Birds Of A Feather Flock Together For Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
You're listening to a world cafe. My name is Rena Doris a while back the band pigeons. Playing Ping Pong came into play his show for a live audience at World Cafe. The performance started at noon on a weekday. But it felt like a weekend music festival. Fans showed up in tie-dye full-body jumpsuits. There was a guy dressed as a wizard and they were excited. They were feeling those fans the ones who go to every pigeons playing ping pong show. There called the flock and for about a decade now. The flock has been getting bigger and bigger as the band is toured relentlessly their fifth album presto works to capture their fun. Funky psychedelic live show and today pigeons playing ping pong singer Greg or Mont and drummer. Alex Petropolis join me to talk about that record. I though you should really hear them live so here. They are recorded. Live at World Cafe in front of an audience of a wizards UNICORNS and human shaped bursts of Glitter. This is pigeons playing ping pong with King. Kong Y Y Y Y dialer walk when anti come talk. Talk a look. Took war off not and Birmingham two zero album. Don You just heard King Kong from pigeons Playing Ping Pong. They perform that live for world cafe from the new album presto. I am joined now in the World Kathy Studio by Greg or MoD. Who's the singer and guitarist from pigeons? Playing Ping Pong? Hi Greg. Hey how's it going pretty good? And I'm joined by Alex Petropolis who plays drums for pigeons playing ping pong. Hello World Correction. He rips the drums. That's true first of all congrats on the new album. Thank you yeah. I mean number five. It's pretty wild You know you have the new. You're known really also for your live show. I have to say it is really something. The World Cafe Stage the studio. It's an dark baseman. And you guys made it feel like a sunny afternoon at a music festival in there when you go into doing a show. Is that something you're consciously thinking about creating that sort of environment? How do you do it? Well you know I think each show depends on when you're playing where you're playing. You know what you know who's there. What's the audience and we really try to keep that in? Mind when we're putting our settlers together no matter for playing at noon at a radio station or if we're playing at late night at a huge music festival we're going to give it like a thousand percent full steam ahead and try transcend the time of Day. A little bit now great. Could you talk a bit about? What goes into crafting a set list? When you're getting ready for show yeah a lot actually You know we try to create a kind of magical musical carpet ride If you will where there's lots of peaks and valleys sometimes. Some of our jams. Get really heavy and dark and PSYCHEDELIC and Funky. And sometimes if that's going on for a certain amount of time. We want to give the audience a little respite and come back with something. A little more bubbly digestible and Fun and light. So it's kind of a mix of sunshine and darkness where the roller coaster goes up. And you build the tension and then it goes zooming down and after the thrill of that you need a little second to chill out so we like to try to picture our shows kind of like a big you know musical wave but at the same time you spend your time setting up. The settlers archetypes. Jeremy spends a lot of time setting it up and then you walk out on stage and sometimes the crowd just different energy and you thought it was noon at a radio station next thing you know it feels like ten thirty PM at one of our concerts and you open up the jams a little bit you dig in a little harder and you feed off of them so if that happens you just change up the list do you like will you stick to the thing you've written down you. Just go for it. Go for it for sure. It really is a give and take with our crowd and it's very fluid and that's kind of you know the jam world that we live in is is very open a lot of. Improv. And we're very often you know jamming in the middle of a song and one of our concerts and look over each other and just kinda mouth a different song like let's transition out and let's let's change it up. This is world cafe. I'm Ranarriddh talking to Greg and Alex from pigeons Playing Ping Pong. When you do hit something while you're improvising. That really blows your mind. You can tell it blows the audience's mind something that comes up spontaneously. Do you ever want to recreate that in another show? How do you hold onto that magic? If it's improvised Y- that's a good point. That's a good question. I mean there are those moments where the unplanned feels like. It's planned and it's a really exciting feeling and a lot of our songs have kind of. Come out of that another thing. That's cool. Is that we record our shows but we also record all of our practices so we you know we record them. We throw into Google drive and we can go bike if we're doing extended jams and practice just for fun and we stumble on something. We actually can go back and listen to it and be like that was fun in the moment but was that good at all you know and go back and listen to it and if if feels right then we flesh that out A perfect example. Yes so practice was ending We were jamming for four plus hours and some of us were like all right. I think I'm ready to go home for today. And not everyone was actually didn't WanNa stop playing so our basis is based off and I was like. Oh man so I slapped on the watt and I went bow. Bow Bow bound bound bound. Just a simple little energetic. I don't WanNA leave but I'm not gonNA SAY IT. I'M GONNA play it. And the basis just like looked up zero like perked and he put it before setting his guitar down he put it back on and we started just ripping into this aggressive funk song which you just play it it's it was King Kong as we're playing and I'm like okay. This is a really fix on. This has got a lot of balls if I can say that on the radio like what has a lot of what is powerful. What is like energetic? That camp like a force that can't be reckoned with so I screamed king and and just filled in the rest and what rhymes with King Kong Ping Pong Ding Dong. And that's where like people are like. Is there a lot of content and your lyrics and sometimes it is? But sometimes it's improvised and just rhymes. Let's hear a little bit of King Kong. We we played before. Let's hear a bit of King Kong right now and that and that baseline to get an idea of what you're talking about there. I want came from pigeons. Playing Ping Pong talking to you greg and Alex from pigeons Playing Ping Pong but their new album presto. You call yourselves High Energy Psychedelic funk. But