Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
ST: Proggy Metalcore?
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
ST: Ben: I started writing Sour Times material during some serious hardships in my life, that is when I released the 4 instrumental albums, over a couple of year period. Then I had a pair of strokes that nearly ended my life, and during recovery, I started writing to get my abilities back. After some time the heaviness started to emerge again and I put together a song that was asking for vocals. On a whim I asked Joe, whom I met when our previous bands played together if he would sing on a track. What he sent me back was so brutal and perfectly inline with my vision that it just kickstarted me into writing and within a month or two time, we had an album written and recorded, The 11th Hour.
ST Joe: I’ve been a producing songs as a vocalist and lyricist for quite some time, with increasing regularity under a variety of projects and collaborrations over the past 10 years. I met Ben while I was working with my primary project at the time City of Homes. We had played this crazy show at a skate park with this band OXEN, that Ben was in at the time, and we hit it off, staying in touch since. Some years later he reached out about doing vocals for one song, which was BURN off of the 11th Hour. I had alot of fun working on it, and Ben liked what I did with it so much he asked me to come in for the entire record. I was working on six other projects at the time, but I was so excited about it that I worked on and recorded for it very quickly amidst all the other work. It’s been nothing but good times ever since.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
ST: Ben: Black Sabbath, Portishead, Fugazi, Neurosis, Pixies. Non musical: Thomas Cole, Marcus Aurelius, John Muir.
ST Joe: Musical, Dio, Fear Factory, Chimaira, System of A Down, Metallica, Skinless, Six Feet Under, James Brown, Frank Sinatra, Marvin Gaye. Non musical: Noam Chomsky (Pre 2010), Suz Tzu, Marcus Aurelius.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
ST: Release some albums, play some shows, have fun!
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
ST: Ben Writes all the music. Joe handles lyrics and vocal compositions with Ben’s guidance.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
ST: Sour Times is just now crossing over from the realm of recording project to an actual band. We’re gearing up to get together with some friends to take this into live shows, and we prefer to promote with the personal touch, reaching out to our friends and colleagues to get together and have some fun.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
ST: Downloading? It’s fine, it is spurring mass consumerism and an intention to records that need way more focus. When I hear those records, I buy the vinyl and study it like I did when I was a kid with the Stones and Hendrix records. Printing? that is another story and I am opposed to that. Musicians are artists who create wonderful thing pieces of art, have some respect and show appreciation and purchase something. Virtue is lost due to rampant materialism in my honest opinion
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
ST: To be completely honest, I write the music I want to listen to, inspired by people I adore, so this question is super hard for me. What a Wonderful World? St. James Infirmary? War Pigs? I honestly do not know
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
ST: Ben: Ya know when your driving in the car and your friend is super excited about the tunes on and he is singing along, tapping on the dash, just being waaaaayyy too much? Yeah, probably that. 😉
ST Joe: Duality. Anytime someone laments bad behavior and then down the line exhibits that behavior themselves is a sure fire way to capture my ire.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
ST: Ben: Playing CBGB’s
ST Joe: Played a sold-out club once years ago, and seeing over 200 hundred in the front all singing along. Most gratifying. While I’ve played bigger and smaller shows since, hearing folks sing along to my writings stands out.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
ST: Ben: I am currently incubating the seeds of ideas for some new Sour Times stuff, while also maintaining a roster of 4 other bands that I write for.
ST Joe: Preproduction for the next round of Sour Times is underway, and I’m working on 4 other projects in varied stages of development. Seeking Sirens is beginning to release material with it’s debut on 5/21, From Under Concrete Kings is in preproduction for it’s third EP release. There’s a concept EP nearly finished I’m working on with Josh of Concrete Kings & Doug Waite, whom we both played together with years ago in To Die This Night, and there’s a super secret project I’m working on that should be announced in the coming months.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from
ST: The 11th Hour was just released, as well as 4 previous instrumental albums. Everything is available on Bandcamp, iTunes, Distrokid, literally every streaming platform out there.