Much like his recently released single, Take Me Down, Pete Murray is a man brimming with vitality, prepping for his tour to promote upcoming release Camacho.
“When we put that song out we weren’t expecting it to be a smash hit at all,” he says with a slick tone.
“That was just the genre we all thought was going to best represent this album.”
Despite the overwhelmingly positive response, even Murray is not immune from critics.
“I think I’ve only had one person-that I’ve read anyway- on socials that’s said, you know; ‘where’s your guitar? Where’s your acoustic guitar?’ and things like that,” he says with a laugh.
“You’ve really got to do your own thing, and hope people enjoy what you’re creating.”
Following the album’s release on June 2nd, Murray will be performing an astounding 33 shows to promote it, a journey that doesn’t faze him in the slightest.
“The first couple of shows you start counting down, but you just get into it.”
So what is ‘camacho’?
The word struck Murray when he was flicking through a magazine, looking for a name for his bar-cum-café, a joint venture with friends. Having a Spanish waitress on hand meant he had the term translated in an instant.
Sparked with a fiery passion, he set forth to create a noble beast that intoned the essence of camacho- ‘the act of cool’.
The café name took a backseat, heralded Frankie Brown, after his Kelpie.
“It’s got to be cool, that’s all it can be, and it’s got to be individual; have its own unique sound and not follow trends like everyone’s doing,” Murray says.
Unlike some of his previous albums, where he was in the studio for four to six weeks, Camacho is a labour of love six years in the making.
“Everything I did, every take, every part, was looked at, and I would just look at it and go ‘is that cool? Is that camacho?’”, he says, affecting an anxious intonation.
“The album could’ve been done in around 3 years, but I wanted to make sure it was a quality album from start to finish; you could play it right through and there would be no weakness in the album.”
A large influence in the direction of Camacho came from producer Tom Rothrock, whose work on Beck’s ‘90s classic, Loser, inspired Murray.
“I was starting to get into a lot more contemporary music: electronica and hip hop, to try and get away from what I always used to listen to: Neil Young and Bob Dylan,” he says.
“I think when you play it safe, you’re dead. That’s where people are going to lose interest in what you’re doing.”
When it gets right down to it, Murray wants Camacho to be known as “a groove album.”
“For a number of years, in my music, I’ve been trying to chase a groove.”
“Not having real drum sounds, just having more of a punch to the beats, phatter kicks, phatter snares, brighter hats, all these sounds just instantly started to give these songs a groove.”
The album’s creation was not entirely straight laced, as Murray’s own doubts threatened to fray at the seams.
“I was really happy with the direction when we first did it, but I started to doubt it,” he says with a reflective tone.
Murray tried tweaking songs with different producer, but ended up going back to the original recording.
“I think that sometimes, as individuals, you tend to doubt what you do yourself, and think ‘someone else can do a better job, so I’m going to give them a go at it’.
“But the time I had to listen back to this I went, ‘well, you know what, there’s nothing wrong with this.”
“In fact, this is camacho, and I’m sticking with this,” he says with a laugh.
Indeed, this philosophy caused Murray’s creative juices to flow in a one-way instinctual torrent.
“Once you stick to that camacho and coolness you’ve just got to go with that, you’ve got to trust yourself and your instinct, and that’s great,” he says with pride.
“I don’t care if it doesn’t get airplay; I love it.”