PC: Right now it’s this groovy electro pop business, it’s just something that’s been working for me lately. I’m also enjoying pretending I’m some kind of crooner.
CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
PC: Things that make me feel some kind of way, and learning or noticing something new musically. I think a lot about relationships: with other people, with myself.
CH.89: What made you want to start a band?
PC: I’ve always been into songwriting but the last year or so I’ve been very focused on it and really happy with what I’ve been doing, plus I’m almost done with school, so I need to get the ball rolling. There’s also been all this chemistry between my friends who I’m playing with, a lot of ideas bouncing back and forth while we’re out being a bunch of crazies together.
CH.89: How did the name The Welcome Hips come about?
PC: I think my friend Doug Fuller who’s playing with me actually came up with the name, we were at a bar dancing up a storm to this 60’s twist music, trying to order a drink and talking about how much we liked dancing. Me and my friends in the band have been working on a big box full of band names on index cards to sell for $20 each, we like this one a lot.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new album?
PC: I just try to listen to the idea and hear what it wants to do before I start drowning it out with all my own plans for it. A feeling, a melody, and a few words that resonate with them somehow. Maybe the desire to dance, but I don’t mind being the only one dancing.
CH.89: What would you want people/ the listener to take from your music?
PC: A feeling, a melody, and a few words that resonate with them somehow. Maybe the desire to dance, but I don’t mind being the only one dancing.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?
PC: My lifestyle right now is getting though school, work, and then being around friends, rambling a bit, and thinking about what I’m working on and trying to figure out how to finish it for when I have time to record it.
CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?
PC: It depends on which phase of the process it is, or even how the idea itself shows up. A lot of the time I’ve been searching through sounds on my keyboard and something catches my attention and I try to make something to suit that sound, so sometimes the plan comes second. Sometimes I’ll find or remember some older idea and then I suddenly come up with a plan for how it could work.
CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist?
PC: You have to try to be true to yourself in every aspect of your life, otherwise it’s too hard to tell the truth in your art. Also, don’t be feeling awkward when you should be laughing.
CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?
PC: It’s definitely something that matters a lot, but it matters a lot more to me whether something deeper is coming across.
CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?
PC: Well for most people it’s just realizing that you have to keep creating, doing it for yourself, just learning to make things stand on their own enough to let them go.
CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?
PC: Sitting back and having a few beers and cigarettes when I’ve just finished something I really like.
CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artists that inspire you in any way?
PC: I’m inspired by a lot of things – I saw the Flaming Lips a week ago, who I was never way into before, but that concert affected me a lot, they’ve got this dark thing going on now and they did some versions of older songs that made me feel like I was being comforted at the end of the world. Wayne Coyne’s in his 50’s, now that’s a real artist.
CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?
PC: It’s great, it helps the imagination, you can do anything. I wish I had more technology in my life but alas I just have a bunch of crap. My friend Andrew Cary (check him out on Soundcloud) who’s playing with me has a decent recording setup so sometimes I have to go over his house to finish things. I’ve gotten pretty good at recording on tape, but I definitely need to get serious about equipment.
CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?
PC: Of course, you kind of never turn off that part of your brain where you’re living life and then thinking about it some other way at the same time
CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?
PC: My favorite city right now is Richmond VA, but I like traveling and hope to be able to do some soon. Besides feeling like I need to get away sometimes, I’m content to be here for now because I’m having a good time and working on things. I’d love to see some more of the West Coast or Austin sometime, and who knows maybe I could go to NY sometime and not die there in an impoverished existential nightmare.
CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?
PC: I like Philip K Dick’s books a lot, and I like poetry a lot. I’ve always loved Frank O’Hara. Reading David Foster Wallace right now.
CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your music?
PC: I’ve been putting an album together so that’ll be done soon, and trying to find a really good show or two to debut some things my friends and I have been working on. Almost done with school, so I’m looking forward to just living and going all in with songwriting.
CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?
PC: Changing, keeping track of whats going on, knowing how things compliment each other.
CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your music?
PC: Poppy, melodic, some good sounds, some strange things going on under the surface.
CHECK OUT MORE ON: PETE CURRY/ THE WELCOME HIPS