Pete Murray of LO-PRO
Take the lead vocalist and guitarist from Ultraspank, Godsmack’s original drummer, and the bass player of Snot and you get Lo-Pro. In late 2003 they released their first album, and got some much deserved radio play with their hit “Sunday”. Surprisingly, they were dropped from their record label soon after, and they disappeared for a few years. The band reemerged on a solo acoustic tour in 2007 in support of Aaron Lewis of Staind. Ink 19 had the chance to interview lead singer Pete Murray to find out where the band has been, and where they are headed.
You just wrapped up an acoustic tour with Aaron Lewis. How did that go?
It was one of the best tours I’ve ever done in my life. We couldn’t have asked for a better situation. It was a blast. Aaron’s the man, his people rule, the venues we played were insane and Aaron’s fans were unbelievable.
You guys disappeared for a few years after you left Geffen. What have you been up to?
For the record, let me make it clear that Aaron is still an incredible friend. When I talk about “the president of our label” I’m talking about the president of Geffen, and not Aaron. I don’t want any confusion. When we were dropped by Geffen, we felt betrayed and we were really pissed off, in an unhealthy, homicidal way, so we decided to step back for a bit and get back to what we love about music – writing and having fun.
The song “Sunday” off of your debut album was a hit. Why did Geffen drop you from the label?
The decision to drop us came down to the president of Geffen. You’d have to ask him. There were definitely some bad decisions made on our behalf that resulted in a lot of money being spent early in our career, but I honestly thought the worst thing that was going to happen to us is that we were going to get shoved back in the studio sooner than we had planned. I mean, if you lost some money, wouldn’t you try to get it back? Dropping us made no sense. The story I’ve heard is that the president of Geffen got in a fight with the head of our management company and we got caught in the crossfire. Just like in second grade.
Aaron Lewis has expressed frustration at the music industry in interviews after you guys were dropped. How has that changed your view on the music industry?
I wish he wouldn’t dwell on it. Aaron did what he was supposed to do. He stood by us and assembled a team around us to help us out. He could easily have shrugged it all off. The fact that he still feels bad shows how solid of a person he is. Personally, I’m done criticizing the industry as a whole. The truth is we loved being on Geffen. The people that we were working with for our record were amazing people. We made the mistake of considering the president a friend and trusting him. Business 101, rule #1 = don’t trust anyone in business. I can’t live my life that way, though. Life is too short. Maybe we got what we deserved.
When I saw your show in New York City, I was surprised at how great your songs sound acoustically. Do you normally write songs on acoustic or electric guitar?
I’m sorry to say that we never have written on an acoustic until now. I wish we had because it’s really fun and, to me, it really exposes the song for what it is. I think it makes you work harder and the end result is more real.
What is the meaning behind the new song “All I Have” that you played at the show?
I wrote the song when I saw a news report on soldiers saying goodbye to their families and friends as they were being deployed to Iraq. It really hit me because I had just returned from the most incredible two weeks in Fiji. I felt shitty and couldn’t imagine what they must be feeling. Since writing that song, I’ve had to say goodbye to many people headed to Iraq and it’s brutal. I can’t wait for them all to come home.
How do you find inspiration for your songs?
Anger has always been a staple for me. It’s a powerful emotion to draw from but I also think it’s kind of an easy one. I’ve really been trying to take my lyrics to another level on our new material. You’ll have to wait for the new records to see whether I’ve succeeded.
What is the latest news on the album that you are working on?
We really want to release something but we’re the most prolific we’ve ever been so we’ve been recording like crazy. It’s hard to stop. We’ve got a couple of rock records almost ready and we’re almost done with our acoustic record, we promise.
Are we going to hear the Lo-Pro from the debut album, or something different?
You’re definitely going to hear a raw version of Lo-Pro which was always our intention. I love our first record but, holy crap, it was over-produced. We don’t nit pick as much anymore, we move on. The acoustic album will be a first as well.
Any plans for another acoustic tour?
I sure hope so! Aaron?
Are you working with a producer for your next album?
So far we’re doing it ourselves. We’ve been bouncing things off friends after a night of drinking. Aaron’s always willing to help as well. We’ve been doing this a long time, we feel like we know what we want and what we expect. No need to pay someone $100,000 to tell us.
When can we expect to see something released?
We’re lagging but we’re really hoping the get this acoustic record out first in the spring with a rock record right behind it.
I noticed that you have uploaded new songs to your MySpace page. How has the internet changed the way fans discover your music?
It’s definitely changed the way we keep in touch with our friends. You used to have to rely on some overworked, underpaid guy at the label to update your site, now we do it all ourselves.
For the release of your next album are you looking for another record deal? How are you going to release it?
I don’t see the point unless a company loves what we do and comes after us. I’m at a point in my life where if someone doesn’t like what I do musically, no worries, buy a Fall Out Boy record. They have nice pants.