ONE HELL OF A RIDE
Exhilaration: the giddy nervous excitement you feel when you finally have left the old comfortable shoe of your relationship and you really are truly free. Free to stay out all night and not check in, free to rent sappy movies, free to go out with anyone you want and ironically, free to start the whole cycle all over again. This is but one nuanced musical sentiment on the debut solo album One Ride by Boston rock legend Peter Moore, a brilliant song and wordsmith. One Ride is a collection of songs joined together by interstitials (and yes, I had to look it up: a space; especially a small or narrow one, between things or parts.) that beautifully tell the universal story of a single ride on the cycle of love, beginning to end, to rebirth.
"I thought it would be nice to have this sort of low-fi interstitial that, without sounding pompous, is kind of like a Greek chorus in an old Greek drama where the chorus keeps coming out and saying what is going on in the story; like detached observers dispensing advice, while the actual songs are the real characters… I like how before I launched into that explanation I said ‘without sounding pompous it's like a Greek chorus.' I mean it's totally pompous to say that. Pompous is the new black though.
"The interstitial is a thread and so I likened it to this idea of one ride on the cycle of love, that's the relationship, is like one ride on the cycle. It's very basic but everything is an analogy between that ride and a relationship. The first song is about the guy developing a crush and the second song is when the crush is full-fledged. So it's kind of funny the whole album is about one relationship and you get through the second song and the guy still hasn't asked her out on a date yet. To me that was kind of symbolic to the weight of the excitement of a relationship how a lot of it happens before it technically starts.
"The first couple of songs sound super happy because that's the feeling you have when you have a crush on somebody, you know? And it should sound like that because the lyrics are about that and that's the way the character is emotionally feeling. I think that often times I write music, and I think that there is a lot of emotion in them, but I play them for people and they think it sounds like robot music. So this will enable them to get that because this is such a universal theme, everybody's been in love and everybody's had a crush and most people have been in a relationship that has lasted a long time that has dissolved, so by setting the context to be the same for the whole record then at least it gives people a frame of reference that hopefully they will hear. That maybe a change in genre from song to song is not just for the hell of it but it's to underscore the emotion of the character. But really, I should just be thrilled if somebody listens to it for more than four seconds. It's asking a lot in this day and age. Just because you've spent years and years working on something doesn't mean that anybody's going to spend more than a few seconds taking it in. That's the risk.
"One of the other reasons that I like this is, well, everybody's been in love and everybody's had the ups and downs of a love relationship so this is a way that people could see that, okay, maybe I jump around and do different genres but it's not just for the hell of it it's cause the song is demanding I do it, you know? And it's more evident I think if you understand the emotional context of what I'm doing which you can really do a lot easier with something simple like a love story. If you play this record for somebody cold they probably are not going to pick up on this story line thing unless they are listening intently which people tend not to do so I am trying to make a big deal out of the fact that there is this story and that's why it's strung together because I think it might enhance someone's appreciation of the music.
"It's also my way of trying to make the idea of an album, like the ones I used to listen to growing up where I would listen to side one and then flip it over and listen to side two; it's almost like a paean to that, a tribute to that. The idea of a record as an album of songs is on its way out so maybe this is my last gasp, like a way I still like making records that are one cohesive thought."
When Peter Moore plays virtually every instrument and note on the album, except for like, the flugelhorn, it is not because he is a control freak, or simply because he can. He explains, "Playing all of the instruments on the record was really just a matter of convenience. Because I have a studio in my basement and when I am on the road I have a little portable thing that I can bring with me so it's much easier for me to do everything on my own because I only have a few hours here a few hours there. I think if you are in a band, you block out three weeks or five or six weeks at a time, whatever you do, but when you are doing everything on your own you can work in the nooks and crannies of your life."
Peter Moore began writing songs when he was just four years old, one of those gifted children who would promptly proceed to teach himself how to play any instrument within reach. A talented actor, his emotive abilities are readily apparent when you see him perform his music. His first band, the successful group Think Tree, played in the bygone era (1987 to 1994) when a popular local act could actually sell out the Paradise. Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails was so blown away when he heard Think Tree over the sound system in, of all places, a Burger King that he hand-selected them to open for him on series of dates. But in Peter's words Think Tree was only "kind of industrial but way more silly and just weird." His next and current endeavor, the cutting edge and sonically relevant band Count Zero has been going strong since the mid-'90s. A couple of their songs actually appear in the coveted super hit video game Guitar Hero which has garnered Count Zero adoring fans from around the globe. Peter also produces music for other bands and has the enviable day job of being the lead singer and keyboard player for the immensely popular arena tour supporting the studio album of the Blue Man Group.
"Going out with Blue Man is a job that I do that allows me to do other stuff. I've got to do both; so as much as it kind of delays me from doing things, it also enables me to. It's like any other day job that a musician has, but this one just isn't as soul-sucking. And while it's not as much of a time drain I still don't seem to get records done any quicker. The more time you have the more time you will just take up making it.
"I have to work on a Count Zero record next, I have to because basically, if I was not an artist but a manager of me or if I had a manager that was really a hard ass, a year ago he would have been like, Count Zero has a couple of songs on Guitar Hero but they are not on any record so why don't you make a frikken record that has those songs on it, you idiot. Put your stupid solo record aside and work on this because obviously you're losing fans.
Peter began writing some of the songs that appear on One Ride as long as twenty-three years ago, before he had any idea what love and relationships were. He focused the last year and a half on finally laying down the arrangements that have whirled in his head countless times. Through various historical musical styles, instruments, samples, sounds, singing and poetry Peter perfectly encapsulates the relationship cycle from the universality of the intoxicating crush and fanciful daydream to mustering up the courage to act. The delightful frenzy of early love, to making it work, to the gradual cooling and the lies and the sleepless nights; wondering why we stay in something we know will not last-all of which ultimately leads to the jubilation of new beginnings.
"When you get out of a relationship and you've got something new it's like, Oh! This is what makes life worth living. Makes it invigorating and makes it totally new."
Peter Moore fans have had to be patient a long time to hear this album, the most personal inner workings of his mind, but this perfectly wonderful universal tale of truth and love is more than worth the wait. Do it justice while doing yourself a favor: plunk down, warm up the old hi-fi, affix your headphones, pop in this record and be amazed. Enjoy the ride.