Exclusive: Peter Flaherty Talks About His Newly Released Album Like A Dog, Baby
Just him and his acoustic guitar, that’s all Peter Flaherty needs to charm the public. We had the privilege to sit down with the up-and-coming singer-songwriter, who recently shared a 14-track record titled Like A Dog, Baby. The Indie-Folk artist revealed his natural approach to creating music, the producers he would like to work with in the future, and how he takes inspiration from life.
First off, congratulations on the release of your new album Like a Dog, Baby. Let’s dig into the creative process and how the record was put together! How long have you been working on it and what would you like to achieve with it?
Hey, thanks a lot!
Well, I guess it’s been a year in the making. I believe I made three trips to the studio since last October. Each time I had a good whack of songs I wanted to record. The recording process was pretty simple, since it’s just me and my acoustic guitar. I think all of the songs, except the interlude, were live recordings. We’d record one day and then Steven and I would do some producing the next.
I wasn’t really thinking about achievements, that might be a problem.
I must admit, it was difficult choosing a favorite track. Each and every one tells a unique story that completes the entire narrative of the album! What was the inspiration behind it and how did you decide on the tracklist?
Wow, that’s a pretty cool thing to say to somebody like me. That’s also a tough question to answer! The inspiration comes from just living life I suppose and the delivery comes from writing naturally, not forcing it. I also spent a lot of time on the order of the tracks. I feel like a dinosaur spending time and focusing on things like that in the age of TikTok and social media, but someone’s gotta resist! I’ve always loved listening to albums from start to finish and I don’t see that ever changing… for me at least.
What was it like collaborating with Steven Clark? What other producers would you like to collaborate with?
Steven is the man. He’s just a kind, calm and collected, smart and talented motherfucker that I really enjoy spending time with in the studio. Honestly, our collaboration was a bit of a surprise, since he was initially going to be just my engineer for my first project. Aside from a few guitar riffs, like in Aww Yeah and Ocean Blue, Steven has been the mastermind in bringing these live tracks to another level. I’d have an idea and sort of put the ball in his court and chime in every once in a while. It’s been working pretty darn well.
If we’re daydreaming right now, my top three would have to be Sturgill Simpson, Jack Johnson, and Dan Auerback.
Are there any singer-songwriters you follow that give you that extra push to improve yourself? Name a few artists that you would like to work with in the future.
Dallas Green and Jack Johnson were two of the more influential singer-songwriters for me growing up. I have mad respect for those guys. As well as Van Morrison, the Avett Brothers, Jack White, Angus Stone, Foy Vance, Leon Bridges, Tyler Childers, Chris Stapelton, Ray Lemontange, and Sturgill of course. I’m a big fan of Paolo Nutini right now. Suzanne Santo as well. I’ve been following Josiah Leming for a while and he’s been putting out some unreal music lately. The guy is ripping out hits that are right up my alley. Lindsay Perry and I wrote a few songs a while back that I’d like to bring to the studio one day. Following and writing with her definitely gave me a push when I needed it.
How would you describe growing up between countries? How have your childhood experiences influenced your artistic identity?
Canada’s not much different than the states, but there are subtle cultural differences I guess that give a kid some perspective. Also, the long road trips were a good time to listen to your five favorite CDs ten or twenty times. I’m still trying to figure that one out, artistic identity.
What kind of difficulties do you face while creating music? Which part of the process is the easiest for you and which is the hardest?
I would say cadence and melody are the parts that come naturally to me. I’m self taught on the guitar, so I don’t know what chord I’m playing half the time. So I guess, the music part is more of a hurdle and something I want to expand on. But when I do find a good riff, the melody usually comes out real quick and then the words follow suit.
Do you remember the first time you held a guitar? What is it about music that attracts you?
Not really, but I do remember falling in love with a guitar. I was thirteen or fourteen and it was a handmade Norman acoustic that belonged to a family friend, Gwen, who was living with us at the time. I learned how to play on that thing and I was heartbroken when she took it back with her to Canada. Such a beautiful guitar. One of the more memorable years of my life.
Hard to put a finger on it. The attraction, I think, is a primal thing. Music is one of those things that we make or enjoy that makes life a little more worthwhile.
Listen to Like A Dog, Baby here: