The more I read of Peter Broderick’s; lyrics, stories behind his songs at itstartshear.com, interactions with fans and interview, the more these words keep re-appearing in my head. The world of music needs more of these 3 words. Actually, all of us could benefit from having more of those in our lives. The same is true for his sister Heather Woods Broderick, who I hope to interview in the future. I also hear the same things about Sharon Van Etten, who Heather tours with and whose interview I’ll share with you on Friday. I’ve been fascinated by itstartshear.com for a while. It’s the site that Peter put up for his album It Starts Hear. Peter posted the lyrics, a back story to each song, the song and an area for fans to comment on each song. He takes the time to read and comment back. He’s a true storyteller whether talking about a life he stole or letters to an ex-lover. Spend some time listening to his songs and on the sites listed below.
Home town: Portland, OR
Record Labels: Bella Union, Erased Tapes, Hush Records, Team Love
Most Recent Releases:
Broderick & Broderick (self titled collaboration with my father, Team Love 2013)
Band affiliation: Efterklang (touring musician 2007-2013)
Peter Broderick (1987) is an American born musician who grew up studying the violin from age 7. In his teenage years he began to collect any and all musical instruments he could get his hands on, and developed his own self-taught methods with all of those new instrument friends. He then lived in Portland, Oregon for a few years, where he quickly started playing and recording with a variety of bands and singer-songwriters (Horse Feathers, M Ward, Loch Lomond, Laura Gibson, etc.), and in late 2007 he moved to Copenhagen to start touring with Danish band Efterklang, and to explore a path as a solo artist. He spent nearly six years touring the globe, sharing music by himself and with groups, scoring a number of independent film and dance productions, widening his vision and refining his craft. The last three years have seen Peter living in Berlin, collaborating with many of the wonderful musicians in that vastly creative town (Nils Frahm, Greg Haines, Martyn Heyne, etc.), and 2013 sees Peter returning to his homeland, where he plans to slow down a bit with his musical output, to soak up all the love that a motherland has to offer after having been away for so long, and to share his musical experiences from the Old Land with his fellow Americans.
OSW; What is your songwriting/composing process?
Peter Broderick; I tend to be a little all over the place . . . sometimes I start with an instrumental line on guitar or banjo or violin (whatever instruments are around), and then I’ll add words and a vocal melody at the end. Other times I start with a poem or an a cappella vocal melody, and then later set that to music.
OSW; What are you most proud of?Peter Broderick; To this day, the musical project I am most proud of is one that I’ve never dared to share with anyone beyond a few close friends . . . perhaps that’s why I’m so attached to it. It involved a series of very intense, vivid dreams, which I wrote down upon waking, and later set to music and a very loose and improvisatory manner… I think I am proud of it because it really felt like I was doing it purely for the sake of creation, with 100% love, without any kind of commercial aspirations or dreams of success. That was really rewarding.
OSW; What is your favorite songwriting lyric?
Peter Broderick; That’s tough! Bill Callahan says a lot of intriguing, memorable things . . . Arthur Russell has also caught my ear a lot with his more ethereal statements, sung with great passion. And I have to think of John Cage . . . some his vocal works are so clever yet very simple! There are plenty of others, but those are a few that come to mind right away.
OSW; You have a very musical family. You and Heather have played together in Efterklang and some other settings. Did you both develop interest in music at the same time or did one of you influence and/or lead the other into music?
Peter Broderick; Well, everyone in my family plays music . . . it’s almost like it wasn’t an option to not play music. But it also wasn’t forced. I think music is just such an important part of my parents’ lives, they imparted that upon us kids. As I’m the youngest of three children, I was naturally the last one to start playing. But I think we all started playing as soon as we could get our little fingers on the instruments.
OSW; As a followup. I love that you took your Dad’s Guitar part and built, with Heather, “Let Me Love You”. How did your Dad react to that creation?
Peter Broderick; He loves it. He really does. And it’s amazing because he’s so humble that he never dares to say he likes something that he took part in creating . . . but he told me he doesn’t listen to his part . . . he just hears the things Heather and I did, and in the back of his mind he knows it all started with his own guitar part, and he loves it. Awesome!
OSW; What advice would you give to young songwriters/composers?
Peter Broderick; I think the most important thing is to follow your heart. Don’t be afraid to take chances, and also don’t be afraid to be cliché. And be sure to love everything you do . . . not in an egotistical way, but in an unconditional, general way. The more you love the songs, the more they love you!
OSW; You sincerely engage your fans by including back-stories on your lyrics (which lead me to do the same on my site) and recording audio answers to their questions. How did this all develop?
Peter Broderick; One person asked me about my best and worst childhood memories . . . that was quite a fun question to answer. I also love when people ask really specific questions about particular songs or moments in a song. That always makes me aware that people are really paying attention.
OSW; If you could sit down and talk about songwriting with anyone, who would it be and why?
Peter Broderick; It would be Arthur Russell. He remains such a mystery to me . . . I’ve seen the film about him several times, I’ve read the book about him, I’ve listened to his records countless times, and still he’s a total mystery. I’d love to get the chance to pick is brain.
Peter Broderick on the web
To view Peter Broderick’s selected playlist and other bonus items, please go to; http://www.ourscattereddreams.com/songwriting-blog.html
All interviews and Bonus Materials will be archived alphabetically HERE for easy access in the future.
Please stop back on Friday for the interview with Sharon Van Etten.
Thanks for coming by and reading to the end… roll credits…..