Interview :: Peter Bibby on his debut album ‘Butcher/Hairstylist/Beautician’
November 28th 2014
There is so much wine in Peter Bibby’s debut record, we probably should have gotten our RSA before we made it album of the week. And don’t get us started on the swears…
Bibby is a new member of the Spinning Top family – although he’s based in Melbourne, rather than Perth like the majority of the roster. His debut record ‘Beautician/Hairstylist/Butcher’ was released last week and we featured it on the airwaves straightaway: falling hard for the honest, self-deprecating and Aussie-as-fuck songwriter.
FBi’s Asher de Grey decided to give Mr Bibby a call to share some thoughts about his debut record. As to be expected, he was, well, moderately into it…
Asher: Your album was released one week ago today (14th Nov) so I guess first up, how has this last week been?
Peter: Pretty chilled really, I just got back from America so sort of settling back into Melbourne life.
And if I’m correct, this would have been the first time you were overseas? And first time leaving Australia?
Yeah it was, so it was bit of a mind blower.
I’m interested to ask, how was your music received by the audience abroad?
It was actually surprisingly received quite well. You know, people listened. I had to sort of… articulate my words a bit better than usual, so they could actually understand what I was saying. There were a few confused people with things like goon and like, stuff they don’t really know about over there.
This isn’t the only thing you play in. You do still play with Frozen Ocean and Fucking Teeth in your spare time?
Yeah yeah, well every now and again when we catch up. Like, the drummer from Frozen Ocean lives way up North in Western Australia. So whenever we get together we play, but it’s not very often.
Did you have any thoughts or ideas for future releases with those groups?
Not really – I mean if it happens, it happens but at the moment everyone’s so spread out over the country I’m focusing on this Bottles of Confidence sort of business.
Your debut Butcher/Hairstylist/Beautician has been our Album of the Week here at FBi, and we’ve been thoroughly enjoying it. Initially I sat down and listened to it from start to finish, and it was weird… I walked away feeling like I had listened to one of the most important releases this year. The raw folk/Aussie rockabilly that comes across to me is really important for the working class struggling Australian, there’s definitely a strong ocker-ism throughout the album. How would you sum up your solo debut if you had to?
Oh look I don’t know, it’s just a bunch of songs I wrote. *laughs*
It feels like the songs may of been inspired by real life events?
Yeah, it’s pretty much straight out of a day in my life you know, I mean most of it anyway…
After downing a couple of bottles of red if I remember correctly…
*laughs* Well, you know, there are some exaggerations here and there.
Of course. Can I ask did you actually drive your girlfriend’s father’s Red XF Falcon without a license?
Yeah. That song’s actually word for word truth. Nothing but truth in that song.
I thought so! Now, just to get a couple of the quick cliché questions out of the way: Who are you main inspirations?
Uhhh… women? Whoever invented alcohol? I don’t know. Musically I grew up listening to Bob Dylan and stuff – Paul Kelly was always on at home.
Yeah – so all those classic storytellers. Okay next, what would you do if you didn’t do music?
I’ve been getting into making videos lately, I’ve always been pretty keen on visual art. But I don’t know, if I wasn’t going to be in the arts at all, I always wanted to be an architect… but those guys I found out are generally a bunch of wankers. *laughs*
In the song ‘Stinking Rich’ you mentioned you want to start up the world’s best pie shop. Is that something you actually want to do?
Well more it will be more than just a pie shop, it will be like a bar and we’ll make more than just pies in there – and maybe it can eventually be like a little venue you know? For intimate gigs. But that’s the retirement plan.
Sounds like the perfect Aussie night.
Yeah how good would that be! Go and see a gig and you can have a pie.
You signed to Spinning Top earlier this year – they’re a really tight knit group of acts including Tame Impala, Pond and Felicity Groom… I know that Nicholas Allbrook (Pond) sometimes bangs the drums for you live?
Yeah generally he does. When he’s around.
So is he a permanent fixture at the moment?
Yeah, for the time being.
And you’ve been friends with those guys for a while now?
Yeah for a few years, I’ve probably been friends with Joe Ryan (Shiny Joe Ryan) for the longest out of the bunch.
How did you get involved with the Spinning Top group?
Well, you know, by that time I was pretty good buddies with the rest of the Pond boys and stuff, and I think Nick made Jodie – who’s the manager for Spinning Top – just made her come and watch me play a few times, then eventually we became friends and she signed me.
What have you got planned for the next couple of months?
Right now I’m actually walking to a gig at the Queen Victoria market, just walking down Victoria Parade at the moment to go to that. I’m going down to Tasmania to play the little Village thing at Falls Festival on New Years – I don’t think the village lineup has been announced – but I’m doing it.
That’ll be a nice intimate festival crowd.
Yeah I did it last year and it was a bloody ripper.
And I’m very excited to catch you at Laneway, with Pond playing on that bill as well I’m sure it will be a big night. Very excited to catch you there, but right now – if someone was going to go and listen to your record after reading this, is there a disclaimer you would have for the album?
Well, if you’re offended by coarse language probably be prepared, and also if alcoholic scenes upset you – you might not want to have a listen. There’s a bit of heartache in there for sure. It’s all a bit tongue-in-cheek, so just listen to it with a light sense of humour.
Peter Bibby’s ‘Butcher, Hairstylist, Beautician’ is out now on Spinning Top.
WHAT :: Peter Bibby at St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival
WHO ELSE :: Flying Lotus, Mac Demarco, Caribou, FKA Twigs, Future Islands, Courtney Barnett
WHEN :: Sunday 1 February, 2015
WHERE :: Sydney College of the Arts, Rozelle
TICKETS :: $160 here