Interview Peter McVeigh

I have been a fan of Peter McVeigh for a while now, and as I believe in supporting the music that matters to me it was about time I introduced him to you all. This Belfast based singer songwriter has a great lyrical talent which is main reason he caught my attention, but I will talk more about his music later in the feature. His alternative rock style with a slight pop twist has been getting a lot of great press as well as his live shows which have seen him travel around Europe and America. To give you a little more of an insight into the world of Peter McVeigh I thought to ask the man himself. I am glad to say that he was more than happy to spare me some of his time to answer the questions I had for him. This is what we talked about:

Was there a moment or someone that inspired you to become a musician?

I was playing flute from a young age in school and always had an interest in music generally. I was listening to bands like Travis in the late 90’s and early 00’s and decided this is fantastic, I’d love to do this. I remember thinking I think I could do it, and that it didn’t seem too complicated. From there I asked some of my best friends to start a band, even tho none of us could play any of the typical band instruments and then a few months later we were a fully functional practicing/gigging band staying in late after school to practice on the school assembly hall stage through their PA system, we used to get girls from the lower year groups coming in and watching. That was always an added bonus!

Once this decision was made, were there any musicians who help influence your music and it’s sound?

Obviously Travis were  big influence on me probably more so in my vocal range. I’d say I share a similar technique with a bit of an transatlantic accent influenced by more American bands, like Matchbox 20, Lifehouse, Goo Goo Dolls. But then the sound passed that, I started to develop my own sound and techniques, there’s much more of an Irish influence on the newer stuff and the acoustic based songs off of ‘PM’. I defiantly see a progression from ‘Lights’ to ‘PM’ and now the next Album ‘The Wolf & Peter’. Although I still love and perform that big pop rock anthem type song with big choruses there’s I’ve found something beautiful in the understated song with a strong lyric and also using a much more poetic lyric than just knocking out the hooks all the time It’s about finding that balance so there’s something interesting live.

When you write new music what is the important part to your process and what helps you get passed writers block?

Just keep writing. I know that sounds really stupid, but I’ve learnt you should always finish a song. Or at least try to complete a song as much as you can on the first pass. As that’s when the magic is there. That’s what I’ve found anyway. After that, you’re trying to recapture it and get yourself back into that mind set. Which can be done, but its usually a bit forced. Don’t worry yourself about not writing for a while. Fran from Travis gave me a really good bit of advice “just go out and live some life for a while, then come back in and you’ll have some stories to tell”. It’s that simple for me, it doesn’t need to be more complicated. I used to worry about writing songs for radio. Now I’ve realised people don’t often find new indie artists on the radio so that 3.30 min song with the 16 sec intro doesn’t matter as much anymore. Just write cracking songs that mean something and you’ll find an audience.

For new fans out there, what singles/EP’s/Albums has you released so far?

First Solo EP was ‘Lights EP’ it did great, got radio playlists, got great coverage in UK/Irish magazines etc.. and did pretty well for me around Europe and USA. It was a little over produced tho the compression was pretty heavy on it. But as a first outing it was superb and I’m really happy with it. People still ask for songs form it when I play live so I know it was a great set of songs.

First Album was ‘PM’ I did this through a kickstarter, was so glad I did that. Found a whole new audience, asked for 2.3k to get it up and running got around 3.3k including pay pals and donations, it helped me pay for a string quartet to come in on the album, helped me get top class mastering and also work with some great mixing engineers and

mastering engineers. It also gave me the luxury of some time to really sit and write some beautiful songs. I’m Really proud of PM, It was praised by press which I was surprised about as it was quite a mix of styles but It had a cohesive sound across it at the same time. The stand out tracks from the Album according to feedback were ‘Song for Winter’,

‘When we Kiss’, ‘Sarah’ & ‘Save Me’ They’d be some of my fav tracks also. So check it out.

The Next album will be ‘The Wolf & Peter’ and I’ll be running another kickstarter for that with a bit more information at the end of the month. You can check it out at: Link provided when finished.

From these releases which are your favourite songs and why?

