Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
Well, the simple answer is musical artists currently in the Psych Rock genre. But all the members of Revolushn come at it from different perspectives. From literature to theater to country to classical to pop. I think that is what gives the band the depth it has.
PD: How did you come up with the name?
Well, I wanted to have a name that let folks know we are trying to break boundaries, that we want to push further what it means to have a band of people lock into a groove together and express an opinion. We wanted to convey our radical idea of pushy peace. We push our ideas forcefully but never violently. Also the idea that bands are temporary, like any good revolution is. You protest, hopefully win and the revolution is over. The odd spelling came from the Russian in the band who made the first posters and spelled the name like a Russian would.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
I started playing guitar when I was very young, like 4-5. By 10 I had a band and by 15 was on the road in the summers and in between school. After school let out I was a full time touring musician. I think I averaged 10 months per year on the road. That lasted several years until I moved to Los Angles and began recording a lot. Now I have a studio that I work at everyday when the band is not playing live.
PD: Your website says you are an American Protest band. What does that mean?
We will join almost any protest if they use our music. Ha ha. Basically we are for the underdog, for folks that are getting fucked over by shitty social policy. Did you know that Harvard did a study that showed that if one has no money, the chance of effecting policy is basically zero. The chances become near 100% with lots of money. BUT, one way that people can effect social change without money is through music. That was very encouraging for us.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Musically I have been influenced by pop music artists like The Beatles, Lady Gaga, Pearl Jam, Bruno Mars, U2, etc. etc. More than I can think of. As far as me being a guitarist and all, Hendrix blew me away as did Eric Clapton, Paul Gilbert, DJingo Rinehart, John Lee Hooker. Again lots of those types.
Non-musically I was inspired by Carlos Castaneda even if he was a fake. Tim Leary was a real force too. I met him shortly before he died and he was as alive as a child. I like science people too, like Neil deGrasse Tyson, Newton was a trip and also Elon Musk, who I know. He is a dork and a bit self centered but he has a big heart and big dreams.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
I would like to write music that really moves people. Sometimes makes them happy, sometimes sad, sometimes mad. And since I rely on creativity, one goal is to always be able to learn something from everyone I meet. Oh, and I would like to play at Machu Picchu. In the summer!
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
David Kendrick and I write Revolushn songs although I want to point out that everyone in the band writes. I focus mostly on music although I write a lot of lyrics too. David focuses on lyrics but he also comes up with the beats. I do most of the arranging but again the rest of the band has input as well.
I would say the songs are about life on this and other planets. Since we read a lot and like science fiction, those themes come up often. We are not too big on straight out love songs although there is a lot of love in our music. We are considered a Psych Rock band musically so some of the lyric themes reflect that mentality too.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
Well, we do the social media stuff like everyone else. We also like fliers and word of mouth. We put out an album per year so that is another form of PR. And we jam with other musicians when ever we can. We have talked about doing some big publicity stunt too but never agree what that should be.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
How people listen to music has really changed over the years. Back in old timey days the only way to hear music was to be where musicians were playing. Then like a 100 years ago you could sit in a room with a radio or phonograph. Then they put radios in cars. Then the Walkman came about and really changed things. Since then it has been more about quantity than quality. I guess downloading was a natural progression. I don’t like the fact that musicians get paid peanuts for it but on the other hand, the cost of recording has now come down to (depending on the quality) almost nothing. There are hit albums out there that were recorded in people’s bedrooms. Anyone can be a recording artist now. Maybe not a good one but still…. I feel music is still hugely important and where it goes from here I have no idea.
PD: What’s your outlook on the record industry today?
Do you mean record companies? I am not sure what they can do anymore that an artist can’t do themselves, other than put money into a band. And that is tricky because most record people don’t know how to really market a unique or important band. They try to standardize the band like any good corporation would do but that almost always fucks the band. And they can spend a fortune on stuff that doesn’t work any better than say fliers or word of mouth. And then the band has to pay that money back.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
I don’t really think of it that way. There have been songs that have moved me and stayed with me for a long time. True Colours by Cindy Lauper comes to mind. Bohemian Rhapsody is another. And Shape of you by Ed Sheern is a monster. But I don’t think I would feel the same if I wrote them. Take Revolution’s current mini hit Dinosaurs. When I think about that song I think of food poisoning or spending over a hundred hours in the studio going over it again and again. It was grueling. I had a fan tell me that song has changed her life. I hope she didn’t get food poisoning too.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
In the music business or in general? Well, a lot of club owners and promoters are dicks. I fucking hate it when I blow a line in one of the songs. I wish guitar strings cost less. It always bugs me when people want to talk to the bus driver and stand there and hold up the line of people getting on. But I am getting mellower each year. Years on the road will do that to you. On our last tour, David and I, who both have at least a decade of touring under our belts handled the stressful little things better than the members of the band who haven’t toured as much.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
First time I was in a movie theatre and I heard one of my songs in that movie. That was a mind blower. Or maybe the time my band from high school lost a talent contest. I liked it because three nuns were judging us and they just fucking hated our band. That made me feel good.
PD: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
We play mostly dive bars for drunken sailors, prostitutes and shady characters who have no problem selling you bad drugs. We get a lot of song ideas from those places.
We are in the studio now writing and recording for the next album and start playing live again in February with a show in San Francisco and then 4 shows in Los Angles. After that we hit the studio again for another month or so and then we are doing a month long tour in England and Europe.
Folks should come because all shows are high energy, musically tight and visually stimulating. And we always give away free stuff. We love the audience and dig meeting new people so please stop by.
Band location – San Francisco, California
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