VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH PETER WALKER

Australian Guitar - - Australian Guitar Digital -

Peter Walker was a found­ing mem­ber of pro­gres­sive hard rock band Bak­ery. Af­ter six years on the road, Walker mi­grated to the stu­dio world via Charles Fisher and Trafal­gar Stu­dios, where he of­ten worked with peo­ple he knew from his tour­ing days. He en­gi­neered and pro­duced nu­mer­ous al­bums through the ‘70s and ‘80s, cov­er­ing a wide range of mu­sic from rock, pop and coun­try, all the way to film sound­tracks and the like. These were heady days, with large bud­gets and long ses­sions.

Walker was also a res­i­dent ses­sion gui­tarist, play­ing on many tracks and ad­ver­tis­ing jin­gles. Much of that work was un­cred­ited, as his spe­cialty was re­plac­ing ex­ist­ing parts – or beef­ing them up – for al­bums by well-known bands. His work can be heard on “Ea­gle Rock” (Daddy Cool), “Hey True Blue” (John Wil­liamson) and “Khe Sahn”(Cold Chisel), to name just a few tracks. Other lo­cal acts Walker has en­gi­neer for in­clude Mid­night Oil, Hoodoo Gu­rus, John Wil­liamson, Air Sup­ply, Tommy Em­manuel and Buf­falo. He also recorded for in­ter­na­tional acts like Elvis Costello, David Bowie, Po­lice and Du­ran Du­ran.

By the ‘90s, Walker had moved into the dig­i­tal age, writ­ing soft­ware and work­ing on his first ma­jor in­ven­tion: a cord­less, at­ti­tude-sens­ing joy­stick. It’s still recog­nised as the fastest re­spond­ing VR joy­stick around, even 25 years later. He then spent years in the world of large scale con­trol sys­tems as a de­signer and coder, but stum­bled back to gui­tars and started play­ing again in 2010.

Walker also built a range of stomp­boxes for Ian Moss, with whom he’d been a friend since the early Chisel days. “Our goal was to get any pickup’s tone to sur­vive the tor­tu­ous jour­ney through ca­bles, ped­al­boards, stomp­boxes and more ca­bles. And I had Ian as my crash test dummy!” says Walker.

Af­ter years of in­dus­trial de­sign and patent­ing, his lat­est in­ven­tion – the Vir­tual Jeff – won the ‘Best In Show’ award at NAMM 2017.

Re­cently, Moss ap­proached Walker once more to pro­duce his lat­est al­bum. “We’ve spent about 18 months ar­rang­ing and record­ing be­tween his tours,” Walker says. “It’s all his own ma­te­rial and it cov­ers a big range; he’s had a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties and in­flu­ences over a long ca­reer. It was also a great op­por­tu­nity to put to­gether the band of his dreams - at least in the stu­dio!”

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