First I just want to thank you for participating in this edition of Infidel Interviews. With this interview let's just start with a bit about yourself. Where are you from, how old are you, and how long have you been making music for?
My Name is Peter O' Dowd. Im 41 years old. I was born in Richardson, TX just outside of Dallas. My dad is Irish and my mom is English. They were seperated when I was about 2 years old. My dad was in the oil industry so we traveled alot. I lived in Texas for 6 weeks then moved to Algieria, Algiers where I lived for 2 Years. We moved to Houston for 1 year and then I lived in Ireland for 4 years until 3rd grade. I spent 3rd and 4th grade in Caracas, Venezuela. I got my first guitar in 4th grade. We then moved to Sunnyvale, California and lived there for 5th and 6th grade. Then to Houston again for 7th and 8th grade. This is when I started playing guitar continuously. We then moved to Willis, TX about 1 hour north of Houston for 9th - 12th grade. I was in my first band there. I went to college at Sam Houston State university in Huntsville, TX for 2 years and then in 1994 I moved to Austin, Tx and have been here since. So I have been making music since 1986 or 30 years.
When you first started making music, was there a particular sound or artistic/musical influence that you would say was your biggest inspiration to start pursuing the creative path yourself? What led you to electronic music, particularly the heavier kinds of it?
I was into hair metal..especially the guitarists. Motley Crue, Ratt, Cinderella, Skid Row, Ozzy....etc, etc.. I didn't get into electronic music until I heard Skinny Puppy and NIN in the early 90's. LSD would be the eye opener there.
What genres of music would you consider yourself to be the most active in, or influenced by? What are your thoughts on genres in general? Do you find them creatively helpful as a template to work with? Or do you find them restricting? Or possibly somewhere in between? Now that the internet has caused so much crossover in music, would you even say genre labels are relevant any more?
I play in a band called mouseabout at the moment. I guess u could call it alternative rock. I'm mostly influenced by guitar, but I love original sampled sounds and synthesizer sounds. I think genres are a good way to describe music, but as far as creating music I dont pay attention to them at all. I have tools and motivation and what happens from there has nothing to do with words or descriptions.
Is electronic music where you started making music? Or did you have previous musical background or experience before hand? If so does/did your previous musical experience affect your electronic compositions?
Guitar is my roots. It definitely affects my electronic sound. I strive to combine the two gracefully to try to add life to the sometimes lifeless electronic sound.
Would you say that your choice to pursue music has changed your life since you started? Would you say that creativity has evolved you spiritually, emotionally, or logically? What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in your musical career?
I think that the opening of my mind to the reality of the universe and humanity has changed my life. Music has been there with me along the way and has helped give me some insight into human emotion. The biggest challenge for me along the way has been to continue finding inspiration and creativity while at the same time working a job that supports me.
What would you say are your favorite themes and topics to write about? What draws you to those themes?
Personal struggle, awareness, breaking out of the mold, love and the corruption of humanity are mostly what I write about. These themes are relevant to my perception of the universe.
Are there any particular instruments, programs, or effects that you would say are vital to you making music? If so, is there a reason in particular that draws you to said creative outlet?
Guitar, Moog(or Moog like sounds) the human voice. I just like the way they sound....maybe they open particular doors in my musical dimensions that I frequent.
Other than what you currently produce, what other sorts of genres, instruments, and sounds would you like to use in the future? Are there any people you would like to collaborate with in the future artistically, musically, or socially?
I want to continue to incorporate guitar into electronic music. In the future I want to experiment more with the human voice and creating sounds by tweaking it creating samples. then useing the samples as an instrument in the song.
Do you have any other musical projects that you are involved with, or do you have any other musicians or artists that you collaborate with in some capacity? If you could collaborate with any musician or artist, dead or alive, who would it be? And what in particular draws you to want to collaborate with them?
Just mouseabout. It is totally different that Kelticape but you can probably recognize them as coming from the same place. My room mate Ed Young and I have worked together for years. I sometimes get him to add bass guitar and piano/keyboard parts to my songs. I would like to work with Bjork, Nina Perrson(Cardigans), Kevin Cey(Skinny puppy). I love Bjork and Nina's voices. It would be awesome to do some super dark ambient industrial down templ stuff with them.....I would like to explore concepts of sampling my guitar work with Kevin Cey to try and come up with something new.
Are live shows an important part of your career? Or are you predominantly a studio musician? If you could play a live show anywhere in the world/do a tour anywhere, where would it be? Is doing live music something that you envision for yourself in the future? If so what are some of the images, themes, or ideas you might have for said future live set?
Not really. I am mostly studio. My band mouseabout plays out from time to time. We are playing a show at a non SXSW venue this Wednesday which is SXSW so there will be lots of folks out and about so that should be fun. I would love to tour Japan and South America. I dont really see live music that much in my future, but if the opportunity were to arise I would embrace it. not sure, but it probably would be kind of dark.
When it comes to non-musical media, what do you find yourself most inspired by, and what about it draws you to it as a source of inspiration? Do you participate in the gaming world? Avid reader perhaps? Maybe cinema fan? Combination of some lol?
I like sci fi, particularly android stories and time travel. Im not a gamer. I am an on/off reader. It comes in waves. Lots of sc-fi, and enlightenment stuff, eastern philosophy, conspiracy stuff. Isaac Asimov, Margaret Atwood, Hermanne Hesse, Aldous Huxley, Lao Tzu, David Icke, etc..
Have you had any particular moment(s) that you would like to share, that you would consider to be a crowning achievement in your musical career so far, or moments that you would say truly continue to inspire you to pursue your artistic path?
not really...lots of psychedelic meltdown inspiration
What do you see in the near, and far, future for your creative output?
I just hope to continue to find inspiration to be creative
Thank you so much for participating in this episode of Infidel Interview. Any parting words for your fans, or my audience?
Thanks for having me. Dont believe the bullshit!!
Check out Kelticape in Soundcloud: