Peter Black (Blackie) No Dangerous Gods In Tunnel InterviewWednesday 25th July 2012: Sandringham Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 28th July 2012: Pharmacy, Islington (Newcastle), NSW
Saturday 4th August 2012: Music Farmers, Wollongong, NSW
Thursday 9th August 2012: Port Macquarie Hotel, NSW
Friday 10th August 2012: SCU Uni Bar, Lismore, NSW
Saturday 11th August 2012: Prince Of Wales, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 12th August 2012: Tym's Guitar, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 17th August 2012: The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC
Sunday 19th August 19th: The Tote, Melbourne, VIC
Interview with Peter BlackQuestion: How would you describe No Dangerous Gods In Tunnel?
Peter Black: No Dangerous Gods In Tunnel is an acoustic pop album.
Question: What inspired No Dangerous Gods In Tunnel?
Peter Black: No Dangerous Gods In Tunnel is more representative of how I perform acoustic live. When you play acoustically it's very raw and you cannot mess up with it because it's very sparse and intimate. With the acoustic format it is very intimate and there is nothing to hide behind. As an artist you should musically challenge yourself all the time and this was a challenge for me to see if I could be happy attempting this and I enjoyed it a lot actually.
Question: Do you write your own songs? What's your inspiration?
Peter Black: Yes, I don't really think about what my main inspiration is. I see afterwards what my influences are and they are very 60's and very, very pop. Some people describe my music as folky but it's not, it's pop. In old school terms pop was quiet a broad description and it's hard to explain but it's very melodic. Although, I don't like listening to a lot of acoustic music because it can sometimes sound like a demo and could sound better in a band format and I was very careful to make my songs strong enough to represent them acoustically. Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney were both big influences, for me - 60's pop when melody really reigned supreme.
Question: Was there a moment you contemplated throwing in the towel?
Peter Black: No… it'd be virtually impossible, like giving up breathing. I'm past mid-forties now and I don't have a cent to my name and you could impartially blame music because being an underground musician in this country is not something that is financially viable. You could think 'if I didn't do things like spend $10,000 recording this last solo album…' no, no I couldn't give it up.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Peter Black: No, recording can be very difficult because you can quiet easily panic about getting everything right which is hard; performing live is insanely fun but I love all points of music from writing, rehearsing, performing live, touring and recording. All the aspects of the music industry make me feel good.
Question: What/who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Peter Black: I loved music as a kid, I was blown away by it and I always knew all the songs on the radio and when I was growing up I always thought music was out of reach. Then, when I saw the Sex Pistols on television it was a real epiphany and I knew I could do it, I could playing music and I was excited by punk-rock, that raw form of rock and roll and that's what got me started.
Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success? Would you say it was financial?
Peter Black: No, I don't see the financial aspect as a challenge; it is more of an unfortunate hindrance. Musical challenges are always artistic, for me. Having enough money to record is a hindrance, not a challenge. It took so long to release this solo record and I'm already ready to do the next one although I've got to save up again. I don't like to call the financial aspect a challenge because a challenge is something you put ahead of you and it's something to strive for.
Question: What's a typical day like?
Peter Black: Right now I'm not working because I was recently assaulted but a normal day for me is working out, then going to work, then come home and falling asleep and then repeat again tomorrow. The days that I have free I get up have work out and then go straight to working on music.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Peter Black: I work alone quiet a lot. In terms of The Hard-Ons and NunchukkaSuperfly I am very lucky to play with a bunch of musicians who are extremely pleasurable and very easy to work with. I'd like to do something with Paul McCartney for instance.
Question: What message would you like your music to say to your fans?
Peter Black: This is a difficult question to answer because I never put any conscious messages in my music because for me music is music just for artistic sake. As soon as you try and put messages into your music it is compromised and I know there are artists that can do that really well, I can't. As soon as I try and do something consciously I personally feel as if I've gone off track and that I've compromised myself in terms of the music not being pure because I am consciously think of what I should do.
At the risk of sounding corny, I like letting it flow and that's when you get the most energetic and purely artistic music happening.
My message would be: everyone has an artistic ability and it's unfortunate that schools don't teach that, they focus on getting a job and making a living. I think art separates human beings from all the other creatures which is why it's a pity when people forsake talent and I don't meant that everyone should be able to play an instrument or paint because you can't like I'd like to write novels. I think everyone has a talent in them that they can artistically contribute and that would be the main message I'd like people to take from my music. Life isn't always easy and I turn to art when I need a pick-me-up or need to be put in a different headspace because I generally feel better with art whether I read a book or put on a record. Art transports me.
Interview by Brooke Hunter