Jerry Lucky: First off….what’s with the name…in progressive rock we’re used to hearing all kinds of strange and unusual band names…but Fright Pig is certainly one of the more bizarre ones.
Fright Pig: Oh, the name came to me instantly. It could only be Fright Pig. In car collecting parlance, a “Fright Pig” is a car that looks like a shimmering beauty from the distance, but gets rougher and rougher by the time you approach it. It’s a car that has a dual nature to it. I already had decided that I wanted the project and its members to be anonymous, so the duality of the name was fitting, as was the pig reference. And the puns surrounding the name have simply been outstanding!
JL: What can you divulge about how many are in the group and who plays what?
FP: Fright Pig actually has quite a few contributing musicians. Aside from the drummer, bassist, vocalist, and keyboardist, no less than 5 guitarists have played on the album. A talented violinist and mandolin player also round things off. Oh yes, and my son…he is the one laughing at the end of the album.
JL: To my ears it certainly sounds like there’s a high degree of musical skill…would I be correct in thinking this is not your first musical undertaking?
FP: Yes, I have been involved in lots of musical undertakings in various forms.
JL: Is there any truth to the idea that the “witness protection program” is a factor in your anonymity?
FP: It’s no fun being on the run…my legs are short and the Hammond slows me down. So, the FBI guys, they offered me a deal and I said “sure…why not?”
JL: So of all the musical paths you could have taken…you chose Progressive Rock! What led to that decision?
FP: I have always found Progressive Rock intriguing. Don’t get me wrong, though…I listen to and enjoy tons of music in many different genres. But I feel that the genre allows for a daring, less than typical approach to music and composition. Progressive Rock fits that bill. Open architecture, emphasis on musicianship, and a base of listeners who are used to the unexpected and encourage creativity...that’s Progressive Rock. Nothing wrong with that path!
JL: What’s your earliest recollection of hearing Prog? Did that influence you in any way?
FP: When I was a kid, my folks were always dialed in to classical music. They might as well have just ripped the knob off in the car. And I do wonder if listening to the complex structures and changing musical palettes in classical dictated a basis for my taste in Prog. When I finally started to show some musical independence, I gravitated towards the more musically complex bands like ELP and really early Deep Purple. So perhaps Classical would be considered my gateway when I was young and oh so impressionable.
JL: Is there an interesting story as to how Fright Pig came together? Over some bacon and eggs perhaps?
FP: An idea like Fright Pig involves a solid dedicated hour at the bar followed by a regional bacon medley. It definitely wasn’t inspired by a cup of coffee and a breakfast churro. Truthfully, the idea of doing something like Fright Pig had been whirling away in my head for a long time.
JL: Out of the Barnyard is your first band CD…how would you describe the music on it?
FP: I had worked for so long on this album that the original intentions of the music began to blur. I often threatened to rewrite it, then backed away like I had kicked a board over and found a poisonous snake underneath. I’m pretty close to the music in an emotional sense. I did want to write something that incorporated many different styles of Prog. I also wanted to make the album humorous and fill it with
musical nods. What I didn’t want to do is sound typical and rehash what has already been done or whatever is current. It’s impossible to be completely new, especially with a long lasting genre like Prog. I did set a few parameters though, like not using any keyboard made after 1983. I was 90% successful with that goal.
JL: In my review I drew attention to at least two sides to your music…one that’s more ELP/Genesis-ey and the other that’s more Trans-Siberian Orchestra-ey…is that in any was an accurate observation?
FP: Yup. The album is constructed to be a sort of descent into chaos. The first part, especially “re:Creation”, is musically very structured and tonally disciplined. The moods and textures become harder and the musical structures begin to unravel as the album proceeds. By the time “Claustrophobia of Time” rolls around, both sides collide and it ends in free-spirited chaos. Your review was very accurate!
JL: What’s the reaction been to your music…from critics? From fans?
FP: I am frankly, thrilled and very grateful that the reaction from both has been so positive. I’m very glad that the album has an appeal…which is so intangible when writing music, especially in the early stages.
JL: What’s happening on the live front…are there plans to play live?
FP: Yes…Fright Pig has been invited to play at RoSfest in May of 2014. A pretty awesome honor! After RoSfest, who knows where the winds might take us?!
JL: I’m always interested in how the internet has impacted bands…is that a big part of the band’s promo arsenal? How much has the internet helped or hurt?
FP: The internet has pretty much made Fright Pig a reality. Had I tried to tap dance in front of record companies in the not so distant past, I’m sure that the answer to signing, pitching or distributing this album would have been a resounding “No”! The fact that I can correspond directly and fluidly with people who are interested in the music has been inspiring! That said, the internet does also take as well as give.
The proliferation of torrents offering Fright Pig are just so astounding and excessive. I was pretty shocked…and admittedly saddened to see it grow so large, so quickly. I know that I am preaching to the choir by saying this. It is the reality of technology today.
JL: Lastly then…if you were stuck on a deserted island…and could only have 5 discs with you…which ones would they be and why those particular ones?
FP: Wow! I never thought that I would ever be honored with this question! I guess a mix of the old and new. ELP “Brain Salad Surgery”, Argent “Circus”, Pink Floyd “Animals”, Frost “Milliontown”, and Radiohead “Ok Computer”.