Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Sunday Conversation with Pile

How’d you come up with the name Pile?

The band started just as a solo thing and none of the songs were really congruent with each other so they just seemed like a pile of songs. It also lent itself to being referenced as a pile of shit, which tickled me.

When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.

What have been your musical epiphany moments?


It’s hard to say. I don’t remember any that changed the way I listened to music. I do remember when I was about fourteen and I listened to NOFX’s ‘So Long and Thanks For All The Shoes.’ I had never heard them, but people that I thought were cool wore their t-shirts. I bought that CD and put it in my boombox and with my face five inches away from the thing and listened to ‘It’s my job to keep punk rock elite’ and it just made me excited about music. I hadn’t really heard stuff that fast before. That’s the most vivid one that I can remember right now. Ah, and Bob Dylan. The first time I heard Freewheelin I lost my shit.

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

Any or all of those things could be the start of it. I like it not being all that methodical.

Who has influenced you the most?

I don’t know. That’s a tough thing to quantify. Probably my friends.

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

Shit changes all the time. Sometimes it’s frustrating to not have any inspiration, motivation or ideas, but if I force it, then it feels contrived. I’ve just been trying to relax these days.

Genre's are so misleading and such a way to pigeonhole bands. Without resorting to labels, how would you describe your music?

I’m pretty close to it so my opinions or my labels don’t really matter. When people ask, I usually just say ‘loud rock & roll’ these days, and then they laugh, and then they don’t ask anymore.

Where’d the title “Magic Isn’t Real” come from?

Becker came up with it. I forget what we were talking about, but it came up as a joke in conversation.

What is you musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel?

My current musical intention is to quit my job, and get better at whatever it may be I’m trying to communicate.
As far as what other people get out of it, I can’t control that, and I’ll do my best to never start to try. But I do hope they get something out of it.

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

I’ve actually only seen bits and pieces of Spinal Tap. And I’ve never seen the Blues Brothers. I’m not proud of it, it’s just something I have to accept about myself.

What makes a great song?

I’ve been trying to figure that shit out for years.

So you're recently signed to Exploding in Sound Record Label, how's that going for you?

Seems to be going pretty well. Dan's working really hard already which is encouraging. We (the band) haven’t done anything yet, though. We still have to record the album.

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

The Beach tape. I listened to it recently and I like more about it then I remembered. I recorded some very partially finished songs at a beach with a tape recorder a few years back.

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

Sean from Fat History Month, Sean from Ugh God, Ryan Davis from State Champion, Frank Hurricane from Hurricanes of Love. I can’t say why. That’s your job isn’t it?

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

Eh, any of em are fine. All of them avail themselves in different ways for certain moods.

You guys have played a ton of house shows around the country; do you prefer DIY venues to legit clubs/bars?

Sorry for being so aloof and circumlocuitous in each question but...it depends. Some clubs are sweet and they treat bands really well. But if I had to give an absolute answer I would say houses and galleries and whatever are more fun because there’s no overhead bullshit (most of the time).

Any upcoming touring plans?

We’re going out for two weeks on the east coast after Thanksgiving. Then we’re gonna hit the road for bout a week with the aforementioned Fat History Month out to Chicago and back. Hopefully Europe in the fall.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

Red wine. Drinking it now. And it’s 11AM. And I’m at work. Wearing a wig.

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

Ballston, Massivetwoshits is where we hail from and I don’t know about record stores. I use the internet or borrow my friends’ records. However, you could lose yourself in some shows if you check out bostoncccompass.com. They keep pretty good taps on what’s happening around town in terms of where good bands are playing.

Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?

Listen to Kool Keith

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