In November 2017, DutchMetalManiac’s Alessandro saw Damn Pigeon perform alongside A Rebel Few of which he wrote this live review. He also reviewed Damn Pigeon’s Whisky Sinners album here. Now you can read his interview with Damn Pigeon below.
Guys, I’m very honoured to be granted this interview! I want to say again, I love your album and your live show with A Rebel Few (read our live review here) rocked the house down! Hailing from the city of St. Thomas, ON Canada, I am glad to have met you all : Joe Edmiston – guitars and vocals, production, recording and engineering, Doug Weir – guitars and lead vocals, Steve Proctor – guitars, Jason Latimer – drums , Steve Proud (Proudy) – bass guitar. You epitomize the image of the friendly Canadian and honoured us with your visits, swag and good gentle humour.
Thank you – we’re honoured.
How and where’d you meet? Can you tell us about your lineup a little?
Three of us (Edmiston, Proud and Proctor) have known each other since high school. We worked in various local bands until Damn Pigeon was formed in 1991. We had a three-year run, playing covers and ten or so original songs. The band was mothballed for 13 years until we got back together in 2009, ostensibly to make an album of the songs from the nineties. During pre-production work, our dear friend – original singer Steve Phillips – was diagnosed with terminal cancer. We raced to finish the record and Steve passed away a couple of days after its release. While Steve was still with us, we all decided on the need to keep the band going. Steve actually mentioned Doug Weir as a possible replacement, so after we took some time off to grieve and re-group, we basically cold-called Doug to see if he would come out to jam with us. He did, and here we are. In the drummer’s slot, we had a couple of changes following the first album – from Bill Higgs to Dave Wyles. When Dave got too busy with his many musical projects, he recommended Jason Latimer. We called him up, gelled with him immediately – and started right into work on the Re-Coop album.
OK, I need to ask about your band name…hilarious! Where did this come from? Would you concern yourself with potential animal rights activists? (Laughs)
The name actually came from one of those foam-backed trucker hats one of us had seen at a truckstop. Not too worried about animal-rights activists – I mean, it’s not like we’re torturing pigeons on stage or biting off their heads, Ozzy-style. We quite like Pigeons…
Are you all actually friends or is it just business?
Friends for sure!
Is the world a better place with all this new technology for spreading the gift of music or was it better to copy LP’s to cassettes and spread it around?
It’s easier now, but much harder to make a living at it.
Your music is powerful and heavy and sometimes, Top 40’ish, comical yet introspective; how do you achieve this eclectic mix and tell us when and where your best times for inspiration are.
We live in a no rules world when it comes to writing. For years we were all pigeon-holed (excuse the pun) in our past bands to conform to certain genres or were given musical parameters via record companies, with DP we decided to stretch our wings, so to speak. It’s amazing to be able to just come up with what we feel is a good idea and be able to pursue it without feeling like we have to make the song fit our “image”.
Without being disrespectful to your band’s originality, I always like to cite some influences that my ear picks out or I think picks out; do you guys do this when you’re working out your arrangements? Who are some of your influences! Who’s everyone’s favourite band?
We don’t actually spend too much time worrying about who we might sound like – that can stifle creativity through over-analyzing – but yeah, our influences inevitably show through our work. I mean, hey – it’s only rock and roll. An arbitrarily short list of artists we dig and who have influenced us would have to include David Bowie, Rammstein, Disturbed, Slayer, Dream Theatre, Rush, Max Webster, Joe Satriani, Big Wreck, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Judas Priest, Queen, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Styx, Cheap Trick, Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa and Jeff Beck. Lots of others, too.
You’re not on a tour schedule as of yet; are there dates lined up for this year?
Not yet – except for a charity show slot in May for The Children’s Wish Foundation – we’re working on a new album. We’d love to get out on some of the summer festival shows this summer though!
I am hearing rumblings of a new record in the future! Can you elaborate?
We’re in the middle of writing and arranging right now, will hopefully begin the recording process soon. Joe has some new toys for the studio that we’re excited about. It looks like we’ll probably have about 10 to 12 songs. In keeping with our nature the songs are coming out in ways we would never have anticipated and this album will be “eclectic” for sure. There’s already a few seriously kicking heavier tunes, which is exciting, as well as some pieces that have defied classification. One of the tunes has provided us with a good potential title too!
I want to thank you so much for taking the time for us!
As we go, give us “Damn Pigeon’s Damnations” for 2018:
1. WW III or Peace on Earth? (The Big Red Button Saga)
We hope the only wars we see this year are between the band members over our beer of choice consumed in the recording of our new album – so, peace! We’re Cold-War Kids – we’ve been through all this before…
2. Aliens Land – Aliens Keep On Going?
We’ve received a few requests from Alpha Centauri for some download PINs for Whisky Sinners so we think they’ll definitely stop by and catch a Pigeon show at least. We’ll say hi for you! It would be interesting to hear what alien music might sound like, it could be really cool…
3. Music Industry Better – Music Industry Worse?
Hopefully better. It would be nice to see the industry figure out an agreeable way to monetize the sale of music and other arts that is fair to both artist and consumer.
4. USA Beer Better – Canadian Beer Better (or Whiskey?) (Sinners, that is)
Canadian beer for sure! There are some great US beers – but if we’re comparing their best to ours – Canadian beers. We do like the US bourbons though…
5. Currently reading….which books?
Gray’s Anatomy (Henry Gray, Henry Van Dyke Carter), M Train (Patti Smith), The Dark Tower Series (Stephen King), War (Gwynne Dyer), The Meaning Of Quantum Physics (Jim Baggot), Voltaire’s Bastards (John Ralston Saul), The Prince Of Nothing Series (R. Scott Bakker) and other books by A. Reynolds, Richard Morgan and James A. Corey.
6. 10 Minutes Left (The Hawaiian Missile Crisis); what would you do?
Crank some tunes, open a beer with a Scotch chaser!
Thank you again for taking important wax making time to talk to me. Do you have any last words for DutchMetalManiac’s readers? Absolute best you all!
A huge thank-you to DutchMetalManiac and staff for the continued support – including yourself, Alessandro – thanks so much! Also, thank you to our supporters all over the world. We are truly humbled by your willingness to lend us your time and attention by listening to, sharing and purchasing our music. And for reading our mind-addled thoughts in great publications such as this. Thanks Tons!