As fate would have it, 2013 had a magnetic pull that would bring Australian singer and guitarist Rhys and female German drummer Meike from opposite ends of the earth together through a strong musical bond.
Drawing inspiration from bands such as Helmet, Rage Against The Machine, Faith No More, NIN, Primus, QOTSA to name a few, the Power Duo have earned themselves a reputation for putting on relentlessly energetic, sweaty and well crafted Wall of Rock performances. Quiet often their structured songs will trickle into soundscapes and off the cuff transitions with a full sonic assault and attitude to burn - this two piece has the presence and sound of a five man band (Rock Hard Magazine).
Since Powder for Pigeons was founded they have spent nine months of the year touring extensively in Europe before relocating to rural Western Australia to spend the stifling hot summer months writing and recording new material and preparing for the next tour. The extreme change of environment and landscapes have bared a deep impact on songwriting, playing and tonality of Powder For Pigeons from year to year.
Rhys’ thick vocal melodies and downtuned style of playing guitar through three different amplifiers along with his self made custom double output guitars holds all bass and guitar duties down whilst Meike’s ability to create powerful drum rhythms that lock in tight with the biggest of riffs, creating a distinctive wall of sound which cannot be mistaken for any other band.
Successfully pursuing the DIY approach, the two have stamped their brand of two piece power rock to their ever growing fan base, have recently been on tour with Monster Magnet, Ugly Kid Joe and have shared stages with Soulfly, Dog Eat Dog, Melvins, Clutch, Fu Manchu. Having played all kinds of festivals, big and small such as Czad Festiwal (PL), Vestrock (NL), Ollesummer (EST), Freakvalley (D), Up in smoke (CH), Roadkill (B), Desertfest (D) among many others, underlines Powder For Pigeons' status as one of the most exiting up and coming acts.
In 2022 PFP will be blasting their brand new double EP called "Cracking Shells I & II" up in your face on stages around Europe with a punishing live set that pushes two piece rock to fresh new heights.
INTERVIEW from 03.02.2019 WITH THE SCIENCE OF NOISE (SPAIN)
SoN: Good morning, first of all, on behalf of our magazine Science of Noise, we would like to congratulate you for your latest album "Lay it on", an enjoyable and amazing album!
PFP: Cheers and good morning guys! Glad you dig “Lay it on” and if you like that one you are surely going to like our brand new album “Over And Out” that we just released a couple of days ago.
SoN: Maybe some of our readers don't know about Powder for Pigeons, could you put in context the band and it's musical proposal ?
PFP: The band actually has quiet a funny history. Meike and I met each other in Hamburg in 2010. We played in various dirty rock and punk bands together. Within a year we realized there was something that always clicked when we made music together and it didn't take long and we fell in love as well. Around this time Meike was offered a solo drumming deal that was run through Sound City Studios in Los Angeles. With Meike moving to the States and Rhys moving back to Perth it was a really hard time to be apart (not to mention the huge time difference between Perth and LA for video chatting) In our time apart we always kept writing songs together. I would send guitar and vocal guide tracks to Meike and she would record drums over them in Pennywise’s Studio in Hermosa Beach. After quite a while, we couldn’t stand to be apart from each other any longer and Meike spontaneously booked a one way ticket to Perth, Western Australia. Our band has always functioned under extreme scenery changes. That’s how Powder For Pigeons was formed. In 2013 we got married in Las Vegas.
SoN: You are a duo, one woman - one man and a married couple. How does the creative process work in the band ? Can you explain how is the coexistence between us?
PFP: Music has always been important to us and from the start of the band it’s been some kind of extension of our relationship. Generally we will just jam in our rehearsal space for ages and hit the record button. Later on we’ll listen back and pull out any ideas that may make our ears stick up. Other times Rhys will have a clear vision of a song and take the idea to Meike for the finishing touches.
SoN: It is incredible that a duo like you sounds like a entire band, what's your secret ?
PFP: Something that plays a big part in our sound is the fact that Rhys builds his own customized guitars out of Australian timber. These guitars are tuned quiet low and run two outputs. One for the bass amp signal and the other guitar signal that is split out to two different Guitar amps each with different effects. In combination with Meikes over sized drum shells that have slightly lower tuning we are able to fill out the lower tones more easily.
SoN: One year ago, the band published Lay it On, a more rocker work with amazing tracks, it sounds like “one piece of Queens of the Stone Age with one piece of Foo Fighters. With the new album finished and in your hands, how do you compare it to the rest of the albums of the band? Would you change something?
PFP: In the beginning we made a pact with each other to never follow any trends or rules and make music that comes across live as it does on the albums. We try to keep it as authentic raw and honest as possible but will always be honing our skills and experimenting with new sounds and rhythms as the band evolves.
SoN: I really enjoy with “Lay it on”, I think this is my favourite song of the band, can you explain the truly meaning of it ?
PFP: Lay it on was written with the topic of you can throw what ever you like at us we are gonna follow our hearts and keep on keepin’ on kind of thing.
SoN: How has been the process of creating the album ? And about the lyrics, what would you highlight in a sumarized way ?
PFP: The new album “Over & Out” was recorded partly in halls/rehearsal spaces in Germany where we are based for most of the year and then finishing touches were recorded and mixed in Australia. We did a lot of the drum tracking and some guitars over here in Germany and recorded a lot of vocals and guitars this time in the middle of nowhere out in the Australian bush. It wasn’t uncommon for Rhys to sing his vocal takes outdoors in the middle of a dusty field or desert landscape. These extreme changes of countries and scenery really add another dimension to our creative process and quiet often going from a busy place to the middle of nowhere and finishing tracks will put the icing on the cake. On the lyrical side of things the theme of the album and the lyrics are about the times we have all entered and how fast everything moves and how relentless it has all become. A lot of daily observations of current situations but with a cheeky, humurous flipside to it all.
SoN: How has the scene of stoner rock your country ?
PFP: I’m not quiet sure how the music scene is in Australia anymore as we've been based in Europe for the last 8 years. There always was a lot of great bands coming out of Australia so I’m sure there is still a healthy scene for dirty rock music.
SoN: In few days you will come to Barcelona, It will be your second show here. Here there is a nice stoner fan base. What is your opinion about the Barcelona and Spanish public ?
PFP: Yep that’s right and we can't wait to be back in Spain again. Our last visit was one we will never forget especially the show in Barcelona! We love to play In Spain and we really like the energy of the Spanish people.
SoN: Our magazine team really enjoy to point out the “Tops”, can you quote the top five albums that left a mark on Powder for Pigeons sound ?
PFP: Sure. We are children of the 90s so I guess our top five albums would be:
QOTSA - Songs For The Deaf
Primus - Sailing The Seas Of Cheese
Rage Against The Machine - Evil Empire
The Mark Of Cain -This Is This
Helmet - Meantime
SoN: Thank you very much for everything, we look forward to welcome you in our city very soon.. From Science of Noise, we wish you all the best and we would like to congratule the whole band for the great job done with Lay it On. Thanks for your time!
PFP: Thanks for having us in your magazine and we are really looking forward to playing in Spain again very soon. Cheers!