Imagine you never knew the actor and listen to his new album without prejudice.
Guy Pearce is a musician but up until now, many of us have only known Guy Pearce the actor. In an international movie career spanning more than 25 years, he has established himself with a broad range of character-driven film choices including Priscilla Queen of the Desert, LA Confidential, Memento, The Hurt Locker, The King’s Speech and Mildred Pearce to name a few.
Now, welcome to the stage, Guy Pearce the musician with a style that if I had to pick it, I would say was a cross between Leonard Cohen and David Bowie.
“I do think we like to type cast or put people into compartments,” Pearce says on the release of his first album Broken Bones. “It’s simpler to say ‘I’m this’ or ‘I’m that’ than it is actually accepting and understand the ever-changing complexities of personality or psychology.”
His music is lyrically powerful, there’s a vulnerability to the music, which reflects Pearce’s move to open himself to review of his music talent.
“I’ve been immersed in music for years but the leap is letting it out,” he explains. “I feel more and more pleased with the music I make as time progresses so I do care what people think, I just have more confidence in what I think now.
“Also, I’ve realised the importance of getting it out of my system, so on some level that’s even more valuable to me than the external reaction. I think we sometimes forget the value of artistic expression and why it exists in us – it needs to be heard or seen.”
Pearce wrote, produced, played and sang on this album giving him more control than in his other film medium.
“Well, I am a bit of a control freak so it was very liberating to have final say but it was also wonderful to see what other musicians brought. I couldn’t have made this record without everyone else who played or sang for me. I guess no matter what the creative world you enter, there’s a time and a place for both holding on and letting go,” Pearce says.
“With a film, I’m usually very controlling when we shoot, then have to let it go during the post production period, whereas on this record it was kind of the opposite. I didn’t know what the guys in NZ were going to play and I love what they did play.”
Pearce said he discussed each take with his fellow band members while recording.
“I would steer some things more than others but listening to them come up with ideas was incredibly exciting.
“Then when I got the songs home I did a lot of editing and restructuring of parts to get the songs to a place where I felt they said what I wanted them to say,” he says.
“The songs I recorded in Melbourne were a different process because I had everyone work individually rather than as a live band situation, so I was much more prescriptive from the outset.
“People still brought magic that I wouldn’t have thought of myself. Always nice to be surprised.”
Broken Bones is available now.