Justin Petertil of Love Raid/OFFICE turns out well-crafted, melodic pop songs that catch you with hooks, and then keep you hooked, with penetrating lyrical confessions and perversities. Love Raid takes big risks, marrying effervescent digitalia to driving, organic rock beats.
Justin performs at the Songwriter Showcase, along with Dave Davison (Maps & Atlases), Lindsey Charles (Cell Phones), and Nick Ammerman (Square Quotes) at Elastic Arts on April 24, 2015, 9pm.
Who were some of your earliest musical influences?
Folk songs and oldies (late 50's early 60's) pop compilations. Listening to 80's pop/rap on the lawn. I switched to jazz piano lessons, from classical, in about 7th grade and I think the idea of writing my own musical ideas came pretty quickly after that. So, old American 'standard' songs. Around the same time I learned to play guitar, lots of The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix.
How has being in a band with other talented songwriters changed your own songs?
Watching how other people create and shape their songs, then take the risk of performing them in public, has given me confidence to take those leaps as well. I've consciously taken some melody, lyric and production ideas, and probably many more have seeped in. The connection with talented songwriters, being able to share and workshop ideas, has been crucial in my evolution as a writer. It's exciting knowing others who are always moving forward, also searching for their next great song.
What role has Chicago played in your music?
I think I've been able to develop as a songwriter relatively free of constraints. There are lots of opportunities to play and it's easy to rehearse.
Do you have a process for starting a new song or combating writer's block?
I'll start playing a guitar or piano usually, messing around on chord changes or melodies. Play for awhile and let my mind wander, then start coming up with some new kernel of idea. Learning other songs is a good way to get new ideas. I don't really have a problem with starting song ideas, but getting them to be somewhat unique and exciting is difficult. Sometimes it's when I'm hammering at one idea that might not be really working that something much better pops up.
What music would you like to be played at your funeral?
Maybe everyone could just start playing/singing/whatever at the same time without discussing it beforehand.