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Interview with Pearl Earl
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I think my mom and dad originally got me into music, they've always played records in our house and my mom's side of the family was very musical and theatrical.. My brother first taught me 'Smoke on the Water’ and a few other riffs when I was in sixth grade but I lost interest when I couldn’t easily play a chord. I never started actually playing an instrument seriously until one night in college my friend taught me some guitar chords and suddenly I became obsessed with getting better at playing it. If I hadn't started learning guitar I might have stayed focused in college and actually get a degree in Biology and not Anthropology. I thought I was going to go into a career of natural medicine or nutrition, but discovering I was a musician derailed that.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
When I'm not playing music and want to decompress, I like to watch documentaries and reality tv. Science and history are really fascinating and inspiring to me. I also like to go outside and walk around my neighborhood and explore the city and see nature and culture. Different cultures, places and people are the most inspiring to me in spurring creativity because it presents new themes and topics that I can ponder on. But also when I'm not playing music, I'm often listening to it, researching musicians or going to shows because it’s an obsession, quite possibly a curse.
How long has your band been together?
My band has been together 8 years, though the lineup has changed around a little.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
We were originally based in Denton, Texas and I moved to St. Paul, Minnesota for two years but now we're based in Los Angeles. Living in Denton, there were so many young college musicians because the University of North Texas has a renowned jazz program. I never went to school for music but I learned how to jam with people and find out how to operate musically as a total beginner. There were always a ton of house shows and concerts all around town. The small town feel and community vibe of Denton led me to feel safe in my exploration of making music and got me on my feet, it really opened up my world! Denton is also 3.5 hours from Austin and I would often go down there for shows or festivals like SXSW and Austin Psych Fest or catch the touring bands stopping through on their way down there. Having Austin so close really influenced the music because I was always interested in the psychedelic rock world, which Austin is a mecca for psych.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
One of the most memorable shows we had was playing the Tripping Daisy reunion concert that sold out in a day. It was our first time opening for a sold out and really special event, but also a full circle moment for me because my mom and brother were obsessed with them when I was a kid in the 90s and their music was a constant in the car. I staged dived like a wet noodle for the first time. Another special one was opening for Parquet Courts because I love that band a lot and it was also a completely packed event where the crowd stormed the barricade. I staged dived at that one too for the second time ever, and improved my skills just a little bit.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
My favorite venue to play at is probably Harvest House in Denton, TX because it feels like home. That or Rubber Gloves, they’re both tied. I want to play everywhere really, but would love to get out of the country first! Berlin, Perth, Paris, Tokyo- let’s go!!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Australia is killing it right now - honestly any one of these : Amyl & the Sniffers, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Pond, Tame Impala. Air? MGMT? Cate Le Bon? Gorillaz? Rolling Stones (they’re still playing, right?) Ozzy if he could muster it!!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Get weird with it baby! Please get on and off stage with your gear promptly! Don’t let mom and dad get in your head!
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Don’t record hungover. Don’t drink all of the beer because it’s free. There will be many people that give you unsolicited advice and you don’t have to listen nor care!
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
The answer changes around, but right now I think that Miss Milky Way’s Mental Breakdown means the most to me because it represents a deep beautiful sadness or madness (though its not a particularly sad or angry song) that I can’t explain, yet it inspires to me reach beyond. There aren’t a lot of lyrics but it goes on a journey and gives me peace.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I think ‘Meet Your Maker’ is a really fun one to play and perhaps the most requested too! Quite a bit of older songs get requested like ‘Witches Brew’, ’Star in the Sky’ and ‘Cosmic Queen’. I also like playing ‘Karaoke Superstar’ when we have a guest play my guitar and I can hop around stage everywhere, but that’s a super oldie.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I write all of the songs on different instruments and for the most part make compositions using guitar, bass, keys and drum machine and show the demos to everyone and we hash it out live. I bring compositions and riffs to my drummer Bailey and we will jam stuff I’ve been working on and we lock it all in. I’m inspired by the need to escape, anger, detachment, weirdo freak energy, and party vibes. Political and personal climate definitely inspire my music, along with space, aliens, supernatural events, stardust, sunsets, and made up characters to name a few things.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I would like the messages to be ambiguous to the listener, allowing for their own interpretation . A trend for the new album takes a few jabs at society but with the means to want it to be repaired. I see a lot flaws in our society but I also want my music to be a warm candle in the dark tunnel that can provide an escape to the things that make us angry and sad. I want people to rock their way out of misery and to know that they’re not alone.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We have issues like any relationship does, but a band is basically a giant relationship involving more people where you have to assess everyones needs and emotions. Communication, time, negotiation, and putting other people before your own ego is a good place to start when trying to get past issues. At the end of the day remembering the friendship is what’s important.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We have so many plans! Releasing a new album next year, touring, many music videos and going to Europe. We’re about to announce our new record very soon and just released our first single with a music video called ‘Evil Does It’!!