July 19, 2024

Duke Special interview

“Music is a fast track to the soul. It moves people. It challenges. It inspires. It is the language of the heart.”

Jude Penman quizzes Peter Wilson of Duke Special. 

Do you feel that your childhood has had an influence on your music? 
Without a doubt. I suspect our childhoods always stay under our skin. 

You quite often play in unusual venues such as old music halls / cinemas / churches; what / where is the most bizarre venue that you have played in? 
Probably the ferry between mainland Scotland and Stornaway. 

In your opinion what is the worst gig you have ever played? 
A youth club in Swindon many years ago. The payment was the meagre takings from the tuck shop.

How many pianos do you own? Do you have a favourite? 
3 uprights and several keyboards. My favourites are my tall Yamaha upright acoustic and a really old Wurlitzer piano I recently got from Chicago. 

Do you think that in years to come that your pianos will have stories to tell? 
Yes, I already have an arrangement with them not to sell their stories. 

If you had to best describe yourself in 3 words, which 3 words would you choose? Loved, broken, hope. 

How do you feel your music has changed and evolved throughout your years as an artist? 
I am continually evolving and developing. Each new influence and discovery is folded into myself and gradually comes to the surface. 

Did you always dream of being a musician? 
I watched a programme about oil rigs when I was in primary school and for a brief time wanted to work on one but apart from that it’s always been music.

Do you think that your children will follow you in your musical tradition? Have they inherited your love and passion of music?
Time will tell. They have different passions which are important to encourage. My youngest is really into Michael Jackson, Elvis and the Beatles which is fun. 

Do you find it easy to write new songs and where do you get your inspiration from? 
Writing songs is hard work and every time I sit down to write I wonder if anything will emerge but it always does. Inspiration comes from everywhere. A good book, picture or film tends to inspire. 

The recent pledge music campaign has been a brilliant success and has shown just how much your fans love and value your talents. Did you have any fears/apprehensions when you first started the pledge campaign? 
I always want people to get value for money so I guess I was concerned about that – making sure that the various experiences and items were worth it for people to buy. 

If you were stuck on a desert island and allowed only 3 records / pieces of music to take with you what would your choices be? 
69 Love songs by Magnetic Fields
Mozart’s Mass in D Minor
Grace of My Heart soundtrack by Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach. 

If you weren’t a musician and artist what other career would you choose? 
Oil rigger. 

To me life without music is colourless and lifeless. Why do you think that people identify with music so much? 
Music is a fast track to the soul. It moves people. It challenges. It inspires. It is the language of the heart. 

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