Hailing from Southern California, Lo-Pro is comprised of frontman Pete Murray, guitarists Pete Ricci and Neil Godfrey, bassist Jerry Oliviera, and drummer Tommy Stewart (ex Godsmack drummer). Murray and Neil have been writing material together for almost 20 years. The long awaited follow up to the self-titled debut called “The Beautiful Sounds of Revenge” is expected to be released in May 2010.
Maximum Ink: Who are some of your musical influences?
Pete Murray: I grew up on Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, U2. I wanted to sing in a band after seeing Ministry live for the first time but I’d say melody is the biggest influence. I also miss the days when massive bands like that would reinvent themselves every time they released a new record - regardless of how well the last one did. There are too many bands nowadays writing the same record over and over because “it worked the first time.”
MI: It is mentioned during the time between albums you had taken up yoga as a way to deal with anger. How would you say it helped you deal with
PM: Yoga taught me how to breathe again. It’s changed my perspective completely. I don’t take this whole journey of life so seriously anymore.
MI: What was it like to get to work with Aaron Lewis of Staind?
PM: Above all, I consider Aaron a friend. He’s the only one (out of a huge group of people) who stuck with us after things at Geffen went south. I think that says a lot about him. He’s a solid human being.
MI: If you could work with anyone in the industry, who would it be and why?
PM: Man. that’s a long list. In my dreams, Brian Eno is our producer, and Ulrich Schnauss does a bunch of programming on the record. I’d love to work with Terry Date, Ken Andrews. Maybe write a song with BT or Paul Oakenfold? Ok, I’m awake now.
MI: The band is rather scattered with members living in Massachusetts, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Diego. How do you deal with the challenge posed by geography?
PM: Recording technology is insane now. I’m the most proficient Pro Tools user in the band so I’ll run Neil’s pro tools rig in Santa Barbara from my house in San Diego, email myself the files, and put everything together from here. I’ve done the same with Pete In Mass. Tommy recorded a snare track in his basement in Atlanta at the time and it’s on the record. Jerry did the same with a couple of his bass tracks. I actually think the separation makes us more efficient when it comes to writing.
MI: You have known Neil Godfrey for awhile it seems, since you have been writing with him for almost 20 years. I noticed you had said you hated each other for awhile while in rival bands. How has the music changed that? And what are some of the perks of working with someone you have known so long?
PM: Ha. One of my first bands was a blistering speed metal band. Long hair, black wrist bands, the whole deal. Neil was in the trippy rock/funk/hip hop band that practiced in the studio next to us. We hated them because they got all the chicks. I’m truly blessed to have a partnership with a guy like Neil. We never have any of those weird ego battles where I get offended if he changes something of mine - even if it makes the song better - or vice versa. We can be honest with each other. If we’re not feeling something, no one is going to be bummed. We also share a mutual excitement for what we do which is huge. I know when he’s digging a new vocal idea and it stokes me out. (I also know when he’s not and I work harder.) It’s much more fun to write with people who are into what you do.
MI: What little known thing about you do you think readers would find most interesting?
PM: The sight of mayonnaise used to make me physically ill. I’ve been working very hard on it. It’s not a big deal anymore. In fact I’ll put it on a sando every now and then. Baby steps.
MI: What are some of your hobbies? Other than music what are you most passionate about?
PM: These days I’m keeping it simple. I’m blessed to live in San Diego right now.I surf several times a week and I’m a devoted practitioner of Ashtanga Yoga.
MI: Where do you think you’d be now if you hadn’t of became a musician?
PM: Ha. I’d probably have more money. In my dreams, I’m a big wave surfer getting towed into a 60’ wave at Jaws by Laird Hamilton.
MI: Are you excited about the release of “The Beautiful Sounds of Revenge”? How does it differ from the debut album?
PM: I’m very excited. It’s been in the works for a long time. The biggest difference is that this album is all Lo-Pro. No one interfered with the writing process. We brought in our friend Angus Cooke in the end to tie it all together but that’s it. I’m personally stoked because I recorded a lot of what’s on the record myself.
MI: Anything you’d like to say to your fans in closing?
PM: Thanks! We’ve been kind of quiet for a while but thankfully we seem to have some patient fans. It’s pretty amazing how many of them have stuck with us and checked in along the way. It’s very humbling.
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CD: The Beautiful Sounds Of Revenge Record Label: Rocket Science
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