have but a few days a month to work on my music. I also need to get my marketing practices under control.
My marketing skills are very weak yet but I think that will be changing very soon.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
A: The proudest moment in my music career is now because I’m ready to start producing with my analog gear.
It’s taken me literally fifty thousand dollars of my own money a lot of set backs a lot of costly mistakes and studying very hard to learn what I can about sound engineering.
I have most all I need to produce and mix in analog. I can’t get enough of the analog sound but, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a great record in the digital realm by any means.
I just prefer analog I love the buttons and faders and real physical processing units. Not to mention that’s what I grew up on.
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?
A: Well it’s definitely a challenging environment from having to learn how to produce and engineer sound and making many mistakes and learning from them along the way to
getting lost in the eternal sea of cyberspace it’s very easy to get overlooked or missed because thousands of new releases emerge every day.
All you can do is put your best foot forward and learn as you go it’s very difficult for me, I feel I’m stumbling all around lost and confused but, still pushing hard as I can.
It seems things are looking up lately in fact some how all of a sudden I’m getting a lot of followers on my band camp.
Plus today I just got a distribution offer from a record label I need to look over but in short it looks like this label is actually going to cut me in on profits.
I won’t give my music away anymore to labels like my first time with a label.
The deal boiled down to this: “Give me your music and I will keep all the profits and you can have one hundred CD’s and fifty Vinyl’s from it that you can’t sell commercially and we will expose you all over Europe”. The good thing was that with my first release called “The Overlord Messiah” I didn’t have much invested.
So I gave them that one in trade for European exposure.
It worked but I will not give any of the new RETCHED productions away because it’s costed much more than I ever had and still paying on the note for all my gear.
I’ve worked very hard for every bit of it and still am so yes RETCHED needs to get paid too not just the record labels.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
A: At this time I am not playing live shows only because I am working on my new album and I want to promote my new work instead of performing the songs on “The Overlord Messiah” also because that EP was written in the late 80’s and it has a more “true Metal” sound not that that’s a bad thing but that sound is not how I write in this present time. RETCHED is “Old School Thrash” with a modern tone and always will be.
After the “HORRIFIC” album is done I will be gearing up towards performing live and then I will have a plan.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
A: I don’t like that they are cutting our throats by giving people a yearly subscription to download as much as they want.
They should cut us in better but, instead they put it all in their pockets and give us fractions of a penny per stream.
They don’t think of all the money we invest to produce the music let alone all the years it takes to write music.
Streaming services should give us at least a dime wouldn’t that be something.
It sucks but one good thing I can say about it is they give you a chance to find new fans.
I hope it gets better some day but this is our modern world now and the powers that be still act like tyrants.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
A: “BULLET BELT” from the band: GAMA BOMB because that song is the universal thrashers anthem “Put on your bullet belt and thrash like it’s 1986”
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
A: A lot, first I’d make it a fair market I’d give the artist a dime per stream. Studio’s of any kind are not free or cheap.
I’d give everyone a fair chance instead of judging an artist by likes or follows on social media.
I’d get rid of these weak ass companies that promise promoting your music only to find that they group you into a mix of stuff that would make it impossible to find by real fans of thrash.
I’d make it so that you get what you pay for instead of them coming back and saying “What I said we’d put you on a play list so your on a play list” to find out that play list favors wrap or hip hop.
One time this jerk sent me an email actually saying yes we’ll put you on a play list then I asked do you have Heavy Metal playlist? The person replied back with “Nobody cares about Metal”
I do care and I am not falling for that again so we have to be aware that there are scammers out just to get our money and give us little or nothing in return.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
A: Right now I am working on two songs One is a re release of my title track “HORRIFIC” all in analog this time as will be all my productions from now on.
and the next is my new song called “What Kind of World” these two songs I plan to release on a seven inch vinyl as I finish the rest of the “HORRIFIC” album it should be ten or twelve songs in all.
I expect to be done producing it by the end of 2023 or hopefully sooner. I write as I go one at a time.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
A: Look me up at my Official website there are links to all streaming and merch: retched-metal.com
Cd’s and Vinyl’s are almost gone but if you buy direct I’ll sign the vinyl’s and Cd’s and patches here at: retched-bandcamp.com allow two weeks to ship.
also go to: youtube.com and type in the search bar: @retched-metal for video content.
amazon music has my vinyl’s as well: amazonmusic.com and type in the search bar ” Retched The Overlord Messiah” if you want the first EP on Vinyl
Band/Artist location – Mojave Desert in Southern Ca. USA
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