Pez Back In The Game Tour Interview

Pez Back In The Game Tour Interview

Pez Back In The Game Tour Interview

PEZ returns to Australian stages for his first headline tour in more than 3 years. To highlight the important influence PEZ has had on the Australian hip-hop scene, you need only to look at the two supports from that 2009 tour - a little known rapper named 360 and an upcoming MC named Seth Sentry. The Back In The Game Tour will roll through 21 dates nation-wide and provides PEZ with the chance to unveil tracks from his long awaited sophomore album - including current single -The Game'.

PEZ is a unique voice in Australian music – his records are grounded with a hip-hop ethic and infused with sweet melodies, but it is his more honest, soulful and direct lyrical approach that has allowed PEZ to build a deep relationship and understanding with his loyal fan base. And that relationship is the thing PEZ is most looking forward to reigniting on this tour 'I'm excited to get back out amongst the fans and see how they respond to some of these new jams - both in a big festival settings and also the more intimate shows."

The video for current single, -The Game', was directed by Grey Ghost, and recently named Channel [V] Ripe Clip Of The Week. This artistic collaboration is indicative of the approach PEZ has taken with the new album as the songs came together collaborating with an array of old friends and new names. Due for release later this year, the album, like this tour, promises to be something unique and very special. Fans can expect a highly evolved album full of banging beats, raw lyrics and the trademark PEZ flow.

PEZ has invited South Australian rapper, and current Triple J favourite, Purpose to join him on the road, adding spice to an already killer night, and continuing a history of PEZ throwing down and supporting the future of Australian hip-hop. But most importantly the Back In The Game Tour celebrates the re-emergence of PEZ as an important voice across all genres of Australian music. You will not want to miss this.

Back In The Game Tour

Thursday 11th April 2013: The Brewery – BYRON BAY – 18+
Friday 12th April 2013: The Coolangatta Hotel – COOLANGATTA – 18+
Saturday 13th April 2013: Live It Up Festival – BRISBANE – U18
Saturday 13th April 2013: The Wharf Tavern – MOOLOOLABA – 18+
Sunday 14th April 2013: The Normanby Hotel – BRISBANE – 18+
Wednesday 17th April 2013: UTS Glasshouse – Sydney – Lic/AA
Thursday 18th April 2013: Waves – WOLLONGONG – 18+
Friday 19th April 2013: Woy Woy Leagues Club – WOY WOY – 18+
Saturday 20th April 2013: Sussex Inlet Tavern – SUSSEX INLET – 18+
Wednesday 24th April 2013: Mona Vale Hotel – MONA VALE – 18+
Thursday 25th April (ANZAC DAY) 2013: The Baroque Room @ Harp & Fiddle – KATOOMBA – 18+
Friday 26th April 2013: The Roxy Hotel – PARRAMATTA – 18+
Thursday 2nd May 2013: The Yarra Hotel (formerly The Bended Elbow) – GEELONG – 18+
Friday 3rd May 2013: Kay St Entertainment Complex – TRARALGON
Friday 10th May 2013: Amplifier Bar – PERTH – 18+
Sunday 12th May 2013: Indi Bar – SCARBOROUGH – 18+

Saturday 18th May 2013: Northcote Social Club, Melbourne

Interview with Pez

Question: What are you looking forward to most about the Back In The Game Tour?

Pez: Exactly that; because it's been quite a long time that I've been away from everything and it's exciting and nerve-racking! I am excited to get back out there and get some experience under my belt by doing some shows and getting used to it again and connecting with audiences.

Question: What should audiences expect from the Back In The Game Tour?

Pez: I have been playing with a band recently which was really fun but I missed the feeling of the hip-hop element and having a DJ; I am going back to my roots in that regard. I will be mainly playing new songs to an audience and seeing what they think of them, I hope they like the new material I am playing.

Question: Why have you decided to return to the stage after three years?

Pez: I made the decision when The Game came out which is the first song off the new album that got taken to radio in December. The Game wasn't intentionally the first single but the label took it to radio, I didn't expect anyone to like it but luckily radio and people did and it got played! My booking agent suggested I get back out on the road after the release of The Game. Hopefully the first -real' single will be released whilst I'm touring as I feel as if The Game was a nice track to fill the gap.

Question: What inspires you when you're writing?

