Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ricochet Magazine/Interview with Billy McCarthy of Pela

Photo by Bob Sanderson

While the full interview will be the main story in the first issue of Ricochet Magazine, (more to come on that later) here are a few key snippets of the interview I conducted.

Going back to your older stuff like the All in Time EP. From there to Anytown Graffiti it seems that there was definitely a shift towards more aggressive songs, was that intentional?

You know I was reading a great interview with Hüsker Dü who are one of my favorite bands and they were talking about the difference in their first album which was very fast, and I think what they said was that they were playing fast because they were an opening band and they didn’t have a whole lot of time to play their set so they wanted to get as many songs in as possible. I think that its kinda possible that the aggressive sound was more of the live stage experience and I think that we feel like we’re getting out point across that way with the tempo and the tone.

Now you’ve had some past issues on tour, you had the hand injury in Chicago and you broke your foot in Seattle, are you more careful on stage now do you take any special precautions?

Yeah, I take it into consideration now. I went to the hospital forty times this year with physical therapy and surgery and I think it’s just an altitude thing. I think the precarious situations were about me climbing up things so I probably won’t be doing that as much anymore, although, if you get a couple beers in me who knows.

As a Native Philadelphia, I’m interested as to where the song "Philadelphia" comes from?

I have an old friend I went to grade school with that lives in Philadelphia that was going through some upheaval personally, I think, with the fiancé and it was very difficult for me because I went to visit once and I really didn’t appreciate the way he was treating her. And it was strange to be in an adult frame of mind with an old friend that I remember as a childhood friend and I believe that I wrote it thinking of her and how much I really didn’t like this dude. I mean I grew up in Northern California so a lot of it’s kinda imagined, it’s like how believed Philadelphia would be in this scenario I guess. So it was kind of me meditating on the situation my friend had found herself in and the backdrop would be Philadelphia where she lives.

Well on the topic of YouTube videos and bootlegs and that stuff, what’s your outlook on that stuff?

Um...I think in the new landscape of music, you can’t get enough music out there. Personally, being a musician, money comes and goes and I haven’t purchased a record in a while because I also don’t like to accumulate trash and I try to be as green as I can and it makes me feel weird. I mean, I buy it for the album art often and some people don’t even do album art anymore, so I’m stuck with this piece of plastic so I understand it. I mean, I know people get precious about it but they really have to understand that people just want to listen to music and any way that can happen is okay. If we can get past money and all the ridiculous business bullshit I think what you got is people finding their way to music and I wouldn’t want to impede that at all. I mean, people want to listen to art and that’s kinda why we’re doing this right?

I can’t even begin to list how many bands I’ve found through music blogs and those kinds of things, especially through their live stuff. I mean I’ll look for live stuff just as much as studio stuff because music is a live art.

Yeah, thats a big Pela value. A thing we’re really proud of is that, I think when we step on stage it’s not really conscious, but the show is not about us. It’s about the listener, it’s about the audience you know? You guys are coming out and our comfort level is secondary. We’re trying to give you a good time and help you forget, you know, whatever recession or bullshit is going on in people’s lives and we’re trying to elevate and forgot about our mundane lives. I wish more people felt that way because I’ve seen people pull rockstar moves and be ridiculous and it’s like, “man, if you could just understand that it’s not really about you, it’s about the fans that come up to you and talk to you about their lives and what stuff means to them,” that’s what it’s about.

As I mentioned earlier, the full interview will be the main story in the first issue of Ricochet Magazine. So what is that?

Ricochet Magazine is a fan zine written and produced by music fans. Some of us are writing majors trying to get a head start on the business we want to be a part of, and some are just fans who want their opinions heard. We will soon become you number one stop for interviews, reviews, commentaries, and whatever else you want. The first issue is coming in May so keep a lookout here for more information about the zine, and where you can find it once it's out.

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