The Pistola Press

A Philadelphia music blog

Posts Tagged ‘Interview

Interview with Peter Silberman from the Antlers

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A few weeks ago Peter Silberman from The Antlers was in Philly for Weathervane’s Fundraiser Event where he performed along side his childhood friend Nick Principe aka Port St Willow. It was all caught on film so if you weren’t there, you’ll be able to check that out soon. Silberman and his bandmates just released their sophomore(well, technically their fourth) album Burst Apart last week and they’re about to hit the road in support. They play the beautiful Sanctuary of the First Unitarian Church this Wednesday(05/20) and tickets are still available. Don’t miss out on this show.

While he was in town, I was able to sit down with Peter for a quick conversation about dining on tour, Burst Apart, Soul Town and more. Check out our conversation below.

First question is.. why is Soul Train so fucking awesome? (He tweeted a few days before about Soul Town.. I’m an idiot.)

Soul train.. It’s actually SoulTown that we mentioned.

Ah, Soul Town! I’m sorry.

Yeah, don’t get me wrong. Soul Train was awesome and I absolutely watched it on Saturday mornings when I was a kid. Soul Town is a Sirius radio station that plays all soul music. Every single song they play just happens to be really amazing. We discovered this on tour with Au Revoir Simone a couple years ago. I think we rented a mini van, back when we were touring in a mini van. It had a satellite radio built in and we just put that on and listened to it the whole tour. It’s incredible. I was Twittering about it cause we were in Atlanta, we rented a mini-van and it had a satellite radio thing in there. It keeps happening every once and while, we just get to listen to soul town and we are all really happy.

Read the rest of the interview with Peter Silberman from the Antlers below…


Written by Colin Kerrigan

May 16, 2011 at 11:14 am

Questlove Interview

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Questlove(of The Roots) held a rehearsal at The Roots’ studio for his recent Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts event with Keren Ann and others a few days before it happened. He opened it up to the press to come in and check out the classical pieces they were working on. I only had a few minutes to catch up with Questlove about The Roots Picnic, a homeless vegetarian man, and more. Despite the limited amount of time we had, he was super nice and gave elaborate, thought-out answers to all my questions.The interview took place in the room where he keeps all his records, which is where the first question stems from…

Holy shit, is this your record collection?

Ehh, like 70% of it. (There were literally thousands upon thousands of records on ceiling high shelves that covered every wall of the small room.)

Damn, this is crazy. There’s so many here.  Anyway, so I saw a tweet from you the other night that you spent $100 at Wawa. How the hell do you spend that much at Wawa?

(laughs) It’s easy to spend $100 bucks! I needed toilet paper so I got that. I got two big giant orange juices. I had a whole bunch of cereal that I didn’t get to eat so I got milk. There were two homeless women outside and I never give them money so I just got them four hoagies. Then I started getting hungry so I was like, “Let me get a hoagie for myself” so I got five hoagies. Then I thought, “Well, maybe Steve wants one.” My engineer lives with me so I got six hoagies(laughs). Then I figured everyone needed potato chips so I got a whole bunch of potato chips(laughs). Then I was like, “Well, damn they’re gonna want to wash it down so let me get them all something to drink.” So between six hoagies, all this lemonade, milk and a few snacks, I totally forgot to get…

Read the rest of the interview with Questlove below

Written by Colin Kerrigan

April 27, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Flash interview with Bradford Cox from Deerhunter

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On Friday afternoon, I saw a bunch of tweets from Motormouthmedia about how Deerhunter‘s lead singer Bradford Cox was in their office, wearing a snuggie and laying out resumes for their new office assistant. They also tweeted that the first 5 music writers/bloggers to call their office could do a quick ‘flash’ interview with Bradford. So I gave it a try.

Turned out, I was caller number 3 and was told Bradford would call me back in a few minutes. I had no time to prepare and thought of a million questions I should have asked after I spoke to him, but I guess that’s how a ‘flash’ interview works. Anyway, below is the shortest interview featured on The Pistola Press. Enjoy!

How’s life as an intern at Motormouthmedia?

It’s alright, you know. Right now I can’t find the password to the computer so she might fire me.

You guys played “Conan” last night. How was that?

It was awkward.

Why was it awkward?

Well, have you ever done it before?

I have not.

It’s just awkward. A lot of weird… sorta awkward, you know?

Sure. Did you get to meet the Kardashians?

No, I’ve never heard of the Kardashians and I’m not sure if I’d want to meet them. I mean nothing against them but I’m just not that interested.

I understand. A friend of mine wants to know when was the first time you heard “Freak Train” by Kurt Vile(Bradford covered the song on Atlas Sound: Bedroom Databank Volume 1) and where were you?

Oh, I don’t remember something that specific. Probably in my bedroom or something on Youtube. I don’t know.

What were your thoughts when received that email from Sony? (Read more about Sony removing his Atlas Sound demos HERE)

Well, I didn’t get an email from Sony. I got an email saying my files were taken down by Sony. They just took them down, they didn’t send me a warning or anything. Complete misunderstanding.

Did they ever give you a legitimate reason?

They apologized to my manager. I don’t really care. I didn’t really take it that seriously. I just put the files right back up. I didn’t mean to make such a big drama. It’s not really that important. I think it’s important to realize that the record labels have the right to delete whatever they want without even knowing what it is. That’s the only reason I made it public. I don’t think that’s appropriate.

Are there any new Bedroom Sessions we should look out for?

Uhh, probably.

So who did the cover art for Halcyon Digest?

That photo was taken by my friend George.. (phone cuts out)



That photo was taken by your friend George, did you say?

Yeah, my friend George.

Cool. If you had to pick one record from 2010, what would be your record of the year?

Lower Dens Twin-Hand Movement. It’s great.

What are your plans for 2011?

Oh, you know, just keep it up. Keep working. Keep trying to play shows for new people and stuff.

Written by Colin Kerrigan

December 5, 2010 at 12:22 pm

N.E.R.D Interview #2

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A few weeks ago, my friend and I interviewed Pharrell Williams and Shae Hayle from N.E.R.D. We sat down with them in their tour bus after they opened for Gorillaz at the Susquehanna Center. The guys have a new record, Nothing, coming November 2nd so we asked them about new music, their production process and more. Check the interview and portrait shots below.

Colin: Alright, so you guys have a new record coming, Nothing. I know the album release date.. like Shay when I spoke to you a while ago you were saying June 15th. It keeps getting pushed back, what’s going on there?

Pharrell: It’s really coming this time. It’s that a) we’re perfectionists, and b) we happen to just be really good at pushing album dates back. Not on purpose, but just trying to get it right.

Colin: So when you said June 15, did you think the album was done, or did you guys just keep toying and adding stuff?

Shay: Well, we felt like the album was done, and we were super content with it. But we have like a roundtable every Tuesday with all the politics that be, or the powers that be I should say. And they didn’t feel like it was done, so we had to go make some tweaks, add some additions, subtract some shit, and you know, perfect it.

You can read the rest of the interview HERE

Side note: I interviewed Shae last April before they played at Temple University. That interview can be found HERE

Written by Colin Kerrigan

October 22, 2010 at 8:44 am

Maps & Atlases interview

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Maps & Atlases broke on to the music scene last fall when they toured with Ra Ra Riot. They signed to Barsuk Records(Death Cab For Cutie, Ra Ra Riot, more) shortly after that. The Chicago band spent most of the winter recording their debut record, Perch Patchwork, that will be released on June 29th.. They’re currently on tour with Frightened Rabbit, which makes a stop at the First Unitarian Church tonight. Unfortunately, the show has been sold out for over a month now. Erin Elders phoned in last week to give us a little insight about the band and the new record. Interview below.

The Pistola: From what I understand, you guys met in school. What school did you go to?

Erin Elders: We all went to Columbia College in Chicago.

The Pistola: What the musical environment like there?

EE: It’s kind of weird. When we were all going to school, none of us studied music. Chris(Hainey)and I studied film, Dave (Davison) was going to school for cultural studies and Shiraz (Dada) was going for recording engineering. None of us were really playing music right when we started.

You know, Chicago always had a really great music community and it was definitely exciting when we first started playing shows to be a part of that.

The Pistola: I guess you guys were just friends then started playing music together…

EE: Well, Chris and I grew up together and went to the same college. After a couple semesters, we decided to start playing music together. Then we found Dave and Shiraz through mutual friends at school. I had a class with Dave and we started talking about music and just started playing together. We made a decision to kind of start playing music together but we didn’t really know what we were doing. So it was definitely interesting cause we just stumbled upon ideas.

The Pistola: Last October, I saw you play with Ra Ra Riot at the Trocadero and I noticed you had a very intricate style of guitar and drums. What’s your musical background like?

