– Hi, thanks for your time. What are you currently up to? How is everything doing right now with PETER PAN SPEEDROCK?
Right now the first albumreviews are coming in, and so far they have been nothing but positive. We’re getting great feedback from all over the place, so we’re doin’ just fine!
– First off, where does the name of the band come from? Is quite singular and in certain way fits the sound and essence of the band, was this something you wanted it to convey?
The original bandname ‘Peter Pan’ was basically (our singer/guitarist) Peter’s reaction to the advice he got from people around him when he first started the band in 1995. ‘Forget about this Rock&Roll thing’ and ‘Grow up and get a real job’ was pretty much all he heard. A few years later we added SPEEDROCK to avoid any confusion about the band’s musical direction, as it turned out to be near impossible to get shows outside the Netherlands for a band named Peter Pan.
– You will soon release your new album, entitled «Buckle Up And Shove It!»; what are your expectations on it?
So far it’s been doing really well like I said. We even reached the nr. 14 position in the Dutch albumcharts. We were in it before but never this high. And even though it doesn’t really mean anything anymore these days, it still feels kinda good.
– And how good do you think the album’s title describes the musical content on it and its overall spirit?
Not at all really, because originally ‘Buckle Up…’ was just one of the songtitles. At some point we started using it as the album working-title, and then this working-title simply became the official albumtitle. Personally I must admit I wasn’t crazy about using it as an albumtitle at first; it really had to grow on me, but in the end I’m pretty pleased.
I’d say we have a more open-minded approach than a few years ago. There’s definitely some things on the new record that we’ve never done before. For example: the song ‘Murdertruck’ is a song we could never have written let’s say ten years ago. I think we weren’t that ‘groovy’ at the time.
– I personally feel the overall outcome is more mature, with a better equilibrium in the songs in songwriting terms. What are your thoughts on this?
Well that’s very good to hear because it’s exactly what we tried to achieve. At the same time I think we still got a lot to learn when it comes to songwriting. If you listen to a band like the Reigning Sound for example; now there’s some real songwriting craftsmanship if you ask me. I have a lot of respect for that.
– You play Rock n’ Roll, which means you have a certain framework, and you also play it at the PETER PAN SPEEDROCK’s style which means, as I said, that you are always loyal to yourself so, without trying to really break new ground or reinventing the wheel, how easy is to be creative without loosing your trademark attitude?
It can be a bit of a struggle sometimes. We’ve had some pretty serious practice-room discussions over the years, about trying ‘new’ or different things. I won’t go into detail about this, but fortunately for us, we’ve always managed to come up with a solution all three of us could ‘live with’ haha.
– Most albums tend to be not so regular or powerful all the way, but here you have managed to keep the same level of intensity from start to finish. How easy is to get that? How do you work on the songwriting process?
Thanks for the compliment. The writing process is usually the same: we jam together until we have thirteen ‘songs’, then I come up with a bunch of lyrics and we put everything together until we have the finished product. It’s a pretty time-consuming process though, as you may have noticed. About the intensity, I guess it comes kinda natural really. It’s inherent to the way we play together: We’ve somehow developed a way of kicking each other in the butt constantly. Pretty handy when playing Rock&Roll I must say.
– There are a couple of suprises on the album, as the cover for THE YARDBIRDS’ «Heart Full of Soul». How did everything arise and what changes did you do to this tune? As it totally sounds as a PPSR song.
We didn’t change anything really, except maybe give it a bit more of a ‘garage’ vibe. I think Sparky did most of the ‘changing’ (see below).
– What other songs would you like to cover someday?
I got a few suggestions: ‘Don’t Lie To Me’ (Big Star), ‘I’m Bored’ (Iggy Pop), ‘Slow Death’ (Flamin’ Groovies), and we’ve actually been playing Cheap Trick’s ‘Hello There’ live for the last few months, which works really well. And I’ve also been a longtime Roky Erickson fan, so don’t be surprised if one day you’ll hear us playing one of his songs.
– And you have also had a guest vocalist, Sparky Retard, of the legendary DEMENTED ARE GO. How did this cooperation born and what do you think did he bring with this vocals?
We’ve all been huge Demented fans for a long time (I used to follow them around on tour back in the day). It was actually Peter’s idea to ask Sparky to do the vocals. A pretty brilliant idea because, and don’t ask me how he did it, but I think his vocals lift the song from being ‘just a decent coverversion’ to something that just blows you away. Definitely one of my favourite songs on the album.
– This album was created on your own studio, Rockcity Headquarters, which you built yourself in your hometown. How was the whole process? Do you also work there with other bands?
In fact I’m the wrong person to ask since I was taking care of artwork and other stuff while my collegues built the studio, assisted by Dr.NO (Infamous analog guitar-effect wizard and guitarplayer extraordinaire in our new band Four Headed Dog). But all-in-all the building took about a year. And so far we’ve been busy recording our own stuff, but I’m sure Peter will do some (more) producing for other bands in there soon.
– All this about «Buckle Up And Shove It!» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Haha, that’s easy: Balls On Face!
– You have been around for over 15 years now. Have your influences changed or broaden with the years?
Changed no, broadened yes. I’d say our basic influences are all still there, but there’s defenitely been a few bands along the way that not only influenced us, but also opened our eyes to a lot of other great stuff. The Hellacopters would probably be the best example. They turned us on to tons of other great stuff like the MC5, Sonic’s Rendezvous Band, the Dictators, Radio Birdman, etc. etc.
– And what could you say have been both the best and worst moments with/for the band thus far?
I can’t think of any bad moments, honestly. So far everything has been pretty great, but I can definitely give you some highlights. Opening up for Motörhead for the first time, touring the US and Canada with Nashville Pussy, touring Australia with Buggirl, our various trips to Austin, Texas, touring Europe with Honky, the first SpeedFest (and all that followed), playing at La Reunion (French Island next to Madagascar); and I could go on and on.
– You are hailing from Holland, a country that doesn’t have a too known Rock scene but, how is it like over there?
Well, wé as a band have no complains since we’ve been doing pretty well for quite a long time now, but there’s not a lot of bands like us with the same (relative) level of succes. One of the reasons could be the fact that decent ‘rock’ music is being (pretty much) completely ignored on Dutch radio. It’s just one shit record after another, and it’s been like that for years and years now. Still there’s a lot of very good and interesting ‘new’ bands around, Death Alley (we recorded a split ep with them last year), Black-bone,Traumahelikopter, and Fake Orgasms are some good examples.
– And finally, what are your near-future plans?
Right now we’ve got a whole bunch of summerfestivals comin’ up all over Europe, and inbetween those we’re working on new material for the first Four Headed Dog release, which should come out somewhere early next year.
– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
First of all: sorry it took forever to finish these questions, and last but not least: I hope we’ll make it back to Spain real soon.
Cheers, Bartmann (PPSR bassist)