The man is quite frankly bordering on musical genius. Effortlessly combining beats, instruments and vocals with his mouth, while playing guitar and tapping loop pedals with his feet and loop pads with his hands, it’s just a mind blowing performance.
Freeq magazine caught up with THePETEBOX backstage after the Manchester leg of his first UK mini tour.
Pete explained how he was moving away from the type of shows he has done so successfully in the past, that focussed more around drum and bass and pure beatboxing, and is gradually incorporating more of his own songs and his own influences in the performance. “That was only about the fourth or fifth gig I’ve used the guitar.” He said before contemplating getting a second guitar to make the switch between tracks smoother. “It felt like I was taking ages between songs.”
Although Pete stressed that his ‘top secret’ long term plan was just that, we have a sneaky suspicion that you’ll be hearing a lot more of his own work and less of the covers over the coming months and years. It would be a shame to lose, for example, the Nirvana and MGMT tracks, if that’s the direction Pete takes, as they serve to fully demonstrate just how clever the performance is, but he has a very determined air about him and judging by the tracks he has produced so far, it will be exciting to listen to what else he creates when his album launches later this year.
We asked if he feels like he has any contemporaries or does he regard himself as a pioneer in how he has combined beatboxing and a complete musical performance. “There are beatboxers using the loop pedals and the technology, some are known for doing a show one way and some are known for doing it another way. I want to be known for doing it this way.”
Pete also sees a rosy future ahead in terms of the mass appeal of transcending beatboxing, moving away from what people might think, just drums and beats, and to actually creating full songs. “I think it will appeal to more people. Those that like the beatboxing and those who appreciate the songs.”
We certainly feel THePETEBOX has a promising future. Four years ago at the Freeq magazine launch party we were blown away by his set. Tonight, we were taken to a whole new level.
Visit www.thepetebox.com for more information and latest gig and album news.
Nottingham Splendour Festival 2011
This year Splendour is set to be bigger and better than ever before with headline acts the Scissor Sisters, Blondie and Eliza Doolittle ready to entertain Nottingham with an eclectic mix of rock, pop and punk.
Splendour returns for its fourth year on Sunday 24 July at Wollaton Park with three live music stages, a comedy stage, kids’ zone, fairground, bars, stalls, food and a fabulous setting. Also confirmed for the main stage line up is 90s rock band Cast, Justin Currie (from Del Amitri), Sam Duckworth and Nusic* competition winners - the chance for a local band to take the opening slot on the main stage. All Nottinghamshire artists wanting to enter the competition can do so at www.nusic.org.uk
Performing on the other two stages are:
Dog Is Dead
The Virgin Marys
Splendour has a particularly strong local line up this year. Dog is Dead, Swimming, Cecille Grey, Jake Bugg, Gallery 47, Harleighblu, the yet to be announced Nusic competition band and Royal Gala are all Nottingham based, adding credence to the latest news that Nottingham has one of the best live music scenes in the UK, according to the Performing Rights Society.
Making us laugh on the comedy stage this year will be:
Compere: Nick Page
Tickets are still on sale, but selling fast! Buy yours now at www.splendourfestival.com or at the Rock City box office on Talbot Street or the Royal Centre. You can also buy tickets at any Nottingham City Council leisure centre. Discount tickets are available for City of Nottingham residents with a valid Citycard. Prices are: £20 per discount Adult ticket (City residents only) £15 per discount child ticket – 11-17year olds only – (City residents only) £20 per child ticket – 11-17 year olds only – (with NG postcode) £35 per standard ticket Children under 11 can get in free and do not need a ticket. More information is available: www.mynottngham.gov.uk/splendourfestival or www.splendourfestival.com You can also get all the latest including competition news by ‘liking’ the official Splendour Facebook page – www.facebook.com/splendourfestivalUK
Newton Faulkner has received critical acclaim for his unusual style and sound, with his first album reaching number one back in 2007. He has since undergone reconstructive surgery on his hand after an accident and subsequently released his second album Rebuilt By Humans last year that marked another top ten album for the young dreadlocked lad from Surrey. Newton was kind enough to spend a few minutes with us before his set at the Big Chill this year.
For those that don’t know your musical style how would you describe it?
I don’t really know anymore I confuse myself these days. Its kind of acoustic based stuff that kind of spans a lot of genres and I play in quite a strange way. I do the percussive ‘tappy’ stuff that’s really fun. Just songs and stuff!
You have a very unusual technique, especially how you tap and slap the guitar, could you tell us how you developed it?
That’s been around well before I was. Michael Hedges was doing it, and has its roots in flamenco and a lot of that going further back. Also when I was at ACM, (Academy of Contemporary Music) Eric Roche, head of guitar was there, and Thomas Lee were both doing similar things and I just really got into it. Especially because I was gigging on my own at that point it just made sense to try and see how much I could push it, and every time I brought things in I got the same thing, ‘it’s really good but I prefer it on its own.’ And I figured out that the only thing that worked is a string quartet I got in and that worked really well and properly classy and it felt very grown up!
How did you deal with the news of Eric Roche’s passing?
Yes it was horrible we were really good friends and had kept in touch. It was hard. I’ve got one of his guitars that I play with every now and then; it’s a lot of responsibility playing one.
Has that relationship had any influence in terms of your song writing?
Oh definitely, I have written about it, so much is completely about Eric’s influence on my playing.
There’s been quite a lot of success with your first album.
Yes but there was four years work that went into that album before it came out so it didn’t feel unnatural, it did what it did. The setup to the first record was really carefully planned. The second one we had to rush a little bit and chuck it out really fast, a bit mental!
You’ve recorded a great cover of Massive Attack’s Teardrop, what made you choose that song?
A; its an amazing piece of music, B; its made of predominantly four parts which at that time was the most parts I could do at one time. I could do a drum beat, a baseline, a melody and a vocal. I was just listening to it and thinking that should be doable and I had three days to piece it all together before I played it on the radio and I didn’t sleep for three days, three days with the metronome going constantly.
Have you got any plans to cover anything else?
I’m always messing around with stuff, I’m really enjoying ‘No Diggity’ by Blackstreet, that’s worked pretty well and I’m working on Regulate by Snoop Dog and Warren G. (Newton impresses us with a quick rendition on request!). I’m doing Bohemian Rhapsody at the moment and I’m wanting to do something in the same kind of area as that. But I will take requests obviously! F
inally, with many rumours about having names such as Deuteronomy and Battenberg can you clarify the situation for our readers?
Yea that was on Wikipedia for a little while, not for very long but long enough for everybody to write it down! My full name is Sam Newton Battenberg Faulkner; Battenberg is my mother’s maiden name.
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