Pete Murray (Part Two) on Life Outside of Music

This is Part Two of Pete’s interview. Part One is “Pete Murray on Rock Stardom.”

Readers, I haven’t bossed you around yet so perhaps you can indulge me this one time. You NEED to check out the homepage of Pete’s band Life on Planet 9. It’s what every filmmaker wishes they came up with. When you’re done absorbing that, click the Video tab and choose something to listen to while you read this interview.

If you’re not into clicking around or want more, here’s a video for you.

What charities do you support?

We give money to the Gentle Barn and Boot Campaign (they support veterans with PTSD.) And we make a lot of donations to AmVets. I met a lot of veterans on the road. That was really powerful to me. I met a lot of guys who listened to Lo-Pro while they were out ruPeteFeature2nning convoys around Iraq. I actually got presented with a flag. That was better to me than getting a platinum record. This guy listened to my music every day that he was in Iraq and it helped him through it. For me that was like, damn, that’s heavy.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

I don’t really feel guilty about it but I make my own beer. And I listen to electronic music. Some people think that’s lame but I don’t have a problem with that. I like a lot of electronic dance music and I’ll dance under the right conditions. If I see the right band live, I’ve been known to bust a move.

You mentioned in your another interview that your wife, Rina, sent you to opera lessons. How else has she impacted your career?

BackInTheDayCutShe got me into Ashtanga for the first time. Ever since having a yoga practice and doing pranayama my voice has gotten way stronger. I haven’t been doing pranayama recently because of my job, but I did it all last year. I’m not gonna say I don’t cheat, but I’ve gotten better.

Rina was doing yoga the whole time we lived in Santa Barbara and she always tried to get me to go. My excuse was, “I’m too stiff.” I was such an idiot. When we moved down here, I let her show me some stuff and I could barely make it through the Sun Salutes. But I did it again the next day, then went to Marne’s class, then to Tim’s class. And I’ve been practicing ever since. That was about six years ago. It doesn’t feel like I’m getting any better but I see old pictures and I’m like, “Oh, that’s getting a lot better!”

Tim Miller is my first teacher. There’s a lot of love in Tim’s room. I haven’t felt the need to check out other styles or teachers. Ashtanga has left me totally satisfied.TimPeteRinalLabeled

What activities do you and Rina do together? Sex is not the answer that I’m looking for. More of a family activity.

(laughs.) When you become vegan, you spend a lot of time preparing food. I’m veggie and Rina is vegan. I’m primarily vegan but I still eat some eggs and cheese now and then. We detoxed after the holidays a few years ago and then reintroduced things slowly. I just never got back to meat because I felt so much better. I never even bothered. And now I feel like I know too much to go back. We love animals. We know what’s involved in that whole industry and we don’t want anything to do with it. So for the last few years we’re a really good team. We cook a lot. I have a little garden.

Have you ever been injured during yoga?

I did get really badly injured. That’s been a drag. I popped my SI joint in Dwi Pada Sirsasana. It sucked. It took me nine months to recover. But it was good for me because I was way too into the physical part of yoga. It’s my fault; it was me not being in tune with my body. So I started doing pranayama because that’s all I could do for a while. I feel like that injury was good for me. I love the physical part of yoga and I know that I won’t be able to do that kind of stuff for that much longer. (I’m 46.) You grow a lot by getting injured. And now I like Eka Pada way better than Dwi Pada (laughs.)

PeteCatHow do you handle a really powerful adjustment?

I speak up. And I’m totally relaxed now. I used to tense up when I thought it was going too far, but now I don’t really panic. Relaxing into it is the key. I used to fight back. Now I can speak up and I trust everybody.

Do you have any religion?

No. I was raised Catholic but we align ourselves with Buddhism the most. We’re not really practicing. We’re just spiritual (laughs.) That’s the universal answer.


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