Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Pete: Vocals, rhythm guitar

Matt: Drummer

Jay: Bass guitar

Todd: Lead guitar

What inspired you to become a musician?

Pete: Music has always been there for me from an early age. I used to fall asleep listening to music and always wrote songs as a form of release. I’ve always been pretty quiet; I would never really talk about much of what was going on in my head. I found it easier to write things down and I’d always feel better or clearer about what was happening after writing it out. I picked up guitar when I was 16 and it was then, my songwriting started to get deeper. I found a more powerful escape, like certain notes would resonate with the emotion I was feeling, and then these words would just flow out of me and before I knew it, I’d written a song.

I kept hold of all my writings, and I never really mentioned much about them to many people, just a few friends. Until I met my partner, Emily. She noticed a wedge of papers on top of my wardrobe and being the inquisitive girl that she is, she asked what the pile was. She then sifted through what I think at the time was around 200 or so songs. She made me play some of them and from then on, I think Emily gave me the belief and confidence to show these songs to more people. So that’s what I’m doing now. I didn’t realise how much I needed to be a musician, but I can’t see myself doing anything else.

Matt: Led Zeppelin.

Jay: Music was always playing in my household. My parents especially my dad used to collect and play vinyl records when I was a kid. 

Todd: A Friend.

Whose initiative was it to form a band? How was the band formed?

Pete: After a while of trying to form a few bands, I’d had a break and just went back to writing on my own for a while. I first started a band with Todd, which never even really made it to the gigging stage for various reasons. Then sometime later, I was in a band with Matt which also fizzled out, and so I just wanted to regroup myself and lay low for a while.

I was looking at some ads for musos and I came across a producer in Maroochydore looking for a songwriter or band to work with. I went and met with him, and he wanted to work with me, but told me to find a band, and then we could get the ball rolling.

I put an advert out and Jay replied pretty much straight away. We met up, got on great together and I was amazed at his style and ability. After a while we went through a few auditions, but nothing was gelling that well. Then a friend of mine told me Matt had moved back to the Coast after a period of working away.  I immediately called him, and he said he was keen to jam but he had no drums. Less than a week later Matt arrived with a drum kit and had his first jam with Jay. We were on again. All we needed now was to find the right lead guitarist.

It had been a few weeks when I walked into Mooloolaba Music to get some strings and saw Todd, who I’d not seen for a long time. He lived almost 4 hours away at the time, so the chances of us meeting at this place and this time was uncanny. Todd came to jam with us all, and I still remember the smiles on all our faces knowing that this was the right combination. We’ve now got 30 original songs under our belt, still writing new ones and I never did call that producer back.

Matt: Pete had been trying to form the right band for many years. I had originally jammed with Pete 5 years ago, but the timing wasn’t right I guess, and everyone went their own ways. Around 2020 Pete contacted me saying he had a bass player, Jay. After my first jam with the two of them I was hooked. All we needed was a lead guitarist with flavour who would complement the sound. This turned out to be the talented Todd!  I enjoy this question a lot as I still find it hard to fathom how it’s all come about!

Todd: Pete’s.

What really kicked off the band?

Matt: For me it was initially making it into Caloundra Music Festival. Then we won a ‘Passport to Airlie’ and met some amazing people, wrote some new tunes, and had a great time. It was definitely a period where it felt like there was potential for other people to enjoy our music as much as we do. 

Todd: Jay Joined Pete.

What has been a pivotal moment in Owls of Neptune’s music career? A highlight or magic moment if you will…

Pete: There’s been quite a few to be honest. First one was when the owner of a local new venue found us playing at Glasshouse Mountains Tavern and asked us to play at the Norton Music Factory. It gave us a well needed boost and we really stepped up our game and started to get serious about what we were doing. Then we got on to play at Caloundra Music Festival and ended up winning a limelight award which again encouraged us to keep pushing. From there we supported ‘Cool Britannia’ at the Triffid where we played ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ to a sold-out crowd and they all sang it back to us and it was such a magic feeling we’ll never forget. We also won ‘Passport to Airlie’ comp and went to Airlie Beach Festival of Music and represented the Sunshine Coast. We got to network with so many cool people as well as play on the same stage as The Animals!

