Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
RR: Instrumental progressive rock
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
RR: I started playing guitar at the age 12. Since then, I have been playing in several bands and being a hired gun for different artists, from pop, blues, rock to metal and even a little bit of fusion. I have 2 music degrees, a bachelor in music teaching and from IG&T guitar institute. I also had lessons with Kiko Loureiro (Megadeth), Greg Howe and Mozart Mello (Kiko Loureiro’s teacher). I’ve been teaching guitar for 25 years now.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
RR: Myself, as an instrumental guitarist, I listen to a lot of instrumental music, not only guitar oriented kind of music though. Guitar players like John Petrucci, Steve Vai, Andy Timmons and Greg Howe are some of my biggest influences. I also like classical music. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner and Stravinsky are some of my favorites. I have been very interested in Soundtracks for the last few years. John Williams and Hans Zimmer are geniuses. I also like Yann Tiesen.
I love bands like Dream Theater, Rush, Symphony X, Marillion, Yes, and 80’s hard rock like Van Halen, Extreme, Mr.Big, etc.
My non musical influences I’d say are baroque painters like Caravaggio and Diego Velazquez and graphic designers like Hugh Syme and Larry Freemantle.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
RR: Living by my own music and writing the best music that I can.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
RR: I write all my songs and even some of the other instruments arrangements. Of course, the musicians who recorded had all the freedom to add their own style to it. I don’t like having virtual instruments, I do use some electronic drums and pianos for the demos, but never for the final recordings, they were all recorded by musicians.
“Tales of a Changing Life Part 1” my new EP, is a conceptual instrumental album based on many of the events related to my recent years living in Canada. Since I decided to leave my home country, I had this in mind, writing an album based on all the experiences that I had lived.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
RR: On all my social media and my website www.rodrodrigues.net
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
RR: I have mixed feelings about that. I do miss the old days, when we would wait until the physical CD or Vinyl came out, and we would listen to it a thousand times. Unfortunately, we don’t see that happening anymore. People barely listen to an entire album these days, and actually, that’s why I decided to make 2 EPs instead of a full album. I didn’t want to spend my time on music that people wouldn’t listen to. As a conceptual album, you should listen to the entire thing on the sequence of the songs and that’s how a conceptual album makes sense.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
RR: Dream Theater’s A Change of Seasons. There’s absolutely everything that I like in that song. It’s technical, it’s melodic, it’s epic, and there are great lyrics.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
RR: How people treat each other online. This social media thing is getting crazier as ever. They disagree on almost every subject, and they fight because of that. Many times for stupid things. That’s one of the reasons I use social media exclusively to promote my music.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
RR: I don’t have only one moment. I’m proud everyday for everything that I have accomplished in my life. I’m also very proud of all my students and their accomplishments, from those beginners who just learned their first song, to those ones who became professional musicians.
I’m very proud of my new release. “Tales of a Changing Life Part 1” is exactly what I wanted to do, and it sounds exactly how I wanted.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
RR: I have been working on the second part of Tales of a Changing Life. It’s actually going to be a full album, and I already have some guests confirmed.
There’s a single song, not related to Tales coming in June/July. It’s an Alanis Morrissette’s instrumental version. It sounds heavier than what I did in “Tales of a Changing Life Part 1” though. In August/September I’ll be in South America for a Guitar Clinic tour.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
RR: My new EP “Tales of a Changing Life Part 1” is available on all streaming platforms and on my Youtube Channel www.youtube.com/c/rodrodrigues and on my website www.rodrodrigues.net. Physical CDs and merchandising will be available on my Bandcamp on May 20th.
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