EE: We all took lessons or studied music a little bit. Everyone, at one point or another, studied a little bit of jazz and a little bit of everything. I guess we don’t really have a definitive background in anything. When we first started playing music, we were into a lot of 70’s music and prog stuff, at least guitar wise. Since then we have tried to shape that into enjoyable pop songs. So that’s where that kind of sound came from.

The Pistola: When I did see you guys, you weren’t on Barsuk Records at the time. How did come to be? Getting signed by them?

EE: It happened from that tour. We met the Ra Ra Riot guys and did that full tour. We met the Barsuk people through them. Some of them came out to see us play a show in Chicago and we just started talking to them. They were always a label we respected and we’re really excited to be working with them.

The Pistola: When you recorded your new record that comes out in June, since you were signed to a label, was the recording process any different from when you recorded your previous EPs and self-released stuff?

EE: The process was definitely very different. With the EPs, we worked on the songs and played them live. After having played them for a little bit, we recorded them as they were.

With this record, we went in to the studio with a mix. Some of the songs were complete ideas and others were just sketches. Also, working with Jason Cupp, who produced the record, made us explore lots of different sounds. There’s strings and horns; instrumentation we never really tried before. It was really exciting to expand the songs that way.

The Pistola: When you wrote the songs, did you write them with the strings in mind? Or did they come in the studio?

EE: We had all the song ideas we wanted record for the record and then we went through each song and brainstormed what would sound really cool for different parts. It was as if we dissected the songs part by part. We were like, “This part would sound really cool with the clarinet” and “It would be cool to have a cello mirror the vocals” and stuff like that.  We’ve never done that before and it wasn’t until we got into the studio with the horn and string players that those ideas came to be.

The Pistola: On this tour, will you be playing new material or older stuff?

EE: We’re going to try and play some new stuff. When we put together the sets for this tour, it was very exciting. We only have like 45 minutes to play so lets try and make the ultimate set. All the upbeat songs from the old stuff and the new record. It’s going to be a good mix of both. Oldies and goodies.

The Pistola: Since record store day just passed, did partake in purchasing anything?

EE: We actually played a show on record store day. We’re on this really awesome compilation that was for this music store Landlocked in Bloomington, Indiana. They put out a really cool 12 inch with us, Bonnie Prince Billy, and a bunch of great bands. So we didn’t get to do too much since we were busy but it was exciting to be able to put something out and be a part of record store day.

The Pistola: If you had to name three essential records, what would you say?

EE: Oh man, I don’t know. That’s a tough one.

The Pistola: Maybe three recent records. I don’t want to make you think too hard.

EE: We listen to a lot class rock in the van, but it’s kind of all over the place. As a band, we really like that new Yeasayer record(Odd Blood). Also, we’ve been listening to our friend’s record, Phantogram. They just played Chicago last night. I can’t think of a third(laughs).

The Pistola: I understand. Whenever I get put on the spot, I can never think of anything.  So once you get done touring with Frightened Rabbit, what are your plans? If you have any..

EE: We do the Frightened Rabbit tour and our record comes out June 29th. Then we’ll be doing our headlining/record release tour pretty much all summer, July and August. It’s going to be a lot touring for us this year.

Written by Colin Kerrigan

April 30, 2010 at 11:30 am

Record Store Day interview with Kurt Vile

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Before I got to talk to Meg Baird, I saw Kurt Vile wandering around AKA Records, sifting through vinyl, singing along to The Kinks tunes playing overhead.  Honestly, I was a bit hesitant to approach the guy who put out an amazing record in Childish Prodigy. Great records sometimes create bigger ideas of artists, but luckily for The Pistola, he was actually very receptive and kind about the interview request.

Following a very loud set with the Violators at a jam-packed Beautiful World Syndicate in South Philadelphia, Kurt made sure he said his ‘goodbyes’ and finished off his Yuengling, and we got to talking.

Words by Chris Zakorchemny and photo by Tiffany Yoon

The Pistola: Did you ever own any bad records, or like bands that haven’t exactly stood the test of time?

Kurt Vile: Well, if you’re talking about vinyl; when I was a kid, I did have some vinyl. I used my mom’s record player when I started realizing bands put out seven-inches – like Beck or Pavement. But before then I was listening to Pennywise. That’s kind of bad. I was listening to that new-school punk that’s not new-school any more. I don’t really know what you mean by bad…

The Pistola: Well, stuff you wouldn’t readily play now, or might be hesitant to play in front of certain people.

