Friday, January 29, 2010

Interview with The Pack AD

I interviewed The Pack AD in issue 3. Email me @ if you want me to send you a physical copy!

1. According to your Myspace page, you’re in Austin, TX, right now, playing a
bunch of dates at South by Southwest. How many times are you playing? You’ve
played CMJ before. What, artistically, do you hope to gain out
of playing these types of festivals since some of the gigs can potentially suck? Are you going to plan on trying to get into a show and see anybody?

Myspace never tells a lie. Just like a small child, it always tells the truth. So, here we are in Austin, playing 4 shows at SXSW in 3 days. It's a madhouse, a madhouse. This year, however, we have a plan. Er, well a loose concept. We may actually get to see some other bands this time around. Looking to see Mother Mother (Canada) - good chance. Monotonix (Israel) - less of a chance, but we played a show with them in Denton, TX so really we just want to say yo. Dead Prez - completely certain we won't make it in.
Playing CMJ last year was even more of a whirlwind as we came in and did 2 shows in one day and then had to immediately drive out, which sucks, because we never get enough time in New York. The one benefit to SXSW is that we get to stay in one spot for a few days. Oh, and get free cigarettes and other such swag. As for expectations, we try not to have any and instead just rock our faces off.

2. Last year saw the release of two albums on Mint Records by the Pack AD, Tintype and Funeral Mixtape, which were both fucking great in my book. What was the story with Tintype? According to your website's bio you met at a gas station and decided to cut a record. What bands specifically did you both discover you shared a love for? Whose idea was it to start up a band?

Yeah, we recorded and released our first album, Tintype, on our own. A few months later we signed with Mint Records and they re-released it. And then, because we'd recorded Funeral Mixtape before that release, FMT got released a mere 8 months later. It makes us seem incredibly prolific, err, but it was just timing.

We both found that we had a bond in our mutual admiration of dolphins and astronauts...I'm fairly certain that's where most of our inspiration, at least in the initial stages came from. After that, it was the usual suspects like System of a Down, The Pixies, The Sonics oh and of course Son House and The Groundhogs. Actually, just the other day we didn't agree on a musical choice in the van, which is statistically improbable. We usually agree on everything.

We were in a different band with a couple of our friends and then that band ended and we decided to keep going. Mainly because of the aforementioned agreeing about everything.

3. Who writes what in the band? Do you find it more challenging to make music with only two people involved or is this the only musical project you've been involved with?

I (Maya) do most of the lyric writing, but then so does Becky - nothing in life is an easy answer. When coming up with the actual music - either Becky will come up with a riff or I'll come up with a drum beat and then we'll jam it out and it'll become a song or it won't. Then she flips through our handy dandy lyric book and find the lyrics that fit. I mean, I guess that's how it breaks down but in the end, neither of us really keeps track of how it comes together and usually forget who came up with any one particular idea. Making music is only challenging when it's winter time in our frigid bandspace or when we'd rather be playing videogames.

4. Is there a new record to look forward to this year? Are you going to play some new material on tour? Do you ever release cool tour-only EPs or singles or anything nerdy that record-geeks can wet themselves over?

We just finished recording a new album in Vancouver over our winter break. We ended up recording 14 songs but will most likely go back in to record some more towards the end of the year. The album itself is not going to be released till, oh, March 2010. We're playing exactly one of the new songs on tour right now. We completely want to release a single and will probably do so this fall, because we're impatient that way and need change constantly.

5. How have audiences in the States responded to your music compared to your home country of Canada?

Interesting question...hmm...I guess it really depends on what part of either country we're playing in...or...hmm....maybe not.

6. I noticed that you did another piece for a UK zine. Did you two read zines when you were young music pups? Do you read any zines now?

If I ever get a zine, I read it. I know that Becky will do the same. It's kinda fun to discover zines in other cities - so not so much with the regular. There is a zine in Vancouver called Mongrel Zine and they're pretty great, oh, and also WhatWave in London, ON. We actually had a plan at one point to start a zine but, err, ran out of time. That'll probably happen when we open up our comic store when we're 673.

7. I am dubbing the Pack AD as one of the beacons of hope in music. I think there's going to be some sort of overhaul in the underground rock scene in the next year or two. It's too fucking boring and lacks any noticeable guitarists. My genie instincts are telling me that you will blow the fuck up and rape the ears of millions. Does that make you nervous, this pressure that I have forced upon you? Are you up for the challenge?!

I'd say that we'd love to hire you. Are you for hire? Blowing the fuck up and raping the ears of millions is about the catchiest fucking phrase we've ever heard in our lives. Can that be our next album title? We will take up the gauntlet. We will do nothing but work our asses off to live up to your challenge. If we fail, please make the execution public, because everyone likes a good execution....and pickles on a stick.

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