A VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH PETER WALKER
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, the Hoodoo Gurus, John Williamson, Air Supply, Tommy Emmanuel and Buffalo. He’s 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!”