Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (https://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
V: We are raw, heavy, psych, FFO The Stooges, early Monster Magnet, and Blue Cheer. Like a bad trip driving through the desert to get to Las Vegas.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
V: I’m from the desert of 29 Palms, Ca. Although the band actually formed in Orange County, Ca. In the early 90’s not too long after I was kicked out of Fu Manchu. I used to sing for them in 91 when they were getting started and we did a handful of shows, but they had a different idea how the vocals should be. I was more aggressive, and they were more kicked back. Anyways that was the catalyst to really focus on writing songs on the guitar. Up until then I just sang in bands. I wanted something raw, heavy, psychedelic and with an edge. But to get back to the question I was always way into music writing my first lyrics when I was in 1st grade. It was obviously cheesy, but I’ve never stopped writing and singing. I used to take two boom boxes and play a band (Black Flag, DK, or something like that) through one while I recorded myself singing my own lyrics with the other boom box. I would make cassettes and hand them out to my friends. I eventually started singing in various punk bands; heavily influenced by Black Flag, Saint Vitus, SWA, Misfits, Wurm. One thing that was cool is I grew up with Billy Anderson and he actually turned me onto Black Flag. He also recorded my first band on a Tascam 4 track while he was still going to recording school. I still have it! Music is in my soul and even when I took a hiatus with VOLUME I still wrote and sang all the time.
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: Ultimately life inspires me to write. Most of my songs tend to have more than one meaning and can sometimes be hard to get to the ultimate meaning unless you are in my head. I tend to write from a darker perspective -I use a lot of space themes, tripping out, and other ideas to express my take on the human condition. Life was meant to be beautiful, but humanity is messed up. Not all is lost though, I do believe there is hope. As far as influences musically it would be The Stooges, Monster Magnet (up until Dopes), Black Flag, Loop, Love And Rockets, MC5, Blue Cheer, Mudhoney, Union Carbide Productions, Thee Hypnotics, and so many more.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
V: To finish what I started with VOLUME- total domination of the Universe! Short term is to release 3 albums in 3 years and tour outside the US-hopefully getting on some killer Festivals. After that I’ll go from there
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
V: It’s all been cool! When I started in a punk band back in the 80s I thought getting a song on a 7” record would be the ultimate. I’ve done that, had songs on killer comps with kick ass bands, had an EP out, and have shared the stage with bands like Queens of the Stone Age, Acid King, Fu Manchu, Nebula, Mastodon, Weedeater, and more. I look forward to what’s next- so ask me again down the line.
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: It seems to be going good. I’m learning all the new social outlets like FB, Instagram,etc. I’ve recently started them up and its going good.
Back in the day the biggest platform was Stonerock.com it was a cool music forum. Nowadays there are so many more avenues in which to get your music heard. However, I think awesome music will always make its way to the listeners if the bands persevere and keep kicking out the jams.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
V: Right now, we have people wanting to play with us or book shows for us, but we don’t have a full band at the moment. We are hoping to solidify a solid lineup by September to promote the EP. Hopefully, there will be a good buzz around the EP that we can secure a booking agent. Otherwise, we do it the old-fashioned way-call the clubs ourselves. I’m not opposed to doing it but would like to focus on other aspects of the music.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
V: I’m cool with downloading music. The real fans will typically pay for it, and I’m thankful for that. As far as Spotify and those I haven’t gotten too far into that as far as what an artist gets compensated, but it seems outrageously low and I’m sure unless your streaming millions you aren’t making a living on it.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
V: Sympathy for the Devil or Wish You Were Here.
Those are perfect songs. I love the vibe, the production, lyrics, and the buildup. Singable and they really suck you into the story
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
V: That the bigger labels and some smaller labels just throw a ton of bands/releases out there to see which ones catch on instead of picking a few really good bands/artist and getting behind them 100% and growing them organically.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
V: Getting a full band together to play live and hopefully tour. I’m also looking to get back in the studio sometime in September/October to record another EP.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
The remastered version of Colossalfreak comes out on June 14 everywhere.
Band/Artist location – Twentynine Palms, California
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