East Northamptonshire artist Dan Pigeon has given 2019 one of it’s most esoteric and avant-garde releases already, in the form of the ‘Milky Grey’ EP. Trying to describe this skittering, snaking, abstract lo-fi beast is a tough one; best to just read the interview with him and head to the streaming link below, yeah.
How/why/when did you start this project?
I started Dan Pigeon around March last year, when I bought my laptop. I’ve always wanted to start making music and had loads of ideas in my head, but never actually got round to it because I had no proper means of getting it recorded and mixed. Teaching myself to produce has been a really interesting challenge and I’m actually really happy with how quickly I’ve picked it up. I’m not amazing, but I’ve got the basics I guess!
How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences in music?
I’d describe it as atmospheric, intimate, almost haunting. My EP is probably a bit of a weird listen to a lot of people. It fits into the whole alternative rock/lo-fi region, but I cant place exactly where. I haven’t really got round to defining it just yet, because it’s in its early days. I’m really hoping to evolve my sound for the next EP – refine my skills and really hone in on creating an atmosphere that no one else has done before.
I’m into a whole range of music. I spent a lot of time trying to expand my music taste last year and I’m really glad I did. I’d have to say my favourite band is Teen Suicide. I’m also really into The Wytches, Earl Sweatshirt, King Krule, Radiohead, etc. Don’t think I’ve ever related to an album more than DC Snuff Film / waste yrslef [albums by Teen Suicide]. I’m into a whole range of genres: experimental hip hop, jazz, hardcore punk, post rock, etc. But mostly I listen to a lot of dreary lo-fi and anti-folk stuff.
You’re part of the Acolytes world, correct?
Yeah I am actually. My brother’s the lead guitarist. I’m really close with all the members, and two of them play in my band when I perform as Dan Pigeon. We’re all part of the ‘NN10 Noise Club’, which is more of an inside joke between us but I guess it’s a music collective. Shout out to Nailbreaker and Dylon Dean – two of the solo projects from Acolytes. They’re really making some sick stuff at the moment, and I’m too excited to see where they go. From what I know Acolytes are gonna be back at some point, but its a mystery to know when exactly.
Tell us about this ‘Milky Grey’ EP.
The EP is something I spent about nine months on. It’s six tracks long and about 20 minutes in length. It’s a collection of songs I’ve written about some of the stuff that’s been going on in my life. It’s mainly about my mental illnesses and just some observations I’ve made about life in general. The world’s a really messy place and I’ve had a difficult time adjusting to how shit everything is, so having the opportunity to express myself has been great. It’s really important to me that people don’t just put it on shuffle because otherwise it doesn’t flow. The songs are really contextual to the actual EP, so just taking random snippets really doesn’t do it much justice in my opinion. I want people to listen to it when it fits their mood. It’s not something I’ve made with the intention for people to have it on as background music, it’s much more intended for when you’re feeling a bit gloomy about everything. Listening it out of context or on the wrong day could ruin it in my opinion, so if you’re gonna give it a listen take in what I’ve just said.
One of my main intentions with it was to make something that’s a bit quirky and experimental, so I’m actually quite happy with how it turned out in that sense. I don’t want to sound like everyone else. I’m so bored of hearing the same sound time and time again. It does make it harder to find the right audience though – alternative music isn’t for everyone, so I can imagine a few people listened to it and thought it was boring or whatever, but I’m fine with that.
What was the first live show like? The music on the EP is quite intricate and lo-fi, was it an easy thing to translate to a band environment?
I did a launch night at The Garibaldi Hotel on the 5th of January, and live shows tend to play out differently, which is something I’m almost glad about. I tend to do more energetic, punky covers of my songs because it’s more fun and I think people are more likely to watch it and get involved. I don’t really have that much if a fanbase, so I’m worried people wouldn’t really get it if I played the songs exactly like the EP.
Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire?
Yeah I guess I am. Over the last few years I’ve been to a load of local gigs in Northampton, mainly at The Lab and the Gari. I’ve only really pulled myself together and organised gigs of my own recently but I have met and seen some really great artists in and around Northampton – shoutout to the NN10 Noise Club especially, but also big shoutout to I’m Just Really Sad, Sharkteeth Grinder, Grynn. So many great bands in Northampton, and it’s great to see a scene of something you’re passionate about.
What has been your favourite Dan Pigeon moment so far?
Probably releasing the EP. I’ve had a real love/hate relationship with it but over the last few weeks I’ve really become a lot more proud of it, and I’m progressively getting happier with the stuff that I’m making. It’s really exciting for me that I’m able to be doing this, so anything’s a plus!
What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The Party Suite by Dan Blake. One of those albums I just stumbled across and I’m so glad I did. Some really funky, vibrant coffee shop jazz with some really engaging sections throughout – definitely worth a listen.
What is your burning desire to do in 2019? What general plans do you have?
To be honest I really wanna start building a fanbase and playing a load more gigs. Starting Dan Pigeon has been so fun so far and I cant wait to see what else it has in store for me. It’s something I really care about and want to share with people, so writing more music and evolving is gonna be really fun. I’m hopefully going to London to do a philosophy degree later this year, so I’m gonna really throw myself in at the deep end and try and spread my music as much as possible. It’s something that’s truly special and it’ll help me build my confidence massively.
The Milky Grey EP is out now via the usual places