KV: I definitely wouldn’t put on Pennywise CDs. I would probably put on Rancid for old time’s sake. I probably wouldn’t put on NOFX. Or, I would, for memories. I think the worst are bad alternative bands, like this band The Candyskins that were real bad. I remember listening to them in junior high.

The Pistola: How did you hear about these bands?

KV: Listening to the radio in Lansdowne – WDRE. They’re actually not that bad. That’s where I first heard about Beck and Pavement, but they played the Goo Goo Dolls and everything, too. There were just certain bad alternative bands I had CDs by from a local CD store – CR CDs in Lansdowne.

The Pistola: When did you first feel like you had a connection to a record store?

KV: Once I got into vinyl I went into the city all the time. The Philadelphia Record Exchange was probably the first place I went. I used to go there and still go there. I went to Noise Pollution and all those South Street stores. I went to (Sound of Market) Jazsound.

The Pistola: Did you meet people who were able to recommend things you felt you should have already been listening to?

KV: Not really, until I moved up to Boston, when everyone was going to college and I wasn’t. I was 20 or 21. Everyone was listening to John Fahey and Brian Eno and all that cooler stuff like Richard Hell and the Voidoids. The punk stuff didn’t hit me ‘til later, and maybe at that time I wouldn’t admit I listened to this or that, but now I really don’t care.

The Pistola: Yeah, it’s all relevant to how you listen to things.

KV: I was into the Spin Doctors. I don’t like them anymore. One of my first concerts was Counting Crows. I remember the day I went to that concert. I got Beck’s “Loser” single and then I went to that concert. I still like the Counting Crows, though. Thankfully, they have weirder stuff. I don’t know if it’s weird but some find it passé. I’m real nostalgic about Beck, still.

The Pistola: I saw you at AKA and you performed here earlier, so you’ve been supporting RSD throughout the day. How do you feel about using exclusives and live performances to promote records for one day?

KV: This is the first time I’ve played Record Store Day and the second year I even knew about Record Store Day. I’m glad to do it. It was nice to come to Beautiful World Syndicate, because I come here and I never met (owner) Jon (Yates) before. And I’m friendly with places like AKA, the Record Exchange and Tequila Sunrise – it’s nice to know the people at these record stores. And also, you go in, and you know they’re people who love music.

The Pistola: Its great having that relationship with the people who work at record stores, not just so you can go to get what you want, but they eventually learn what you want, too.

KV: Record stores are funny too, like, once you get at the stage I’m at where I’ve been going forever and you’re friendly with the people who work there…once you’re trying to make it, you realize you have to go to record stores all the time to see who’s coming out. You make friends with the record guys, and once you’re in there, even if you can’t find what you want, you still have to leave with a few records.

The Pistola: Yeah! I can’t go to a record store and not buy something.

KV: Yeah, because you want to give them business. I definitely sympathize, even now that I have records out. I’m not trying to be like ‘Help out the record industry so I can make a living! It’s not fair! Fuck Napster!’ because even with downloads and how sales aren’t what they used to be, it helps.

The Pistola: Can you recommend one album you think everyone should have?

KV: There’s so many, but I’ll say right now one of my favorite records is Nick Drake’s Bryter Layter. I love Joni Mitchell, too. I’m still obsessed with her. But I have her stuff and now I’m finding Bryter Layter.

Written by The Pistola Press

April 19, 2010 at 12:37 pm

N.E.R.D Interview

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N.E.R.D play Temple University’s Spring Fling concert tonight with Girl Talk. Tickets for the show are still available. They’re 10 dollars for students and 20 dollars for non-students. Shae Haley of N.E.R.D phoned in last week to talk about their new album, Grizzly Bear, and more. Interview below.

The Pistola : So where are you right now?

Shay Haley: In LA. Finishing up the album.

The Pistola: Nice. How’s that going? How’s the west coast?

SH: The weather is beautiful and the album is pretty insane. It’s just great, everything’s perfect.

The Pistola: How long have you guys been working on the record?

SH: We’ve been working on this album for, I would say, about a year and half now. We tried out some punk pop sounds. We went in a punk pop direction. We explored adding members to the band, just trying to walk down every avenue to find a new direction and different sounds.

The Pistola: How’d adding new members and such go?

