Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Pig'n'aif Q&A

Your name:
Pete Bangert.

Where are you from?
Originally Sheffield UK. Now based back there full time.

Name of band:
The band name is pronounced (in a typical Yorkshire accent) as Pig'an'Ayf. (Please feel free to use it as a surreptitious curse - we do...). The name was originally born out of frustration and reflects the fact that it has often been a pig (and an ’aif) to bring these projects to fruition, or indeed to get the musicians together to play the material, but hopefully it also indicates that there is a lighter side to things.

Who is in your band?
The members vary, dependent upon the project type we are working on. Core members at the moment are Jack Bunker - Vocals, Session Pete - Bass and Pete Bangert - guitar, keyboards, production etc..
We have various other contributors on recent albums such as Mel Day and Mick Shedd on vocals,  Clatterfoot (another session man from the Pig'n'aif family) on drums and Graham Shaw on drums. But there are many other guys in the Pig'n'aif family.

How would you describe yourselves?
Pig'n'aif is not straightforward to sum up quickly but here goes...Pig’n’aif is a band-based music project, put together and performed with over the years by Pete Bangert and his colleagues. It works in conjunction with the Rising Records independent record label based in Sheffield (UK). The material produced by the band and its offshoots over the years, has varied from heavy rock, through prog rock and jazz-rock fusion, to NWOBHM and Blues. It has followed the muse of Pete and his colleague's writings and has never been constrained to a particular style. Pig'n'aif often spawns other bands. The NWOBHM band Phoenix Rising and the rock-fusion band Toshrollo are just two examples of this.
The band has been largely studio based and works in parallel to the other music projects or bands of its contributing members. However, every now and then, it will form a live line-up and do a few gigs in selected venues to blow the cobwebs off and keep in touch with the local fan base.
A recent example of this was the Pig'n'aif Jam-Band line-up which got together to jam blues-rock numbers live in front of an audience for fun. In typical Pig'n'aif fashion the numbers were given very different treatments to the accepted styles that we are accustomed to hearing them in. The live sessions produced two albums the second of which, "Pig'n'aif Blue-ish" has just been released. Check out Crossroads (track 2) and you will see immediately what we mean by a different treatment.
The guys are currently back in the studio working on three new albums. A prog-based album, a blues-rock album and an electro-rock album. They expect at least one of them to be released later this year and the rest next year.
Maybe the best way to describe us is as unconstrained, experienced working musicians out for a bit of fun.

Who are your main influences musically?
Vast and varied. In the early days it was probably rock, prog and fusion bands although a number of Pig'n'aif musicians are classically trained originally. Bands like Yes, King Crimson, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Wishbone Ash, Groundhogs, Led Zeppelin and many more.
Due to our advancing years, we have played and been exposed to masses of material which obviously seeps into the core of one's experience. We are probably now more influenced by what we are writing at the moment as we see where it is taking us. Hopefully that crystalises into a theme for what we are producing at the time.

What do you hope to achieve in music?
Finish off all of the work in our pipeline, although as one item is half finished the next seems to come along. We'd also like to gig a little more, but the hassle of setting it up with the venues and local vested interest takes a lot of the fun out of the process nowadays. AND OF COURSE, It would be nice to earn a little more cash from it to keep funding our project's expenses whilst we can.

What has been the highlight of your career so far, and why?
There have been many highlights and it's difficult to choose between them because each one is a milestone in it's own way. Speaking personally, the first time I played one of my own compositions in front of an audience with a band was special because it was a verification of personal creativity as opposed to being a journeyman. The first time we played as a headline act in front 2,500 people. The buzz from that is unforgettable. Giving a young son a personal copy of a newly released recording and watching his face.

And what’s the moment you want to forget?
Having to pull the plug on a very successful band to save the members from personal ruin. Just because it was forced into a huge financial hole by incompetent management, embezzlement and egos. That single event instantly invalidated several years of nervous and creative energy and left me personally without the slightest interest in playing again. It took two years and one very good friend with immaculate timing, to come back from that.

If you had to choose just one of your songs to represent your music, what would it be and why?
This is a question that we find almost impossible to answer (of course) because our output has been so varied over the years.
If we constrain it to our recent "Pig'n'aif Blue-ish" album, even though it is a cover of a Robert Johnson song, "Crossroads" probably sums up our personal approach to music. Originally, it is an archetypical blues number. It was later taken by Cream and constrained into a rock standard. We wondered what type of musical style Robert Johnson would be preforming if he was alive nowadays. So we gave it a funk treatment which seemed to work very nicely thank you.  A re-imagining too far? You tell us, at least we had fun with it.
But you really should check out other Pig'n'aif music as well as that of our spin-off band's outputs.

Where can we listen to it?
This page on Artistcamp gives almost all of the download and streaming links a body could need: http://artistcamp.rebeat.com/pig-n-aif/blue-ish/9008798120826/index.html

Our webpage has clips and links and you can also get a physical CD here:

Where can we find out more about your music?

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