Interviews

Interview: Pete Murray

Albums are dead for a lot of people, which is a shame, because guys like us, from our vintage, you put on an album and most of your favourite tracks aren’t singles, but they are the ones you listen to all the time. Whereas today, especially on those streaming playlists, its singles. Pop hit after pop hit after pop hit. Its throwaway.

PeteMurray001
From Press Release:

Byron Bay singer-songwriter and one of Australia’s most loved musicians, Pete Murray has announced a stunning remix of his song Heartbeats, by ARIA-awarding winning Peter Mayes from PNAU.  Pete has also dropped a video for the remix, a short film seeking to inspire audiences to cherish the love they share with others while they still can.  To celebrate, Pete has also announced a three-piece acoustic tour that will cross the country playing intimate club shows, supported nationally by exciting newcomer, Matthew Armitage. The special run kicks off in Perth at Rosemount Hotel on June 29, moving through regional and metropolitan cities in Western Australia, Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, and wraps up in Canberra at The Basement on August 26.
H2Z: Hey Pete, thanks for calling us today, let’s get straight into it.
PM: No problem Andrew, sounds good.

H2Z: You have just had the Peter Mayes (PNAU) remix of “Heartbeats” come out. Tell us about that collaboration, and how it came about?
PM: Well it turned out my tour manager had been touring with the PNAU boys, and I mentioned to him, that I would love to get the song “Heartbeats” with a slight dance groove to it, compared to what we had before. And I asked if he could put me in touch with the boys, which he did. I sent Peter (Mayes) the track and he loved it, and considering they are so busy right now and can pretty much pick and choose what they do, I was extremely grateful we could work together. What he has done with the song is really, really tasty. We had a good conversation, about not wanting it to be to dance. I gave him the idea, to go for more of a Coldplay kind of vibe, which gives it more of a band vibe, rather than straight dance vibe, and I think he really nailed it.

H2Z: He really did, and congratulations on that, and the accompanying video, has a really important message for 2018. Did you come up with the concept for that, or was it something the director brought to the table?
PM: I am glad you like it. It was the director I worked with that had the concept. Corey Donaldson is his name. He is a Brisbane guy, and while the song already had that kind of storyline, his concept added to it, and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. We didn’t have a big budget for it, and the problem we had on the day we were shooting, is that it was pouring with rain. So, he had limited opportunities, to capture what he really wanted to capture. When the rain stopped, they would go out and shoot, then it would pour again, and they would have to stop, it was a difficult time for them, but the feedback we have been getting is great and I’m glad you like it.

 

H2Z: Do you think that with the way people need instant gratification these days, especially through social media for example, that the simple messages get lost?
PM: Its changed so much hasn’t it? Everything is so throw away these days. I guess when I write music, and create music, I want something that is going to last. And the same with anything visual, you want it to last. You want people in 20, 30 years from now, to see it and still really enjoy it, as opposed to the pop songs that come in and go out of fashion very quickly. The songs, and albums I like, they aren’t the big pop hits, or the big chart hits, it’s just great music that’s going to be around forever. That’s what I like to write, and I set out to write.

H2Z: I have seen you mention that you love the music from the 70s, as do I. To be honest with you, when I listen to your music, it reminds me of the 70s, a more stripped back, better time vibe.
PM: Exactly, and yes, I love the 70s, I’m a huge fan of it, so to hear you say that, its definitely a compliment, so thanks!

PeteMurray002photo courtesy Pete Murray Facebook

H2Z: 2017 was a huge year for you Pete, and congratulations on your successes. So now as you sit down to create new music, where are you drawing your inspiration from in 2018 to do new music?
PM: The Camacho album, it has been 6 years between album for me, so it was important the songs all had a great groove for me. So, when I sit and write now, I also want the songs to still have that groove going on. If you listen that album, it has those grooves and it flows really well. So, it’s important my music has that groove as well as a melody you can sing along to. I have tried really hard to do that, so it’s important I keep trying to write those kinds of songs moving forward, so it can have meaning and connection to people. But for me, it also has to be fun, so then they are fun songs to play live.

