PETA JEFFRESS – Interview with the Peta + The Wolves singer/songwriter

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1. You have been recording your debut EP in Sweden, at Stockholm based studio, ‘The Kennel’. What was the driving force to produce music in such a far away place from your home town of Melbourne, especially a small town on the urban outreaches of Sweden’s capital city? So much amazing music has come out of Sweden, which is quite incredible considering it has such a small population. I remember in 2008 when an artist named Lykke Li released her debut album, ‘Youth Novels’. I’d never heard anything like it at the time; the production was, and still is, incredible. It was just completely on the pop edge… I loved it. I thought, “What is going on in Stockholm? I need to get there!”

It took me quite a few years to get this far north, however when I got here I fell in love with the people, the culture and the energy. There is something truly magical about Stockholm. I was lucky enough to have been introduced to the team of people at ‘The Kennel’, which I can honestly say is unlike any studio or publishing house I’ve ever been to. Over the years I kept gravitating back to it, until I eventually called it home in 2015.

2. Do you find that the dramatic change of scenery works wonders for your creative, lyrical and musical well being? I think I live in one of the the most beautiful places in the world. Wrapped up in all of that beauty is the extremes; white nights and black winter days which are as equally beautiful. However, with the winter comes the isolation. I spent a lot of months in my own head which was hard, even if inspiring. I don’t think I can reach within my true depths and write music when I’m happy and comfortable. So this last winter worked out well for me!

3. What inspiration have you discovered in Sweden? My producer and co-writer. I call him, ‘The Wolf’.  His production will inspire me for a life time. He is truly unique and inspirational to watch. I also live on the outskirts of Stockholm, on the banks of the archipelago, so a lot of my music has been inspired by the dramatic seasonal scenic changes around me.

4. What inspires you most to create music? Emotion and honesty. When you can capture them both at the same time within music, it’s the greatest high.

5. Who are the Wolves? Are they physical as well as literal? The wolves are my team! The people I can’t make music without!

6. Your first single released from the upcoming EP was called ‘Scum’. Can you give us some insight into that song and its meaning? ‘Scum’ is a very personal song of mine. It was inspired by a period of time in my life where I felt psychologically damaged after a relationship (which I think most people can identify with at some stage of their lives). However, over time the song’s meaning has become a bit of a chameleon to me as my perception of that time has changed considerably. Now I just want to go back and give that girl a hug! [Lol!]

I love how life and music can change like that and take on different meanings.

7. Your two follow up singles, ‘Verbal Wars’ and ‘Snow’, have been amazingly well received in Oz, reaching number one and number two respectively on the Triple J Unearthed Chart. ‘Verbal Wars’ has a very cool ethereal electronic vibe to it and ‘Snow’ continues to showcase your idiosyncratic and smokey vocals. What do these two songs represent to you? I categorize ‘Verbal Wars’ and ‘Snow’ under my Winter Diaries. Both songs depict the struggles within myself and isolation from my family, friends and home.

8. You have been in the music industry for nearly two decades, with your music being heard from Russian restaurants in Melbourne to the Season 7 promo for popular US series, ‘The Vampire Diaries’. How does your current professional life compare to those earlier years? Do you feel like you have hit your stride in terms of your sound, song writing and outlook of the industry? It has taken a long time and a lot of personal growth (a few wins and a lot of losses) to get to this point, but all of which were important for me as an artist to go through. I have spent a lot of years searching for the ability to express myself honestly without compromise and at the end of it all, I found it was all about ‘the team’ I surrounded myself with. I finally found a team of people who got my vision and helped me reach and facilitate its potential. Without a team of people behind you it’s almost impossible.

9. What’s next for Peta and the Wolves?
Whats next….?  EP will be out next month, which I’m extremely excited about, followed by the album early 2017!

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QUICK RANDOM ONES:

– Who would you most like to collaborate with and why?

Burt Bacharach. How can you be that brilliant?!

– Favourite place to live?

That’s a hard one… Stockholm/Melbourne equally.

– Who is your fashion icon?

Alexander McQueen – creative and artistic genius.

– Most wonderful thing you have discovered in Sweden?

The people!

– Thing you miss most about Melbourne?

The people! [Lol!]

– Favourite music album of all time?

Controversy by Prince.

– What is currently in your fridge?

Milk and filter water… I’m running low on both…

– Biggest vice?

Morning coffee… I can’t even form words without it.

– First celebrity crush?

I think I’d become mute if I met Andy Samberg. He is just so dreamy!!

 

Check out Peta + the Wolves’ music here: www.soundcloud.com/petaandthewolves

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