Having just released their third album Up, Guards And At Em! back in April of this year, popular Yorkshire five-piece The Pigeon Detectives are currently gearing up for an extensive European tour, but we managed to catch up with the band’s guitarist Ryan Wilson recently, to ask him a few questions; some of which were very kindly provided by your good selves…
You’ve just released your third album. What has fan reaction been like to the new material so far?
So far we’ve been getting a great response, we played most of the new album on our last tour and it went down well.
You guys are playing quite a few European shows and festivals this summer – including the main stage at Reading this year – are you looking forward to seeing any other bands there?
Reading/Leeds is going to be special for us and to share a stage with Pulp and The Strokes… its going to be a great day.
You’re playing RugbyRocks on June 4th – have you played any sports events before? Are you looking forward to a big night in Richmond?
Yeah it’s going to be a good night, we haven’t done any sport gigs so it’ll be interesting to see what goes on.
Do you have a favourite festival anecdote?
One of the first festivals we ever played was the O2 festival in Hyde Park, we all got drunk and ended up hanging out with The Strokes, Kate Moss, Carl Barat, Keanu Reeves and Jack White. We were in total shock to be in the presence of all these people. It was a good night.
Do you guys enjoy the whole touring experience? What video games/DVD boxsets do you currently have on the tour bus?
Yeah we love touring and playing live, but we generally don’t hang on the bus too much unless we are travelling; we all like to watch a good comedy, Family Guy and Eastbound and Down are our favourites at the moment.
Are you guys able to write new material when you’re on the road? Some bands find it impossible….
We are never actually away too long for us to need to write on the road, some places can inspire you but it is difficult to get the peace and quiet to sit and write when your touring.
Did you enjoy working with producer Justin Gerrish recently? Has the recording process changed much for you since your debut?
It was a pleasure to work with Justin, he is a great up and coming producer and has worked with some great bands, this time around we all had a big say in the production. We all got involved and worked well together whereas with the first two we didn’t get that involved in the production. I think from now on this is how we like to work.
You guys have been together for just over a decade now. Broadly speaking, how has the music industry changed for you over that period?
The music industry has changed a hell of a lot over the last eight years, it’s pretty difficult at the moment, the kids just download your music for free and don’t expect to pay for it which is crippling the industry. Now we’re in a recession people are watching their money so even live gigs aren’t selling as well as a few years ago. Most bands are riding it out and it’ll turn around again.
You recorded Up, Guards and At ‘Em! at a studio in New York. How was that?
It was brilliant, the studio was great. We really engrossed ourselves in the city and it really inspired us, New York is one of the best places in the world in my opinion and we were really happy and privileged to be out there recording our third album.
We’re out for drinks and I’m buying. What’s your poison?
‘Gin and Juice’ is our choice of drinks at the moment. (Gin and fresh orange)
Do you have a favourite band and/or record of all time?
Mine personally is The Beatles White Album – great band, great record.
Have you ever been star struck? By whom?
The first time I saw Paul McCartney simply because I am a big Beatles fan and actually being in the same room as him was one of the highlights of my career.
You bump into a musician at a party who you’ve idolised since childhood, and he or she asks to hear one of your tunes. Which one do you play? Why?
I’d probably play one of our new songs ‘Done in Secret’ simply because I think it’s a good bridge song from our older albums to our new album.
You said recently on TV that Up, Guards and At ‘Em was inspired by a quote from the Duke Of Wellington. Is history a big interest of yours?
Not really. We thought that quote was pretty cool and appropriate for us.
You’re a big Leeds United fan. Have you got high hopes for next season?
I hope we can battle to be in and around the playoffs, we just missed it this year so hopefully we’ll be there next year.
Who is the best person that you’ve ever camped with at a festival?
A crazy drunken Australian guy at Leeds Festival, he actually came up with our band name.
What’s the worst pigeon committed crime that you’ve ever uncovered?
None. We’re not actually Pigeon Detectives, we’re too busy to be doing that.
The band are headlining this year’s RugbyRocks festival, which takes place in Richmond on the weekend of 4-5 June 2011.
Watch the video for ‘Done In Secret’ here: