Popshifter:: What kinds of influences inspired you to get into music to begin with? Were there any singers, songwriters, or bands that ultimately inspired you?
Peter Godwin: At certain times people feel obliged to define themselves by what they claim they like and listen to in music. And especially, if they are musicians themselves, and they have to like what they think is cool. Finally, we seem to be entering an age where the true eclectic nature of our musical taste can walk naked in public.
Because of things like YouTube and streaming radio stations playlisted by music fans, a 16-year-old has access to the world history of music, pretty much. . . and hallelujah to that! And you’ll see in that 16-year-old’s playlist, songs from other generations and nations.
It was always exactly like that for me. I loved and still love so many diverse kinds of music, each with a different beauty and atmosphere.
I should name names, but unless the list is pages long, I’ll be leaving things out, because I loved music—so many kinds back then—and so I discovered music, even without YouTube!
And I think you can hear some of these influences in those Metro albums, coming in and out of focus. . . and in later solo work. . . yes, in Nuevo, too. Maybe the ghost of Jim Morrison somewhere in “Skin”. . . ?
So here goes, in no particular order, as they say:
The Beatles, Jacques Brel, Leonard Cohen, Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Serge Gainsbourg, Kraftwerk, Frank Sinatra, Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Velvet Underground, Brecht and Weill, Bach, Edith Piaf, Leadbelly, Segovia, Hank Williams, Beethoven, Tamla Motown, Astrud Gilberto, Elvis Presley, Fauré, The Beach Boys, Bizet, Louis Armstrong, The Kinks, Pink Floyd, Robert Johnson, The Who, John Sebastian, Astor Piazzolla, Scott Walker. . .
I could go on (and on), but you will find elements from all of those somewhere in my early albums. Sometimes it might be more about the lyrics, because I’ve always loved lyrics and written poetry in parallel with music. I love a great lyric, even if it’s exquisitely simple, like “God Only Knows” (The Beach Boys) or “Here, There and Everywhere” (The Beatles). Or a more complex one like “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” (Dylan) or “Ne Me Quittes Pas” (Brel). Sometimes it’s more the melody, or the sound, or the overall mood or atmosphere that the artist creates. . .
Click here to read more from Peter Godwin on. . .
Setting The Scene
Cult Following and Italo-Disco
Benitez, Bowie, and Electronic Music
French and Spanish Inspirations
Producing and Writing
The English and European Aesthetic
Working with Steve Winwood
Off The Map
Working with Others
Forays Into Acting
More On Acting