I LOVE Peter Pants! They frickin’ rule! They’ve been described as “music meant to send you into a state of catatonic pleasure.” They are sooooooo much fun! Have a listen for yourself… here’s a Q&A with the whole band!
How did you first come to making music?
MICHAEL: I first came into making music by just jamming with friends in middle school and high school. We would play for hours just making noise and trying to play faster and faster than we were actually capable of doing.
LIA: I started off after being around a bunch of jamming stoners that my older brother hung out with as a teenager and just loved the sound and energy that surrounded the room, which led me to take drum lessons when I was nine. As a group, we found each other in the L.A. scene by going to the Smell a lot and became close friends, which kind of just led us to make music together. It was kind of just a silly idea at first, to play with some ideas and write some silly lyrics but it’s beginning to get a lot deeper than that.
What does music mean to you?
LIA: To me it’s a soulful experience of working your creative minds to come up with something that no one else can, to expand and find diversity. It finds meaning in so much of what the world can’t explain in our daily lives. It’s freedom and a combination of all feelings relatable to people but coming from your own heart.
MICHAEL: To me music is just a very noisy expression of someone’s inner emotions (or lack thereof).
GREG: I guess for me music means story-telling. It doesn’t even have to tell a cohesive story or one that you can figure out, but as long as it can take me places or change my mood, just as any story can do, I feel like it has done its job.
What kind of music do you play?
LIA: It’s a mess of fast garage rock, but I wouldn’t categorize it as that. We always keep the live show in mind and how we would like to satisfy the crowd with songs to get people dancing or singing along. Those are most musicians’ goals though, right?
GREG: I mostly end up making fun party punk style songs but love to play just about anything I can.
MICHAEL: Free punk and jazz rock.
NIKKI: Fast, energetic, blunt and innocent tunes.
A lot of things I’ve read online seem to mention ‘Riot Grrrl’ in connection with Peter Pants; did you grow up listening to it?
NIKKI: We all listened to it to a certain extent, but never intended for Peter Pants to be a “riot grrrl” band.
MICHAEL: When I was in middle school I first started getting into the Kill Rock Stars label so I had always been aware of Bikini Kill and Sleater Kinney, but it wasn’t until I saw Mika Miko play when I was in high school that I totally immersed myself in all of those bands and started listening to all of those bands discographies (as well as their older bands like Heaven’s to Betsy and Excuse 17).
How did you all meet?
LIA: Nikki and I were in all-girl band, Ostrich Eyes together beforehand and when that didn’t work out we made Peter Pants. Greg and Michael were part of the same scene that we were around every day and kind of just decided that we’d work well in a band together.
GREG: It’s actually a long story but to make it short, I met Nikki thru Sean Solomon from Moses Campbell, met Michael thru Sean as well but had seen Michael for years around shows and at parties before finally meeting him. And met Lia in a friend’s backyard the day Nikki agreed to play in her band Ostrich Eyes.
I’ve read that Peter Pants love Australia’s AC/DC! When did you first hear them and what is it you like about them so much?
NIKKI: When we were youngn’s! First riff I learned on guitar was Back in Black, followed by Come As You Are by Nirvana.
MICHAEL: I was about 4 or 5 when I first heard Back in Black, my dad is a huge AC/DC fan, and as a result, I became a huge fan. Back in Black was actually the first song I learned to play on guitar. I think what I like about them so much is how funny they are in their live performances; from the school boy outfits to the over the top stage show.
GREG: You know I first heard them probably on the radio, and I can’t even tell you a song of theirs. All I can say is that they have nice shorts.
I noticed on the Peter Pants tumblr there’s a picture of Lia and Michael drawn by David Liebe Hart from Tim and Eric, you met him on a talk show; please tell me about the experience. Are you big Tim and Eric fans?
NIKKI: Fans? Oh yeah. I would run into David in different parts of L.A. he would sell his music that he carried with him in a briefcase, and talk shit on Tim and Eric. They fired him on their last season, and my friend purchased 30 dollars of his music. We performed on The Del Talk Show, the experience was anything but boring.
GREG: Well meeting him on the talk show was the second time meeting him. I just said ‘hi’ to him more or less but he asked Nikki out on a date and did talk about Aliens and punk rock. He’s a really nice guy. And I would say that I’m a small Tim and Eric fan. Haven’t seen much of them but I don’t dislike them by any means.
LIA: OH yes, oh yes. DLH is a great guy, asked Nikki and I for our numbers but was very sweet. What a character. He has a puppet dog that’s really dirty.