SH: It was fun. It was a learning process. Musically, we explored a lot of new musical directions. We tried a lot of things that necessarily didn’t fit the band, but… (his phone loses service. I get a call back a minute later). My fault Colin, my phone service went out.

So we added a member to the band; we toured with him for a good six months and for whatever reason it didn’t work out. Now we went back to the original setting, which is Chad(Hugo), Pharrell(Williams) and myself. We all did our research and found dope directions that we can all gel together to continue the N.E.R.D move.

The Pistola: You three go way back. How long have you known eachother for?

SH: It’s been over 15 years.

The Pistola: Are they (Hugo and Pharrell) kind of like having brothers in a sense? Do you guys ever fight over something?

SH: Yeah, we definitely bump heads sometimes. It’s healthy for the relationship. When you’re dealing with three different strong personalities, a lot of times we’re pretty much on the same wavelength in terms of creativity is concerned. Then there’s times where somebody will just come out with an idea that just doesn’t make sense for the movement. We have healthy debates and figure out a better plan that makes sense for the group. We’re trying that extreme idea and see how it works.

The Pistola: Do you guys write together or do you individually bring ideas to the table?

SH: It varies. Chad might come with an idea or P or myself. You know, it all varies, but we all work collectively together. P and Chad are definitely the maestros musically behind it but I’m forever going through the crates and the archives, always searching for new sounds and directions that we can go in. So we can be ahead of the curve.  N.E.R.D doesn’t necessarily have to fit with what’s going on; we like to push the envelope and do new things.

The Pistola: So at your upcoming shows, are you going to play any new material or stick to your old stuff?

SH: I think it’s time for the N.E.R.D fans and the other who are coming to see N.E.R.D who aren’t necessarily familiar with the N.E.R.D sound or the previous albums. They’ll get a taste of what this new album is going to be about. It’s pretty great. We’re known for making intense music. So we’re going to continue that.

The Pistola: Are Pharrell and Hugo taking on producer roles again for the new record?

SH: Yeah, Chad and Pharrell primarily produced this whole record. We worked with some outside producers. Those particular songs, we haven’t decided yet who make the album. That’s still up for discussion. We haven’t put together the sequence of the album just yet  Until we mix and master and press, it’s still yet to be determined what’s going to make album and what’s not.

The Pistola: When do you think it’s going to drop?

SH: Right now, it’s tentatively dropping on June 15th.

The Pistola: Very cool. That’s not too far away.

SH: Nope, that’s right around the corner.

The Pistola: After the album drops, are you guys going to hit the road for a while?

SH: Absolutely, of course, we’re on the road now. We’ve been doing college shows on the weekends and sporadically throughout the week. We’re gonna go hard though in June. Start hitting the festivals and getting our promo tour on for the album release. You know, all that good shit. All those beautiful things with the promoting process.

The Pistola: So I got a few short questions for you. Just say whatever comes to your mind first… Imagine you had to curate your own festival, what three artists or bands would you have play?

SH: Grizzly Bear, Audio Bullys and Kanye(West).

The Pistola: Grizzly Bear? The guys who live in Brooklyn?

SH:Yeah. To be honest, I’m not sure where they’re from. I was introduced to them by Youtube, I’m a Youtube fanatic when it comes to finding dope indie bands who haven’t necessarily got the proper attention that they deserve.

The Pistola: Yeah, they put out a pretty sweet record(Veckatimest) last year.

SH: Yeah, I haven’t done my homework yet but they make some insane music.

The Pistola: So have you had any crazy fan encounters?

SH: No, not really. I try to lay pretty low key.

The Pistola: I guess it’s probably better that way…

SH: Well, to each his own. Some people get in it for the attention and love then there’s those who just get in it for the love(laughs).

The Pistola: When’s the last time you performed?

SH: We performed last Saturday at Duke University right before the national championship game.

The Pistola: That was probably pretty crazy.

SH: Oh, yeah that was pretty fucking insane.

The Pistola: What’s the last new artist or band that just blew you away when you listened to them?

SH: This band I discovered called Mansions On The Moon. You gotta check them out, they’re pretty dope.

The Pistola: You’ve been in the music business for quite a while. If you had to name one thing, what’s the coolest thing that music has brought you?

SH: I guess just being in a position to take care of my family and a lot of my friends.

Written by Colin Kerrigan

April 13, 2010 at 8:18 am