Brighton-based singer-songwriter and producer, Joe Peter, just released his debut single in May 2020. Along with the track, Joe also released a stop-animation music video – stop-animation always reminds me of Peter Gabriel’s ‘Sledgehammer’. Anyway, we had a chance to speak with this pop-rock artist about his new video, recording ‘Self Adhesive’ and lots more.
Why did you decide to enter the music industry?
I started to get obsessed with music when I was about 10. By my late teens, it had sort of taken over my life. After college, I did a year course in music production and got my first proper job in a recording studio at 19. By then I knew I wanted to be a musician or at least work in the music industry. I think the main reason was the lure of creativity. For me, there is nothing more satisfying than writing a song and seeing it through to the final product – I just love the process.
Can you tell us about the music video for ‘Self Adhesive’?
In short, it’s a stop-motion video which I made on my phone using a stop-motion app. I positioned my phone from above and took around 800 pictures while I stuck sticky letters (which made up the lyrics of the song) to a note pad I had knocking around. I wanted to use sticky letters and stop motion because it mirrors the “adhesive” theme of the track; plus it has a deeply DIP feel which is the core of what I do.
I like to make music videos on my phone because I like to have a more personal feel when it comes to visuals and I’m not a fan of performance videos. They’ve been done to death so why do another one when you can explore endless ideas on your phone!
What was the recording and writing process like for the single and video?
‘Self Adhesive’ is a song I’ve had kicking around for ages. It’s not overly complicated so it didn’t take long to write, except I always like to take time with the lyrics. This took a few weeks to refine and get right.
Production-wise, I recorded a guide guitar which I added drums and bass to. Once I had a solid bass and drum tracks, I recorded all the guitars and synths properly and then the vocals on top of that. I then mixed it all in my Mac using Logic Pro.
For the stop-motion music video, I took a photo on every syllable of the lyrics and played around with moving and scrunching the paper, as well as adding some props to some of the scenes. Once I had all the pictures on my phone, I edited them in Adobe Premier to fit around the lyrics, which took a fair bit of tinkering and speed changes to get right. I’d not done any of this before, so it was a bit trial and error, but I got there in the end.
Does the single have any significant meaning for you?
I’m not particularly emotionally tied to this one. I wanted it to be my first release because it kinda represented where I was mentally at that time – I was getting back into making music again after a hiatus. With the lyrics being about sticking yourself back together, it felt right as my first track because it’s a sort of kick up the arse to myself.
What do you hope people take from your music?
I hope people appreciate the work gone into it. The way I work now is that I play all the instruments and produce it all myself. This can make the process pretty time-consuming, but I hope the attention to detail comes out in the finished songs. I like loads of different genres and styles, but I’ve always favoured music that gets me going and gives me a jolt of emotion and energy. I hope my music does that to other people.
What is more challenging for you – lyrics or melody?
The lyrics always take longer for me. Melodies often write themselves in a way, but with lyrics, I like to take my time to get right (which can take several drafts). Once I have the melodies down I like to write a separate poem or story which is built around the theme or title I have in mind. I take the best lines from that to use in the track. Where possible, I try to rhyme words within lines to steer away from just rhyming the last word of every line. This is an old trick that rappers use.
How would you describe your sound?
Organic indie with concrete edges.
What do you think is the best way to discover new music?
For me, it’s YouTube, Spotify and BBC 6 Music. I don’t tend to listen to much new music at the moment, but I find stuff like groove, disco, jazz and funk that I listen to lots. YouTube has so many tracks which Spotify and streaming sites don’t have. It also has tons of great live stuff from bands and DJ mixes which go under the radar.
What does the future hold for you?
Just putting out more singles and I’ll be dropping a DIY music video alongside each; that’s all I’m thinking about music-wise right now. I’m also finding that my lyrics are getting politicised now as I’m finding it harder and harder to ignore what’s going on in the world, so I expect the subject matter will become more socially and politically aware.
Do you have a message for our readers?
Yes. On a broad tip, many of us are lucky enough to live in a country with plenty of opportunities and what the last few months have shown us is how fragile life is. So, whatever you have in life make the most of it and appreciate what you have.
On a personal level, thanks to you if you’ve listened to ‘Self Adhesive’. Please follow me on Spotify and YouTube as my next track ‘This Place’ will be dropping soon. Take care!