Vodnik – Interview

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

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

V: I’m a solo project and a multi-instrumentalist. My specialty is playing guitar and doing vocals, but I can compose and write songs with almost any instrument.


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

V: I officially started Vodník in 2009 when I was about 20 years old. Born in Toronto, Canada, I dove into the rabbit hole of metal when I was in high school. First in grades 9 and 10 as a listener and appreciator with bands such as Rammstein, Nightwish, Cradle of Filth, Children of Bodom, Trivium, etc and then in grades 11 and 12 my learning journey as a songwriter took off and I delved into some really challenging material such as Yngwie Malmsteen, Dream Theater, Blotted Science, Dragonforce, etc. To me, music is very mentally stimulating, and can have a very direct and immediate impact on the way I’m feeling at any given moment, so I developed a huge interest in music and I decided to learn as much about it as possible.


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?

V: I became hugely inspired by rockstars such as Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, and Buckethead (hence the green bucket-shaped Vodník hat hehe). Writing songs of my own came largely from my appreciation of the songwriters who have influenced me because many of them introduced me to emotions that I was not aware were possible to have. Such revelations were paid forward to me, so I can only hope to evoke something similar as my gift to other people. In my songs, I like to write about what I am passionate about in my life, such as my dreams, habits, places, experiences, ponderings, and any feelings strong enough to impactfully invade my mind.


PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?

V: I hope to share my music with as much of the world as possible, make as much of a positive impact on the world as I can, and to become only successful enough to live a humble and comfortable life. Something has driven me to focus on music specifically, so I plan to make the most of it, and to leave behind some sort of a legacy that will hopefully far outlast me physically.


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

V: The proudest moment in my music career and also my entire life so far is the release of my full-length album “Time Traveller”. I got to collaborate together with my favourite band of all time, Vildhjarta (namely Calle Thomér and Daniel Bergström). Those guys have been a huge influence on me since I was introduced to their music in 2011, so it is truly an honour and a dream come true to be able to work on an entire album with them. I will continue to work with them to release the vocal versions of the album in both English and Czech.


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?

V: I try to make the most of the tools that are available to me, such as the use of algorithms. It’s important for me to schedule each release at least one month in advance, so that algorithms will be able to pick up the releases and push them out into peoples’ notifications, release radars, discovery playlists, and other playlists. There can be a huge spike in listeners sometimes when a new release comes out, and then falls back down to a consistent number, but overall, my average of listeners is continuously growing as I reach more people who appreciate my style of music. Every little bit of publicity helps out, so I thank you for that, Peter!


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

V: As a solo project, it can be an odd contrast to play live shows with full bands. At the moment, live shows are a rare occurrence for me, but when I do them, it’s important to have a good light show and dynamic backing tracks to compensate. In the future, I could focus on organizing shows/tours that primarily feature solo projects, or I would also consider hiring a bassist and a drummer to complete at least a 3-person lineup. My only performances coming up are with my other full band, CNTRL, and we perform roughly 2 or 3 times per month.


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

V: Downloading music online was an inevitable upgrade for our listening convenience… It’s impossible to fight back against it because it’s simply the easiest way that we’ve come up with to listen to any song anywhere at any time. My only criticism is that artists are not paid enough by this system. The numbers tell it straight that artists are paid $0.003 – $0.005 USD per stream. at this point, any upgrade to that would be a huge improvement. As someone who is trying to be an artist full-time, I’d honestly say that I’d be lucky if I earned $100 per month through streaming on Distrokid, and that collects from ALL streaming services simultaneously. It’s far from a living wage, but it helps to offset my music production costs from time to time, so it’s better than nothing.


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

V: Oh man… I guess Vildhjarta’s newest track “+ den spanska känslan +” because it’s just really well-written… There’s a lot of recurring themes in the song, some great ambience, super heavy riffs that absolutely melt your face, excellent riff progressions and hooks, and everything comes together in it really well! It may be over 7 minutes long but it always feels like only 4 minutes have passed.


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

V: Yes, everything’s getting just ridiculously expensive these days… Ticket vendors online charge too many fees, tickets for the big shows are just way out of my budget most of the time, and metal bands are selling hoodies for $100 at their shows when you can just get them online and delivered to your door for $50. Most people who go to metal shows are not made of hundred dollar bills haha


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

V: At the moment, I’ve got a few English vocal versions of songs on my album “Time Traveller” in the process of being mixed and prepared for release. I’m also working on another new single called “Rozklad” with Aron Baldursson from the band Aaru, and also a metal cover of another song from the Final Fantasy 7 soundtrack with my friends Nilesh and Westley. I’m also running a small fundraiser to get a guest feature from Frankie Palmeri (EMMURE) on my song “Ocel”!


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

V: You can find everything there is to know about me on my Linktree:

That includes my online merch store, bandcamp, and my YouTube channel etc! Thank you for the fantastic interview, Peter!

Vodník links:
Band/Artist location – Toronto, Ontario
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