An Interview with Peach Pit, Part I: Murdering the Beatles, Mapo Tofu, and “Daddy ::)‰Û

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An Interview with Peach Pit, Part I: Murdering the Beatles, Mapo Tofu, and “Daddy ::)‰Û

Rosa Pyo

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Photo by Rosa Pyo. From left to right: Chris, Mikey, Peter, & Neil

Sitting in the back parking lot of Comet Ping Pong, yes the one that had “pizzagate,” I sat down with the band Peach Pit, a chewed bubble gum pop band that hails from Vancouver, Canada to ask them about music, The Beatles, and high school. There is bassist Peter Wilton, guitarist Chris Vanderkooy, drummer Mikey Pascuzzi, and vocalist/guitarist Neil Smith in this effervescent band. Here are their stories:

What are your top Sixties musicians who are gold?

Neil: From the sixties? Who was from the sixties?

Mikey: Elvis Presley, Rolling Stones and The Beatles.

Neil: Who else is pretty sick?

Mikey: We are into a lot of classic rock.

Neil: Who do we have on our pre-show playlist?

Mikey: Maybe the Ronettes, but they were from the fifties or fourties.

Neil: Yeah I think they were from the sixties, if the Ronettes from the sixties they are pretty sick.

Going off The Beatles, if you could chose only one of them to live, who?

Mikey: Ohhhh f-, oh that‰’s hard that‰’s between John [Lennon] and Paul [McCartney].

Neil: Oh definitely me too!

You got to pick one.

Neil: I would chose Paul [McCartney].

Mikey: Yeah, Paul is an amazing songwriter.

Neil: Yeah, Paul is my favorite.

*A sudden appearance of rare Peter, the bassist, followed by a brisk introduction*

Who would you kill off The Beatles?

Peter: Only one of them lives. *quiet horror* Oh. God. George Harrison, Obviously.

Neil & Mikey: Whatttt, you‰’re lying!

I think he wrote one song that was substantial, “Something,” that was his one song.

Peter: He did a lot of solo stuff after [the break up of The Beatles].

Mikey: He has some creative genius just waiting to come out for sure.

Photo by Rosa Pyo

What is your spirit animal?

Peter: Domestic house cat.

Any specific house cat?

Peter: No.

Neil: Maybe one that hasn‰’t been neutered yet with a lil tiny velvet ball sack. That‰’s Peter.

Mikey: Maybe a sloth.

Neil: I‰’m a- I‰’m a- I‰’m a- badger.

Honey Badger?

Neil: Yeah, a Honey Badger because I love honey.

Peter: and you don‰’t give a fuck.

What‰’s the strangest venue or gig you‰’ve ever played?

Neil: Chris‰’s Dad‰’s house. Chris‰’s dad had a party and we played at it and it was pretty funny. It was great because his Dad made us mapo tofu.


Neil: It‰’s a Chinese dish of chopped tofu and like beef and uh bamboo shoots. It‰’s really good. And his parents are really nice. His dad and his step mom really liked our band so they were grooving out so hard. There were ten people there, but they were really giving it.

If you had to choose a single color to describe the ambiance of your current album, what would it be?

Neil: Pink?

Peter: It would be a pastel, dusty pink.

What‰’s your favorite album right now besides your own?

Peter: Ummm my favorite album right now…We might all have different answers but mine is by a band called Pinegrove called Cardinal.

Mikey: I don‰’t know right now actually. I don‰’t really have a fave. I‰’m not really listening to anything consistently.

How about an album you‰’re like you have to listen to this before you die?

Mikey: Uhh…

Neil: I really like, I‰’m still obsessed with Frank Ocean‰’s Blonde. I‰’ve listened to it so much and haven‰’t stopped listening to it.

What‰’s the best piece of advice, music related or not, that someone has given you?

Neil: My great grandmother lived with us until she was ninety six and she smoked and drank every single day for her entire life and people were always like “Granny how did you live for so long?‰” and she said, she always used to say “I did all the wrong things the right way,‰” so that‰’s how how I try to live my entire life like Granny. “I did all the wrong things the right way‰Û

Who’s the first musician that left an impact on you?

Peter: *whistles* That‰’s hard.

Neil: I know mine. The first that really stuck with me was this guy named Josh Ritter who‰’s from Moscow, Idaho. He‰’s a folk singer dude. I heard on shuffle on some playlist, this song “To the Dogs or Whoever‰” maybe in grade nine and I learned how to play that song exactly, like ten times a day alone and that‰’s what got me super into song writing was that one song by Josh Ritter

So, do you do most of the song writing?

Neil: Yeah, I write all the songs. Then sometimes Peter will write a chord progression for a song and then I‰’ll write the lyrics and melody over it and then when the song is done it‰’s usually when I‰’ve written all the acoustics or something and then we bring it to band practice and Mike, Chris, and Pete will write their parts over top of it and restructure the song and stuff to make it less shitty.

Mikey: It usually comes out of a fart. He farts on the page and then it’s done and good.

Photo by Rosa Pyo

What is the meaning behind the “daddy ::)‰” thing?

Neil: “Honestly it was a super creepy word and we thought it would be funny to like say it on social media then it really caught on. It kinda caught on maybe like six to eight months ago when people started messaging us, calling us daddy and stuff. And immediately we were all like “Fuck, what do we do this is so fucking creepy‰” but we can‰’t stop now it’s already started.

A lot of your music has a high school nostalgia about it, so what was so profound about high school it‰’s so integrated into your work?

Mikey: I did grade nine twice.

Peter: Mikey liked grade nine so much he did it twice.

Why did you do it twice?

Neil: Because he loved it. He‰’s such –

Mikey: The first time I learned my own way, that was not the way.

Neil: Um why was it so profound, I don‰’t know. I think, I just started learning how to write songs in high school and then after high school I don’t know the transitionary period from being a teenager to an adult and I think when I was eighteen, nineteen, twenty, I felt very lonely, like I could never get a girlfriend, so I always wrote sad songs about all the girls I was in love with in high school.

On that note, on any of your future albums do you think you‰’re going to discuss or write songs more about that time period of teenager and trying to be an adult or being an adult?

Neil: Yes definitely for sure we have a few songs we‰’ve written for the next album and they‰’re not about high school anymore but being a twenty year old person but they are similar to this album in personal stories and feelings.

So talk to me about your new coming album?

Peter: We just dropped our last album three weeks ago so the next one-

Neil: We were talking about it in the car today and I was like “Holy Shit.‰” We‰’ve written three songs and we need to write seven more songs and I was kinda having a panic attack about that. So that‰’s all we know.

Photo by Rosa Pyo

The song that got me interested into your music was a song sent to me by my friend, Luna, called “Tommy‰’s Party‰” and I‰’m wondering how it was like writing that specific song?

Neil: I wrote that song because I had this girlfriend who was from another country and then we split up and she moved back to her country and I was super depressed afterwards so I wanted to write a really sad song, kinda like instead of a sad song about a girl I tried to put a little spin on it. And so- it was about the same time when you‰’re growing apart from friends as your grow older and my bud Thomas we‰’ve just gone our separate ways a little bit and so I don’t know, I think my master plan was to write the most beautiful sad song and have her hear it and go “I‰’m moving back to Canada‰Û, but it did not work that way.

To be continued…

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