Sunday, 8 March 2015

Pete MacLeod recording with Youth

Scottish artist Pete MacLeod is currently recording his second album, with legendary producer Youth at the helm!

With Alan McGee as his manager, this album could lead to a real breakthrough for the hard working artist who is always willing to help younger artists trying to break through.

Youth has worked with artists ranging from Paul McCartney and The Verve through to Crowded House with quite a diverse range in between including Blue Pearl (who he formed) who had the massive hit Naked In The Rain. His taste and ear for sound has led to remixes for artists like the Sugarcubes and U2.

Pete's debut Rolling Stone displayed a real ear for melody, honesty and soul. It will be interesting to see how Youth helps him to develop his songwriting talents on his follow up. 

Pete kindly answered a few questions on what it is like to work with Youth and his future plans.

1. So - you are recording with the legendary producer Youth. How did you feel when you first heard of this possibility? Were you aware of his work?

Yes it's great. It feels like I've been working towards this point the whole time I've been involved with music. I'm a big fan of his work. Youth helps create timeless music. He has the gift. A lovely man too may I add. An artist in every way of life.

2. What has Youth brought to the table? Has he turned you on to any new music? Taught you some new tricks? 

Well, we are probably about a quarter the way through the LP at the moment and the table is round with colours. As I say, he's an artist and I respect artists. I would like to think I create we both have that same mind set if that makes sense? I don't want to disappear up on my own arse or anything but if I was doing music for money then I'd have quit a long time ago. I do it to be creative. That's always been my angle. Youth get's that. In respect of learning from the man....yes, every day's a school day as soon as you wake up eh?

3. What did you learn from releasing Rolling Stone? What was the highlight?

Eh...I learned that I can do this. I learned that some will grudge you the time they have and others won't but overall I think I've been fortunate to connect with many who appreciate what I do. That's been my highlight so far. The connection through my music with others. It's a healthy circle if people are as willing. But I have no expectations. I do music because it's my passion. Anything else would depress me to be honest. I learned that through my 20's.

4. You are in exceptional company in working with Alan McGee - what is the best advice he has given you?

Yes Alan is a believer. It's great to be working together with him and Youth. It's kinda like a dream team for me I suppose. I couldn't be in better position. We'll make a record that we like and if others connect then brilliant. Best advice from Alan? I'm not sure...we are really close so we talk to each other so often it's like, when he's not around I subconsciously kinda do what he would do...maybe? I don't know...we give each other advice with our lives and certain situations. He respects my opinion as much as I do with what he has to say. It's very much a 50/50 friendship. I don't think I need a baby sitter. Just people I trust. And I trust Alan. 

5. Will the new album be coming out on 359 music? Do you know when it will come out?

No. I am glad to have been a part of 359 and I truly wish each artist signed to the label all the very best in the music industry. It's not an easy trade what we try and do. It's tough man...I like to see everyone doing well...especially if they work hard and are genuine. Music isn't a competition. I'm not into competing with music. That's bullshit. That's not why I love music. I'm not sure when my album will come out? Hopefully before the summer. That would be ideal.

6. What has influenced your new songs? What influence has Youth had on them and your sound?

Well, a lot of people don't really know the music that I listen to a lot. And I listen to it a lot! I suppose my close friends know. I listen to it to relax and step away from everyone and everything. It's just where my heads been at for a long time now. Like I've needed it. It's like my meditation. I guess I've been traumatised by shit in my life...some things out with my control and others being my own doing...I think Youth is a perfect partnership for the songs that have came out of these experiences. Like a soundtrack to my thoughts/words and voice. Alan and I had a chat about what we wanted to do with this album...we met Youth and explained the direction...he was intrigued and then we gave it a go in the studio. It's exceeded my expectations...and they were already pretty high. So it's exciting now. It's early days though so feet on the ground and all that!

7. Are there any artists trying to break through that you like?

Mmm...well, if I've heard them and I like them they've broken through to me I guess eh? I'm helping a young singer/songwriter just now called Kieran Fisher. He kinda comes from a similar background to me in terms of not having much help around him. Apart from his Father and friends/family but it's still tough man...your kinda looked upon as a weirdo if you want to be an artist or an actor in this country aren't you? That's why I fucked off for 5 years. Sometimes I struggle with others mentality...I just hope these kids don't have to go through that same shit I did to get to this point. Kids like Jamie Reilly, Jamie Coleman and Mark Maclean and his band The Beat Movement. So many of them just want to do music...a system should be set up to encourage aspiring artists...not grudged or set up for them to fail. What the fuck is that? So many young musicians come up to me and contact me. I feel's frustrating. What can I do man? I'm skint and I've chosen my path...I wouldn't wish the lack of empathy for that sacrifice on anyone never mind a young kid just wanting to create music! 

8. Do you have an ultimate goal for you and your music?

A goal. Yes, to score! Haha. Good ultimate goal would be to inspire and help anyone going through a shit time or celebrate when they are going through a great time. If I do both with my music then that's an achievement. If one song can do either...that's a result!  

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