► You have a wide ranging musical background, what influence do you feel this had on your music. Did it lead to you experimenting more?
Peter McCauley : I think all those experiences were big experiments in themselves. I came out of them having a fairly clear idea of what i enjoyed and what I wanted to leave out.
► Lets talk about your songwriting. You seem to almost effortlessly write perfectly pristine songs. How long have you been writing your own songs? And have you always written on piano?
I started writing in my first band, on the piano – creating harmonies for the guitarists to play. The shapes I was using were typical of someone just bashing out chords and making it up as I went along. I eventually started to see that as something positive in the music.
► A lot of people will remember you as the drummer in ‘Ego’ way back in the day. Have you always been a musical jack-of-all-trades, or was the jump from drum-beater to frontman a transition that you had to work hard on?
Hopefully not too many people remember that! It was tricky enough, but I was ready for it when the time came, it was a breath of fresh air really. To be able to connect in such a direct way was exhilarating. I recently was sent a recording of a rap we used to sing in ego. it shall remain unshared.
► When writing music for the band does it start with yourself or is it more of a collaboration with the rest of the group?
Usually I’ll bash away at ideas at home or on the computer when we’re on the road. I have a little keyboard I bring around and set up in the van or in the dressing room. It’s always been about realising the specific vision I had in my head. I love that idea of realising a dream.. like an architect planning, drawing and projecting – the music eventually gets built by my band or by other musicians in the studio. It’s exciting to see something come from a few creative sparks in my head. The process does get opened up, my band, producers and sometimes other collaborators contribute to the end product.
❝Northern Ireland has been an amazing place for me to live and develop.❞
► You’re a musician who is viewed as somebody very dedicated to their craft. However what other interests do you have outside of music?
I sketch, mess around with paper and I like architecture.
► In the months ahead, a plethora of young local acts are heading to play shows in the UK. From your experiences what did you learn from your own UK tours? What advice would you give to them to make the most out of their shows?
Make friends, and always hustle politely.
► The music scene in NI has grown extensively over the past few years. Festivals further establishing themselves and more acts producing quality music. However do you feel some of our local musicians have suffered from being “land locked” in Ireland?
I don’t think it’s something we need to suffer from. There’s lots of different ways to use it to your advantage. I do however think some musicians will feel like they don’t fit in, but I don’t think thats a bad thing. I’ve always felt like that, but Northern Ireland has been an amazing place for me to live and develop.
► You toured all round Europe with Snow Patrol earlier in the year, was their a country or city in particular which you enjoyed playing in the most?
Berlin is yet to be topped as my favourite city in Europe, however the people in Netherlands and Scandinavia make for an amazing performing experience.
► You’re an act which has received a great deal of praise. Many touting global success! Is that mainly encouraging or is there a certain about of pressure which comes with it?
The only pressure really comes from myself I think. From time to time I will pile it on for some reason. My favourite moments are when I chill, and live by faith.
► When it came to releases we were treated to three EPs in quick succession. Was there any particular reason behind this decision or did it happen organically?
It was part of a plan to let me explore a few ideas before launching to a much bigger audience. I was quite new to the whole releasing music thing whenever I started getting attention and opportunities. My first show was in a church hall and my second one was at a festival with Iain Archer and David Holmes.
► Those three EPs “Dieter Rams Has Got The Pocket Radios”, “Dogs Run In Packs” and “1+2” have now all come together under a collection called “Trajectories”. Featuring 12 tracks, would you describe it as your spiritual first album?
I see it more as a piece of my story. I consider an album to be a body of work with a greater level of unity than the EPs but it doesn’t really matter in the end; people will consume and describe music in whatever way they want. I’m proud of that collection though, the design is beautiful – by a studio called sparks.
► There has been talk of an album being recorded, is this true?
True that! I have just finished recording it with a producer called David Kosten (Faultine/ Bat for Lashes/ Everything Everything) in London.
► Many fans have been very excited about unreleased tracks “We Can Be Invisible” and “Aria”. Can you tell us more about them?
When I wrote it, I considered “Aria” to be the most exciting piece of music I’d ever written. It’ll maybe divide opinion. “We Can Be Invisible” was an honest track which started out as an experiment which wound up unexpectedly becoming a pop song.
► At this stage of your career, what’s your own personal highlight?
No doubt, playing with the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast at the Northern Songbook. Dreams come true!
► Finally, what are you most excited about as you prepare for your first tour around Ireland in over a year?
Hitting up Barry’s amusements in Portrush.
Rams’ Pocket Radio’s 3 EP boxset “Trajectories” is available now @ http://ramspocketradio.bandcamp.com
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