H2Z: You mentioned the flow of an album. When it comes to your music, I don’t see you sitting down to deliberately write a single for radio, you more right for the album, and chose a single from there, would that be a correct assessment?
PM: Absolutely! I struggled when it came time to talk about the singles, because traditionally singles are only written for radio, and I hate that. I really hate that, as it doesn’t represent the album. So the first single we went with was a song called “Take Me Down”, which I felt doesn’t have the groove like some of the other tracks, but in saying that, some of those tracks with that groove, wouldn’t work with commercial radio. It is a hard decision to have to pick a song, and I hate having to pick a song, that you think is going to work on radio. I love making an album, and I love writing songs for the album, and on the last one I didn’t have a massive hit single on it at all.

H2Z: You are a front to back album guy.
PM: That’s right, and it’s hard, because albums have died because of streaming now. Artists now, tend to worry about just putting out a new single, one every couple of months. Albums are dead for a lot of people, which is a shame, because guys like us, from our vintage, you put on an album and most of your favourite tracks aren’t singles, but they are the ones you listen to all the time. Whereas today, especially on those streaming playlists, its singles. Pop hit after pop hit after pop hit. Its throwaway.

PeteMurray003photo courtesy Pete Murray Facebook

H2Z: You are about to go on your acoustic tour, which will be really bare bones, I’m sure as an artist that will be very refreshing for you. What can people expect?
PM: The big thing will be three-part harmonies. It will be a three piece. The guys from my band Brett Wood on guitar, and Simon Fisenden on Bass. We have some great three-part harmonies happening. We are still working out the songs now, as some may have a stomp or loops with them, which will work well with the acoustic vibe, and help with the groove. But there will be also be plenty of stuff that is straight up acoustic, with three part harmonies. That’s the important stuff I am trying to get across, the melodies, the harmonies, and still have some fun with some of the grooves.

H2Z: I recently saw a clip of you jamming with Andrew Stockdale from Wolfmother, is that a collaboration we can expect down the track?
PM: Possibly. His studio is just around the corner from mine. We have been mates for a long time. It’s always good to catch up with him, and maybe do something with him. He is a really good guy. We will explore something down the track. It will be really good.

H2Z: What’s Pete Murray listening to at the moment?
PM: Ben Howard, The Doves, a bit of Bob Dylan in there. This guy from Iceland, Asgeir, he has some good tracks. I have found myself listening to Coldplay quite a bit too.

H2Z: Once you are done with the acoustic tour, what is next on the horizon?
PM: I am doing a thing called “Movement and Music Escapes”. My partner in that one is (health and fitness expert) Benny Owen. Benny also used to play drums with Ash Grunwald. Benny was 120kgs and now he is a fitness instructor. He lost all this weight and is now super fit. He came to me with the idea of doing a retreat. Kind of like a health retreat, but fun. We give people the opportunity to come and stay at Elements Of Byron Resort, and get the opportunity to do training with me, and with Benny, horse riding, learnt to surf, yoga, bush walks, all kinds of activities for a week. The last one, I also did an acoustic performance on the beach for them. For the next one, I am going to try and find another artist, to do the show, or another celebrity that can train, an actor, or someone like that. The next one will be at the end of October, and then again in March 2019. That will be something that will be an ongoing thing for me. Everyone is loving the idea, as no one else is doing it, it’s a new concept, and the press has been great on it. That will always be good fun for me to do. I also have international shows, in November and then another run of full band shows here in Australia, early next year, so I have lots of things happening.

H2Z: Wonderful Pete, sounds amazing. That’s all we have for you today. Any final words for our readers?
PM: Come on out and see a show. Tickets are selling super-fast. Some shows are already sold out. So, get in quick

H2Z: Thanks a lot for your time today Pete, look forward to seeing you at one of the shows
PM: Thanks Andrew, See you then.

We would like to thank Pete for his time, check out the tour dates below. Click on the links for Pete’s pages and the “Movement and Music Escapes Page” and also Benny Owens page.

Pete Murray – Website          Pete Murray – Facebook          Pete Murray – Instagram 
Pete Murray – Twitter          Pete Murray – Youtube
Music and Movement Escapes          Benny Owen – Trainer

Pete Murray Tour

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