For Those Who Can't Sleep On Hip Hop

Interview with PIGEON JOHN – (by Todd E. Jones)

October 25, 2006

“Pigeon John’s Pool Party Never Ends”

An Interview with PIGEON JOHN
(Oct. 2006)
Interview by Todd E. Jones (aka The New Jeru Poet)

Pigeon John 2Parties are significant benchmarks in people’s lives. Everyone remembers their first real party they attended. Do you remember the party where you met someone you had a relationship with? In hip-hop, concerts are commonly referred to as “parties”. For Pigeon John, his music is a party of unique and eclectic proportions.

Pigeon John’s 2006 album is a meaningful party. Originally signed to Basement Records, Pigeon John changed labels and signed with Quannum Records. Home of Blackalicious and Lyrics Born, Quannum Records offered Pigeon John a larger market and more financial backing with the same creative control. Pigeon’s first album for Quannum, “Pigeon John And The Summertime Pool Party” features a thicker and cohesive sound. The music, lyrics, and overall sound have been stepped up. Production is handled by Great Jason, Chris James, DNAE, Rjd2, and Rhettmattic. Guest appearances include Brother Ali and J-Live. The album is diverse enough to inspire repeat listens, but cohesive enough to maintain a complete listen. On the song “As We Know It”, Pigeon John borrows from “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” by R.E.M. Instead of just listing multiple names and things, Pigeon interrogates Jesus during the Armageddon. The angelic ending creates a feeling of peace because everyone is in heaven. “I Lost My Job Again” and “Freaks Freaks!” are two tracks that offer an astute comic relief. “Weight Of The World” has a terrific use of a vocal sample. J-Live contributes vocals to Rjd2’s production on the ethereal, “The Last Sunshine”. Fans of the rock group Pixies, will notice the interesting use of the song “Hey” on John’s track, “Money Back Guarantee”. The album’s finale, “Growin Old” is a poignant track where Pigeon uses band names to mark the time periods. Pigeon John sings the hook, “…The Pharcyde, Souls Of Mischief and the Wu Tang Clan / Oh we didn’t have a plan / Oh we growin’ old oh we growin’ old, / Oh we growin’ old / The Freestyle Fellowship and MC Shan / The wind blew away the sand / Because oh we growin’ old oh we growin’ old…” The song captures a feeling of our generation by using music and groups as timestamps. Pigeon John maintained his grasp on independence and creative control, but finally has more financial backing and distribution. His previous album, “Pigeon John Is Dating Your Sister” was excellent. “Pigeon John And The Summertime Pool Party” has a stronger intensity and a thicker sound.

Pigeon John is the epitome of an eccentric artist. He has the potential and artistic creativity to become a legend in hip-hop. Consistently evolving and walking his own path, Pigeon John creates an excitement for every new release. Pigeon John’s pool party is an event that is not to be missed.

TODD E. JONES: “What goes on?”
PIGEON JOHN: “Chilling! You know, NBA Live 2007”

TODD E. JONES: “Your new CD, ‘Pigeon John & The Summertime Pool Party’ is your first release on Quannum Records. Tell us about it.”
PIGEON JOHN: “It’s a soup bowl of an album. I love it and I had a lot of fun recording it with be and my buds over the course of, pretty much, a year. That is as part of demo-ing songs, doing a song in Australia, and doing a song here and there.”

TODD E. JONES: “Which song was recorded in Australia?”
PIGEON JOHN: “‘Weight Of The World’.”

TODD E. JONES: “‘Weight Of The World’ is an incredible track.”
PIGEON JOHN: “Thanks, sir. That was recorded in Australia, in 2004.”

TODD E. JONES: “‘Tell us more about the new album, ‘Pigeon John & The Summertime Pool Party’.”
PIGEON JOHN: “It’s been like a nice, long road working with musicians from around the world and getting beat makers and vocalists. For me, it’s been the biggest project I have ever been apart of. I got to work with a lot of different people. For me, it’s become a bigger and fuller album.”

TODD E. JONES: “How did you get involved with Quannum Records?”
PIGEON JOHN: “I was touring with Lyrics Born, opening up for him, in 2003 on the Calicomm tour. I got to meet him and hang out. It was a real natural thing. We were touring for 3 months. I passed him ‘Pigeon John Is Dating Your Sister’, my first record that was in stores. He liked it and saw potential and stuff. So, we started moving towards that. In the meantime, I had a second album to do for my deal with Basement Records. That was ‘Pigeon John Sings The Blues’.”

