We just got the Porcupine masters for 'I See Sound' and are feeling a bit guilty for not leaking the entire thing to you now...Mind has been blown, look forward to Record Store Day for it's release on vinyl (only 500 copies). And how about you stay tuned for some opportunities to hear it a bit early?
- ‘There are approximately seven million indie bands operating on planet Earth as of yesterday…..we are one of them’. What would you say makes Porcupine unique in comparison to the average indie band?
If we are different or unique it may because some of our influences come from 70′s classic rock and 60′s British psychedelic music. Some examples would be Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett and T-Rex. We are inspired by them and we try to use those influences, but still create a sound that is truly our own.
- What initially led you down this musical path to the point you’re at now? what was your first exposure to music and how did this develop into wanting to create it?
I think the point where I thought about writing my own music came about after seeing Love and Rockets w/ the Pixies in 1989. That show was incredible and really inspired me to want to create. I formed different bands and played around town which was then a bit funny because “hair metal” was popular in the area. After Nirvana came out it in 1991, it became a bit easier to get gigs booked doing our own material. Dave and I played together in a group called SpaceBike which formed in 1994 and broke up in “99?”..after which we didn’t see each other for about 4-5 yrs. This group basically became Porcupine (named after my favorite Echo and the Bunnymen record) after trying out about 4 different bass players and then finally tricking Dave to come and record some “demos” …wink wink.
- The new album was essentially recorded and released (digitally/CD) entirely independently on all levels. Within the current musical landscape how do you view this process as opposed to the distribution of music during the 90s?
I think we find it liberating to be able to put out records without the label b.s. We are able to record and distribute our music on our own. The internet has changed the game for sure. There was a time in a past band when we were concerned with our music being something a label might like and “sign us” …etc. At this point we are pretty cynical about the music industry…and it’s really just about making music we enjoy playing. If it’s something people like and want to buy, that’s great also.
- What is your process for writing the material in Porcupine?
Most of the time I will come in with a chord progression and a melody, play it for the guys and see if it’s something that they like. They haven’t shot me down yet…but we also know as a group if something isn’t going to work pretty quickly. In that situation we just record it as an idea for some later release. An example on the last record was a song called “Floppish” which we all liked but felt it wasn’t ready to be recorded yet.
popVLTR: How did you first get into music? How has your style evolved over the years? I think my parents played a fair amount of music in the house when I was a kid via 8-track tapes..lots of 70's era hits like the Carpenters, Abba, The Bee Gees. I always hung out with older kids so at 10 or 11 years old I heard bands that I suppose got me thinking about music and guitar. I remember bands like CheapTrick, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper making a big impression on me at the time. My songwriting style has always been about keeping things relatively simple with guitar,bass, drums while having a melody on top that sticks in your head . I manage to sing OK and I'm a self taught guitar player, so I really don't do anything flashy or correct..ha-ha! on guitar. I like to mess with my echo-plex tape echo a bit and change things up when we play live as opposed to the recorded version. I don't know if I've evolved much over the years, I think that's up to the listener to decide.
popVLTR: Who have been some of your biggest influences? Musically or otherwise? Some of my influences would be Syd Barrett, Echo and the Bunnymen, Love and Rockets, Swervedriver.
popVLTR: What's your favorite part of being involved in music? I guess one of my favorite parts of being involved in music, is the creative process of taking a simple riff and or melody idea which in some cases, has been bouncing around in your head for weeks .. maybe months and having it become a fully formed song. I have also found that sometimes that song can change into something almost unrecognizable when compared to the original idea.
popVLTR: What are some of your proudest moments in music so far? We have had the good fortune to open for some of our favorite bands. Some of which are MeatPuppets, Mission of Burma,18th Dye. Having some of the Porcupine records played in the UK and Japan is also pretty cool. Dave and I played in a band called SpaceBike from 1993-1999, we toured a bit and had one of our 7 inch singles played on the legendary John Peel radio show. We too opened for some great bands like Frank Black, Jesus Lizard, The Melvins, Babes In Toyland. Porcupine releasing the 12 inch vinyl "The Sensation of Being Somebody" this year was something we are fortunate to have done.
popVLTR: What cool stuff is on the horizon for Porcupine? I think we are planning on a 6 song Porcupine EP sometime in the spring of 2013. We always try to keep busy with music while at the same time we have families and day jobs that are now top priority.
www.porcupineband.com www.facebook.com/porcupineband www.youtube.com/porcupineband www.porcupineband.bandcamp.com www.reverbnation.com/porcupineband www.myspace.com/porcupineband www.soundcloud.com/porcupineband
Porcupine headquarters reports good news........ "Witness to a Chase Scene" 7inch single is to be released in Japan under the SP Records imprint.
Punk discovery: Porcupine/Metal Ghost split single, out now on Big Action Records
Porcupine is a punk-inflected indie rock band from Wisconsin recording on a Minneapolis label - and they have released a split single with Metal Ghost, a German indie rock band. Yes, the world is getting smaller. It's all good stuff - Porcupine's guitars remind me of "old school" indie rock, with a jazz influence (are they old enough to be influenced by the Minutemen?) and both rhythm sections are solid. We'll keep an ear out for more from these two...
Porcupine's video "Dead Mint Club" was posted on the NME Site. Why..and how..we have no idea...but are happy they did.