INTERVIEW WITH PIGEONS PLAYING PING PONG
By BissList Staff Writer, Arya Jha
I had the pleasure of catching up with Greg, frontman of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. As they embark on their west coast tour, and celebrate their album release party at the Independent on Friday, February 17th, more and more west coast music fans have joined to road to discover PPPP. Ms. BISS decided to help introduce this amazing band to the bay area, giving me an opportunity to pick Greg’s brain and poke fun at his amazing hair.
BissList: PPPP has a show in San Francisco at the Independent in San Francisco on February 17! The show also coincides with the same date as the LP release of a new Live Album, “The Great Outdoors Jam”. Have you ever played the bay area before?
Greg: No this is our first time in San Francisco, and in fact our first time in California.
BL: What are you favorite experiences or stories from San Francisco?
G: I went to San Francisco when I was 13 on a trip, and I remember starbucks, hills and the trolley, so I have a lot of catching up to do!
BL: You’ve received a lot of West Coast love despite the fact that yall haven’t extensively toured out here, especially in comparison to the constant touring you do on the east coast. What do you think has attributed to your fan base and fame here? Festival circuits and couch tour perhaps?
G: I don't know! You know, we play alot, and we’ve been playing festivals for the past five years or so. I really think Spotify helps with stuff like that. I just met someone yesterday who was from Switzerland who liked our band and came out to America and planned part of his trip to see us. It’s changing the game and how you can reach people, and how far it can go, allowing our music to get out there. It’s wild.
BL: What are your goals and hopes for this west coast tour? San Francisco is a hub of musical history for jam bands like yourself.
G: I just wanna get it. I wanna catch the vibe. Everyone loves the west coast, I have so many friends that have moved out to LA, San Diego or San Francisco. I wanna see what everyone is chattering about, get a good view in, and have a great time on stage. And maybe some sushi.
BL: Is the history of this city and state inspiring for you, it being the home of Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead?
G: We’re stoked about it. We’re all dead fans, we grew up with that type of music. Whenever you play somewhere historical you wanna leave a mark, leave an impression, plant your flag in and give it one hell of a ride. We always give it our all, I think San Francisco is gonna get a crushing effort.
BL: Why did you choose the Great Outdoors Jam as the show you want to be released? What makes is special?
G: It’s a compilation of two nights at a festival in Florida called the Great Outdoors Jam. We were feeling really relaxed and Jammin, we know the people that throw the festival so it had a really relaxed vibe. For some reason, it had a different feel, it felt like we were jammin’ in our practice room. It was also over 100 degrees, so we were also delirious from the heat so maybe that helped a little. Sometimes with the elements of nature, you focus differently, the rest of your body does something else. We were so focused on other things, rather than on actively listening to each other. It was a unique weekend for us. With live albums one key thing is production value. The production quality was amazing, and it came out awesome. Our fans are going to love it.
BL: Tell me more about the PPPP Kickstarter campaign which ended this week?
Yea we just completed our kickstarter campain, and the flock helped us surpass our goals which helped not only fund our new live album, but our upcoming studio album “Pizzaz” which we’ve recorded almost all of, and will be coming out this fall!
BL: Can you explain to our readers what “The Flock” means?
G: What the flock is all about!!? The Flock is our amazing, supportive, fun, funky, dance crazy, rabid, wild fan base! Its our family, the flock is ever growing and ever impressing us with their wild antics in the crowd. We run on energy, and the flock brings the head every night and take that energy and explode it with ours. They are an amazing awesome SEXY flock! The flock is going coast to coast and were STOKED ABOUT IT!
BL: You extensively toured with Dopapod last year- what was your favorite Dopapong collaborative moment?
G: 2016 was an amazing year, and I had an amazing time touring with Dopapod, not only did we get to share the stage together, but their work ethic behind the scenes, had us practicing more, writing more. We gave them the push to be more animated on stage! Almost all of us have sat in with each other on that tour, it was very incenstual! We would walk into the venue, look at the stage, and see where there is room to sit in that night. Nights the stage was small, we would have the guitarist of Dopapod sit in, nights Dopapod played last, we would have Eli play with us. It was so so fun.
BL: Finally, who has the best hair of the band?
G: WOW, you’re gonna ask me? Oh man, you have to ask the Flock that. I plead the 5th. You’re gonna start some shit with the band!! I plead the 5th!! You’re gonna cause a riff in the band!!! I PLEAD THE 5th!
BL: We appreciate the funk, the live tronica, and def. The jamming here in the bay area. I look forward to having our bay area music fans experience PPPP! We’re spreading the word, and we’re so excited to have you in San Francisco!
G: THANK YOU ROCK ON!