Posted by: pop-break | January 5, 2013

Interview: Peter Goetz

Erica Batchelor begins her journey with Peter Goetz…

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As someone who is very sheltered when it comes to traveling, it is a whole new experience when I can visualize different places and cultures based solely on words and rhythms. Peter Goetz has accomplished just that on his first full-length album titled Indian Summer which perfectly paints the picture of his adventures throughout Brazil.

Telling stories and singing songs with a 6-string; those nights by the campfire are moments Peter Goetz lives for. Most notably known for his work on Survivor and The Amazing Race, Goetz shows us a different side of him altogether. With such an extensive, award winning background in photography and film production, it does not surprise me that he would be as successful with his music endeavors.

[When I heard his music] I was displaced to a tropical island with as little effort as simply closing my eyes. He captures colorful sounds from across the world as well as bringing out his California roots to find his niche as a singer and musician. This album sounds like a mix of Jack Johnson and reggae undertones with his raw captivating vocals.

An eclectic background of world travels and experience has led Goetz to this brilliant release. I had the pleasure of talking to Peter about the roots of his passion for adventure and where he is headed in the future. Check out Pop-Break’s interview with Peter Goetz below.

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Pop-Break: With an award winning background in film and photography, how is it you came to play and write music as well?

Peter Goetz: Music has always been an outlet to capture stories of life on the road. After a long day shooting there’s nothing better than gathering around a fire and having a little improv jam with colleagues and new friends on location. Strumming songs is a tool to meet new people and new cultures. Songwriting is a vehicle to capture the spontaneous adventures that crop up as a result of being on the road so much; without my pen and paper, these good times would wash away into the ether.

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PB: Tell me about your journey through Brazil and your inspiration for this album.

Goetz: I visited Brazil about a decade back working on Survivor in the Amazon and it’s been my favorite country since. There’s so much color, movement, music, and diversity embedded in the Brazilian culture. So my third trip down, I made a point of coming back with something more than a slew of portuguese conjugations, samba skills and a mean tan. I wanted to shoot a video down around Rio De Janeiro for “Crystal Ball” the first track I recorded for my album Indian Summer, here’s the result…

Once down in the mix of Rio I used a couple Brazilian contacts from LA and I found myself embedded in a group of legendary musos, many of which were members of Gilberto Gil’s band, the former minister of culture in Brazil and a lifelong friend of Bob Marley. Turns out I spent about a week in the studio with Arthur Maia (Gil’s bassist & producer) and his inner circle. With the help of this talented Carioca team, I came away with a Brazilian version of “Crystal Ball” and a new original track in Portuguese called “Slow Down.” All in all it was a launching pad to complete the full length album and define my voice as an artist; California soul with a global spin. It felt good to be able to capture a sound representative of my lifestyle and philosophy.

PB: What song off of Indian Summer means the most to you and why?

Goetz: It’s tough to pick one song as the most significant, but I’d say “Waterfall” is the track that captures life and it’s challenges for anyone with a lifestyle like mine. It’s always tricky to connect with people when you are constantly on the move. Once you feel like you’ve really figured out life, love and it’s many trials, you are uprooted and flung into your next destination. This song is another track written down in Brazil, in Bahia on the pristine island of Boipeba. I officiated the wedding of my two dear friends on this remote island off the central coast. The verses describe their love story and the chorus reflects the fleeting nature of love on the road and the constant search for the perfect person, when sometimes we just need to realize what we are looking for is right in front our nose. 

PB: You’ve had the chance to travel all over the world and learn about different cultures. Growing up, were you always drawn to this adventure type of lifestyle?

Goetz: I grew up in a flower shop in a small beach town outside of LA called Manhattan Beach. I was always drawn to stories customers would bring back from their trips around the world, surfing Java or sailing around the Greek Isles. As I got a bit older I always knew that as an adult I wanted to dive into subcultures around the world, so as a kid I would sift through stacks of National Geographic magazines at the library, dreaming of growing up to walk the globe down the line.

PB: Where would you like to travel next?

Goetz: I really want to get to India and Japan. I’ve yet to go to either and spend quality time. Both cultures are so different, so rich, so ancient that I think I’d need a good few months to really grasp what they have to offer.

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PB: What are three things you absolutely cannot live without?

Goetz: I don’t require all that much….I just spent the last three months living in the outdoors on an adventure series based in Fiji, New Mexico and New Zealand. But if I had to choose three things…my toothbrush, pen & paper, and uke.

PB: Do you have plans to tour with the release of this album?

Goetz: I have another production I’ll be working on this winter/spring and I plan on touring for the album this coming summer July – Sept. I will keep you posted on movements but we are working to create a tour unlike any other, it’s going to be a traveling photo/film exhibition with a live music element. More details to come!

PB: What kinds of projects can we expect from you in the future?

Goetz: I’m working on a short format documentary idea with some friends at X-Games, where we choose one athlete and one musician, sit them down to understand what drives each of them, how they hone their respective craft, common inspirations and common philosophies. With their backstory we are working to create a common theme, to thread together a narrative for a short film. I’m hoping to get started on my first one of the series shooting between LA and NYC January ’13. As far as music goes, I am in the process of recording a new EP. I only have short windows to make all of this come together before I head out on my next adventure series set in New Zealand come Feb 2013. Juggling creative fireballs! Loving it… 

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