Pete Murray is one of Australia’s most loved artists, his music oozing with charismatic charm and powerful performances. After what feels like a long 6 years since his last album he is back on the road touring CAMACHO, a record that brings together the Pete Murray we know and love with new twists and influences. Catherine Gunther caught up with Pete ahead of his Gold Coast show this weekend.
This new album Camacho is a step in a new direction for you, was there any pressure to fit into the mould of the styles of your previous records?
No not at all, I wanted to do something different and keep things fresh. I think just for me you always try to do something a little bit different every time you do an album, not the same thing. Otherwise you get a bit sick of yourself and your music and that’s not healthy.
Was there any concern on your side about how your loyal fans would receive the more programmed influences in these songs?
I was confident with the album, I thought the songs were great so the biggest mistake i could ever make was to try and please other people, you gotta kept true to yourself. The minute you try to please other people you second guess yourself, it’s just not right because what people like about me and my music is what I do. So hopefully if I continue to be writing stuff that I like then I’m hoping people will as well and fans will continue to go yeah I like that too. I mean there’s always going to be some that won’t, but I’m confident with the album and the reason I took so long was to make sure the album was really strong from start to finish. I want people to love it and that’s the feedback I’m getting off a lot of fans and even media.
It’s been several years since your last record Blue Sky Blue in 2011, do you think social media and the current music landscape has had an impact on how you’ve communicated with fans and released your music?
Definitely, I did the last album in 2011 [and] things have a changed a lot. It’s all about social media isn’t it? I guess it’s something my fans have had to grow with me as well as a lot of my guests are 30+. Everyone’s gotta get into it, if your a young band coming through the kids listen to you, the kids are all over it. It’s just part of their life, that’s what they grew up with, so it’s something you gotta do. I’m not fully into it but I know that you need to do it, you have direct contact to the fans to let them know what’s happening all the time. The thing I don’t like about it is letting people into your life, I’m fairly private and like to keep a lot of my life off social media but I think I you need to do it.
We caught your Brisbane show last Friday and loved it. From your perspective what do you love about performing live and what can people expect of your Gold Coast show this weekend at The Star Casino?
What I love about playing live is you finally get to play all the songs you enjoy and have just recorded, you get to play those live to people and you get to see on the first part of the tour how they react. You notice every time on tour when a new album comes out that there’s probably 30% of the crowd that know the new songs and I gauge my reaction on how much they’re singing along to every single new songs. And then those that aren’t singing yet what’s their reaction to the new songs as well. I love to see that reaction from people and see them singing along having a great time, and jamming with the band is good fun too. I get asked if I prefer recording or playing live, and I love playing live. It’s good fun when the tours going well and when it’s not it challenges you to try and think of a way to get the crowd back and get it going.
It’s interesting because we normally don’t finish [the show] with a new song but I finished the set [last week] with a new song and the encore with a new song. So I guess most bands would normally finish up on something everyone knows, but I’m confident with these songs and want people know that I’m finishing with them. So I’ve been saying on social media if your coming to the show please listen to the album because I’m playing the whole album throughout the night and it’s going to be more fun if you know the songs.
Is there a song on the Album that is a personal favourite?
Theses been a few and I guess I’m in a good position because I love all the songs which is why the album has taken so long to write a strong bunch of songs. Camacho was my first favourite when I wrote that and recorded that six years ago. When I first did that it sounded different to anything I’d done before, I loved it for a long time so we did it as a demo and tried to pick out what was wrong, what was right and form such a cool track. Sold is another one I did early on, and it’s been a favourite for a long time. I love the solos on that track, it’s got such a summery feel to it, beautiful tone and nice playing. They’re the early ones I really got into. Performing live Sold is awesome fun, it’s a really great live track and other tracks with great choruses are Take You Down and Heartbeats are waiting for the crowd to learn those songs and get to know them so they can sing them with me. I can’t wait for that, when they all start to take to those new songs that’s going to be a special moment for me.
You’ve been releasing music and performing for over 10 years now, what has been a really memorable moment of your career so far?
One thing that was really great to me was when I played a show in London and I remember finishing the encore and the crowd was just going crazy and suddenly they just because twice as loud and ballistic and I remember thinking ‘wow they really liked that last song, that was really good’ thinking I must’ve done something amazing on that one since they stepped up a gear. And then I felt these two little arms wrapped around my legs and it was my son Charlie who was two and a half at the time. He came out on stage after the end of the song while people were cheering, but when they saw him running across they just went ballistic. So yeah the little fella was just grabbing me around the legs as the crowd was going crazy, he was waving to everyone. It was such a beautiful moment, just loving that moment of my child running out and grabbing dad around the leg was beautiful.
Finally you’re on tour promoting the album visiting mentor and regional centres, do you think touring artists should be making more of an effort to perform outside of our major cities?
Well as an Australian artist you should be getting out there, I have been for years now and I’ve got a really strong fan base in all the areas I go to. They appreciate when you make the effort, I get people say all the time ‘how come your out here? You probably too big to come out here and play’ but your never too big to do that. It’s what you do, they appreciate it so much that when you keep going back they know it’s going to be a good fun show and they come to see it. I find with the regional shows everyone knows each other so it becomes a bit of a big party.
You can catch Pete Murray on his National Tour, supported by Ben Wright Smith, at The Star Casino on July 22nd. To purchase tickets click here.