Q&A

Mu­si­cian Pete Mur­ray re­calls when Ed Sheeran was his sup­port act.

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - In­ter­view by CAMERON ADAMS Ca­ma­cho (Sony) is out June 2. Pete Mur­ray is on tour from July 12–Sep 9; pe­te­mur­ray.com.

It’s been six years be­tween your last record – 2011’s Blue Sky Blue – and the new re­lease, Ca­ma­cho. That’s quite a long gap in a world of short at­ten­tion spans. Guns N’ Roses took 15 years [to re­lease their sixth album Chi­nese Democ­racy]. I thought I was go­ing to catch up with them at one stage. It is risky tak­ing that long. All these things go through your head: will peo­ple re­mem­ber me? Will I be rel­e­vant? I’m not get­ting any younger. You sec­ond guess your­self. There are a lot of new in­flu­ences and col­lab­o­ra­tors on the album. I wanted to rein­vent my­self a bit. You tend to do what you do; change doesn’t come easy. I lis­tened to old in­ter­views with The Bea­tles and saw how they made a con­scious ef­fort to write some­thing dif­fer­ent, which is how they went from “She Loves You” [in 1963] to the songs on Rub­ber Soul and Re­volver [in the mid-1960s]. I had to turn off my old Neil Young and Bob Dy­lan records. I lis­tened to hip-hop and elec­tron­ica for the son­ics and tried to bring it into what I was do­ing. Your tim­ing has worked out well; real mu­si­cians are back. Peo­ple like Ed Sheeran and Adele come through and it’s based just on their talent, not im­age or au­to­tuned vo­cals. Ed ac­tu­ally sup­ported me in Bor­der­line, this small bar in Eng­land, years ago. He was this gin­ger-haired kid, super-friendly bloke. And now he’s changed mu­sic! You sold close to a mil­lion copies of your first two al­bums, 2003’s Feeler and 2005’s See The Sun. Mu­sic has changed a lot since then… The guys from [mu­sic act] Busby Marou asked me what it was like to ac­tu­ally earn a roy­alty from album sales. It’s an in­ter­est­ing time to re­lease a new album – it’s all about stream­ing now, not buy­ing al­bums. I’m very lucky that I’m in that very small per­cent­age of Aus­tralian artists who can make a liv­ing from mu­sic. But it’s not easy. Longevity’s a tough thing. I’ve seen bands come in, win ARIAS and then dis­ap­pear off the face of the earth. Fa­ther­hood and mu­sic aren’t al­ways com­pat­i­ble. How do you make it work? That was part of the rea­son I took my time mak­ing this album. I got to spend as much time as I could with my sons. Char­lie is 13 and Pe­dro’s nearly 10. I don’t work from nine-to-five, but there are times you don’t see them for a few weeks or more if you tour over­seas. Com­ing out of a mar­riage break-up [Mur­ray and Amanda Coutts split in 2009], that’s some­thing you have to learn as a par­ent. You don’t see the kids all the time, so you have to make sure it’s qual­ity time when you do. The ti­tle track of Ca­ma­cho seems to touch on the pain of di­vorce. It’s noth­ing neg­a­tive about my ex, but you strug­gle with­out hav­ing the kids around all the time. I’m sure a lot of dads feel that af­ter a mar­riage ends.

“Ed Sheeran was this gin­ger-haired kid, su­per­friendly bloke. And now he’s changed mu­sic!”

I was pretty lost. I felt I lost a lot of con­fi­dence. I was pro­cras­ti­nat­ing a lot. I kept a low pro­file. I like my pri­vacy. I’m not a celebrity, I’m a mu­si­cian. There is a lot of love on the record – songs about fall­ing for your pho­tog­ra­pher wife Mira Eady. I kept her wait­ing for so long she got to the stage where she said, “You need to break down these walls.” The song “Con­nected” is about when a re­la­tion­ship moves from ca­sual to se­ri­ous. She helped me through all the hard times. How did you meet? At her birth­day party at a lo­cal bar in By­ron Bay. I went with a guy I knew from surf­ing who was ac­tu­ally try­ing to pick her up, but she wasn’t hav­ing a bar of him. We got talk­ing and got on re­ally well. I didn’t think I’d get mar­ried again. She wanted to do it, but there was no pres­sure from her. We’ve been to­gether for five years, and it felt like the time was right. An­other change be­tween al­bums is so­cial me­dia. Do you em­brace it? Fans have di­rect ac­cess to you. I still strug­gle to get used to that. I like to have a lit­tle bit of pri­vacy, but now your pop­u­lar­ity is judged by how many hits you get or how many fol­low­ers you have. I re­cently posted a video of me do­ing some ex­er­cise and peo­ple went bal­lis­tic. Some­one had asked me how I keep fit, so I filmed some of my rou­tine. When you get older – I’m 47 – you need to stay fit. I don’t post about it too much. It can seem wanky. But you don’t have to get fat when you get older. You can still keep your­self healthy.

``i was pretty lost af­ter my mar­riage ended´´

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