Interview With Guitarist Of Newly Re-formed Pitchshifter Posted Online
Dan Rayner, of British rockers Pitchshifter, was recently interviewed by RockMidgets.com about the re-forming of the band, what the band members have been doing during their "indefinite hiatus", the band's roots, and what's next for Pitchshifter. Also, a new, limited edition EP, entitled "None For All, And All For One", is now available from the official Pitchshifter site in both unsigned and signed versions. Some excerpts from the interview follow:
Obvious question, but why have Pitchshifter got back together now?
Dan: Well, we never really broke up. If you read the small print, it says, indefinite hiatus. And I don't know, I guess that's a cover all clause, but Pitchshifter has evolved into something really quite interesting now. Obviously musically, we were always an interesting, progressive band, but as a group of individuals now, it's kind of a really nice network of people with divergent sorts of tastes and talents. We've all got a lot of other stuff going on. There's no label pressure because we are the label and there's no 18 months touring or recording schedule and people forcing us to do stuff we don't want to do. It means now that we're completely hegemonic and we can do whatever we want. When we feel the time is right, we all put gaps in our schedules and we all come back together and that's what happens. We don't sort of sit down and have a strategy meeting. We don't all like fly in like Thunderbirds, but after a while it just starts to feel right and I'll have a conversation with Jase or John to see what's going on, and it just comes together like that.
But you've not all been quiet have you? Members of Pitchshifter have been in various bands...
Yeah, sure. John's (J.S. Clayden, vocals - Ed. PSI Ed.) over in LA. He's doing a lot of management for people but he's also spending most of his time running PSI Records. As well as being a regular record label for Pitchshifter they also released This Is Menace stuff, which is Mark (Clayden, bass - Ed.) and Jason's (Bowlds, drummer - Ed.) massive side project that's sort of taken over the rock world, with every singer you can think of appearing on their groups of albums. They're recording a new album as we speak. I heard some of it the other day, it sounds amazing. Then me and my brother (Tim - Ed.), we're in Drawbacks, which is a sort of production thing, couple of producers that we are, and occasionally getting time to go out and do gigs and put an EP out. We've got a new EP called I-Bomb coming out in May, but we spend most of our time remixing other people, like 'Menace for instance, and doing production for people, and production music. John pushes our music into film and stuff in LA, that's how we hook up, still working within the Pitchshifter family when we're not Pitchshifter.
That brings us onto the Pitchshifter ethic, which is extremely DIY and very steeped in punk rock. You've got your own record label, and as you say, online you interact directly with your fans. They don't get some street-teamer or label dogsbody. How important is the DIY attitude to Pitchshifter?
Oh, it's a matter of importance. Pitchshifter has been around a long time now, but I feel that at this point, although we're not the most prolific we've ever been, we're really sort of satisfied with the way things are, because we do have that to and fro interface with people. We can respond to what they like and what they don't like, and at the same time, we respond most importantly to what we like about life. We do what we like, and not in an arrogant way. And there's no pressure, there's no marketing machine, and yet Pitchshifter has such a good fan base that we can do this. We don't need the leviathan of the music industry to be pushing our music because people know where to find us. You know, the DIY thing was there at the beginning and it's there now more than ever.
The one thing I've got to say about PSI is you use your influence and experience to support the underground and the underdogs. I think you were the first guys to take Lostprophets out on tour, and Skindred. And of course, This is Menace are opening for your tonight. Do you get to choose the opening bands?
Well, we had Architects last night in Portsmouth and they were really pretty good. And we're friends with In At The Deep End Records at Nottingham, and of course we find out about new bands from them, find out what they're putting out, what they're interested in. Nottingham is a really vibrant town. I mean Mark is the only one that's based there at the moment. Most towns are shutting down all their music venues to make executive style flats, but Nottingham, luckily, has Rock City, the sort of nucleus of the music scene up there, so Mark's always got his ear to the ground with new bands. He'll always try and bring them out on tour to give them a leg up, and that's something we all really care about. Like I said before, we have to look after music, nurture it.
Finally, what are your plans now you are back together?
Finish our tour. London tonight, Nottingham tomorrow, which should both be brilliant gigs. London is sort of a home town for me and Tim, then Nottingham is the spiritual home of the band and we're big friends of the owners of Rock City, so they always look after us. There's always a great crowd there, being the band's home town. So get that done, and then we're going off to do some remixes for various people. John's flying straight back to LA. There's some discussion about a few European things in the pipeline, but again, we're not going to say we must do it because that's what our lives depend on. We'll see if everyone's around and if it's something we really want to do, and then we'll do it again. It's not out of sight, out of mind, but the more time we spend together, the more time we talk about Pitchshifter. It's funny in that way. If we don't do anything, we don't talk about it; do more stuff, and we talk about doing more stuff.
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