MICHAEL: The experience was great, he’s exactly how he is on Awesome Show: Great Job! He’s also a really friendly guy who loves talking with everyone, and yes we are HUGE Tim and Eric fans. I actually saw the movie in theatres when Tim and Eric were doing a Q&A before the movie.
What are your songs inspired by?
LIA: The L.A. scene and our love/hate for it, summer 2010, summer 1945, AC/DC, 7-11 Slurpees, and dreadlocks.
GREG: For me musically the songs are heavily inspired by the bands I listen to. But what also seems to have happened with our music is that it seems to have been inspired by our own everyday lives and living in the valley and just our personal experiences.
NIKKI: Youth, confusion and Troll 2.
MICHAEL: For me it’s noise and comedy (in its entirety).
What song from another band would you love to lay claim to?
LIA: I wouldn’t want to claim another soul’s song because it wouldn’t be the same with me doing it as opposed to the self-acclaimed artist that wrote it. I hold that respect for most of Bowie’s songs, Broadcast, obviously The Beatles, and The Slits. Huge Slits fan! Slayer’s pretty cool too.
GREG: There are so many but I’d have to say Malice and Discontent by The Frumpies!
NIKKI: Bitch Stole Liquor by Honchie.
MICHAEL: Rearranged – Limp Bizkit.
What’s your favourite thing about the Handsome Women EP?
NIKKI: It represents us when we all first started out, learning each other and our styles.
GREG: That it’s ours! It’s pretty awesome to look at something we’ve made from the ground up. It is a bit short and nothing too special, but I do like thinking about the process of creating the songs and what they turned into.
When was the last time you got creative with something other than music?
NIKKI: all the time, painting and drawing and what not.
LIA: Yesterday, I hung my Pee Wee Herman doll on a string above my room. It’s fancy, deathly, and beautiful.
MICHAEL: The last time I really got creative with something other than music was when I directed a music video for our friends Moses Campbell.
How would you describe performing? How do you feel when you get on stage?
NIKKI: There’s a definite high I get, when a show is going well and the crowd is pumped. When the energy is high, I get high.
LIA: Performing is another world. No matter what the crowd is doing, it’s just amazing to be playing and to feel the energy of the room and my bandmate’s presence. Super surreal, magical, amazing.
MICHAEL: Performing on stage is one of the biggest rushes you can get that’s accompanied by a cathartic release of everything that’s going on in your mind, it feels great.
What is your favourite song to sing live and why?
NIKKI: No Home, it has sentimental value and it’s a crowd pleaser.
LIA: Probably TK which is going to be on our record that we’re currently recording because I don’t just scream out and I sing. It’s been a huge goal of mine to sing and drum as much as possible. Still workin’ on it!
Tell me about the music community/scene where you live?
PETER PANTS: It’s all over the place. Los Angeles is a bit different than the valley, but the music is everywhere. We usually drive to other places to perform, to network in places we want to reach out to, but the valley is where we go to eat, sleep, and chill.
Where are some places that you like to hang out?
PETER PANTS: Our friends’ houses, a great hot dog place called The Infield (that fat dude from Borat owns it!), Lia’s rehearsal studio, Michael’s car, and Disneyland.
What’s something that you would really like to do one day?
NIKKI: Travel and become a foodie.
LIA: Scare a shark away, watch ‘It’ again, and make popcorn. Oh! And go to Australia again, of course!
GREG: play a show in Japan!
What projects are you currently working on?
NIKKI: A side project with my best friend, coming soon.
LIA: Peter Pants is putting out a full-length within the year and I’m drumming in Le Butcherettes right now. Also getting some side project ideas for myself to work on, get that sing/drum shtick going
GREG: Working on our first full length!!
What’s been your favourite Peter Pants related experience so far?
LIA: When we “played” Silverlake Jubilee, got kicked off stage after one song for being placed in a 21+ bar without knowing so and having all of our underage friends (including Nikki and I) come to support be our fault, according to the lovely security guard. Nikki got in the guy’s face and then Michael did, took his hat and started running around and laughing with it. Greg got drunk and picked up a bunch of numbers from the bar. Good times.
NIKKI: The smell’s battle show vs. traps ps! one of our best shows. Great memories.
GREG: Playing all the fun shows and going to SXSW! As well as working on new music and seeing where we go next!
Peter Pants forever!
*Photos courtesy of PP Facebook & myspace. Image 1 by Even Keel Imagery.