Shire local Pete Murray has just released a long-awaited sixth studio album and is backing it up with a string of tour dates to share his latest with fans. Representing a large change in direction, we thought it best to have a quick chat to Pete to learn all we could about how he came to this new place in his songwriting works.
CG – Hey Pete, thanks for taking some time. How’s your day going?
PM – Yeah good, I’ve just been at Wategoes this morning, not that there was much around, but it was nice to get up and have a surf down there.
CG – I had a listen to the track, and I guess this goes without saying – it’s an obvious change in direction sound wise
PM – Yeah for sure! That’s the main thing I wanted to focus on
CG – It’s been six years since you released an album, has that been something that’s been building up and that’s why it took such a long time between albums?
PM – Well that’s why I took the time I think, it’s not easy, you tend to try and write what you do well and to change something up you need a bit of time to do it. The first thing I wanted to do was work a lot more with loops and beats so I started to write songs and I’d be adding in loops. Getting a different feel for the song, straight away. What I’ve done in the past is you write a song in the studio with the band, you write the bridge and chorus and everything had a slightly different feel as opposed to working with these grooves where it kind of simplified the song, but it made it really, cool. So, I sent them to a producer Trials, he’s also in AB Original. We did quite a few songs together, I’d send the beats to him and he’d enhance them. Trying to make the chorus’ a bit bigger and a lot more singalong. It took a bit of time to try and work out how to do that and get the right flavour I wanted.
CG – Great, so you wrote your own beats too?
PM – Yeah, I’ve always tended to find the parts to my songs, what I needed help with was making the sounds bigger which is where the hip-hop guys come into it.
CG – Those hip-hop guys know how to lay down a beat. Tell me about the vocal production side of things, they’re a lot more heavily produced now?
PM – Definitely. Through pretty much all of my albums there hasn’t been much production, you go into the studio and you record the guitar the bass the drums and the vocals, there’s not very much production at all and it’s all very organic. I guess that’s what you’re hearing, the difference between that old-school recording and something more contemporary where you put a lot more work into the production and you can hear that in the sounds and in the flavour of the songs. That’s been interesting for me too, getting away from having a full band in the studio and recording them. Over the last six years I’ve had to stop listening to things like Neil Young and Bob Dylan and started listening to a lot more hip-hop and electronica to hear what’s new in the sonics of what they’re doing so I can implement it into my music.
CG – New influences, nice. How will this translate to the live show now? Will you still be touring with a band?
PM – Yeah we will, we’re using a lot of sounds with the drum kit, a lot of pads now. We might have a few loops and beats here and there, but pretty much everything as live as possible. So yes, we’ll be a band still.
CG – Let’s talk about the upcoming tour, your first show is in July, in Lismore?
PM – Yeah Lismore. Oh yeah, everyone’s always been pretty good to me in Lismore over the years. I’ve always had a great crowd there and there’s some real characters – I had a guy up on stage dancing while I was doing an acoustic thing, it was good fun so I’m keen to get back there again!
CG – What are you looking forward to most about touring this year?
PM – The main thing I’m looking forward to is getting out and playing these new songs. One positive thing for me is that I’ve really worked hard to make this an album start to finish where there’s no weak songs. There’s been albums in the past where I wanted to play some of the songs, but not all of the songs. This one though, there’s nothing on there that I don’t want to play live, which is important.
CG – Are you nervous about how people will react to the new sound?
PM – I think I’m a little bit anxious, that’s probably the best word to use, before the album comes out. Everyone that’s heard it so far has had a really good vibe, and it’s early days but it’s exciting waiting to see what people think of it.
CG – Fantastic. Thanks for talking today Pete
PM – Thanks!
Camacho is available NOW from www.petemurray.com