Friday, August 6, 2010

interview: Pensive Penguin.

so a while ago i found Pensive Penguin doing my usual search on Triple J Unearthed 
[[great way to discover awesome indie music]] they are an awesome band [[as long as you don't make 'penguin' plural like i did... anywho, they answered a couple of my questions, and the interview was fun to read, so i hope you have heaps of fun reading it!
They are...
Denis Hamilton- Main Squarking, Rhythm Guitar, Some Bassing, Hangovers
Alex Black- Lead Guitar, Back Up Squarking, Ability to tolerate Denis
David Fairbrother- Bass, Height, Appreciator of Wicked Surnames
Jesse Greenwood- Drums, World of Warcraft and Wicked Surname
Amy Wollstein- Main Backing Squarks, Keys, Occasional Ironic Dance Movement and Rattle Snake Impressions

1*The name of your band, Pensive Penguins, is crazy cool! 

How did you come up with it?
Denis [[Lead Singer/Rhythm Guitarist]]: Thank you very much! Though I ought to point out that it’s ‘Pensive Penguin’ – singular :D [[We get that a bit]] The name is kind of a long story… The initial thought began when a girl I was in love with in high school gave me a mix-tape with a picture on the front of a penguin looking out wistfully at the sunset. I always wondered what it was thinking about. And then, years later, I wrote a poem with the line ‘pensive penguin’ in it [[which I really liked because I love alliteration]]. So I then developed it into a fictional character named Pensive Penguin, whose adventures and musings I chronicled in a blog that I kept up for a couple of years… and I always thought that if I started a band it would make a great name for it…so here we are!
2*Who usually writes the lyrics?
Denis: That would be me, for the moment.
3*When did you first form as a band?
Denis: Well, I did some solo stuff under the name Pensive Penguin on and off for a few years as a side project, but it only solidified this year. I started looking for members in September 2009, and Alex was the first find. Then Jesse came on board in October, Amy joined up in January and David was the final piece of the puzzle-he became a Penguin in May this year.
4*What has been the most exciting gig to date?
Denis: I think that would be different for everyone. I personally find every gig exciting in different ways. But I’ll let someone else give a better answer here…
Amy [[Main Backing Vocals/Keys/Percussion]]: There was something very magical at our last gig [[our single launch]] at the Troubador in Brisbane. It felt like the room was listening collectively, and we were all sharing moments together. Kinda gushy… but I think music is all about connecting with people and having a shared experience It’s very cool to see that happen in front of our eyes…and then realize…”hey, I’m doing that!”
Jesse [[Drums]]: For me it was a gig at X&Y a couple of months ago. So much energy in the room and the stage was fairly close to the audience. It was quite a small venue but it was packed out, much fun.

