Brendan: Hey everyone! Brendan, the blind guy here. Today I've got the honour of speaking to one of Australia's musical royalty, Mr. Pete Murray. How are you, Pete?
Pete Murray: Good, Brendan, how are you?
Brendan: I'm very well, thank you. Very well. So, I see ... well, kind of, read, that you've teamed up with Benny Owen to do a fitness and health retreat called the Music and Movement Escape at Byron ... Elements of Byron Resort and Spa. Now that-
Pete Murray: Yeah.
Brendan: Yeah, tell us about that.
Pete Murray: Yeah, well Benny's been a mate of mine for a long time. Now anyone that knows Benny, knows that he used to drum for our different acts. And he was also about 120 kg. He was a rather large boy. Now, the whole time I've known him he's always been a big fella. And I didn't see him for a few years and I bumped into him at the Blues Fest of Byron Bay a few years ago, and suddenly Benny was stripped down to about 85 kg or something like that. And he was ripped and he just lost all this weight. I could hardly even recognise him. He moved up into the area, so we become mates, and we actually started doing some training together, because throughout my life I've always been fit and healthy, always eating well, and I was involved with sports, swimming, and rugby, and athletic so.
Pete Murray: We started training together and then, Benny had the idea about doing this ... combining music with fitness and having a retreat that people could come to and he suggested that idea to me a little while ago, and I thought it was fantastic because no one's doing that. It's a very unique thing.
Pete Murray: What we wanted to do with this was to give people an experience first of all, to ... you can come and see your favourite artists live, but to get to meet that person, to actually hang out with them, is a different thing. It doesn't really happen that often. So, we wanted to give people the experience to come and do this retreat. You can come and see an acoustic show on the beach, but you could also get to meet me, and hang out, and do some training with me.
Pete Murray: So, we're actually getting a lot of interest from people that aren't fit at the moment, saying that, "We'd really like to change our lifestyle, like what Benny's done. We want to get fit and change our whole lifestyle around." So, which is quite ... in one week we're not going to get people fit, but we're going to give them the tools to help them start to change their life. And because sport and fitness has been a passion for me, I'm totally into the idea of helping people out in that area.
Brendan: Yeah. wow.
Pete Murray: So, it's the experience that they'll get from this week, it's totally changing their life. But also come to have a good time and be active doing other things that we've got. All meals are provided, all breakfast and gourmet meals are all provided here. There's yoga. There's ... You learn how to surf, you want to do it, or you can, bush walks. You can do horse riding on the beach ... which is an extra charge but all these things are just ... to hang out in the Elements Resort, even if you just want to do that and hang by the pool, it's such an amazing, beautiful place.
Pete Murray: So, it's just, people have got the options. They don't have to do things if they don't want, and even training with me, they can train as hard or as easy as they want. So, it's just a good opportunity to ... and a very unique experience that people are going to get from this.
Brendan: Yeah, wow. That sounds amazing. I mean, God-
Pete Murray: I've probably answered all your questions, have I? With that-
Brendan: No. Well, no, no. Don't worry, I've got plenty more questions. No, that really does-
Pete Murray: Right.
Brendan: ... sound like an amazing opportunity, and so where can people find tickets and more information on this? I know it's February 12th to 16th next year.
Pete Murray: Yeah.
Brendan: So, where do people find tickets?
Pete Murray: Yeah, if you go to musicandmovementescapes.com, that's all the information there. The acoustic show is on Valentine's Day, but it's not just for couples, there's lots of single people coming on this one, as well.
Brendan: Oh, sweet, well an acoustic Pete Murray show on the beach on Valentine's Day, that really does sound so beautiful.
Pete Murray: Thanks.
Pete Murray: What an opportunity, that is.
Brendan: Yeah, it really is. Yeah. So, I mean all in all I really doubt people would see better days than that.
Pete Murray: We can continue to go on like this, couldn't we? It's great.
Brendan: Oh really, I could, I could, I really could.
Pete Murray: It's just so beautiful.
Brendan: It is, it is, what an amazing opportunity. It's always a winner.
Pete Murray: Yep. No, it'll be a lot of fun. And like I said, we want people to come and have an amazing experience, and we're going to continue to do this. The plan is to try and get out other acts to come and do this too, other artists to be involved, so it's not just me. So, we can kind of do a few of these a year, and-
Brendan: That would be amazing.
Pete Murray: ... maybe different resorts around the place too. So, we're just ... really this is the first one we're doing, and the reaction's been pretty amazing so far, so it'll be a great week. People will definitely have a good time there.
