We had the good fortune of connecting with Christian Petke and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christian, what role has risk played in your life or career?
When opportunity presents itself you have to decide if you want to embrace it. The reality is that you will never know if there is a soft landing on the other end. But you will never get anywhere without taking that initial risk. It gets easier once you have done it a couple of times. When I met John Fryer, a producer that I admired for decades, I had a choice. Get off the couch and do something exciting or stick to a simpler life. Needless to say, it was an easy choice. We are only given so much time on this planet and I like to use every ounce of it. Nothing is worse than looking back and regretting not making that scary choice. We all have opportunities, but most people choose to go the safe route. My advice – consider all angles but be brave and bold!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
In a way art had chosen me, it has been a stable force throughout my life. Graphic design, music, photography, visual art, and performance have been a constant. I have a curious mind and this line of work [and I am not really sure if work is really the proper term here – because in the end, it is all about passion] has enabled me to live a rich and fulfilled life. .
I was also able to build a vehicle for other artists to express themselves. My record company COP International [and various sub-labels] has released around 450 records and I have the privilege to work and represent some incredibly creative people. Is it easy? Hell no. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Being able to live a life on your own terms while creating something exceptional is a blessing.
My proudest achievement so far is what I call COP 2.0 and the signing of Stabbing Westward. I have adored this band for decades and being able to work with them is amazing. My vision was to bring the dream team back together and we are just doing that. Multiplatinum Producer John Fryer [DM, NIN, 4AD] who produced their first 2 albums is a back at the helm. We got 3 times Grammy award winner Tom Baker to master the music and David Seidman an accomplished Illustrator is creating the artwork. Being able to work with a team of this caliber has been absolutely exhilarating and motivates me every day!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My City is the Bay Area. I came here as a tourist 30 years ago and I am still here. Spend a couple of days in the city [SF and do the regular sights – golden gate, fisherman wharf, Lombard street, the mission, Chinatown] make sure to spend a day up north – Stinson Beach, Point Reyes, and tamales bay. Hang out in Berkeley and Oakland [ “secret” spots Mountain view cemetery, Alameda Beach, take a Saturday tour of the Paramount Theatre]. Food – trust yelp. Our food scene is incredibly vibrant and ever-changing. look for the coolest taco trucks, check out fish and bird izakaya, go to the Swans market. Don’t be afraid to sit on the curb with some amazing street food in hand. Catch some great shows! Most importantly make sure you are dressed well – it can swing from nice and sunny to arctic blasts in a minute – be prepared. Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge is no fun if you freeze your tail off!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We all stand on the shoulders of giants. My love and respect go out to all artists throughout the ages. Art in any form is an incredibly important contribution to the advancement of our society as a whole. Artists lay the finger on open wounds, soothe and comfort us and make us question the status quo. We tend to measure everything in dollar amounts, but art and its contribution to an open and vibrant society is priceless.
my image Bazil Zerinsky Stabbing Westward Kim Hansen