‘Bacon, egg & cheese’ | Interview with Pieces

The first 90 secs of Lupine introduces you to the Piece’s sound. After that, a simple, touching chord progression builds the tension until a mesmerizing drop and a skilful solo that comes with it. Highly recommended.
Read our interview with the band below!

Describe your sound in 3 words

Bacon, egg & cheese

Listening to Lupine I feel that the first part of the song is a continuation of your first album 1A while the second part introduces a new sound. Tell us a few things about it.

Interesting observation! I guess it’s a product of us finding our sound as a band over time and welcoming ideas that may be outside the box for a traditional jazz trio sound. Part of that is starting to embrace a more long form compositional style as opposed to just playing tunes. It feels like the direction we’re heading with our sound is truer to us than ever.

Your music has an experimental tone. Should music as a form of art always challenge the listener?

If art doesn’t challenge the observer, is it actually art? We like to challenge the listener’s expectations as a way to draw them in. We make music that is challenging because it’s interesting to us and fun to play. The music we love to listen to has unexpected moments that make the story that’s being told more powerful. Every great story comes with both triumphs and challenges.

Is improvisation a talent or a skill?

At its core, improvisation is more of an activity. It’s just something you do. In a musical setting however, it certainly takes hours and hours of intense practice to become proficient. The best improvisers have an almost human-like connection with their instrument, using it to fluidly express whatever they are hearing and feeling through sound. Every genre and style of music has its own musical language, so to be able to improvise in a style, one has to be familiar with whatever kind of language it uses. I don’t think talent has anything to do with it, though.

What is the biggest challenge of being a guitar trio?

Reaching people without having lyrics! This is a challenge all instrumental music faces. Just play what makes you feel something and trust that feeling will be communicated. The benefit of being instrumental is that we can lean into the abstract and not be hemmed in by the human language. A more guitar trio specific challenge would be orchestrating a broad range of emotions with such a limited instrumentation. We do some overdubbing and add other instruments in the studio, but when we play live it’s usually just the three of us with no backing tracks or loops or anything. This forces us to be creative and find ways to access different textures in order to keep the music exciting.

Artists and people who have influenced and inspired you?

As individuals, we all have tons of influences, however I think there are a few that specifically influence the music Pieces makes. Thelonious Monk, Big Thief, Ambrose Akinmusire, and Peter Bernstein are some names that come to mind. Also surrealist painters like Joan Miró, Zdzisław Beksiński, and Salvador Dalí.

What is the story behind your name?

Pieces means a lot of things. We are all pieces. I think the name pieces came from the name of a song Olin our guitarist wrote. He was struggling to get the song to flow the way he wanted it, so he eventually just kind of said fuck it and rearranged all the parts of the song. Like a puzzle that needed a fresh set of eyes. I think that the concept of taking something, exploding it, and putting it back together again in a different way resonated with us.

What is a crime but shouldn’t be?

Laws that inhibit social mobility and keep poor people poor. The American legal system is designed to favor the rich and powerful and leave the rest of us in the dust. Any laws that criminalize activities that people do in order to survive like sex work, homelessness/loitering, and recreational drugs.

Thank you!

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