In Conversation with…REY PILA

Ever since we first heard Rey Pila’s alt-rock gem ‘Alexander’ in 2013, we’ve not been able to move on from it. Furthermore, at the end of 2013, we stated that Rey Pila would be one of the biggest breakouts of 2014 and they haven’t disappointed. With the release of new single ‘Blast’ and a tour with Interpol on the horizon, the world is their oyster.

We caught up with the band to discuss nicknames, their new single ‘Blast’, record labels and much more.

Welcome Rey Pila, firstly I’d like to say thank you for taking the time out to talk to us. Can you give us a few words to describe each of your band mates?

Maybe some nicknames can give some insight instead?

Diego: Mr. Padroni

Rodrigo: El Niño

Andrés: The Headmaster

Miguel: Supaskunk!

You’re signed to Cult Records in New York. What have you learned from working with the team at Cult Records?

That record labels are still important in a world where Do-It-Yourself is a must; they have given us great support and together we feel we’re an awesome team. When band loves label and label loves band only good things can happen. 

You’ve built up some significant mileage from touring across the world. Have you found that crowds in different countries react quite differently to each other?

Definitely. Mexicans are rowdier, total surrender towards their favorite bands, especially international acts. They sing, and shout, and jump all the way through…But are sometimes not too cool with opening acts. 

Brits and Americans pay more attention to what is happening on-stage, they maybe don’t shout as much, they listen, and if they like what they hear will be rapturous. They are more open towards opening acts, and will give a listen, check them out and support immediately if they like the live act, even if they have never heard about them before…At least this has been our experience.

Taylor Swift has said before that if she was taken blindfolded to the stage, she would know which part of the world she was in just by the way the crowd shouted her name, through their pronunciation. Would you say this is true for you also?

Never gone blindfolded to the stage, although it sounds like fun. Yeah, we’d probably be able to guess, we have a good ear for accents…

Is it difficult to replicate the sound you make in the studio when you play live?

It takes a lot of work, but in the end we feel we have managed to keep the studio details in the live set, but in a noisier and more powerful manner.

With your busy touring schedule, do you find it hard to pencil in some downtime when you’re on the road? What do you do for fun in your spare time?

We watch movies on our laptops, read, make / listen to music, and try to keep a football to kick whenever we have some space and time…

You’re no strangers to performing live, and you have gained a lot of fans in doing so. So I wanted to ask, what does playing a gig for your fans mean to you?

Maybe it’s the culmination of hours and hours of jamming, hauling gear, driving miles and miles…One of the best parts of the job, those minutes on-stage are what makes you want to make more and more music.

On your recent US tour, you posted a photo of some scorpion lollipops, are there any other unusual delicacies that you have tasted while on tour?

Hmmm…difficult to beat scorpion lollipops……Poutine was pretty cool after-party food in Montreal. French fries + melted cheddar + gravy…and + guacamole for extra awesomeness..

I love the art direction for new single ‘Blast’, where did the inspiration come from for the artwork? Is it completely your vision or do you work with artists to bring it to life? Can you tell us more about this?

One of the advantages of popular culture is the fact that images, music, film, etc provoke an instant reaction without having to intellectually process the message you are sending. It is so strong that it hits you right away.

The “Blast” artwork is based on a tshirt Diego found in a cheesy scuba diving store in the Mexican Caribbean. We are very serious about what we like to project with the band’s image. The shark drawing of Blast has a strong impact and has an epic feel to it. We like to choose images that can translate in what we believe our music sounds like.

The music video for previous single ‘Alexander’ is a stunning piece of artistry. Do you have any news on a music video for ‘Blast’?

Not yet! But something can come our way anytime soon…

Who are the artists that inspire you creatively and who are the artists that you listen to for comfort?

AnBowie, Roxy Music, Pretenders, Boards of Canada, My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth.

We’re big supporters of new music here at Bitter Sweet Symphonies. Having said that, are there any new artists that have caught your attention recently that you would like to share with us?

Mac Demarco, War On Drugs, Trust, Iceage, Kurt Vile, Moderat.

What’s next for Rey Pila?

An August residency in NYC club Pianos, playing every Tuesday…and opening for Interpol in their US tour in Sept/Oct…and more to come!


A special thanks to Rey Pila for this interview and for more info on the band, check out the following links below:

Website . Facebook . Twitter

Charlotte Holroyd
Editor, Creator and Founder of Bitter Sweet Symphonies. A lover of music and cinema, who's constantly attending gigs and in search of a great experience.

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