I used to get really obsessed with bands when I was younger, listening to the same record over and over on my discman while going to school, going to sleep or just going around. With great music just a click away I rarely feel that way anymore. But on the second day of the new year I stumbled upon Pile and I have not listened to anything else since. The Boston quartet play genuine and relevant alternative rock’n’roll full of references to 90’s pioneers. It’s aggressive and loud, catchy, folky and just well made. I caught front man, guitarist and songwriter Rick Maguire for a Q & A about the band, the new album Dripping, the 90’s and Boston. Read the interview and stream Dripping from one end to another.
You recently released the album ‘Dripping’ which I fell instantly in love with. But I know it’s not Pile’s first record. Can you tell a bit about who Pile is, the story of the name and how long you’ve been around?
The band started off as my solo project, but after I put out ‘demonstration,’ I tried to get some people to help me play the songs live. After some changes in the lineup, it’s been Kris, Matt, Matt and myself for about 3 years now.
I picked the name just because it seemed simple and it suggested the music as a whole being a pile of shit.
It seems that you are heavily influenced by alternative rock bands and posthardcore bands from the 90’s both in sound and energy. What is so fascinating about the 90’s?
I suppose I was just exposed to those types of music in years that were very formative to me as a musician. But I was attracted to how it was aggressive, melodic, raw and genuine.
What is your favorite moment of the 90’s?
Graduating elementary school.
‘Dripping’ has impressed quite a few blogs and fans. What part of the album are you most proud about?
‘So hard.’ We wrote that while we were in the Sex Dungeon and, since we were camped out there, we worked on it impulsively which I had never been able to do while recording with others.
Who writes the songs and how do you work as a band?
In the past, I’ve written the songs. I usually bring a broad idea of a song to the table and then we play through it to feel out the dynamics.
How would you describe ‘Dripping’ without using music references or terms? – a particular flavor, mood, memory etc.?
The Sex Dungeon, the studio that we recorded the album in, is a warehouse in Philadelphia. We camped out there for a week in the middle of the summer. It was extremely hot. We didn’t leave often. We were usually waking up at 1pm and going to sleep at 6am.
You and the band are having some friends over for a little party. You might even be drinking. What music would you play on the stereo? If you say only dance music, It’s ok.
Lately I’ve been obsessing over The Evens, Death Grips and Devo.
The new album ‘Dripping’ is out on a little New York label called Exploding In Sound Records. Why did you choose that label?
Dan (one half of EISR, red) approached us about releasing the record and we had been friends prior to that.
How would you describe the music environment in Boston? Which Boston band is your favorite?
What is up next for Pile?
We’re going on a 6 week tour of the US at the end of March, then hopefully going overseas in the fall. Maybe a new record in the winter.