THe PETEBOX

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Features - Features from Freeq

IT’S BEEN TWO YEARS SINCE WE SPOKE TO ONE OF NOTTINGHAM’S FINEST PERFORMERS AND IT WAS TIME TO CATCH UP WITH THE PETEBOX TO TALK MONACO, SWIMMING BADGES AND FESTIVAL APPEARANCES. THE PETEBOX HAS IT ALL, THE LOOKS, THE VOICE, HE PLAYS GUITAR AND DRUMS, HE’S THE LIFE AND SOUL OF THE PARTY AND WHAT HE CAN DO WITH HIS MOUTH SENDS WOMEN WEAK AT THE KNEES.

petebox

Two years ago he blew our Freeq magazine launch party away with a stunning set combining drum and bass beats with mainstream music and even a rendition of the Round the Twist theme tune – all with his mouth! You can get lost viewing the hundreds of Youtube clips of Petebox performing but nothing gets close to seeing him in full flow live, you’ll leave the gig gob smacked and wishing you had even half the talent!

How do you stay ahead of the game in the beatboxing world?
I don’t really have the mentality of ‘staying ahead of the game’… I’m a musician, beatboxing is my instrument, I make and arrange music because I’m compelled to do it. Simple as that. What separates me from other beatboxers is the music I create, and the way in which I cover other artists songs in the live arena. I have created a live set that is unique to me both for the music I choose to perform and the way I perform it.
 
How have you developed your act since headlining our launch party two years ago?
I get more drunk before and during the shows nowadays… it really makes for a much fiercer gig, like it’s my last moment of consciousness before I crash into oblivion. The crowd really seem to respond to that and everyone has a better time for it. Fortunately with a couple of pints of water and a fruit smoothie the next morning I never actually wander into this impending oblivion and all is well.
  
Some beatboxers just use their mouth – although you can do that pretty amazingly, you also include technology to put on a show – give us a quick rundown of how it works.
I have a loop pedal which allows me to layer my voice up, part by part to create a track. I will start with some hi hats, add a bass line, add a beat, add some vocals, do some harmonies, and hey presto… a track! Dang, that’s my formula exposed.
 
You’ve been involved in some pretty big gigs over the last year, what’s been the highlight and what are you looking forward to this summer?
Hmmm, yeah I tend to love every show I do no matter where it is… maybe that’s just the booze… but I have to say the highlight of last year was Reading festival – I was playing at 1pm in between some spoken word artists. I was mildly concerned people weren’t gonna be up for a party at that time and when I started, the tent was about a fifth full and everyone was sat down. After I had done my intro, about five minutes into my set, all the gaps in the tent were full up, people were queuing to get in and there was this epic moment where I suggested it would be better if everyone stood up… which prompted about 2000 people to rise to their feet at the same time as another couple of thousand people filtered in from outside and in about a minute the whole atmosphere had changed – the tent was full and we were all ready to party!
What am I looking forward to this summer… more festivals! Playing Latitude, Rockness, Creamfields and a few more big ones to be announced. More Diversity shows, festivals with my band, making my bands album… music!
 
I was really proud of myself for finally getting my 5-metre swimming badge, even though everyone else at work thought it was rubbish – swimming means something a bit different for you though – tell us about the band.
I play drums in a band called SWIMMInG. We play pop songs with cool sounds and are currently working on our second album. Check us out at www.swimmingband.com
 
If you suddenly (God forbid) couldn’t do music anymore, what would you do?
Hmm, I’m not too sure on that one, I think all other faculties of my brain have withered and shut down, music’s all I can do really. I do know that whatever it was I did end up doing, I’d be doing it on Bondi beach.

What else are you working on at the moment?
I’m working in the studio at the moment, just finishing off an e.p with the awesome producer beatfreak Ben Fawce, which will be ready later this year. You can hear me on a forthcoming Phil Keiran release and I am in my home studio recording for my solo e.p. I have a room full of mic’s and within it a suit with tiny mic’s weaved into it. When I’m wearing my mic suit in my mic room I’m in the zone, there’s no telling what could happen…
 
You played with Diversity at the Monaco during the grand prix in May – please tell us you partied on a big yacht with bikini-clad girls and champagne everywhere
You say this as if it’s something special for me… Monaco was great - having just done an amazing tour with Diversity I’ve now become resident Diversity beatboxer, we have some awesome shows coming up over this year, the last of which was the Monaco grand prix and we did indeed end up in some seriously swanky surroundings with all that comes with that.. but… back at home, I have this sweet pimped out Nova, I’m the king of McDonalds car park, now the chicks that come with that… that’s what I’m all about.
 
Do you have your larynx insured?
I don’t trust insurance, they’re out to screw you.
 
www.thepetebox.com
www.twitter.com/thepetebox

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