Pete Murray is always a winner
WHAT better way to make a change than heading out to the Hollywood Hills?
For one of Australia's favourite musicians and Northern Rivers resident Pete Murray it was his best option.
Murray sent off his demos to producer Tom Rothrock (Beck, Foo Fighters, Elliott Smith) with a firm idea of what he wanted.
"When I first spoke to Tom I told him I was well known as an acoustic artist in Australia and that I wanted to change that," Murray tells Pulse.
For his fourth album, Blue Sky Blue, Murray wanted an electric sound to better represent his live show.
"I sent off my acoustic demos to him (Rothrock) and he said 'I could make a great acoustic record from this'."
Murray's response: "That's not what I want to do."
Rothrock tried to convince Murray that he may be known for acoustic work in Australia, but the rest of the world was yet to hear him.
"I just said no," Murray says. "And he didn't have to ask me twice."
After spending time away from the limelight, Murray was after something different from album number four.
"When you put an album out you want it to be different," he says. "I was just getting sick of playing acoustic. The songs they tend to play on the radio are all the acoustic ones too, so I wanted people to get the same feeling they do when they come to one of our shows, because they are quite diverse."
Murray says it's definitely a different flavour on his latest album.
His first three albums, Feeler (2003), See The Sun (2005) and Summer At Eureka (2008) all reached No.1 on the ARIA charts.
But, it isn't necessarily commercial success for which Murray now strives.
"Feeler had so much airplay that I didn't really want Eureka to have as much," he admits. "It's like Adele at the moment; she's flogged so hard you just think to yourself, 'yeah she's good, but do we need to hear her this much?'."
The first single Always A Winner has received plenty of airplay on commercial radio and the sec-ond single Free is following hot on its heels.
He sounds quite chuffed to tell me he was right to believe in his own instincts when it came to releasing the album. One thing he was really happy with was a drum beat Rothrock contributed.
"When I first talked to my manager about it he said 'I don't want you to get your hopes up about it because the top 50 songs right now, they don't have a drum beat'," Murray says.
Unfazed by this response Murray stood by the album, "I said let's just put it out."
Blue Sky Blue has reached No.6 in the charts since its release.
"I think you need to be confident and strong about what you want to do," Murray says.
His personal life has often been in the news, including his marriage break-up in 2009, but he says Blue Sky Blue isn't about heart break.
"The songs aren't always about me," he says. "You write from someone else's shoes. There are influences of that in there, but it's not all about that and it's not always negative. I write about life experience and everyone has that."
Murray says he got sick to death of singing such downer songs, which is why he made the change.
"Write emotional, but not down."
You can hear Murray's positive attitude shining through on Blue Sky Blue.
Pete Murray plays the Bangalow A&I Hall on Wednesday, October 26. Doors open 6.30pm. Tickets $39.95 from www.oztix.com.au.