theaussieword.com catches up with Pete Roessler of US synthpop group Late Nite Cable!
Tell us how it all started. What had you first interested in music?
I’ve been into music for as long as I can remember. While I was in the school orchestra for viola and then upright bass starting in elementary school, I remember being fascinated with music at an even younger age through watching some of family members play music. Some of my older cousins are from Santa Barbara and San Francisco, California and all of them played instruments during their teens, so whenever I would go out and visit them, I had a ton of exposure to people playing guitar, bass and drums. This lead to me learning instruments such as guitar, drums and bass myself starting at an early age which then lead to me writing my own songs as early as age 10 or 11. From then, I was hooked.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
I love pop music and I love the intensity of certain instruments such as synthesizers and the electric guitar mixed with more stripped down instruments such as acoustic guitar and piano. In addition to loving the way male and females vocals mesh together, any band or artist that can combine all of these elements with great pop songwriting will immediately influence me. I am purely motivated by clever songwriting. I spend a ton of time on song structure and flow. With regard to lyrics, I try to make my songs a story executed in a bit of a poetic and ambiguous manner. I think tasteful ambiguity can really allow your listeners to relate to your music in the way that they want to relate to it. If you are too clear about the story, which I think it ok to do sometimes, it might close off the ability to relate to the story in the way they would like to. Songwriters that are able to make lyrical and structural intensity increase throughout the song, inspire me greatly.
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
I’m sure this goal is lofty, but I would like to be able innovate with pop music in way that is unforeseen. I know I have a long way to go to reach this goal, but I am always learning and I plan to keep the ball rolling until something sticks. My top goal to make each studio album that I release more innovative with regard to instrumentation and song arrangements. On our EP, I used a ton of electronic instrument and synths in addition to acoustic and electric guitar, piano, and violin on some tracks. On our upcoming LP, expect to hear a ton of new instruments such as brass, strings, percussion and maybe even some more instruments that aren’t as commonly used. On the technology side, I will also be experimenting with new plugins and other kinds of analog synths.
Success, what is the secret to it?
Innovation, relatability having a strong hook with regard to the music. Perseverance and business acumen with regard to the commercial aspects. I don’t plan on giving up on my music ever so I just hope that I continue to do all of these things in an intelligent manner and gain more listeners as a result. Fingers crossed.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
I think finishing my first studio project (the EP) has been my biggest career highlight thus far. It has been a long time coming for me to actually take my music career seriously, so I think completing my first studio project was a milestone that has led me to believe in myself and my abilities. My producer and I have carved out a very efficient process in the studio thanks to the experience recording the EP so I’m sure it will lead to high quality output in the future.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
I find the band St. Lucia quite inspiring. J.P. Grobler, the songwriter and producer of their music started in a very similar way as me, writing, arranging and producing music on his own. He seems to have a great grasp on song structure in addition to key elements that make a good pop song. To be honest, I actually like a lot of mainstream pop, but don’t obsessively listen to just one pop star. As far as song structure goes, I love Phil Collins. Recently I have been listening to a bit of Taylor Swift, Walk the Moon, Ellie Goulding, Chvrches and a ton of others. My taste in music seems to change pretty very often with new entrants in the market.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
I have no idea. It’s so hard to say, but I think about it all the time mostly due to the fact that I am a bit surprised that we were able to put together what we did in just the past year. This time last year, not a single person knew who we were…mostly due to the fact that we didn’t have a single finished product. Actually, I’m not sure if we even had a band name yet. So a lot can happen in even a year. Hopefully in a few years, we will have a full-length album or two to show for and an increasingly larger following…. I hope but again, it so hard to know what will be popular at that point and if we will even be close to fitting that mold. I guess we’ll have to see…
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
The music industry has definitely changed drastically over the years since I started playing music when I was young. Being that you can find good music everywhere, there has been such a huge focus these days on just getting people to listen to your music, not necessarily purchasing it. To be honest, I am surprised we even need to have our music on music retailers like iTunes or Amazon for people to purchase. I don’t really expect a ton of people purchase it… it’s almost a formality. The big thing these days is having people come to your shows and just increasing your fan base in general. I feel like the music business is a bit like a developing country… you’re either royalty and making more money than you know what to do with or you’re dirt poor. So at this point, until the time comes that our music ever reaches some kind of commercial success, it basically is just an effort to get people to listen to the music and understand who you are and can relate to it.
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
Pete Murray is great. I went on a Kontiki Tour in 2006 with my ex-girlfriend and about 65 Aussies, who I became great friends with… a ton of which showed me some Pete Murray tunes. I ended up taking his music back to the states and listening to it for years… and I still listen to it from time to time. I also love Cut Copy and Miami Horror. I saw Cut Copy live in LA at an electronic music festival a few years back and they were amazing. I also just recently saw Miami Horror at Rough Trade and then Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Such a great band.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
We will probably continue to play about a show a month until the summer and then try to play a bit more often. However, for the rest of the winter leading into the spring, I am going to be focusing the majority of my efforts on completing the full-length LP that we have been working on recently. We have a ton of new songs to choose from. The album will also be full band and will definitely be more dynamic musically and with regard to songwriting, arranging and instrumentation. The purpose of the EP was really just to introduce ourselves to the market, while this LP is going to be a bit more memorable …. I hope!
Tell us a bit about your latest record, how would you best describe your music?
I guess you would call is synthpop or basically just pop music,due to some of the instruments through the album. I used a ton of synths and electronic instruments throughout the album because I really like the way that electronic instruments sound with natural instruments. I am sure we will drift in and out synthpop, electro pop, rock and even a more mainstream pop sound with new album though. We will definitely have strings, horns, percussion in addition to synths, guitars, piano, etc.
Do you have any new projects in the pipeline?
Yes, I do. I might be collaborating with a DJ/producer or two which will be fun. Most likely just collaborations with other artists. I don’t really have time for any other full blown projects with all of the work that needs to be done with the new album.
Thanks for the interview! What final message do you have for us today?
Thanks for the support! Hope to have the opportunity to play in Australia someday – wouldn’t that be nice! Until then, keep spreading the word!