My fav song, is prob one called Fear atm… on the new unreleased album, but I’ll leave that for another time, my fav song of the back catalogue is probably ‘I Remember’ it’s really simple has a lovely sentiment of remember when things were easier a carefree life before life got in the way. It’s also a song that always has audiences singing along, no matter what country I’m in.

Is there anyone you’d like to write a song with, or collaborate with and why?

I wanna write songs with everyone. I find it really exciting, it’s a magnificent way to get to know people as they really open up when they co-write. It doesn’t need to be anyone famous. I wanna create art with everyone!

What can people expect from your shows?

Fun mixed with some heartfelt songs and hopefully top quality singing! I pride myself on really delivering a good strong vocal performance, as I feel its typically something people don’t care about as much. I love melody and I love people that can recreate that live. But yeah there’s always fun little anecdotes between each of the songs and I love to bring a bit of Irish Banter to my shows. You might even get picked on if you’re in the crowd. Sorry in advance.

Which film or TV series would you like to have your music featured in and why?

Anything that fits. I loved watching breaking bad, but I could have never written anything as obscure as that tracks selected for that show. We met the guys who selected the music for breaking bad and they said you couldn’t specifically write for this show its just not possible with the tone. And man… were they right!?

I love using animations for my own music videos as you can see, I love developing a narrative and sometimes, in the case for song for winter, I already had an idea for a music video that I conveyed to the artists and off she went delivering a fantastic visual.

Art is what makes me happy, If my song is placed in something that enhances that specific scene. I’m really happy.

What are your future plans and goals for your music?

Just to keep being a musician, to get away with it for as long as possible until someone says “hey man, get a real job.” You can help me achieve this by visiting my kickstarter for my new Album ‘The Wolf & Peter’

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1078329106/peter-mcveigh-the-wolf-and-peter-album-two

Finally, is there anything you like to say to any new listeners out there or maybe to any of your fans who are ready this?

Come follow me for a bit of a laugh, sure what’s the worst that can happen? you might like some music. If you hate it… unfollow me. 🙂 I also share quite a lot of other new artists material via my website:

http://www.petermcveigh.com via podcasts and blogs. lets be “friends” 🙂 Also back my kickstarter project. I’ve a mad passion for sharing my music and I’ve made it very cheap and accessible for all!

Let’s talk a bit about what makes the music of Peter McVeigh stand out for me. At the start of the review I talked about his lyrical talent and when you listen to his debut release ‘Lights EP’ (2011) this is clear to experience. For a debut it does not mess about, as the calibre of his overall songwriting is high. From lyrics to great vocal tone to overall infectious sound this all combines for a solid release. Without doubt my favourite song is ‘Out of Control’ which I can hear that Matchbox 20 and Goo Goo Dolls influences at works. It’s anthem feel gets you singing along to its catchy hooks.

Peter’s debut album ‘PM’ not only shows a growth in his sound but he takes it to a whole new level. The way he has put these songs together has more conviction and it definitely feels he has more confidence with his songwriting ability. As a result this is one of those all killer no filler albums. Every element of how his songs are formed has been fine tuned and somehow his lyrical skills are even stronger. It is his vocal skills that have impressed me the most as his range, control and the power in his voice have all stepped up its game. When you listen to my favourite songs ‘Songs for Winter’ (which is a beautiful duet with Ciara O’Neill) and ‘Home’ you get you listen to the delicate side to the music of Peter McVeigh and it is stunning! Overall, this is an album you need to own!

Get yourself over to his website to listen to his music in full and get lost in his amazing sound. You can also purchase his releases there too. I am really looking forward to hearing the new album ‘The Wolf and Peter’ as I am expecting great things from it and you can expect a review when it is released.

As Peter mentioned during the interview, he is using the fan funding site Kickstarter to help make his second album happen. As soon as this project went live I ordered all of his releases (old & new) on CD for my collection. I believe that you should do the same or at least pick a reward that is more fitting for you by clicking HERE.

If you would like to find out more about Peter McVeigh including future releases and gigs then visit his website at PeterMcVeigh.com. As he said earlier, go and say hello to him via his social media sites at Facebook and Twitter. If you are listening to the music of Peter McVeigh and his sound is ticking all the right boxes then tell the world all about him today. If you do, tell everyone about his new album project too! Go support the music that matters to you today!