Peter Matthew Bauer – New Single & Interview
As previously reported, our pal Peter Matthew Bauer has a new solo album called Flowers coming out next month via Bauer’s own indie label Fortune Tellers. Prior to that much anticipated release date, I am beyond excited to share a new single with you today along with a few quick questions Peter was kind enough to answer the other day. We talk about what it’s like making music as a solo musician, how life is getting back to normal (sort of), and what new music he’s been into recently. All of that, with new single “21st Century Station” after the jump.
ATH: So obviously a lot of people want to talk about The Walkmen (we were die hards) but that seems like it’s been ages ago musically for you and this is far from your first release as a solo musician. Was this album almost all you or were others involved? Tell us a bit about the songwriting and recording process for the album. What’s 1 thing you like and 1 thing you dislike about recording as a solo musician compared to collaboratively as a band like in the Walkmen days?
PMB: Hi. This album as far as songwriting was almost entirely just me in a room. I have a little office, two guitars, two microphones, and a computer and I try to make the demos I start off with turn into finished productions that you’ll hear on the record by the end. It’s a great way to do things because it’s so immediate but it is also very lonely and you have no one to bounce things off. So, about halfway through, once I had the song structures and words in place, I started working with my old friend and bandmate Matt Barrick. At first, he was playing drums on things back in Philadelphia. He had just opened a recording studio there called Silent Partner. It was such a good time working together that eventually he co-produced and mixed the entire record. The record became very collaborative and Matt turned it into something far better than it would have been on it’s own. In February, I flew to Philly and we finished it there in the freezing cold. It’s definitely a little funny being asked about the Walkmen as far as these records but seeing as we were both in that band, it probably can’t be helped. I love all the Walkmen people and it was a blast working with Matt again. I guess to try and answer your question – it’s a really great feeling to surround yourself with friends and family and to work with people you care about and who care about you. So whether if you’re solo or in a band, you have to really seek out that kind of collaboration in some new fashion every time. It makes the music better in the end and takes the edge off of things.
ATH: What else have you been involved in musically for the last few years? Anything interesting come out of the pandemic times? Are you collaborating with anyone else we need to know about?
PMB: I run a tiny record label and management called Fortune Tellers so I’m involved with a lot of different artists and music, each one in a kind of unique fashion that keeps me excited to keep on working. Last year, I put out records by Lushlife, Caveman and Caroline Kingsbury (I actually produced one track and remixed another for her). This year, I’m putting out my friend Milan McAlevey‘s records. He’s an incredible folk songwriter from Maine who hasn’t had a chance to get his records out until now. I’m also putting out my own record and Matthew from Caveman’s new project. I also manage two young bands called Starcrawler and Liily who each play pretty heavy rock music in very different ways, a new band called Cosmic Guilt in Philadelphia who are fantastic, as well as my friend Matt Costa down in Laguna Beach. I produced one of his records a few years ago called Santa Rosa Fangs. Then I do a ton of TV and film stuff with Raj Haldar (Lushlife). He’s got a ton of projects in the works and I really hope someone lets us make our vampire horror series set in Kolkata soon. All of these people are great to be around and it’s nice to have a hand in so many different worlds. So that’s how I kind of stay afloat and collaborate with other people these days.
ATH: Give us a few releases from the last year or so that you’ve really been into. If you hit the road for a tour, what’s playing in the van?
PMB: I’ve been getting really into metal because my son Otis has turned me onto a ton of bands. This weekend, he wanted to go to a festival in Las Vegas. Man Las Vegas is a weird and terrible place. When we showed up, it was 21+ and there were these intense casino security guards everywhere but we miraculously pulled it off and snuck into everything. I saw Eyehategod (at a swimming pool) and am seriously considering starting a doom metal band. That’s where my brain is this morning. My new release choices are all going to be super heavy. I loved Blood Incantation going in and, both live and on record, they do not disappoint. I also really love the new Chat Pile record. I listen to that a lot. I would play it in a van if I was to ever get in one again. The best show I saw though was by the band Warthog. My friend Ryan plays drums for them and I have got to say, I was truly blown away. The crowd was throwing trashcans and cases of water and just beating each other senselessly. I wish that all experiences on earth had that baseline level of fun. It would be a much better place.
ATH: Last. Share a recent physical release you bought that meant something to you. Maybe something you found while digging or something you finally found after looking for a long time. Or just something you found super cheap and got that music high of finding something for cheap. Tell us about it and where you found it.
PMB: I ordered a copy of Jess Sah Bi and Peter One‘s album Our Garden Needs Flowers from Awesome Tapes from Africa. That record is probably the single most important record to me from the last few years. It’s a massive influence on everything I think about and it just makes you feel like everything is going to be okay when you put it on. I’m such a space cadet, I did not realize the relationship between my record title and theirs, or the Rolling Stones Flowers until way after the fact. They each seem like they have vastly different meanings to the word but it’s a weird thing not to notice for so damn long. Mine is about these specific flowers that were strewn all over the beach and in the ocean in Santa Monica.