Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
TJR: We’re a 4 piece band and if I had to pin a genre on us I suppose indie is probably the closest to what we sound like. Although the music we’re writing now has definitely taken a more ‘punky’ direction.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
TJR: So we have been together for coming up 4 years now. I’ve been playing in a band for over 10 years but was the drummer in my last band. I’m the singer/guitarist and one of the songwriters in this band. Marty and Dean who play bass and drums joined myself and Dan who plays lead guitar. 3 of us worked together in a call centre back then but I’ve since left after a video of us performing our song Red Tape was anonymously sent into work, the issue being the song is quite a blatant dig at where we worked! Dan and I started the band a couple of years before Marty and Dean joined. Dan, who’s originally from York, had been living in the same village as me after studying in the north east and got in touch after I’d placed an add for a lead guitarist online. It was Marty and Dean that I worked with in the contact centre, Marty and I met over a mutual love of music and particularly Oasis, so things grew from there, Deano I’d scouted out of a band he was playing in at the time and that was when the 4 of us formed.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
TJR: Mine and Marty’s taste in particular are very similar, all the classic indie bands like Oasis, Roses, The Verve, for me the mid-late noughties indie scene like Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, Kaiser Chiefs. Dan’s taste varies quite a bit too, he’s into deep house, he likes a bit of reggae, ambient music stuff like that. And Deano quite similar to myself and Marty.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
TJR: We’ve always been quite consistent in our ambitions for the band, we still hope and aim for the time when we can quit our day jobs and do the band full time. We’ve worked very hard over the years to build up our fan base and certainly before COVID hit we gigged relentlessly. Now it’s about getting back into the leave scene, we also have recently started working with a group who are approaching labels on the regular for us, so fingers crossed we get something from that. There’s been some really positive output so far so we’ll see how that develops.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
TJR:- Myself and Marty are the writers. Marty’s colourful love life has contributed to a few of his recently! Now he’s settled down I’m looking forward to what he brings to the table in future! For me the tunes I’ve been recently coming out with have been more about what’s going on in the world at the moment and also some of my personal experiences with certain people. Some including one of our most recent singles, Pamela, isn’t really about anything at all but it sounds cool!
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
TJR: It seems like the social media world is absolutely key for bands like us to communicate with people and also build a following. I’ve mixed feelings about it to be honest, the music, live performance, appearance these things sometimes feel secondary to your social media engagement and following, but that’s where things are nowadays so we have to roll with that whether we like it or not. We’re lucky that a core following of people come and sometimes wherever we’re playing so we can always rely on them, otherwise it’s getting it out on social media and inviting anyone and everyone!
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
TJR: Similar feelings towards social media really. There’s pros and cons. I think music being as accessible as it is now is a good thing. It’s never been easier to discover new music and I’ve felt the benefit of that being a music lover. My Spotify playlist grows constantly but that’s because how easy it is to get to new music. On the other hand, the pittance that artists receive for streams and downloads is shocking. Until you’re hitting astronomical numbers you ain’t making a penny. So there’s good and bad to it for me.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
TJR: I think that would have to be Live Forever. It still stands up now nearly 30 years on since it’s release and the ethos of it, the solo, it’s greatness personified in 4 and a half minutes.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
TJR: Negative people. People filling up at a petrol station then doing their weekly shop in the garage without moving their car into a car parking space. Cold weather. I think that’s it really! I’m a pretty happy person!
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
TJR: Supporting Noel Gallagher in front of about 8,000 in Newcastle about 10 years ago. He’s an idle of mine and got to meet fine so that’s right up there for me.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
TJR: Getting a gig! Since lockdown was lifted we had 4 gigs booked in within the space of a few weeks all pulled. There was some difficulty nailing down support bands for 2 of them, another which was a festival we were doing was cancelled completely and we had a big support slot with Black Grape which we were buzzing for, that was cancelled as they had a festival rearranged for the same weekend. But we’re keeping active with it we’re in the process of arranging our own headline gig in Newcastle which will hopefully be in October and we have a promotion company based up here who are back offering out gigs and they’ve been back in touch, so we’ll have some concrete live news soon.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
TJR: We have an album out from a couple of years ago, a live EP and 2 new singles we released this year. All of which are on all streaming platforms.
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