If I was to describe Peter Rabbit Music, I’d say that the tones of Peter Hume’s voice and the mix of the synth and acoustic guitar are reminiscent of a warm hug from a long lost friend. The Melbourne local (by way of New Zealand and Sydney) is quick to agree.
“About five or six years ago, I went through a reconnect with childhood phase where I really got into just looking at things fresh was the idea, and being excited about things because I’d been down a lot and been through a lot. It’s very easy to get blasé about it.”
As a member of Evermore, the 29 year old is all too familiar with the ins and outs of the music industry. “I used to just love going to see small bands, playing in clubs, and see them excited to be on stage and just like, “Oh, my God. People are coming to see us!” I love that. I like that freshness and that enthusiasm.”
With this reconnect came the creation of Peter Rabbit. Named after a mobile that hung above his bed as a child in hospital, it is an enigma that is rapidly evolving into a new season of the musician’s life.
“PRM has been slowly developing. It’s music I’ve always been into and I’ve always written my own things. After the last album cycle geared down, I questioned whether I wanted to keep making music. That was a big thing. I was like, “That’s a hard thing to do, for a living”, like to do it seriously. You know, did I want to do something outside of music, try on a new hat.”
Filled with rich vocal tones that paint story after story, Hume’s quintessential charismatic nature is what makes the project unique. In fact, when I saw him gig at the Worker’s Club a few nights before our interview, I watched him furiously break down into an acoustic version of “The Lion Sleep’s Tonight,” somehow managing to get everyone in the room to join with him. “It just reconnected me with everything in my life. The song writing came out of that almost childlike-ness to it. That’s what I wanted to present, a childlike take on adult things,” he shares about his new sound. Hume isn’t the main songwriter for Evermore, and one of his favourite aspects of his new project is making this a focus.
“You’re like shitting yourself but then you’re stoked as well. Doing a new thing, I had that same feeling, like, “Oh, my God. This is great!” It’s just been a really good response so far. I’ve literally just been almost trying to keep it small for the moment and trying to keep it out of too much the public eye or the industry and just building it up in terms of getting my team together and getting my sound.”
Saying that his music is “deliberately raw and deliberately simple,” he gains inspiration from some of music’s greats in the songwriting process. “Neil Young is like that to me. Even John Lennon’s songs. That kind of … There’s a simplicity. I dig that. I connect with that. There’s a feeling that I’m always searching after. It’s like a reaching for something. I love that about gospel and soul as well. It’s when you’re reaching for something higher that you never obtain it.”
Hume’s commitment to developing an authentic sound means he is different to most other musicians in the market. “There’s a lot of really sweet music out there now. There’s a lot of really beautiful, sweet as folk and singer-songwriting and all that thing. There’s a lot of what I call, kind of a girl crying into a cup of Chamomile. That’s how I’d explain it to a friend.”
The main goal for the singer though, lies in the emotion behind a song. “I want to be moved. I suppose I’m making the kind of music that I want to hear. When I want to go to a live show, I want a certain amount of vulnerability but there being a certain amount of oomph to it too.”
Recording live sessions of his tunes with Downtown Tracks, Hume introduced the world to Peter Rabbit with the song, “You’re Welcome Any Time At All,” a melancholy story inviting an old friend home. “This one just came altogether. It’s a real pleasure to play. All my friends like this one. It’s about an old friend that has gone on to be very successful but is just caught up in just the busyness of life, just wanting to have him around, make him a meal, give him a hug. That’s it.”
Wearing cowboy boots and fur in the sessions (he mentions he brought it down the street from an op shop), the filming session was more than just a casual gig for the newly solo muso. “We’d just spent an afternoon jamming and trying to make the guys laugh…It just feels kind of like letting people into my world a bit, for the first time.”
While he is no stranger to recording, Hume is drawn to live performances. Seeing him perform myself as he cohesively engages with the audience at any given moment, I was able to observe his devotion to his craft. “I like the intimacy of it and the immediacy. I’m a fast moving sort of guy. Even in the studio, I like to have everything with me. I want to do everything really fast….At every moment, every time I play the songs, they’re different. It’s really nice to be able to present that to people.”
At this stage of Peter Rabbit, he is focusing on the live performance aspect of his career. “At the moment, the song’s are the most important thing. I find that with a recording people often listen to the recording. Whereas, with a performance, you listen to the song.”
The future really is full of possibilities for Peter Rabbit. Hume’s willingness to experiment and try new things means his sound will only become deeper and more moving as time goes on.
“I’d love to put a band together, a jam band and try that tribal thing. I’ve got this vision, a rotating chaotic jam band and call them The Sonic Temple Builders…I love gospel, blues, and soul, things like that, where you give people an experience and almost reach out somehow. It’s more difficult to do that solo but it’s developing.”
It’s a new season for Peter Hume as he branches out solo and delivers his own unique sound to the world. What lies ahead? Well, he’s not quite sure. But he knows it’s going to be good.
“It’s really a watch the space with Peter Rabbit. I don’t know how fast things will move. They’re already been moving quite fast even though I haven’t really … I’ve just been wanting to develop it. It’s just been getting it’s own momentum.”
PPcorn is premiering Peter Rabbits new track “Looking for Love” tomorrow. Keep your eyes out for his exciting new video, and read Part 1 of our Interview with Peter Rabbit here.