Interview – Hunter Stevens (DarkBreed) turned GarageBand into an alt-rock machine

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DarkBreed (real name Hunter Stevens) has been at it for just about a year, but he’s dreaming big. He’s got a music video out, sending a powerful message against the hate and violence prevailing in today’s society. Influenced by 90s alt rock and Nine Inch Nails, Hunter is on a creation spree, working on a new song and improving his compositional craft. We check in with him in the middle of the process, and here’s what mr. Stevens has got to say…

Hello! Introduce yourself to the world and tell us how did you grow up to become a musician.

Well, my real name is Hunter Stevens. I have been making music under my persona, DarkBreed, for about a year now. I grew up on 90s alt rock. Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, and others. A little later in my life, I discovered Nine Inch Nails. It was the perfect inspiration for electronic sound to develop my music composing skills. A few years later, I found GarageBand and adopted it as my DAW. From there I self taught, and here I am today.

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Introduce your current musical projects and tell us what makes each one special for you!

I just finished my first music video, Last Organism; which turned out well in my opinion. A few people have given me some very flattering feedback on the project and I’m still a little floored. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who supported the project.
Especially my fellow indie music friend from the UK, James Ronayne. He goes by a couple musical names, “Punky Jim” and “Sharing Nightmares”. The reason I brought him up is because he started a social media movement called “Musicians Against Hate”.
It’s a place for indie music that is particularly anti hate, violence, etc.

He got a hold of me and said I should make an anti-hate song for the movement. I have always had grievances with the concept of war ever since I was a kid. So I decided to write the song about the literal insanity of war, the sheer repetitiveness of the turning gears, with some historical footage in the video to convey my grievances. And now I have my first music video.

My most popular song seems to be The Perfect State Of Mind. Which I also have a lot of fun listening to, so I am happy to know that it was on the Drooble “Electronic” charts for a short while, which explains the spike in plays I received on the song.

And lastly, I am working on a brand new song… well, it’s not “brand new” per se. I’ve actually been working on it for about three years or so. The song is entitled Keeping Slaves. It is about the political corruption that seems to plague my country, the United States.

You have been playing music for a long while. How do you preserve the drive and inspiration to keep going?

I find the drive to continue making music because of the undying affection I receive from my friends all across the world who listen to my music. Drooble is a great place to publish my projects because I never imagined someone from halfway around the globe would actually take an interest in the tracks I produce, let alone jam out to them. But it happens and I am very excited to continue making music for all of my new friends.

How is your local music scene? Do you feel like you belong there?

I do not feel that my local music scene is very fitting for my tastes. It’s part of the reason I am a solo artist. It’s hard to find people to practice with that are on the same wavelength as you when it comes to music. But I do not mind that I stand out in my local scene as an off beat musician. I like to say, “it’s good to be the black sheep”.

What is your all-time favorite record and how did it change you as an artist?

That is a very difficult but fascinating question for a lot of musicians. I think it varies every few years or so, but I believe the album I owe the most allegiance to is “Yield” – Pearl Jam’s fifth studio album. It was a critical piece of my childhood inspirations.
I like to think “Yield” is responsible for the driving rhythms that I strive for in my music.

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What are your favorite software and hardware tools for music production?

I am a GarageBand boy all the way. I have my issues with Apple, but they do produce a very hands-on music production software and it has suited my creative needs in every way so far.

What is your songwriting process like?

I try to make my songs very cryptic and metaphorical. A deep underlying theme in your lyrics is crucial to writing a good song. Growing up on Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, I want my lyrics to make as little sense to the listener as possible, but not so much that I lose the message entirely.

What is your most memorable live-show?

I have not played any live shows yet, but I hope to soon. I am currently rehearsing to test my mettle in small venues like open mics at bars and things like that. I hope to better my craft this way.

What’s your biggest musical goal?

I guess my biggest musical goal is to get important messages out to people, be a cultural activist, Influence the world for the better and make a difference, somehow.
I also want to show people that they can overcome any kind of physical or emotional obstacles they may come across.
The messages in my songs can be melancholic and dark, but my music is about resolve at the end of the day.

How has being on Drooble helped you as a musician?

Being on Drooble and meeting all these like minded people has definitely driven me further in my career as a musician. Drooble is the most organic platform for legitimate exposure, and song plays that I have ever been a part of. Drooble makes getting plays on YouTube look like pulling teeth. And I believe I have Drooble to thank for a spike in my YouTube subscribers recently. I am very glad I came across this site and I am planning to stick around indefinitely.

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