Transformation & Transcendence: How Riley Pearce's New EP Came To Form

Photo: Claire Borrello

Photo: Claire Borrello

Interviewed by Jasmine Uitermark-Thaung

Riley Pearce is a local love of ours so naturally we jumped on the opportunity to interview him about his latest EP Outside the Lines, a record that speaks volumes about transformation.

Jasmine: With a steady build-up of tunes played over the years, your latest EP Outside the Lines is the newest offering to fans. Described as a more ‘mature and honest brand of song writing’ than your debut EP We Are Fools, what’s been the biggest difference in the style of tracks your new EP gifts listeners?

Riley: I don’t know whether there’s been a massive shift in style but there’s definitely been an added complexity to the tunes, a bigger focus on the production side of things and a real effort to put out something that I’m proud of rather than just releasing music so I had something to give to people. I do think there’s a range of different styles throughout the EP. Some of the tracks are very much light and chilled out whereas others are a lot darker and really build an atmosphere around them.

How has your view of song writing changed since your trip to Montana?

I always try to make sure my songs are telling a story and always want to make sure the lyrics and music really mean something. I think the trip to Montana made me realise that creativity can’t be forced but it’s about being open to those moments when you can get inspired and trying to do that as often as you can to get the song ideas flowing.

Now the work on the Brave music clip (a track that features in your new EP) was amazing and extremely emotive. How did you come up with the concept for the video? Was it a storyline that came straight from the single? 

Yes it definitely has ties with the song’s theme. I wrote Brave when I was preparing to leave for Montana and had to deal with leaving behind someone I cared about a lot even though I knew that the trip was something I had to do. That notion of inevitable separation was the main crossover for the film clip that Christian Niddrie (Director) & I wanted to portray.

Do you feel like the Outside the Lines EP speaks a story of transformation and the life lessons of growing up due to its ‘coming of age’ nature?

It does for me…whether others can relate to it is something I’ll find out soon I guess. There were so many things I learnt about life & myself on this trip. It was the longest time I’d ever spent away from family and friends and that process makes you see a lot of things in perspective and helps you to realise what you want in your life. For me it was a chance to really understand what I wanted from my music and where I want it to take me.

The National tour you’ve got planned over the next few months should be killer, what’s one thing you’re most looking forward to from the trips?

Mostly just a chance to play the songs to new crowds or people who have liked my music but never get a chance to see me play…It also means I can use my stage banter jokes that I’ve probably overused here in Perth.

What else is on the cards for Riley Pearce?

Hopefully I get to head back over East for some shows later on in the year as well as visit some more regional towns. I’ve also started writing some more new tunes so there might be some studio time down the track too.

Outside the Lines comes out today, stream it and read a little more about the tracks here.