peaer (Peter) | The Family Interviews

Photo by, Marcus Maddox

Photo by, Marcus Maddox

Meet Peter of peaer

Allow me to introduce peaer, a band who’s name I struggle to say and keep spelling as “Pear.” My ineptitude aside, I think these fellas are swell. Pears are good too, though. 

Largely the brainchild of one Mr. Peter Katz, this slowcore band delivers complex and intelligent pieces on their latest release, A Healthy Earth. The songs are raw, intentional, and touch on global anxieties — it’s an ambitious piece and well worth a deep listening session. 

Below we chat to Peter about his favorite animals, favorite clothes, and favorite foods (kinda)…though no lies his grocery list is the purest of pure. Nutrition on point, as the kids say. 

Grab some granola, maybe a swig of Kombucha, recycle, turn off your lights, and get a glimpse of Peter’s world.


NAPOLEON: A Mad-Lib by peaer

Although he was Emperor of France, Napoleon Bonaparte was actually a Corsican, born on a small BALL in the Mediterranean Sea. When he was just ten years old, Napoleon was sent to a PUZZLE in France, where his SMELLY stature earned him the nickname of "The RED Corporal." At 24, he was made a SLIMEY General and married Josephine, the daughter of a well-known CHAIR. Soon after that, he defeated the Italians at BELLA and in 1804 was proclaimed Emperor of all the SCISSORS. But he SCUFFED a mistake and attacked Russia. He reached Moscow, but the DUMPLINGS had burned all their FAIRIES and his men got frozen CHUNKS. In 1914, he was FLAKED and sent to Elba. But a year later, he came back to France and for 100 days was again the SURGEON. However, he was defeated at Waterloo and imprisoned on the island of St. Helena, a WEATHERED place which resembled CLEVELAND.


Would You Rather…

never have to pay for meals again, or never have to pay for travel expenses (transportation/hotels)? What would you do?

Thats a tough one…. I think I would feel more free if I could live without paying for travel expenses, there are so many different food options at varying prices that I don’t mind, and the money I would save from train tickets/gas/others would probably go towards better meals.


Some Questions with Peaer

What are your top five favorite animals?

No particular order: dogs, cats, maned wolf, manatee, lynx


What is the creative process like working on your 2019 album "A Healthy Earth”?

Some songs I had written since 2016 or even 2015, and had been saving for this album. We slowly started working on the songs and incorporating them into the set over time so we could iron out the kinks and really connect to each song as a band. Whereas the very first record (the eyes sink into the skull) was just me, and then the self titled LP was sort of a snapshot of the band at the time, A Healthy Earth was definitely the band writing the songs together, or fleshing out the basic ideas that I had written. Much more collaborative and engaged.

Do you have a single favorite article of clothing? What makes it the favorite?

I have this mangy black and patterned cardigan sweater that I’ve had for probably 8 or so years now, its very cozy and works well as a layer among other clothes as well as a light layer on its own. Its one of my favorites because its very comfortable and versatile and also very sentimental. I also like how it looks.

If you could bottle the smell of one of your live performances what would it smell like?

Probably a mixture of hand soap, gin & tonic, weed.


What is on your grocery list?

Usually yogurt and granola, eggs, blueberries, rice, broccoli and a potato. Plus a snack (chips + hummus, etc), maybe a sweet treat like ice cream, some spiked seltzer’s….

Do you see a correlation between tempo and emotion? Has this influenced the music you are making?

This is a great question! I honestly do see a correlation between tempo and emotions, mostly as it relates to energy. Quicker tempos usually relate to higher energy or vibrations, and dynamics/volume can fully emulate that feeling; i.e. fast but quiet means anxiety to me, slow and loud can be happiness or catharsis. There are so many emotive tools in music that aren’t reliant on lyrics or harmony.


What was the most fun you had during a live performance?

Hard to say because they are usually very fun and a lot of the time, I just sort of zone out until the set is over. But more often than not if the onstage sound is good and we can all really connect, the set is more fun. I’ve had a lot of fun during the jammy section of “For The Rest of Your Life” because its a section we just kind of get to freak out and do whatever we want for a while. We played that song at a house in Brooklyn not too long ago and that part was especially fun to do then. Oddly enough, I only really remember times that the set wasn’t particularly fun.

What does your family think of your music?

I think they are generally supportive of the project, and they’re glad that I don’t play any of that screamy dark stuff I used to play in high school. Overall I don’t think they listen to Peaer all that often, but I don’t think they don’t particularly like the music.

Having been putting out music under peaer for eight years has there been any significant shifts in the band's dynamic?

Absolutely! It used to be just me! Now Thom, Jeremy and I all work together as an active unit. Beforehand it was more of rotating crew, depending on where I was living and who was available. That’s probably the most significant difference in dynamic over the years (has it really been eight years? I guess if you count the very very first PEAER album I made as a freshman in college…)


Who did your album artwork? Was there an actual miniature landscape built?

The album artwork and all associated images were taken by myself and Thom of a real miniature train set that Thom and his father built years ago. The train set still resides in Thom’s parent’s basement and it still works!

Were you ever grounded as a kid?

I was grounded a couple of times for kid stuff, I stole something from the Book Fair, lied to my parents and got caught smoking.

If you could rename New York City what would you call it?

The Big Hot Dog


Any final comments? (This is your electronic soapbox for one last answer.)

Thanks to everyone who’s checked out the band!

Sean Maldjian