The Minnesota based duo known as Peter Wolf Crier brings their unique brand of moody, hypnotic indie-folk to Santa Fe. Check out an interview and video of the band after the jump.
Peter Wolf Crier, made up of guitarist Peter Pisano and drummer Brian Moen, tours for its debut album Inter-Be.
The band's sound skillfully meanders along the line between addictive pop and disheveled folk. Imagine the driving energy and layered harmonies of Bon Iver combined with the authentic lyricism of Bonnie "Prince" Billy.
After Pisano's Wisconsin-bred quartet The Wars of 1812 went on hiatus, he continued to write songs.
One particularly inspired evening, Pisano found himself with enough material to put together an album. So, in 2009, he enlisted Moen as both drummer and musical engineer. From that collaboration, Peter Wolf Crier was born.
SFR catches up with the band as they make their way west.
SFR: Who is Peter Wolf Crier?
Peter Pisano: Naming the band wasn’t even a priority until well after the record was made. It wasn’t until that point that we knew we were a band, and that we were a two piece. It was important to me that the name reflect the fact that there are two members. I originally thought of Peter and the Wolf, but that was already taken. I wanted something flexible. Eventually I came up with Peter Wolf Crier. Our name can be taken a number of different ways. It doesn’t limit whatever ideas people might have about our sound.
There’s a rumor going around that you wrote the album Inter-Be in a single summer evening. What do you do during the 364 days a year when you aren’t writing songs?
Try to write songs. That’s usually the way it goes. Because when it rains it pours. Sometimes you just don’t hate what you’re doing. Sometimes you’re just a little kinder to yourself, and in those moments you have access to some really beautiful aspects of who you are. More so than anything else, I think I just had a different relationship to what I was doing when I wrote this album. I think I was just a little more forgiving with myself.
Nelly. [laughs] No, I’ve been inspired in different phases though out my life. When I was younger I was really into '60’s psychedelic pop music. That was really inspiring to me, because it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever heard. I’d listened to a lot of pop music up until that point, mostly hip hop. But when I listened to The Beatles and saw the girls reacting to them, that seemed like the most appropriate reaction to that type of music. I was inspired by bands that were doing things and stretching boundaries and looking at the studio as an instrument. I also really appreciate what guys like John Frusciante and Paul Westerberg are doing. There is a vulnerability on record when you hear someone say, "I’m going to cut this shit open and I’m going to bleed for the next 40 minutes for you."
According to the Peter Wolf Crier section of the iTunes store, your listeners also bought albums by Sea of Bees, Communist Daughter, Peggy Sue, The Moondoggies and Damien Jurado. Who are you listening to these days?
I don’t think I listened to any other record in 2010 more than By The Throat by Eyedea and Abilities. That was an incredible record for me, and Mike [Larsen], who recently passed away, was an incredible friend. Also, Retribution Gospel Choir. We're on the road with them for that reason. I said, "If I'm going to go on tour, I want to spend my nights hearing this band." [To band-mate Brian Moen] Brian, who’ve you really been listening to lately? That's funny, Brian just said the Damien Jurado album.
Bob Dylan, a native of Minnesota, once said “I consider myself a poet first and a musician second. I live like a poet and I’ll die like a poet.” Are you making poetry set to music, or songs that sound like poetry?
No, I'm a musician first and a poet last. I’m not even a very good musician either. When I sit down to write a song, I’ll sit down and I’ll start strumming a few chords first and then a melody comes from that. The chord determines the melody, and the melody determines the words. Most of the time I just hit record and some words come out. I feel like there’s more being said in a melodic phrase than in the words being sung. For me, there’s a privacy to what’s happening in the music that’s essential to the song.
Peter Wolf Crier - "You're So High" live at South by Southwest music festival.
Peter Wolf Crier
Tuesday, Jan. 25
401 S Guadalupe St.