First, please tell us who you are and your role in the music industry and what’s your genre?
Pete – I am Pete Devine and I run Pete’s Rock News and Views.com (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com) Genre wise, we are mainly rock and all its neighbours, there are the odd exceptions to this but if it’s loud, it’s in. We are based in South Wales UK and were formed in October 2016.
Pete – We basically support the PR companies and bands by adding features, interviews and reviews to our site and sharing that around . We currently have over 4500 bands in our database, over 550 interviews and 100s of reviews.
What’s your first musical memory?
Pete – That would be at school, there was a gang of us who would just scream out the latest Slade or Showaddywaddy singles. Quite scary to think of a bunch of 8 year olds banging on chairs to Under The Moon Of Love, but hey, you’ve got to start somewhere.
First experience of a live concert was Quo in 1977. As a cheeky 11 year old, I was totally blown away by the noise and energy that was in front of me.
Whatever your genre, what was the driving force that pushed you in that direction?
Pete – I suppose I would have to credit my older brother Steve for a lot of my early musical taste. He was getting the ‘right’ albums for Christmas etc and I’d always be there listening intently. The difference between us though is, he would get an album, love it and that would be that, whereas I would get an album, love it and want to hear everything that that band had done.
How did you first discover your genre? For me it was a vhs tape my cousin had with videos recorded from Much Music. (Enter Sandman, 18 and Life, Youth Gone Wild)
Pete – A combnation of the above answers alongside working in a record shop in the early 80s, listening to Tommy Vance (God Bless Him) on The Friday Rock Show, going to every gig that I could afford to go to and following the local rock bands as best I could.
How did it all start for you? What was your foot in the door?
Pete – The beginnings of Pete’s Rock News and Views is quite sad really. I became quite ill in 2010 and it took about 5 months to diagnose what was wrong with me. By the time it was diagnosed the long term damage had been done, so I now have incurable heart disease. It is ‘managed’ by a lot of medication, but has meant that I could never commit to a normal Mon – Fri, 9 – 5 job as I do not know how weak I would be from 1 day to the next. Some days I am too weak to get out of bed, other days it’s as if nothing was wrong with me. It took quite a while to get to any sort of wellness (is that a word?) So I decided that throughout my bad times, the one thing that was always there for me was the music and it was time to give something back. Hence Pete’s Rock News and Views was born in 2016.
It was slow in the beginning, but by just going for it and showing bands and PR companies what I had been doing, it soon took off.
Can you tell us about some of your successes in the music industry? What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Pete – I have had the pleasure to meet a large number of my heroes, Thin Lizzy, Motorhead, Quo, Genesis, SAHB, Matillion and many more as well my musical hero the late John Wetton. Some of these I have been fortunate to call friends. We even had a Wedding card from Marillion.
I have had interviews and reviews added to various web publications over the years and have been added to the odd album credits here and there..
thats definitely cool. I have been added to an albums credits myself for finding them their record deal. So on the flip side, what have been some downfalls or setbacks that you’ve experienced?
Pete – I think that the most difficult part of this is time. I can get up to 60 emails a day asking for bands to be added, or this band has a new release out etc. But there’s only so much work I can do in one day, so not all the emails can be actioned properly.
hahaha, I’m one of those daily emails!
If it applies, do you have any crazy stories from the music industry you’ve experienced?
Pete – Me personally, there was a minibus full of us, on the way to see Quo. As usual someone had brought along a little something to smoke on the way. All was going well on the journey as we passed the said item from one person to another. Until that is someone noticed that the driver was as high as a kite. The poor guy had been passively smoking our fumes and not being used it had gotten off his head. We had to pull over a give him air.
Another incident is when we went to see W.A.S.P. in Poole. We knew where they would be staying so as soon as we could we got to their hotel and spent about an hour going up and down in the lift, swigging away on bottles of vodka and rum , until sure enough we got to the ground floor level for about the 30th time and in popped Johnny Rod, Chris Holmes and Blackie Lawless. They were a bit surprised to see us there but admired us for our initiative (and drunk our vodka) The only problem was that our friend Wiggy had missed this ‘meeting’ as all the drinking had gone straight to his bladder and he’d got off on the restaurant floor above to use the loo.
Another one of my early rock stories is in the early 80s we were at Cardiff’s Top Rank club to watch Gillan. They were supported by 2 bands that night one of which was White Spirit. The thing with the Top Rank was that they had a balcony where you could sit with your legs dangling over the audience. We were all sat, plastic bottles of lager in hand, legs duly dangling, whe someone pushed in next to me. As the lights went down and the crowd started to raor, this guy said to me “Watch this guitarist, he’s gonna be going places” I turned to look at him only to realise that it was Ian Gillan sitting next to me. The guitarist he mentioned was Janick Gers who 5 months later replaced Bernie Torme in Gillan. Fair play to Mr Gillan, he stayed for their whole set and was spot on with his prediction.
Do you have a certain process for what you do? Me, I do my pr work usually with a movie on in the background. Something to look up at every once in a while.
Pete – Mine is more to do with the hours I put in. I usually start around 8AM, work through to 4.30PM and then throw in a couple of hours between 10PM and midnight. I will always have music playing in the background, it might be Planet Rock Radio or music from my own collection.
Do you have anything else going on in the music world? Do you play in a band, run a record store, etc? If so, please tell us about it and give us some links to click and follow.
pete – Not anymore. I could never really play anything good enough to get in a band and the record store days were long ago.
What words of encouragement or warnings could you give to someone looking to get into your sector?
It will take up a lot of your time, but with hard work and by being nice to people, it is well worth getting into.
Is there any other words you could leave us with?
Pete – I have made a large number of friends whilst doing this (I mean the website, not this interview lol) and I would just like to thank them for all the help and support that they give me and the confidence to keep doing this.
Its been fantastic getting to know more about you and i look forward to working with you more and more in the future.
Pete – Me too brother. Keep ’em coming.
Please provide links to socials and logo or pic.