“Pete MacLeod hails from Glasgow, a city not normally associated – to out it mildly – with glistening sunsets. Yet there’s another side to Glasgow, a side that charges headlong towards the horizon in search of the party.
Perhaps better known for his balladeering, Pete MacLeod has paired up with legendary producer Youth to work on an album of chilled out electronics and guitar loops. New cut ‘Minotaur’ is one of the results.” (Clash Magazine)
Pete MacLeod has had a very busy fall 2015, touring as the support for The Happy Mondays on their 25th Anniversary Pills N’ Thrills and Bellyaches Tour in the U.K. and working on solo album number 2. The pace continues as MacLeod will be supporting Cast in April. A diverse and experienced recording artist, MacLeod’s new music ranges from a very well received new cover of Nirvana’s “Lounge Act” (including a remix by Electronic DJ duo Octave One) to “I Need Your Love”, a rousing, optimistic tune that is reminiscent of the great spirit of Oasis. MacLeod’s musical and vocal ability has a range and flexibility that has lent itself well to his high profile support slots for a range of different bands. He’s a passionate, skilled musician – the best kind, one who is also a passionate music fan-who believes in the value of music and real, honest communication.: qualities both refreshing and necessary in music today. Following up from his 2013 release, Rolling Stone, the new music is currently available for free via Pete MacLeod’s website: www.petemacleod.net. We chatted with Pete recently about his thoughts on music, favourite journeys, his dream supper guests and the notion of heroes.
Step On Magazine: What are you listening to right now?
Pete MacLeod: In the Morning I put shuffle on Spotify and listen to chilled out music and then work on my own music later in the day. I’ve been listening to Grimes lately…she’s great. Also the Dig Out Your Soul album from Oasis. The music I listen to changes every day though.
SM: What was the first LP/tape/CD you remember owning?
PM: First vinyl album was Buddy Holly. First tape was Bob Marley’s Burnin. First CD album was Nirvana’s Nevermind.
SM: What are your favourite band(s)? Who is the most underrated band that you just can’t understand why they weren’t more celebrated (any era)?
PM: I think The Stone Roses deserved more in return from music and recently they have put that right now eh. Lot’s of bands get out of the trenches but sometimes too much damage weighs them down and relationships never recover from that. I think in the music industry you could say a lot more artists deserve or deserved more acclaim. How many can you say actually achieved full potential? Although many get back together over time and I don’t think that’s a bad thing however it’s important to do the up and coming a turn too Y’know. Music is a gift and those who are lucky enough to make a living from that should be grateful. I don’t buy into this bow down to your master bullshit from others ego’s. They are delusional from the real World. All the great musicians have respect for there fans and the privileged opportunity they share with music.
SM: Why do you live where you do?
PM: It’s affordable and where I was brought up. I travel a lot and I always feel that everywhere has its ups and downs. Things change and it’s good to be able to experience different places whenever you can.
SM: What is your favourite journey?
PM: Ha…life…I’m living it.
SM: What’s your idea of a perfect Sunday?
PM: Depends. I guess usually lying in bed and listening to music. Reflecting on the week had and the week ahead. I like what others may feel is being boring and lazy. A slow pace. What’s the rush?
SM: What’s essential to take on a plane or tour bus?
PM: Yourself! Don’t forget yourself. A book, headphones for your music device. Water and snacks. Pretty basic for me but essential to pass time. I’m not one of those who can just nod off to sleep when they want. They are not normal people.
SM: What is your dream vacation/trip if money was no object?
PM: I have this thing about going to Hawaii and getting married with my soul mate. I’ve tried to fight it off but the thought won’t leave me. It’s a curse.
SM: What do you do with 4 hours to yourself in a new city?
PM: If it’s a city that interests me I’ll cram in as much as I can. If I’m in a shit mood and just want to chill regardless of the city then I’ll just stay in my room like a hermit and listen or play music. That’s the thing…it’s all in the mind isn’t it? Depends where your at up there eh?
SM: How did you get into music?
PM: I’m a fan of music. Then discovered it wasn’t that heroic or out of reach to be creative in your own mind with melody and sounds. Just natural instincts isn’t it? I love melodies and good vocals. That got me hooked.
SM: What was your most memorable day job?
PM: Coaching kids football in Los Angeles. Football bores me now. Money has ruined the game. I only take an interest in watching Barcelona and my national country play. I feel for the fans who come from a working class background because most of those who run the clubs are rinsing them for there hard earned cash. Whilst some players and directors have no loyalty other than taking the fans money. Even FIFA have managed to drag the game into the gutter.
SM: What advice should you have taken but didn’t?
PM: Probably when my Dad emailed me to stop drinking and drugging whilst I was living in LA. I did try but I needed help looking back. Don’t we all need help now and again though?
SM: What should everyone shut up about?
PM: Other people’s personal business.
SM: Who’s your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what the menu be?
PM: Probably John Lennon, Kurt Cobain and Richard Ashcroft. Verses for starters. Choruses for the main. Middle 8’s for desert. Served by Bez of course.
SM: Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
PM: The Wizard of Oz.
SM: What was the best live gig or music festival you attended (as a fan or artist)?
PM: The Prodigy are the best live act I’ve ever seen. I was playing a festival in Germany two years ago and they were headlining. Me and my best mate were blown away with the performance. The German crowd were just as bonkers. Was a great experience.
SM: What is your “must” read (magazines, news, websites, blogs)?
PM: I think what others say on social networks has kinda became the new immediate news hasn’t it? Rather than someone sitting with a suit on reading from a script on TV eh? It’s taken over all for ages really I guess. So I just read what comes through from friends and others. I buy the Q mag now and again and I like to read about Kurt, Oasis, DJ mixes, Ashcroft stuff. Anything that interests me on a daily basis which could really be many other things. Google is today’s library. That’s probably the most popular book in our era now.
SM: Name something you consider a mind-altering work of art (by any definition- music, visual art, film, natural phenomenon…)
What does the next 6 months look like for you?
PM: My new album. It really is all of those things you said. And I’ll be hoping to let others hear that in the next 6 months.
SM: LAST QUESTION…
“Always meet your heroes” or “Never meet your heroes” ?
PM: Heroes? I think you realise after the age of 16 that musicians and everyone else for that matter…are of course only human. So I’d say meet those who inspire you and remember your own worth in this World. The real heroes (if you’re lucky) are your parents that put up with your shit to that point or paramedics saving lives.
By Jacqueline Howell. With our thanks to Pete MacLeod.