Mostly known as one of the three frontmen in a Boston trio named Dispatch, Pete Francis wrote many songs on the band's records, which have sold more than 100,000 copies in the past eight years. His compelling work to date has won a tremendous grassroots fan base.
And now, he is exploring a new musical soul — on his own.
After 18 months of recording, the 27-year-old recently finished work on his major label debut — the new album "Untold." The 11 songs, rooted mostly in classic guitar rock, present a cohesive musical vision, from the soulful melodies and rich vocals to the lilting waltz feel.
Pete visited The Saturday Early Show's Second Cup Café to sing some of his "untold" journey.
Pete started to write music when he was 16 and he co-founded Dispatch in the 1990s. The band's popularity grew rapidly, as they transitioned from a Northeast college phenomenon to a national attraction and toured widely throughout the U.S. Their music draws mostly on rap-metal, hard guitar rock and reggae.
Although he has spent most of his life in New England and New York City, Pete says he loves traveling and continuously incorporates new discoveries into his music.
"Burning the River" is a song inspired by his journey to Galway, Ireland, where he studied poetry and found out how local fishermen used light to attract fish. Pete said he wanted to catch some meaning by scooping up fish with his own net.
He says there are no rules of music writing. He begins with a few words, and then lets the improvised melodies complete the song. He explains the songs reveal themselves.
Described as young and passionate by critics, Francis absorbs inspiration from various sources: the music of Van Morrison, Pink Floyd and Miles Davis; the writing of Wallace Stevens, James Joyce and William Butler Yeats; and even the surrealist school of painters and filmmakers.
But what his fans love the most about him is his ability not only to make music that is entirely new, but also to build on what others have left behind.