Brendan: Nice. So, your acoustic show on Valentine's Day will also be showing off songs from your latest, recently released album, Camacho, as well as ... of course, your beloved greatest hits. So, I've experienced a live show before, and it really is always a winner. So, for people that haven't experienced your shows, kind of, take them through a tour of what to expect at a Pete Murray show.
Pete Murray: Well they're all different I guess. If it's an acoustic show it's very, it's intimate and moody. I'll sometimes play the harmonica, or acoustic guitar, or stomp box. Sometimes it's a duo, or a three-piece vibe ... band's very dynamic, the latest band, especially, that if anyone came to see the band on the Camacho tour. It was amazing. We got such great feedback, pretty much for the band because it was really, amazing time. It was great for me too, to play with them, for these guys are such great players. So, the acoustic show there on the beach, we're doing it around sunset. So, it's going to be a really nice vibe.
Brendan: Yeah, really beautiful.
Pete Murray: What a better place to sit on a beach and there's a bar, little old caravan at the resort, that they've got turned into a bar, so chairs on the beach and just be sitting down there and having a few drinks, and watching the sun going down and playing some tunes.
Brendan: Wow. That sounds like a pretty perfect day, not just Valentine's Day. So-
Pete Murray: Yeah, no, it's all a great time of day.
Brendan: All right. So, I want to talk a little bit about your new album, Camacho. It's quite interesting, I mean, very, very awesome and unique. So, tell me the story of the album, and how you went down the road to writing it and creating it.
Pete Murray: Yeah. I wanted to do something a little bit different, so I worked at loops and beats on this one, which is probably one of the biggest things that I've changed. All previous times I've jumped in the studio before the band, and I've recorded live in the room with the band. So, this time it was very different, just working with myself and different engineers and producers to put this together working with loops and beats, and it's probably the most produced album that I've ever done. So, even though it's still got a laid back feel, it's ... if you turn it up, you're going to hear, the beats are quite fat. I worked with a guy called Trials, who is with A.B Original, if you've heard of A.B Original?
Brendan: Yep. Yep.
Pete Murray: Amazing guy, really he's a beautiful person, and these guys just cleaned up at the ARIA awards, they cleaned up everywhere, so they're quite stoked, at the moment. Charles is a hip hop producer. I worked with him on a few of these tracks, and trying to get some big fat beats in there, and to beat the whole thing up. So, yeah, there's definitely a real punch to a lot of these songs.
Brendan: Nice. And is there a general story and theme behind the lyrics, and behind the stories in the music?
Pete Murray: Well, I've heard some people saying that the lyrics on this album are probably the best that I've done. It's very positive. I wanted to, ever since I did Feeler, Feeler was a little bit melancholy. And I wanted to change that and get away from that, and make things very positive.
Pete Murray: I got married last year, so everything in my life is very positive. So, I got two amazing boys, got an amazing wife, and it's just really ... that's changed. So, I wanted to ... there's a lot of songs that are about those experiences of me in that time. It's all very positive, and happy ... it's hard to write a happy song, I think, without making it cheesy. So, that's always the challenge, I find.
Brendan: Wow. Nice. My assistant is very disappointed that you're happily married. So, yeah. You've disappointed one fan there.
Pete Murray: Oh, what was that, sorry?
Brendan: My assistant is very disappointed to hear that you're happily married, and have two kids. So..
Pete Murray: Ah, yes, I'm very sorry about that.
Brendan: Yeah. You've disappointed one fan there.
Pete Murray: Well, my apologies, very sorry about that.
Brendan: Yeah no worries. Well, okay, so being happily married and having two kids, as well as, being an amazing musician and earning yourself the rank of being Australian royalty, so what's been the biggest challenge for you, juggling family life and your career, and everything?
Pete Murray: Well, I think just when you're away from family's the hardest thing, that's what ... I always find that's a really tough thing to try and deal with, and that's when your happiest, when everyone's around with you. Even though touring's great, and it's what I've got to do, it's still a hard thing to know that you've got to go away and you've got to be away from everybody. And I think that's the biggest challenge on everyone because you are away for a little while. But, that's my job, if I can take my family with me on parts of the touring, then that's great also.
Brendan: Yeah, nice, share the love around. Yeah.
Pete Murray: Yeah, well to me, it's good fun if you're taking ... well it's easy for my wife to come with me, but sometimes the boys have got school on, and things like that, but they've come to plenty of shows now, and done different tours. We went to Europe before and, it's always, it's good. It's definitely good fun.
Brendan: Very nice. So, I've read, you're no amatuer to health and fitness. When you were in high school, you showed talent in Rugby Union, athletics and swimming, and you also mentioned before, on the retreat, you can learn how to surf, and I know you're doing ... hosting a dinner at a surf club for an event, of some sort later on in June, I think it was-
Pete Murray: Oh that would be over in the Maldives. Yeah, there's another retreat that I'm doing, with The Perfect Wave, so it's more to do with surfers that one. Guys that want to come along and do some surfing, but yeah, that's a pretty nice place, Maldives, beautiful.
Brendan: Nice. So, I know that before you started music you were very headstrong in having a career in health and fitness, so what made you pick up the acoustic guitar and, kind of, go down the music path?
Pete Murray: Yeah, I was doing natural medicine, studying natural medicine, and so, I had a friend of mine, who just happened to come in my room one day, and just said ... he had always wanted to learn the guitar, and he was finally going to go and get some lessons. And I thought that sounded like a pretty cool thing, so I thought, you know what, that's ... I've never thought about that, but I could do that. I went and had some lessons and he didn't. So, but he sadly, ended up having an aneurysm and passing away at the age of 32. But, I believe that you're meant to meet people for a certain reason in your life, and I believe we were meant to meet each other, and he's the one who got me into music. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be playing right now.
Brendan: Wow. Very inspirational. Yeah, nice. So, on a little bit of a happier note ... so, your first three full-length studio albums, all reached number one on the Australian music charts, which is amazing, and you've sold over a million records, headlined massive shows around the country, and overseas, what's been the biggest achievement for you personally?
Pete Murray: Musically?
Brendan: Yeah. Well, I mean, out of your whole career and life so far, what's been, kind of, the highlight for you?
Pete Murray: I think the biggest achievement is having children. That's by far, the best thing you'll ever do in your life.
Brendan: Are they standing nearby, and if you don't say that, you're going to get in trouble?
Pete Murray: No, no, they're at school today.
Brendan: Oh, okay. Yes.
Pete Murray: But, no, it is, I think that's the best thing that you'll ever do. Most parents will say that. With career, I think it's hard to say, because there's been so many great things happen. I guess, there's been such longevity there for me, with fan support. That's the best thing, I think there's a lot of music ... I guess, different ages that the music has touched.
Pete Murray: It's fantastic, I'm starting to see the younger kids coming through now. The teenagers, starting to get into it, whether it's been passed down from their elder brothers and sisters, or their parents. That's been passed on, so that's a really good sign for the future, and getting that longevity is really tough. I mean you do see a lot of acts come in, and they'll become big, and then the album will be big, and the next album you don't hear of them again. They go away. It's really, it's not an easy thing, music, to try and keep that longevity up, so yeah, it's really difficult.
Brendan: Yeah, well, I've read that when you started out, and released the first album, Feeler, that you wanted it to be a timeless sound, not just something that fades with the ages, so yeah, you definitely accomplished that.
Pete Murray: Yeah, thanks. Well, that's something I definitely tried to achieve.
Brendan: Yeah, well, yeah, you succeeded.
Pete Murray: Yeah. Thanks.
Brendan: Well, this question I love asking artists, because I get some really interesting answers. Okay, what's the first memory or, kind of, flashback that comes to mind. First one that comes to mind, when I say hilarious, WTF moment?
Brendan: Spare no dirty details.
Pete Murray: So, live on stage, I can just think of a moment, when we start a song, and I came up to the mic and start singing, and I just couldn't think of the words. And I, sort of, stepped back, and the guys kept playing, they kept playing the music, and I come up again, and I went to sing again, and I just couldn't think of it. I step back again, and then, I just have to stop the song, and I just said, "You know what, I can't remember how this song starts, can anyone in the crowd tell me?" So, I had to get someone in the crowd to yell the words out for me, and then, I could start the song. So, yeah, that was probably one moment where I needed some help from the crowd.
Brendan: Oh, well, that would've displayed some amazing crowd interaction and a very unique show, at least.
Pete Murray: Yeah. Yeah.
Brendan: Okay, and finally, you've been a massive inspiration to fans all around the world, and mainly Australia, and you've touched so many people with your music, which is absolutely so beautiful, and yeah. So, what message do you have to your fans, especially ones that are hoping to follow in your footsteps?
Pete Murray: Well, have a balance in life, with everything. With your work, and with your fun, with your fitness. Keep healthy, and keep active, and balance is really the best thing, or the healthiest thing for everybody. You get that right, and then you'll be okay.
Brendan: Nice. Well, it has been an absolute honour talking to you Pete. Thank you very much for your time.
Pete Murray: Thank you.
Brendan: And I will be keeping a keen eye out for all the news coming up, and new music, and news on the retreat.
Pete Murray: Fantastic. Thanks, mate. Nice talking to you too.
Brendan: Will do. Thanks heaps Pete.
Pete Murray: Thank you.
Pete Murray: Bye-bye.