Interview with Pete Macleod

By Chelsea Ness

This week, I caught up with Coatbridge singer/songwriter, Pete Macleod who has recently gone straight to the top of UK Physical Singles Charts with his latest release, ‘Firing Line’. Have a read below to find out more about the musician, how the California music scene compares to Glasgow and of course the influence behind his songwriting…

How would you describe your music to new listeners? 
I guess that depends on who was asking me and what era they grow up in and who they listen to. I’d then relate my music to something they like but different and new! That’s more personal than just a general description eh? Music to me is more personal than that.

You released your latest single, ‘Firing Line’ last month… what’s been the initial reaction?

Yeah the initial reaction has been great. I’m proud of people who buy my music. They get it. I have a lot in common with people who are positive and believe in doing good to be honest. They are my kind of people and vice versa.  

Pete on stage in Brazil – picture by Kiko Sanches Photography

I’m a huge fan of ‘Rolling Stone’ – what was the influence behind the song?  Aw thank-you. I wrote Rolling Stone almost a decade ago now and when I hear it today I feel if there was one song that described me as a person in song it would be that tune. It’s optimistic despite all that’s going on around you. Like picking yourself up, dusting yourself down and moving forwards. Like a rolling stone man that gathers no moss.

You lived in California for a few years before returning back to the UK – how would you compare the California music scene to Glasgow’s?

Tbh I don’t really pay attention to scenes. For me the weather is more inspiring than scenes. Nature is more of an inspiring influence and scene to me. Know what I’m saying?

What’s been your most memorable gig and why?

I remember every gig I’ve played. They all mean something to me. The people, the atmosphere, the venues. They are all memorable to me. Part of the journey. 

Do you have a particular process to writing your music or is it something that just comes natural? I’ve written songs in different ways. But overall mostly on my acoustic guitar. It’s like the balance of not forcing it but also giving it time and see what happens. Not killing an idea but letting it come out natural. Spending time on something that you like yourself. Then going with it. A song can go down so many different rabbit holes.

Who are your favourite current Scottish bands you would recommend to us? My honest answer is that I’m so removed from the Scottish music scene and any scene for that matter that I couldn’t name any off the top of my head. But I’m sure there are many great bands playing original music in a venue near you. Perhaps you can recommend some bands following this answer for anyone reading?

Right now my favourite local artists have to be Shambolics, The Snuts, The Nickajack Men, Amy Lou, Chris Greig and The Merchants, Craig Russell-Horne and of course Carousel

You signed with Alan McGee’s 359 music label alongside creation management – what’s it like working alongside one of the greats?

Good times man. Good times.

What advice would you give to musicians and bands that have just started in the industry?

Enjoy yourselves. And if your doing it for your right reasons then great. You’ll have many great experiences along the way. Music is powerful. And you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it.

What are your aims and ambitions as a musician for the rest of 2020? 

Enjoying myself, man. Thanks, Chelsea.



Twitter: @PeteMacleod

Instagram: @PeteMacleod

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