Pez: Life! Music tends to help me make sense of everything; it helps me work through issues and problems in my own life; sometimes a song might help you get through it. It helps if you have negative influences that you can make into a positive song. The main aim for me, even when I was sick and was in a dark place, wasn't to make a dark album where you only hear negative music, I always want to make music that is inspiring, uplifting and positive and that process helps me work through the negatives.

Question: Was there a moment you contemplated throwing in the towel?

Pez: Yes, definitely. After the first album, when The Festival Song went crazy it was pretty overwhelming for a while because it went from 0 to 100 very quickly and at the same time I developed a thyroid illness. That was a very extreme period in my life where I felt as if I'd lost the plot however it turned out to be a blessing in disguise which made me take a good look at myself as I was partying a lot, at that point to escape; after I got really sick it made me step back and change my life which is awesome.

There was a pretty dark time and I did think then that I wasn't cut out for music and that I couldn't do it. I'm glad I was able to work through that and I'm currently in a place where I feel as if I'm ready to do it all, again.

Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?

Pez: At the moment I prefer performing live, I find that when I am recording I tend to become a perfectionist and overanalyse and it is more of a tedious process as I don't let go enough. I used to be scared of live performances particularly because things took off so quickly and I went from playing to 50 to 100 to suddenly playing for thousands of people and I would freak out and not be able to handle it. As I worked through it I really loved performing live and it is seriously incredible. I love performing live now I feel I can let go and put it all out there; I am now working on bringing that energy into the recording process.

Question: What/who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?

Pez: In my case I played basketball my whole childhood and all I wanted to do was play College basketball, that was my goal. However when I was 18 I injured my knee and I couldn't get better which left me unsure of what I wanted to do because my whole dream disappeared and I was depressed for a year because I didn't want to get a -real job'. I then started writing little raps in my room, to express how I was feeling and it grew into my new outlet which was what I was looking for. It was a blessing in disguise and I'm so glad it all happened because I found something so much more rewarding and fulfilling than sport would have been. When you're 30 years old sport is all over but Australian music is going from strength to strength and to be a part of that is pretty amazing.

Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?

Pez: Writing songs that are honest and from my heart and then finding people around the country or world who connect with that, I never really imagined that. I have a song on my first album called Heavenly which is a song I wrote about my parents for my parents; I thought I would get paid out on as it's not the most hip-hop thing to write a song for your parents. I found that, overtime, Heavenly became my favourite song to play at a show because it's a four minute verse that people are there rapping every word, with me. All these people have sent me photos of lyrics of Heavenly that have been tattooed on them and I've received emails stating that the song has been played at funerals and birthdays. It blows my mind because I never imagined that would happen and that is the best feeling in the world.

Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?

Pez: I'd say Paul Kelly but luckily I'm already working with him, on this album, which is pretty awesome. I've always loved Mattafix from the UK and I thought it would be cool to work with them. There is also an American rapper called Hopsin that I like. I have been pretty blessed and I generally like to work with people that I am close to such as 360 because we have a good chemistry and it comes naturally. When I collaborate I hope I can meet them and get on the same wave length where something real is created.

Question: How did the collaboration with Paul Kelly come about?

Pez: It was bizarre, I went to a 60th birthday party to play some music for a friend's dad and when I arrived I was told 'Paul Kelly is here" but I thought it was a rumour however a friend came to tell me he'd met Paul Kelly who'd said he'd bought my album. I thought he was joking but I went to speak to Paul Kelly and it was true, he'd bought my album and said he liked my stuff; it was ridiculous because I grew up listening to Paul Kelly! I told him if he ever wanted to do a song with a rapper, to let me know and he said he'd love too.

I went to Paul Kelly's house a few times and we came up with his parts and then I was scared because I had to write lyrics that were good enough to go on a Paul Kelly song! I procrastinated and stalled until I built up the courage to finish it, I then ran into him at an EMI Showcase around the Arias. We went into the studio together, in February to finish the song. I'm so excited about it, it feels pretty special.

Question: What music or which artists do you listen to when you're not working on your own?

Pez: At the moment I am in a timewarp so I tend to listen to older music such as John Lennon and Biggie is the guy that got me into rapping so I find a lot of inspiration from his music. I am trying to make an effort to re-join society and listen to some modern music but I tend to find myself going back to listening to old songs that inspire me.

Interview by Brooke Hunter


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