5*Where do you hope Pensive Penguin will be in 2-5 years?
Denis: Nested snugly in the Collective Igloo of Consciousness…
Alex [[Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals]]: Working on the notoriously difficult ‘third album’ in our custom-built log cabin studio, somewhere in Samford Valley.
6*Now for a question for each individual…when did you all start playing your instruments?
Denis: I started playing guitar when I was 14, then switched to bass so I could play in a friend’s band in high school, which I did until I was about 22. I decided I wanted to write for a living when I was about 6, though.
Amy: I consider my voice my most mastered instrument. And I have been singing for…woah! 10 years…I have only recently picked up the keys and glock [[glockenspiel]] and tambourine and egg shaker!
David [[Bass Guitar]]: I started playing guitar at 16, and then started jamming with friends a few years later and realized I wasn’t quite as good as them, so I turned to bass and haven’t got much better since then.
Alex: I started at 15 as well. My Dad bought a crappy old classical guitar, and we had an intense rivalry over the following months to see who could learn the fastest. I got hooked, and he went back to playing piano.
Jesse: At 14, I saved up and bought my first drum kit. It was a horrible sounding kit and I had never played the drums before then. I think now, looking back, if someone had bought it for me I might have given up. It was terribad. Only just recently I’ve looked back at all my friends who used to play instruments slowly have given them p. I guess I just never got bored of it.
7*Who/What are your influences?
Denis: On an intellectual or tangible level, my personal inspiration tends to vary- the way in which I write or the reasons why I write can be as simple as wanting to express or capture a moment, or as involved as wanting to reinterpret a book, song or film that had a particular impact on me. Yet with all of these things, the deeper truth which I hope to tap into is that of honest expression, and the many different shades it has. I enjoy and admire artists who create works which are challenging and complex, yet resonate with truth. Augie March, The Shins, Bright Eyes…Jorge L. Borges, Kubrick, Van Gough. These are all artists which have had a serious impact on me and who I look up to.
Amy: My personal influences I think differ to our collective influences. I am trained as an actress, so I take a lot of inspiration from the world of theatre. I connect with story tellers…Damien Rice, Sarah Blasko are quite good at this, I think. I also like gutsy women, Shirley Manson, Clare Bowditch, Edith Piaf…
David: Colin Greenwood is pretty much the man to me, that guy’s head bobs when he’s getting into it are pretty damn cool.
Alex: Purely as a guitarist, I look up to anyone who understands nuance and avoids repetition-Johnny Marr, Jimmy Page, Adam Jones amongst many others.
Jesse: Well starting with PP I was influenced by the chaotic nature of Arctic Monkeys’ drummer Matt Helders. But lately I’ve taken a step back and tried to get into a more rhythmic and dynamic style, like Grizzly Bear and Bob Dylan.
8*What message do you want your music to convey?
Denis: I would hope that our music captures the truth of something untouchable, yet infinitely knowable. I want to create similar moments for people that I have experience through music, and inspire other people to want to do the same. Maybe it would be better if I asked you what kind of message you get out of it?
Amy: An experience, a feeling, a smile, a frown, a though, a transformation, a good time, a small change or shift in someone, a new way to view the world.
David: If it’s anything like the message I’ve learnt since joining, it’s to be yourself and things will sort themselves out. [[A subliminal one that tells every listener to buy our records would be pretty sweet as well]]
Alex: Luckily, we have quite a gifted lyricist in our igloo. Pensive Penguin songs are observations, tales of heartache and acceptance, tirades, and the odd nymph encounter. But once those lyrics hit the page and are offered up to the public, they can [[and should]] be related to and interpreted in any number of ways.
Jesse: I think as a whole our music keeps a kind of honesty whichever the direction the song wants to go.
Denis: I changed my mind, I want our music to convey David’s message.
9*What do you think of the huge wave of new bloggers?
Denis: I love bloggers! Probably because I love blogging, and have done it myself for years. I did have an initial problem with the word ‘blog’ though, but I think I’ve come around in the last year or so. Initially I was annoyed because I thought it was such an ugly term for such a pretty thing, but I can appreciate it for its ugliness now. Kudos to you!
10*Do you have a random question for the next band to be interviewed?
Denis: Who is your favourite mythological character and why?
Amy: If you could choose someone to play you in a movie of your life…who would it be?
Jesse: Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do more like?
David: Have you heard of Pensive Penguin?

so guys, head on over to Triple J Unearthed or their myspace page and look out for their upcoming EP!
This band is one of the best indie folk bands i've heard in a while!
pensive penguin website [[clickety]] you can find photos, listen to their music, and Denis' blog!
[[i had a bit of trouble with the editing, it's longer than an english essay, but i retyped it. just for you guys]]

xx rena.

thankyou Pensive Penguin, i now want to find an awesome building ledge and look over it, then have someone take a photo of me.
then i'll sit on it, like this.


pipmarshall said...

you have awesome music taste!!! hope you get more interviews soon man, they're cool


Danielle said...

Hi,loved your blog!
Nice interview,cool band!

Thanks for visit!
I am brazilian, my english is bad! Sorry!

/Fashion Bowie