The current highlight is recording our album professionally and having quality tracks that have caught our true sound completely. We’ve done a lot of home recordings, but Angus Woodhead really knows his stuff and he captured our essence really well. We even got a RADF grant to help fund the recording which makes it even better.

Matt: For me it was when we developed ‘Stormy weather’, the song had been hanging around for a while, but we always knew there was something in it. Once we jammed it with Todd and Jay it came about literally within a half hour, structure wise anyway. Obviously, that mind bending lead break is a work of art.

Todd: Airlie Beach & Soldier On.

What is the band’s songwriting process?

Pete: Normally I write a song on keys or acoustic guitar, or an old song will jump out and I present it to the band, and they’ll get a feel for it and do their thing. There is no set rule for anyone. I think if I said to everybody that this song needs to have this type of lead, bass or beat, it would take out any magic for the others and it would become quite robotic. I think our process is why we love what we do so much and the reason why we have such a unique sound. Matt, Jay, and Todd are so fantastic at what they do. They live and breathe their own instrument so no one is going to do what they can do any better than them. It also makes every song we do an ‘Owls of Neptune’ song and not just a song I wrote that we all play to. The boys will always come up with ideas that I could never have thought of, and it then makes the song have a wider appeal.

I don’t think any song has turned out the way I expected it would, it’s always exceeded what I thought possible. The only exception so far is ‘Leave It Alone’ on our new album. It came from Todd playing a riff while I was in another room, and then Jay and Matt joined in, and it sounded epic. So, when I came back into the room they didn’t stop. Matt shouted at me to sing something, so I made something up on the spot and it was way out of my comfort zone, but it turned out to be one of our best songs to date. We’re always developing new ways to song-write.

Matt: Pete has a swag of songs and still writes extremely frequently. We usually hear them and then we play them. If anyone has ideas we try it, if we don’t, it won’t progress if we don’t all love the song .

For those who do not know, what genres of music do you play? 

Pete: That’s a good question. I would say we’re Rock music but a lot of our songs border on other genres. A local ABC radio presenter summed it up best when she said we have our own brand of Rock.

Matt: All of them!

Why have you chosen ‘Soldier On’ for the name of your new album?

Pete: I think ‘Soldier On’ seemed to fit best for who we are and where we’re at in life. With the way things are in the music industry at the moment, and the cost of living getting silly, I think all one can do is “soldier on” and do what you love and make the best of it. It sometimes feels to us that life is getting harder instead of easier, and a lot of people feel the same. I guess you can throw in the towel or soldier on with hope in your heart.

Matt: Our first single released was ‘Soldier on’. It’s a great statement in itself for anybody that feels the pressures we all do. It’s personal to us and our journey so far.

Fellow musicians are always curious, what’s your favourite gear to use?

Pete: I love my Marshall and Todd loves his Vox. Jay makes guitar pedals and he’s got some sexy pedals on his bass! Matt loves Jack Daniels and Coke.

Matt: I really don’t mind. I’ve always loved my Mapex drums, simply for the hardware but any drums with more than 3 piece:)

Jay: I am using mostly DIY pedals. I have 2 Yamaha 5 string basses. 

Todd: Vox.

What gigs are you looking forward to playing?

Pete: Well we’re over half way through our tour and our next show is the one we are looking forward to most, and that is our only home show at Solbar on March 16. We’ve got Favourite Kid (Aspey Jones trio) in support and The Remains of Mr Thompson. These guys are local artists also and obviously to be playing to our home crowd is very exciting. Then in April we’re heading back to NSW to play 2 shows in Sydney and Wollongong. It’s great to have the adventure and share our music with other communities.

Matt: Solbar! It’ll be good to play a show at home after so many away.

Todd: Festivals.

How can fans best support your music?

Pete: It goes without saying that coming to the live shows is the best way to support any band. Obviously buying merch helps too, but we understand sometimes that’s not possible. So even a following us on socials, signing up to our mailing list, or sharing our website and page to friends and family really helps out. You could even phone the radio and ask for more unsigned artists to get airplay. It doesn’t always have to cost money to help out musicians, you can literally just shout about a band you love, and it’ll have a knock-on effect. Love spreads.

Matt: You can download our latest album for free if you sign up to our mailing list on the website, follow us on whatever social platforms you use, and most of all if we’re playing somewhere near you come along and have a dance, there’s something in there for everyone.

Todd: Come along to live gigs.