After performing covers off and on for 40 years, Scott Peterson, also known as Scotty P., is at a crossroads—he wants to make a new sound for himself. Peterson has played in bars and restaurants all over Tucson and currently owns his own DJ company, ScottyPDJ. As he revamps his sound and style, Peterson pledges to show his audiences something they've never seen from him before. See him from 8 to 10 p.m., Friday, Aug. 3, at Dry River Company, and from 7 to 10 p.m., next Thursday, Aug. 9, at Frog and Firkin. For more information, visit his Facebook page.
How did you get started performing?
I've been playing guitar ever since I was 16. I've always had an interest in music, and I love to perform. ... I played in and out of college, and on and off for most of my life at clubs, bars and events—you name it.
What made you want to make this change?
There was a point in my life when I wasn't performing, and I was in the white-collar world. I had my own PR firm. I was a stockbroker, and I also worked in real estate. I had a heart attack in 2005, and it really opened my eyes. I picked up the guitar and started playing again. Now, I have the need to do something different, to make a difference and (find) a better sound. I've been revisiting songs I wrote way back when, and I'm giving them a more-contemporary sound, and I've got a whole bunch of new gear to use during my performances.
What is your biggest challenge?
I am a total pro at being a cover guy, but when it comes to the original stuff, I'm a babe in arms. I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing in this original-music realm. What's great is that with all of this new equipment, the music becomes so colorful and so interesting, and it enables me to sound like more than just a guy and a guitar. I'm doing what I should've done years and years ago, and I'm taking music seriously now. It's a weird challenge taking songs that you've written 25 years ago, and they still have that same sound, and trying to (make) those into more-contemporary songs. ... You can tweak and tweak the music to make it sound completely different. Building my own music is something I've never done, but I'm digging it.
How is your new music different?
Most of my new music is going to be my own songs. My repertoire is really big right now, so I've started going through stuff ... and I've whittled it down to just a couple of cover (songs) that I'm planning on re-manufacturing with my new stuff. My new music will definitely have more of a contemporary sound. I'm adding loop and layering effects along with harmony parts to make the music sound more complex than it ever was before.
What are you most looking forward to as a result of this change?
I'm really looking forward to performing at other clubs. I've never played a single note on Fourth Avenue, so I would love to play there. I'm looking forward to testing myself throughout this whole process and proving to myself that I can do it. Eventually, I would love to have a stack of CDs for sale, and hopefully some music on iTunes.
What do you hope your audiences get out of your new performances?
I think a lot of people might be surprised to hear my own songs. Not a lot of people know me as a singer/songwriter; they know me as a cover guy. ... There's a whole other kind of reward when people say, "I love your song."
What artist would you compare your music to?
I don't know if I could compare myself to anyone. I really admire John Lennon; I am a huge Beatles fan. Lennon wasn't just a songwriter; he was a philanthropist and a world-changer. I really like Springsteen; vocally, I could be compared to him. I have heard that a lot before, but I think I am fairly Beatles-influenced.
When do you hope to perform your new music?
It's all still in the process and in rehearsal right now. I hope to have a show within the next couple of weeks featuring my new style and my own songs. That performance will really show my audiences my new style and my changes. I will be posting updates about my upcoming shows on my Facebook page.