Monday, 27 February 2017


Introducing Pete Gardiner, a talented singer-songwriter from Ireland. We asked Pete a few questions about his music and life in general so you could get to know the man behind the music ahead of his album release next month.

Let's start with a bit about you, what is your first musical memory?

There's a few that blend together. I remember Meat Loaf's ''Bat Out Of Hell'' album on cassette tape one Christmas and listening to it with my dad Saturday morning when I got up. I was only about six or seven but even then I had a strong sense that this was a great album to start the weekend to.

My older cousin let me hear the Guns N Roses album ''Use Your Illusions' when I was around the same age. I was captivated by that one for a lot of years after.

I can remember my parents playing Bob Dylan's ''Mr Tambourine Man'' and I was fascinated by the contrast between his version and the version by The Byrds. I would come back to Dylan many years later when I was ready to understand him...I never came back to The Byrds though. 

How did you get into music as a career?

Well I never really thought of it as a career, and I still don't. Songwriting was just something I got a high from and when I was in school it gave the class-clown smart-ass inside me an outlet that didn't get me into trouble - now it's just second nature, part of my identity. If I showed up to a party with a guitar people might think I was ill. Even if it did start to really pay off financially, I think I would always be too close to it to think of it as a career. 

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it - in three words?

Worth a listen.

Where has been your favourite place to play and why?

The best nights don;t always transpire where you'd expect them to. I've played to five thousand people before and there's a certain trill attached to that, but then some of my most memorable evenings have been entertaining non more than eight or nine people in somebody's kitchen. A good night just depends on so many things that are out of your hands that you don't really know when it's going to come together. 

What is your writing process like?

It usually begins with a rhyming couplet racing through my head at a very inappropriate time, like when I'm busy or just about to fall asleep. Just one or two lines that are worth pursuing. When that happens, they'll be noted, and I'll look at them again the next time I bet a chance to sit down with the guitar. If I'm lucky it'll spark off a song. There's a balance and a compromise that happens because you have to sit and work at part of the song but another part has to be given to you from somewhere. There's a key component to a song that you can't find just from showing up and trying, it just presents itself when it wants to and sometimes it just keeps you waiting around.

We've reviewed your single 'Pretty Smiles' before (and love it!) - do you have a specific person or situation in mind while writing or are the songs based on imagination?

Well, there's a large element of truth in everything I write. But for some reason, the truth takes a hell of an imagination to execute. What I mean is, there are facts in there, but the fact are all dressed up for a night on the town, and they'll probably get drunk and start a riot. 
A girl could inspire a few lines of a song, and those few lines inspire the next few lines and a game of 'Chinese Whispers' takes place. So you end up with a song that the girl in real life couldn't live up to because the song's really about the way the writer saw her for a moment. I've idolised women in a number of songs I've written, but those songs probably say more about me than them.
But there has to something real in it for me or I won't care enough for it to work. If you can fake a good song without the subject matter having ever really affected you, you could maybe make a lot of money, unfortunately I'm not that talented.

Do you prefer performing or writing?

Well the two things heavily rely on each other for me. I wouldn't be overly interested in performing if I wasn't letting people hear something I'd created. On the other hand, I love the feeling of a song being completed, but if I didn't have the opportunity to showcase it at a gig, it might as well not exist. That being said I am interested in the prospect of writing for other artist's and it's something I'm now taking steps to pursue. 

Who's your biggest inspiration (in life or music)?

Well I have my own little religion. It's a bit like Christianity but with a few modifications. In my religion, Bob Dylan is the Father, Bruce Springsteen is the Son and Leonard Cohen the Holy Spirit. I've been going to this Church for a long time now and not just on Sundays. 

Any advice for aspiring artists?

Not really. I get asked this a lot, and I don't know why but it always makes me feel like a homeless person being asked for financial advice. I read somewhere that the only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on because it's never of any use to ones self. So if I have any revelations in the near future I'll send them your way, but at the moment, I'm just as in need of advice as anyone.

What can we expect from the album?

Well it's going to come at your pretty fast, I probably sing more words than I have any right to in 45 minutes. I haven't listened to it right through for a while but I'm pretty sure you can tap your foot to eight songs and slit your wrists to the other three, so it's a good mix. With any luck, someone will find something they like in there. 

Anything else you'd like to add?

No I'd just like to say thank you for the interview. I really appreciate the support and I hope we can do it again.

Until next time...


Read our review of 'Pretty Smiles' here.

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