Pete Murray Talks New Directions and Broad Horizons
Pete Murray is back with a new remix, a new tour, and exciting new directions.We caught up with the beloved Aussie musician before he boarded a plane to London, part of his upcoming shot at a larger overseas audience.
A long time darling of the Australian music scene, Pete Murray first gained attention with 2003’s Feeler, an album you’ll probably recognise from your mum’s Spotify and every Rage countdown since 2003. In the years since he’s gained a reputation as “the quiet achiever of Australian music”, pumping out four albums, winning multiple awards and selling over a million records.
Pete Murray is clearly a busy bloke, and it’s hard to hold that against him. He has a family, and a full time commitment to his music. When we got onto him he’d just dropped the new remix of his single Heartbeats, a funk-focused new sound for the artist. The single was remixed by Peter Mayes, the man behind PNAU. We asked him how it went:
“Yeah I’m really happy with it. We tried to find a balance something different and dancey, more PNAU, and a sound that was still me. I can see it being played on some cool little island party in the Caribbean somewhere.”
It’s a large departure from the singer-songwriter’s typical M.O. The song features synth tones and a more rhythmic, beat driven feel then any previous work.
“I was going a lot of playing around with different varieties of drums and looping. It started to get a more rhythmic sound that felt like dance, but something was missing. And we thought – hey, why don’t we get someone who actually knows how to do dance? And it just so happened that my tour manager at the time was also managing PNAU, and I loved some of the stuff they were putting out. Peter Mayes listened to the track and loved it, and we went from there.”
The heartfelt, soul searching lyrics are still very much in evidence, but the sound is sharp left turn. For a musician whose built his reputation off laid back, acoustic tracks, this is a big deal. When asked if the remix singled a new, more pop-centric direction for him, he divulged some exciting plans for the future.
“I’m trying to incorporate elements of blues and soul into my music, and the last album, Camacho, touched on that. I’ve just been in the studio today actually working on some new stuff, and its definitely got more of those different elements in it. I’m also heading over to London tomorrow to do some work, and I’m really excited to meet and talk to musicians who aren’t Australian. There’s nothing official yet, but I’m excited to take things in new directions.”
When asked if he was taking a shot at a bigger, overseas audience the answer was direct.
“Yeah for sure, definitely. Being signed to a major Australian label for a long time, I haven’t had any help overseas. For me now it’s all about trying to get in overseas and start to build on what I’ve done over the last few years. I’m really excited about that.”
These new directions, musically and geographically, signal a big change in the works for the Brisbane born singer-songwriter. While this was all exciting stuff, one of the most interesting and honest moments of the interview came with the last few questions, when the topic turned personal.
“I’ve thought about this before, as an artists, would I want to ask another artist if I was doing the interview. One of the things I often wonder with artists is, do you feel like you have to please your fans rather then yourself? And are you satisfied with what you’ve done with music? With me I sometimes feel like there’s a bit of pressure for people to think about what they have to do to write a hit – or to write something that people are going to write rather then writing what you like. So the question for me is have you stayed firm with your musical integrity?
Well you can probably guess what the next question is going to be.
“Yeah, fair enough. I feel like I have, and I feel like the next album I’ll be even more firm on that.”
Last question, just for fun. If you could have any super-power, what would it be?
“Easy. I would fly.”
Couldn’t think of a more fitting answer. You can check out the Heartbeats Remix here, and follow Pete Murray’s progress here. You can catch his acoustic tour at the Triffid on the 13th of July. Keep an eye on the horizon, it sounds like he’s primed and ready for takeoff.
Image provided by On The Map PR.