pete murray

Saving Lives

After doing this album things have definitely changed in the way I write.

Pete Murray - Camacho

Hi Pete and thanks for taking the time out to speak with us at Musicology.

Would you say that Camacho is a straight line evolution from your previous works or side step into a new sound and direction?

It’s a side step into a new direction for sure. I guess the big difference is in the way I recorded it, it’s not using a whole band. In the past I have jumped into the studio for four to six weeks and recorded with a full band. You have your verse, chorus, bridge and the groove always changes so it has been more of a live sound that I have been going for in the past. This time I really wanted to modernise the sound and work with loops and beats which was really the thing for me and to concentrate on the grooves of the songs. It is a big change and using sounds like synths takes you away from where you have been before.

What does your new album say about where you are at in your life right now?

It’s really positive. I have written all my albums about life experiences and this one is no different even though it has taken five and half years. Not everything has been positive throughout that time but it has been a positive time in my life and I wanted to write about that. There’s nothing melancholy in there and when I did Feeler back in 2003 there was a lot of reflective stuff on that which was deep and powerful. I wanted to maintain that mood on the album but not to be so negative and be more positive so it captures the emotive side of the songs so people can have that connection lyrically.

What were some of the challenges in putting this album together and equally what were some of the great surprises in writing / recording the Camacho?

Well for me learning new techniques of how you do this in the studio. This time it was more using modern technology. I would write a song and put a loop from Garage Band onto the song. A loop doesn’t change, one beat throughout the whole song. Maybe change a few things which enhances the chorus but with an acoustic song, in its early stages and putting a loop under it totally changes the sound of what I had done before. So that was exciting and working with a couple of hip hop producers (Trials) who played in AB Original and another guy called One Above (Hilltop Hoods, Drapht & Allday) two really good, well respected hip hop producers to help enhance some of the flavours of the album and the harmonies. There was a little more production on this record so the songs sound a little bit more produced than what they have before.

Having meet so many artists and performers over the years, were any words of wisdom spoken to you that really resonated with you altered the way you approach your craft?

After doing this album things have definitely changed in the way that I write and do things but it hasn’t really come from anyone in particular but one thing I really wanted to do was produce this album myself. Everything I wanted to do was with local guys. I didn’t feel like I needed to go overseas and work with a producer from the UK or America. Sometimes I have heard albums from people who have gone over to work with these guys and it’s not that amazing or any better than what you can do here. I wanted to work with the local talent and that was really important for me.

After being catapulted into the public’s attention with (Feeler & See The Sun) was the bar raised so high that it placed a self-imposed yard stick that all future releases would be measured against?

I don’t really think about it but Feeler is probably the one everyone talks about and I think that was a really solid body of work. I kind of relate this album to Feeler as it is just as strong, I am super happy with it. It’s a different flavour to Feeler but you are always going to be judged on that album I believe because it was so big and popular at the time.

Everyone has their Pete Murray favourites and certain songs that imbue a very significant moment in an individual’s life. Have you had people share with you some of their specials stories and moments that drove home just how influential your work is?

Oh yeah, I guess the positive thing for me is that I am glad I am not a one hit wonder. There’s not just that one song that everyone will talk about. One of the best compliments I have ever had was after finishing a gig in Rockhampton and we went out with the band for a drink and the security guard came up to me and grabbed me on the shoulder and I was thinking oh no what is going on here but he had tears in his eyes and he said mate I just want to tell you that song Better Days saved my life. He said he wanted to take his life and had been through hard times after losing his job and his money, he was really down and he would get up each morning and play that song and it would get him through the day. I think to have a song that saved someone’s life is the best compliment you could ever get.

You are about to embark on a huge national tour. Does touring / spending time in such uniquely Australian areas ultimately find its way into your music and lyrical material?

Not necessarily so, it doesn’t matter where I go or where I am, I don’t get inspired, even Bryon Bay where I live it is a beautiful place and people ask, do you sit there and write in such a beautiful place and I say no I don’t, I write most of the songs in my bathroom because I don’t get distracted by things. I can focus on things I really want to write about. If I am outside and see the surf, I just think oh I want to be out in that.

Thanks for your time and all the best with the tour