Meet: The Original Outlaw Pete Briley As He Goes Solo

With the release of his second solo single ‘Right Place, Wrong Time’, Backseat Mafia thought it was time to find out a little more about Pete Briley.

Give us a potted history of yourself

I’ve been a musician my whole life, working with all kinds of artists. If anyone has heard my name before, it is probably from my work with The Outlaw Orchestra where I play banjo and pedal steel. Music fans may have heard of (Australian) Raphael & the Sexy Boys, (American) Damian Isacc Band or  (British) Lloyd McGuigan who I played lap steel, pedal steel, guitar and bass for on their recordings. 

I found that I was writing loads of songs that wouldn’t necessarily fit for the Outlaws so it felt like a good time to do some solo records as well.

Who inspired you to start making music

I grew up in a musical household – my dad has been in bands forever and I grew up on a healthy diet of music and rock with him opening for Jefferson Airplane, The Tremolos and Freddie and the Dreamers along others. He was the original inspiration for me. 

And the one or maybe two records that inspired you artistically

When I was 10 Pretty Fly for a White Guy by The Offspring was in the charts and I saved my pocket money to buy Americana. That album opened me up to a whole new world – I had no idea guitars, drums and bass could sound so big and energetic. I had no idea that music beyond pop existed until that album.

Then when I was 18 a friend lent me The Rolling Stones 40 licks compilation which set me on the path to rock and roll freedom. Their music has everything, amazing guitar work, incredible bass and awesome hooks. It was Ronnie Wood that was my first intro to pedal steel. I’m grateful I was lucky to see them before Charlie Watts passed away – they may be an obvious answer but they were are the master rock stars.

If you’re trying to explain who you sound like to someone that’s never heard you, what do you say

My music is fun. Stylistically its rooted in rock and Americana, and my solo records are my playground – a huge spectrum of influences, instruments and techniques go into making the tunes and for each recording I try to do something I’ve never done before – that might be using an instrument I’ve never used or a recording technique I’ve never tried or even a writing technique I’ve not used before. The final result is a diverse bunch of tunes with a lot to dig in to.

Tell us about your new single

Rhonda is my first solo single – there are another 3 singles and an album to follow.

The song is rooted in blues / Americana and tells the story of life on the road. With the Outlaws I have spent a lot of time touring and it’s the story of the characters and friends we have met along the way. The chorus line is “Rhonda, take me home” but the double meaning behind the words is that Rhonda is actually the name of the Gibson ES-335 I use with the Outlaws and so Rhonda is always the one that comes home. 

Where can we get hold of it

Rhonda is available on all the normal streaming platforms – Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer – the works!

The full album will be available physically later in the year.

Tell us how you write

For me, it tends to start with the music, and the music tells me what the song is going to be about. Then, once I have a general idea, I start recording and thinking about how the whole thing might sound, and what the new concept in the recording might be. It’s generally pretty organic but sometimes there are tunes that require lots of working and reworking before they are ready.

Tell us about your live show What would be your dream gig

Live is kind of uncharted territory for me as a solo artist. I’m still putting the band together and we have to fit in with the Outlaws’ schedule which is pretty busy so I think we’ll probably begin live shows in 2024 – so keep your eyes peeled for live dates!

What can we expect from you in the near future

Following Rhonda, I have singles coming in June, August and October and a full album in October too – it’s going to be a busy year!

Tell us your favourite records that are rocking your headphones/tour bus / stereo

I’ve already mentioned the Rolling Stones and the Offspring. Aside from them I’m a big fan of bands like Arcade Fire, AC/DC, Bon Iver, the National, the Thrills, Jimmy Eat World, Frank Turner, The Darkness & Kill It Kid so they’re always on the playlist.

I do a lot of marathons – and my running playlist is mostly AC/DC and my other guilty pleasure, Huey Lewis, which will get you through any session!

Find out more via Briley’s Website or Facebook

Check out Briley’s track Rhonda, below:

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  1. […] Meet: The Original Outlaw Pete Briley As He Goes Solo […]

  2. […] Read our interview with Briley here […]

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