Pete Murray is a household name when it comes to Australian music, with three #1 albums and classic songs like “So Beautiful” and “Better Days”. However, in 2013, Pete Murray is doing things differently. In the beachside town of Byron Bay, he re-recorded his most recent studio album, Blue Sky Blue, as a laidback, coastal record. Now, he’s touring Blue Sky Blue ﹣ The Byron Sessions on a 44-date tour of intimate, interactive and stripped back shows. I spoke to Pete ahead of his show at The Depot as part of the Fringe.
How’s your tour been so far?
Awesome, really good. Great shows, great crowd, lots of fun, and it’s renewed my touring vibe. I was kind of getting a bit over it, so it’s been great to come back and have these shows and do it this way.
It is a whopping 44-date tour, I imagine that must be exhausting? Or are you enjoying it?
It’s not too exhausting ﹣ you get a bit tired occasionally but the crowds have just been so upfront and doing this style of show has been really amazing and I’m having a great time. I’m making sure the crowd are part of the show and not just watching the show, so that’s been a lot of fun.
You’re coming to Adelaide in a week or so, and you’re performing at The Depot as part of the Fringe. Have you been to the Fringe before?
Yeah I was in Adelaide two days ago and I actually popped down there for a night to check out the Fringe and it’s amazing! It looks really, really fantastic. I’m looking forward to coming back and being a part of it. [The Garden of Unearthly Delights] is just beautiful.
So, talk me through your live show. What can we expect next Saturday night?
It’s a very different vibe, I’ve never toured this way before. My support act is another local from Byron Bay, he’s jumping onstage and he’s playing beatbox and slide guitar. There’s an acoustic, roots-y kind of vibe happening during the show. I’m having the crowd really interact ﹣ if they have any questions, they can ask, and request songs. I’ve done shows like this before overseas but never in Australia. It’s been heaps of fun.
Your album, ‘Blue Sky Blue ﹣ The Byron Sessions’, is quite a relaxed record. There’s a real carefree element running through it. It sounds like it was a lot of fun to make ﹣ was it?
Yeah, it was great! I’d get up in the morning and go for a surf, then get in the studio and record a track, then next morning do the same thing. All of us in the studio were really relaxed and having a great time.
You’ve collaborated with a lot of artists on this record ﹣ like Katie Noonan, Ash Grunwald, and Bernard Fanning ﹣ what was it like working with all of these different people?
Amazing. They’re all good friends of mine. I was a fan of their music in the first place, so I asked the guys to be involved. I wanted to put their flavour on my songs and kind of let them do it their own way. I didn’t tell them what I wanted. I think that’s the beauty of it, they’ve put their flavour and their mark on this album. The album’s pretty unique having these artists on there; it’s also pretty unique because I’ve re-recorded my entire album, and I don’t think anyone’s ever done that before: y’know, a different interpretation of their entire album.
As the name implies, it was recorded in Byron Bay. What’s that town like? What has it done for you artistically and creatively?
Byron…it’s a cool place. It’s got a great community there, it’s got a great surf, it’s just a really cool spot. I’d never go and live in the city again, Byron’s just got everything I need there, it’s a simple little town and a great spot. It’s a great place to raise kids.
What plans have you got for the future? What does the rest of 2013 hold for you?
In May I’m heading over to America, then I’m not sure how long I’ll be over there or what’s happening after that. Maybe I’d like to record another album by the end of the year.
Pete Murray will perform at The Depot, with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, on Saturday the 16th or March. Buy tickets here.