a lot of people you may be under the jam band umbrella. How do you guys feel about that labeled jam band I mean? I don't really think jam bands of music as more of just kind of a community of of of music in a sense because I mean there's so many bands and the James Encompass so many different types of music. I mean we were more of kind of that that psychedelic funky upbeat dance. Rhythm and then you have bands like consider the source who are intense progressive metal. And then you have bands like talk. That are kind of. Cool rock fusion. I can understand like the jam because it's typically a band that I mean if you WanNa take a super literal the band that jams and utilize a lot of Improv Yeah Yeah for some reason in certain circles. Jam Band almost seems like a dirty word. You like you kind of think of just. I don't know it's stereotypical connotation that people go to but like Alex it's really just the band's improvise and bands who feed off the crowd and after a while I stopped calling ourselves a jam band I never really did but people would and I said No. We're an energy band. We're a band that feeds off the crowd where a band that is not tied to a set list. What people don't realize when when they think of jam bands they think just like one chord noodling and and you know? There's no focused but for us. You know we work around the clock on our crafts personally and as a band to write good songs and what happens is often in one section of a well-crafted song it's open and that's when the crowd can kinda dictate which direction it's going to go until you close this on and that's kind of Maybe that's why people who are maybe more pop minded or you know more straightforward with their music selection. Don't give it a chance because they don't think that there's actual content in jam bands when I feel like we're writing better songs every time. And that's all you can do all. We want our songs to get better in our minds and for our shows to get better every time and and feel that energy. 'cause I think it's also funny. Is that people who look at Jam Band. Kind of a dirty word go to a jam concert or the right one and feel the energy from the band and the crowd and have an unbelievable time. And they're like WHOA. This is actually like a wave that I should maybe try to catch this world cafe. I'm Rena Dora's talking to pigeons Playing Ping Pong. I have the singer and Guitarist Greg and drummer. Alex here with me talking about the new album Presto Going to hear another song from it in just a second and it's one that doesn't have a big sprawling jam and I actually looked it up and it's one of only I think three of your songs that are under four minutes long. So could you tell us a bit about dawn a new day? Yeah Donna new day is is really kind of like the message of the band. I mean where you were all human and not everything is peaches and cream all the time. Sometimes you get down or sometimes life's not going your way and this song is kind of just like uh about a number of different ways positive ways that you can approach those hardships and and get out of it and you know quote Don a new day like some of the lyrics are like listen to some hip hop like just get it out cooke you Baker interbred shop. You can need those troubles away. You can push your troubles into the food and then make something nice and you know you can one lyrics. Are you know on a hilltop? Can you hear a teardrop? You could weep your worries away like just cry like it's okay. Not you're not the no one needs to be a superhero. If you know you're supposed to feel these human emotions and the the good doesn't feel as good without the bad and what's really cool and something that we've been wanting to do for years and finally are working on is. We're starting a foundation called the new day foundation where we'll be partnering with various organizations that speak to us and the first one is perfect for. Donna. New Day the song it's called backline backline dot cares where you can find info on. And it's the music industries hub for mental health and wellness resources. So if you're feeling you know if you're having struggles with that back line is there to have case workers talk with you. There's a bunch of resources on how to positively deal with these tough times. That's a perfect hand in hand for our first partner with the Don Uday Foundation. Let's hear it. This is don a new day. Performed live world cafe by pigeons playing ping pong from their new album presto. This is world cafe the backdrop arena. Bradshaw traveled to win years away. Good success knowledge detail away is awesome. Cloudy Ball ever sausage and everything whatever her could be a saw a think Everything is Got Him past bad taxes. Everything though took him you just heard Don a new day. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong perform that live at world cafe. It's from their new album. Presto there is this whole pigeons playing ping pong sub read it. There are facebook groups. There's all this community around you guys deadheads for the dead. There's a for beyond say you guys have your own group. It is called the flock before and they're pretty dedicated right they share set lists and they share experiences and they make a sound which. I only found out seeing live for the first time when you performed for us. I didn't know there was a sound that went with it. Could you do my making the sound grade. Maybe a little better than I am. Because it's a it's a whole group of the flock but it's a little bit of a Laker pigeons out. It's pretty. It's really something when you hear it and you know not every band. Has this kind of a following. So what do you think it is about your band that inspires that sort of community? Yeah I mean shutout till the Faulk I it's it's gone. It's gone to another level where you know. It's it's more than just the music side of people that are just reaching out just to you know communicate with people find people. They don't have time with it. Keeps us on our toes which is great yeah? The flock really inspires US. Because they're so involved with our music and our set lists and our songwriting that it really is accountability. There we want to take care of our community and they push us to write more songs and create new jams create new moments and have every show different so I think hopefully that trickles down into the crowd. They give us their all. Alex Greg from pigeons Playing Ping Pong have been talking to me here on world cafe. I'm marina thank you guys so much for coming in. Oh thank you for having US thank you. Yeah we had a great time. This was like an unexpected little ranger here takes on a weekday fun. You'll appreciate it more in a moment unrolled cafe.