Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Show Preview - Pepper Rabbit - Interview - 4/22/11 - Concert Preview

Pepper Rabbit will be appearing at Garfield Artworks on Friday, 4/22. They are a duo based out of Los Angeles and touring behind their debut album Beauregard. They have recently opened for such bands as Ra Ra Riot and Miniature Tigers playing their whimsical, fun songs. Below is an interview member Xander Singh gave us along with a few songs off their lp.

You are a fairly young duo. How did this venture come about for the two of you? Had you been in bands previously? Or?

We met through a mutual friend while Luc was living in Boston, and whenever I played a show Luc would play drums with me. Eventually our musical relationship evolved over time and we started the band. Luc had been playing in lots of different bands in Boston but this was my first venture into starting or being in a band.

Older Brother by Pepper Rabbit

I read one of your families now resides in India. How has that affected your sound?

My parents moved to India my senior year of high school, but I cant say Iv'e been influenced by India itself. Suddenly being thrown into a situation where I left the house and was essentially on my own very quickly and adjusting to that new life likely influenced me to take music a bit more seriously and focus on honing my craft.

I also read there was a year hiatus from when you initially worked together (in New Orleans) to when you reformed in LA. How did you come back together?

After the initial round of recording in NOLA, Luc when back to finish school in Boston, and I went back to LA to finish writing and recording the record. After he graduated he moved out to LA and soon after that we started touring.

Your recordings sound like they use a variety of ‘whimsical’ instruments and sounds. Would that be accurate? Is that something you strive for?

I would say so. Iv'e always been interested in music with a wide scape of sound and instruments, so when I started writing I liked to write with a ton of different instruments in the room so that I would have many options available, and that helped to craft the sound of the band for sure

Snow Walker by Pepper Rabbit

To create these sounds, do you perform as a duo or bring others on the road with you? Do you use a lot of samples when playing live?

We do bring another musician with us that plays bass, keyboards and sings backup and allows up to be more expansive with the live sound. I honestly don't think we could do it without at least 1 other person, ha. We don't play to any tracks but have a few textural samples we trigger, such as certain noise tracks from the recordings or a few clarinet lines here and there. I also do a lot of live looping to thicken the sound.

You just recently played SXSW. How was that experience this time around?

It was great! all of our shows were in the first three days so we had saturday to run around and see shows and have some fun. The whole experience was amazing, and the most tiring event Iv'e ever been involved with.

Any funny/humorous stories from the road?

On the last show of the last tour we did with Miniature Tigers we threw a bit of a party on stage, playing on each others sets and passing around shots. At one point their drummer, Rick brought a 10 foot tall ladder on stage during out set, climbed to the top and started singing backup, while Charlie, their singer grabbed my clarinet and started squeaking into a microphone. And at the end of the night I had a few sizable gashes in my legs from jumping off the stage during their set. All around a great night!

What made you want to dedicate your life to music? Was there a show or album?

Well I wouldn't quite say Iv'e dedicated my life to music. I have lots of other interest that I love to practice and lots of other things I'd like to do down the road, but for now I'm just focused on making the best music I can and having tons of fun.

How do you go about creating your music? Do you all contribute to the lyrics and music?

I write the lyrics and most of the music except drums, but when the song is getting to the final stages Luc and I enter into a very democratic editing process where we pick apart each detail and try to make it the best it cant be.

What would you like to accomplish as a band? What are the goals?

I would like to be able to take the band as far as it can go. Hopefully be lucky enough to play shows outside the U.S. and have the ability to keep making records and that people will enjoy what we do.

Anything you would like to say to Pittsburgh?

Very excited to see you all again! Our last show at Brillobox was a blast!