This week, Owlkids intern Sarah got a chance to talk to Pete Moss, a super-talented singer, songwriter, and outdoor educator. She asked him about his new song “Chickadee” from his next album Birds Rock, coming out in Fall 2021. Check out the interview below and then watch his brand-new music video!
Chickadee: What made you want to write a song about a chickadee?
Pete: Chickadees are like a “spark” bird. They’re so outgoing, so curious, so eccentric, and so adorable. It’s one of the first birds that people build a relationship with. Whether it eats out of their hand, or they just hear it singing “chick-a-dee-dee-dee.”
Chickadee: What are you hoping listeners take away from your song?
Pete: I hope it’s a “spark” song to help people have some interest in chickadees. Maybe they’ll want to wander into the forest or their local park and try to feed them. I tried to put in some facts I enjoy about chickadees in the song. One of them was that the number of “dees” in their call signifies the severity of the threat. If they go “chick-a-dee-dee-dee,” maybe it’s just a person walking by. But if they go “chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee,” maybe it’s a hawk or something.
Chickadee: What gave you the idea to combine your passion for music and your passion for the environment?
Pete: I was playing in an indie rock band, and I [am] an outdoor educator. I’m getting more in love with nature and more into the idea of combining those things. It was a joining of worlds that kind of felt too separate for no good reason. I can use the songs I create in my work as an outdoor educator, and I can use the knowledge that I gain as an outdoor educator to inform the song.
Chickadee: What do you love about teaching kids about the environment?
Pete: I think as an outdoor educator, you can really build relationships between children and things that can be easy to overlook, whether it’s a plant, a chipmunk, or a chickadee. The more you can play games and tell stories and introduce it as cool facts for them to pass on, the more they feel invested in it and the more they will want to care for it as they grow.
Chickadee: Do you have any advice for readers who want to become songwriters or musicians?
Pete: Anything can be a song, and anything can be an instrument. Some of the greatest joys that I’ve found through music was just making the silliest songs, where I’m not worried about how good it sounds or how good I’m playing. If you can find the right friends to make music with, even just by hitting a spoon on a radiator and making other funny sounds together, it really can be so joyful.
Chickadee: Are there going to be any bird calls on your new album?
Pete: There are so many bird calls on the album. There’s one song that’s going to teach a bunch of bird calls. I’m pulling a bunch of samples of bird songs and there’s going to be solos based off bird calls. That was very important because birds are musicians.
Thanks for chatting with Chickadee Magazine about “Chickadee”, Pete!
Now that you know more about Pete and his song “Chickadee,” you can check out the YouTube video right here. Enjoy!