Pete Murray: 'I don't think I will get married again'

From Sunday Life

Pete Murray, 41
Singer/songwriter
Single

I would say I have learnt to think of the other person, as it takes two to make a relationship work. I was born in Chinchilla, a small country town in Queensland, and I lived there until I was 16. Then my family moved to Brisbane and I went to boarding school for year 11 and 12 at Nudgee College.

I remember my mum, Jan, being pretty firm when we were growing up. That was good for me to learn from a young age. I felt I was brought up the right way; I remember her tickling my back or rubbing my head to put me to sleep as a child. We'd be coming home from a dance or a party and I remember Mum holding me. She was very loving and caring and firm at the same time.

My sister, Nicole, or Coley as I used to call her because I couldn't pronounce her name as a kid, are still very close. We catch up quite a bit. She has three kids aged 14, 12 and 10. They are at that age where her kids love playing with my kids [Charlie, 7, and Pedro, 4] and it's important to keep the families together.

My first kiss happened when I was about 12. I was reminded about it at a party recently that I went to with a couple of my female friends from school. We were laughing about the old days playing catch and kiss. One of them told me I was her first kiss. I replied, "Well, you were mine as well." She'd gone for the big pash, and I'd said to her, "I had no idea you knew how to kiss." I'd just been going for the kiss. She'd said it was the first one she'd done, and it made me think, "Wow, this is great." She must have learnt from watching movies!

I was probably a bit shy around girls when I was at school. I was always very focused on sport. When I turned 15 that all started to change. Before then it was all about hanging with the boys, playing footy and athletics. Girls became cool when I was 16.

All throughout my school life I was active in sport. I was running for the national titles but didn't end up pursuing it. It was a lot of hard work, but I do remember Mum telling me when I was a kid and doing really well at sport that it was important I didn't brag about my achievements. I didn't feel the need to do that anyway, but Mum was always on the cautious side. I tend to agree with her, because if you have to brag about what you're doing, chances are you're not that good at it.

My dad died from a heart attack at 47. Unfortunately, I felt I had just started to get to know my dad when he died. I had just completed boarding school and came back home and we started to hang out a bit more. When I was younger, Dad was always working; he had his own business. I remember on my 18th birthday we went out and had a scotch together; it was my first with him. It was then I felt him become a mate.

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Two months later, he died. I was angry at that time, because I was just starting to get to know him. The upside is that I make sure I am really close with my boys. We do things together - I cuddle and kiss them and show them there's no need to be shy about doing that. It's important to be emotional and be able to express yourself.

I didn't have many girlfriends in my 20s, just a couple of serious relationships. In my first relationship, I realise now I was young and a bit selfish. I was playing footy and hanging out with my mates. I was going out with a nice girl, but I didn't give her the time she deserved and maybe I took her for granted. It ended on a good note, and we caught up again overseas and remained mates. I would say I have learnt to think of the other person, as it takes two to make a relationship work.

I don't like talking about my personal life [Murray got married to Amanda Coutts in Byron Bay, NSW, in 2006, but they separated in 2009. They have two children together]. But I don't think I will get married again. It all depends. I don't see the point in it. It's a legal contract, but if you are with someone and committed to making it work, then maybe it's the way to go. So many marriages break up these days and it leaves you wondering a bit. You have to really know what you're doing and what you're getting into. If I were to do it again, I would step very cautiously into it.

I live in Byron Bay and have done for the past six years. My kids and I see each other very regularly and we make sure they get lots of time with both Mum and Dad. That is important to me. I don't really like to discuss what my songs are about, but with this new album, Blue Sky Blue, someone described it as a breakup album, but a happy one. It's not a case of, "I hate your guts." It's a very civil split. Everything you do in life you are learning about yourself, and this album is another reflection of that.

Pete Murray's latest album, Blue Sky Blue, is out now.