Starlit Melancholy – Interview

Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (

PD:  How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?

SM: I’d say I’m true to myself as an artist, I don’t write to keep up with trends or gimmicks. I also like to improve with each release and try some new things out to avoid being stale or too formulaic.


PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.

SM: I’m from a town called Lafayette, Indiana. Currently a med tech at a hospital out here and with my spare time I like working on new music when ideas hit me. Ever since my high school days I always wanted to be in a band but didn’t play any instruments until college. Now I write all my own stuff and record albums solo.


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?

SM: A lot my early influences came from the emo scene. I’d spend everyday on the bus or at home listening to music or watching music videos. Then one of my old friends introduced me to deathcore and later death metal before I stumbled upon black metal. My personal favorite band that inspired me initially is The Black Dahlia Murder. The riffs are so catchy and heavy it made me want to write a lot more melodic passages. Once I discovered black metal through bands like Emperor, early Cradle of Filth, Dissection, etc., it felt right at home for me musically. Bands that I found later like Midnight Odyssey and Mare Cognitum influenced me into writing more atmospheric sections. Vocally I take inspiration from Trevor Strnad (RIP) and Dani Filth. I’d also like to thank video games and Nobuo Uematsu for inspiration as well. Right now I like to write about emotions I don’t normally get to express in the real world in a more story like format, but I think in the future I’d like to touch on more fantasy themes as well.


PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?

SM: Mostly I just want to write the music I do and share with anyone who spends the time to listen to it. I don’t necessarily have goals for stardom or fame. I love music and am content with releasing it when I want to and sharing it with the world.


PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?

SM: Honestly, I’d say this new album coming out. I put my all into “To Wilt Beneath the Stars”. I feel like my ideas worked out really well in putting everything together to create a cohesive listening experience. I put my soul into this album and I hope that reflects for listeners as well.


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?

SM: Well, thanks to Metal Devastation it’s been going pretty well for me right now. I do agree, it is a challenge and it’s hard marketing for a niche genre versus music on the radio. With my first release I wasn’t sure how to market it, but I had some help from a couple people and now I feel like this new album is going to be promoted a lot better.


PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?

SM: I unfortunately don’t have much time to perform with work and possibly going back for more schooling. I am more content with making music and releasing it so at the moment, there are no performances coming up.


PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?

SM: I think it reaches more people these days. In my personal circle alone, I’ve noticed more people listen to music off sites like Spotify or Apple Music. I am more of a CD guy myself, but I see that it’s more mainstream now to stream music than go to your local record store and pick up new albums. I think they are helpful tools in promoting releases.


PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

SM: That’s hard to say. I like my own music the way it is but if I have to pick a song that’s very influential maybe Twisted Nails of Faith by Cradle of Filth. The narration/synth passages are so unique and the rest of the song is so well put together. There’s not a second of that song I don’t love. I’m not a fan of my own speaking voice for music or else I’d love to incorporate more of that in my work.


PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?

SM: I’m not personally familiar with the music industry but if I could change one thing it would be the focus on what sells instead of soul filled music. Music should be creation from within, not what makes the most money.


PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?

SM: Right now I’m just focusing on my new release for Starlit Melancholy with occasionally writing music for the next one but it’s in very early stages. I also go back to my synth project Empyrean Frost and write songs for that when I have ideas for new music.


PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?

SM: All my music and merch can be purchased off my bandcamp sites.

I also post all updates to the Facebook pages.

Starlit Melancholy links:
Band/Artist location – Lafayette, Indiana
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Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer
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