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Interview: Pete Spiker of Quiet Child

Pete Spiker is the founding member of Australian progressive rock band Quiet Child. His band released their newest album “The Ever Present Shadow” recently. I had the chance to sit down with him and discuss his band, influences, and future plans.

How long have you played as Quiet Child? Are there any permanent members in the band besides you?

Quiet Child has been around for ten or so years, and while it’s a solo job at the moment, previous members were Brent Carraill, Paul Backman, Ashley Spain, Jason Mavrikis and Josh Smith.

Who were some of your greatest musical influences growing up?

The Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, The Cure and Queen were probably the first bands I heard as a young’un. There was also a lot of classical music in the house as I grew up.

What is your favorite band or album? Why?

“Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” by The Smashing Pumpkins is without question my favorite album. It has a huge range of styles and moods, I love Billy’s voice on Mellon Collie the most… he snarls and sighs and screams… The guitar tones are just beautiful, the lyrics are poetic and especially good to teenage ears. It goes for two hours and I don’t dislike a song on it. Through the Eyes Of Ruby is my favourite song of all time.

When you aren’t playing music, what do you do in your free time?

Well, I do love my computer games… RPG’s especially. Bethesda and Bioware make my favorite kind of games, though I do love a good shooter too! I also recently joined a cricket club, and that’s been awesome. Got out for a duck on the weekend though.

Have you performed any live shows? What was your favorite performance?

Yeah, we played for 9-ish years around Australia. The high point was definitely supporting Opeth for 4 shows in 2011. Got to hang out with them and played to thousands of people. Great response, too. After the last show in Perth we took all of the food and alcohol Opeth left behind and had a quality feast in the carpark. It was so hot inside the building that you’d drip sweat just from lying down, yet Opeth played on a heavily lit stage for an hour and a half.

How would you describe your own music?

Some of this, some of that… Progressive Rock, generally speaking.

It seems Quiet Child has a quick turnaround for new material. How is the writing process? Where do you draw inspiration from when writing music?

The quick turnaround comes from no live shows and no other people to organize times with. I’ve also been a bit backlogged with new music due to a lot of stuff recorded when I first got Pro Tools and had lots of new tools to work with. I guess inspiration comes from everything, sorry to give such an ambiguous answer. It’s definitely helped by having new sounds to explore, a new plug in or instrument. As for the writing process, it varies so much… sometimes I’ll fire up Pro Tools with a specific melody or riff ready, sometimes I’ll just plod around until something appears.

Describe the themes and concept behind “The Ever Present Shadow.”

Like a lot of people I have troubles with anxiety. The Ever Present Shadow is unlike other QC albums in that half of it comes from a record I’d written a couple of years earlier that never saw a release. Those songs were shaped into 3 of the songs on the new record, and were all very heavy and frantic sounding, which suited the topic of anxiety. I didn’t want it to be a record about hopelessness though, or even just about how difficult anxiety is to live with, I wanted to approach it as positively as possible, which is why it starts with The First Step. It starts the album off from the point of view of a person in control of their anxiety looking back to a time when it was out of control.

Is there any information you’d like to share about Quiet Child, whether an upcoming tour, future album news, band updates, etc.?

There’s another album coming out around April next year, called “Listen, Love, The Thunder Calls.” It’s the polar opposite of The Ever Present Shadow. Short, gentle, lots of piano and clean guitar and with an electronica influence. As I’ve spent a lot of time writing long songs, I though I’d challenge myself and write an album of immediate songs, written to be enjoyed and understood on the first listen through. Not to say they’re pop songs, only two tracks have a chorus, but definitely short and sweet.

Thanks to Pete for taking a moment of his time to talk with me!

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