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  • Writer's pictureEmma Egan

GALLERY + INTERVIEW: A Chat with Peach Pit at Levitate Music Festival

This weekend, Emma had the chance to sit down with Peach Pit (Neil Smith, Christopher Vanderkooy, Peter Wilton, and Mikey Pascuzzi) for a quick chat about their influences, inspirations, and upcoming plans for the band. Continue reading to check it out, and scroll to the bottom to see Emma's photos from their set!

 

E: Okay, starting off, how would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard Peach Pit before?


N: Um, I usually just tell them we’re a guitar band, y’know… we’re a band of guitars and drum[s].


C: Yeah, if you’re under 30 we play indie rock, and if you’re over 30, we play rock and roll.


E: I love that. I feel like you guys skirt the line of a lot of genres and influences too, I mean guitar definitely, but you’ve got some psychedelic rock in there, a little bit of jam band in there too.


N: Yeah! Well, that’s a lot of modern music nowadays, so like “genres” just don’t really do it anymore, y’know.


E: Yeah, genre’s kind of dead, why not.


E: Going off of that a bit, this lineup today is pretty jam heavy, we’ve got one of the founders of Phish, we’ve got Goose.. Seeing you live, y’all tend to slip into moments that are almost fully instrumental jams, is that something that you approach organically or is that something you plan and build into your sets?


C: I think that we actually stick to a pretty strict structure and the idea of breaking away from that is exciting but we’re pretty straight forward with our instrumental sections, and that gives us a lot of confidence on stage I think. We were just chatting about one of the new songs that we’ve written and we just recorded, and there’s a section in it where we were like, “oh! We could open this up and like have a jam section here, so something maybe we’ll look forward to in the future at the moment -


N: To be honest I’m a pretty uh, not a very good guitar player so if I knew how to play guitar better we would be a SICK jam band. I hold everybody back.


C: Nah, you say that a lot but if you heard just like us jamming in our jam space it’s not the kind of thing where you’d go “oh, people NEED to hear this.” *laughs*

P: We wouldn’t put it on a stage, that’s for sure.


C: “Nah, we wouldn’t put that on a record.”


E: I feel like you say that but when you see it live it doesn’t feel practiced out, it feels really organic up there, like it flows so well that it almost has to be an organic thing


N: That’s good, okay, nice! That’s what we’re going for, awesome!


C: That’s how we’re trying to feel, sweet. Excellent feedback. *laughs*


E: *laughs* awesome. Switching gears a little, what bands inspire you all while you’re writing new tracks? Are there any specific influences you each have?


N: Yeah, I think for me I’ve just been really hooked on The Beatles for the past few years and all their different member’s solo stuff. Right now I only listen to playlists that my girlfriend makes, so I’m inspired by her playlist-ing.


E: That’s kind of nice though! I feel like a lot of your songs come from a really personal place as well.


N: Yeah.


E: As far as the people you sing about, the places it feels like you have a very steady “home” in your writing, so it’s nice that you can draw that inspiration from those people in other ways as well.


C: Yeah, definitely! I think like, one thing that’s not talked about enough with inspirations is just like, we inspire each other to play music the way we do by what each other is getting into or like, friends who are playing and writing music as well so that’s always been a big part of it… I’ve been listening to a lot of Kurt Vile recently and really love all of his stuff and I’ve been feeling that but, it’s always changing.


P: Yeah, definitely. I think we all have the same inspirations in a way.


E: I mean, I’m sure you spend a lot of time with one another so it makes sense you’d be listening to and tossing around the same kind of stuff.


P + C: Yeah for sure, totally.


E: Awesome. Out of curiosity, what are each of your favorites to play live? Is there one that really excites any of you over the others?


N: I would say we probably all have different favorites and they definitely change but I think we just like to play the songs that are everyone’s favorites because it just gets the crowd going, y’know! When they can sing along to the words, they love it.


P: Yeah!


N: I mean who doesn’t love that! That’s the best.


C: Yeah, we joked in the past about how “Shampoo Bottles” is the easiest song to play live of ours because it’s like, it doesn’t require that much from us but the crowd goes CRAZY for it so it’s almost like you get to step back and let them kind of carry the song — it’s a nice feeling.


E: Oh for sure! I’ve always wondered, can you hear the crowd singing back to you?


P: Well, so, we do have our in ears, but we also have microphones pointed at the crowd so we can feel that they’re there, y’know.


C: So yeah, when they’re really loud, but not while we’re playing as much, which is a good thing I think sometimes.


E: Yeah, I feel like people just scream the most out of left field things sometimes.


C: Yeah, sometimes people scream into the mics we have aimed at the crowd so you’ll just get like one off key person in the front row and be like “alllright you’re real heavy in the mix right now.”


E: Honestly that’s good to know for me when I’m in the photo pit if I’m singing along *laughs* I’ll try not to sing along too loud.


N: No, no, no, do it.

P: Please do, please do. *laughs*


E: Haha noted. A few more for y’all – if you had the chance to soundtrack any movie or TV show what would it be? Past, present, or future, what’s something you feel like Peach Pit would be the vibe for?


N: I think that like if we were back in the day, during The OC, we would have been really great, we would’ve popped off.


C: Right up there with The Postal Service.


N: *laughs* Yeah for sure.


C: I feel like we could have, maybe this is a little too cocky because Sufjan Stevens did a great job on the soundtrack, but I think we could have done Call Me By Your Name pretty well, I don’t know.


N: Ooh yeah that’s true maybe yeah!


C: Yeah, it’s like, sad and melancholic.


E: But also like a little bit summery.


C + N: Yeah


E: Like it’s a little bit sad but -


C: But I’m in Europe!


E: I’m in Europe!!!


E: Alright, closing it out, what’s up next for Peach Pit? As a group is there anything personally or creatively you’re excited about?


N: Yeah, we’re working on a new album right now that’s gonna hopefully be done at the end of the year.

E: Woah!


P: *laughs* Tell our manager it’ll be done in a year.


N: That’s our plan, it’s gonna be done by the end of the year, we’ll see but uh, we’re gonna play a bunch of shows.


C: We’re going to Australia this year.


N: Yeah for the first time, and we’re going to New Zealand, so yeah.


E: That’s so exciting, that’s awesome!


C: Yeah, I think we’re in like a place right now where we’re writing our fourth record and it feels like maybe we’re not the new kids on the block as much so if we really wanna like, put our best foot forward with this one it feels like an important record so just thinking about that a lot and uh, yeah, trying to stay the course.


E: That’s a lot of pressure to put on yourselves though! But I feel like it’ll be fantastic regardless.


C: Yeah totally, and, eh, I mean yeah, it’s a reality of the situation but I don’t think we let it get to us in a way that really affects us in a negative way.


E: I mean, it’s always great to strive to be the best version of yourselves, musically or otherwise.


C: Yeah no totally


E: ugh but I’m beyond excited to hear new music though!!


N: Yeah we’re looking forward to it too!


Peach Pit will be out and about for the rest of the summer at festivals across the US and Canada, so be sure to catch them if they're making a stop anywhere near you! If you haven't caught up with Peach Pit's discography, we can't recommend giving it a spin enough, especially on a sunny summer day.


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