TODD E. JONES: “What are the main differences between the two labels, Basement Records and Quannum Records?”
PIGEON JOHN: “I would say just experience. Experience, with Quannum, simply because they have been around for a little while longer. They have an international mind state. That’s really cool. They know that they are making and selling music for the world. That’s a big, big change. Also, the level of professionalism. The crew at Quannum has a bunch of musicians and stuff. With Basement, there were artists signed to the label. They weren’t so much of a crew. We are from the same area though. Crown City Rockers are from the Bay Area. People Under The Stairs are from L.A., but they, kind of, roll in a different scene. Basement is kind of a virtual label and Quannum is more of a physical label.”

TODD E. JONES: “Roc from Basement is real cool. When you left, were there any problems or bad blood?”
PIGEON JOHN: “Roc was cool. He was a little pissed though. I pretty much let them offer a counter offer. But in the long run, I know it was a better move for me, as an artist. Like, for People Under The Stairs to work with Basement is a good move for them because they are big fish in a smaller bowl. Now, they get all this attention, as opposed to their old label, Om Records. They had attention, but it wasn’t solely on them. Now, with Basement Records, there is a lot more focus on them. If I was a brand new artist, Basement Records would be a premier record label because they have People Under The Stairs and Crown City Rockers. Back when I was signed to them, they were a record store and a label. It was kind of spread thin. When you are a store, you can do an in-store and blow it up. It kind of feels like L.A. is behind you, when in essence, it’s just your local scene. It’s kind of like when you go on tour. You feel like you are really blowing up. In all reality, you are not knowing them.”

TODD E. JONES: “On your track, ‘Money Back Guarantee’, you sample ‘Hey’ by Pixies. Was this your idea?”
PIGEON JOHN: “Yeah. I made that beat originally. Then, me and Chris James replayed it, added it, and elevated it. We made it our version of the song.”

TODD E. JONES: “When I heard that loop, I was like, ‘Damn! I should have thought of that!’ I love the Pixies.”
PIGEON JOHN: “I always think that there are so many different loops. I am a loop-minded guy. I come from a hip-hop background so, all music can be looped. Anything! I could be in the supermarket and hear a song. I would think to myself, ‘Man! If I can just repeat that part. It only happens once on that song.’ That’s really a hip-hop kind of thing, using someone else’s music is hip-hop. It’s the only kind of music that does that. That’s the one cool thing that it held down, samples. Beats! This is what pretty much led to our culture of the Internet, what’s instant vintage. That whole thing is what is rooted in hip-hop sampling, simultaneously creating something new. No other music does that.”

TODD E. JONES: “That’s why hip-hop has crossed raced barriers, genres, and different ages.”
PIGEON JOHN: “Oh yeah, brother! I love it because it wasn’t done because they thought it was cool. They needed it.”

TODD E. JONES: “Yes. They couldn’t afford instruments. They didn’t even know how to play instruments either.”
PIGEON JOHN: “Yeah. I think that all music starts there.”

TODD E. JONES: “The song, ‘The Last Sunshine’ features Rjd2 and J-Live. How did you hook up that collaboration and what was the genesis of that song?”
PIGEON JOHN: “I put out the word for Rjd2 through Lyrics Born. Lyrics Born reached out to him for a selection of beats. That one stood out. I wouldn’t say that it stood out the most, but it stood out the most for that album. I really felt that. It kind of made me think of saying goodbye to your youth, not on purpose but, because you have to. Also, things that you miss. I thought that was a very common thing that everyone goes through. I wanted to make a record that a lot of people can relate to. I thought up the concept and the first portion of the song. Then, I just wanted a different element, a different experience, from a different perspective. At first, Brother Ali came to mind, but then, ‘One For The Money’ came around. I thought Brother Ali fit that song a lot better. So, I thought of J-Live. I toured with J-Live, I think it was in 2005, on the ‘Pigeon John Sings The Blues’ tour with Living Legends. I befriended him and loved his show. I wanted someone from the East Coast and with that East Coast flavor on the record. I thought it would make everybody feel at home. That’s how it came about.”

TODD E. JONES: “Was the track ‘The Last Sunshine’ recorded with J-live, Rjd2, and you all together, or was it completed via the mail or Internet?”
PIGEON JOHN: “It was done through the Internet.”

TODD E. JONES: “Do you think that collaboration through the Internet or mail has a major effect and change on the way the songs come out?”
PIGEON JOHN: “Hell yeah. For my next record, I am trying to have an ‘all in’ kind of thing. I don’t like spreading it out. This record was very tedious. At times, it was tedious. I want to go somewhere and knock it out. Back in the days, when people didn’t have their own home studios, they had to get songs done that day. There was a certain magic in that ‘hurry up and get it done’ kind of thing. I really want to go back to that on my next album. I would like to record the whole thing in Nashville in just one month. Get it all done. When I’m done, I leave it there.”

TODD E. JONES: “On the incredible concept track, ‘As We Know It’, you are talking to Jesus Christ during the Armageddon. With a very aggressive anger (for your standards), you ask Jesus to answer for the horrible incidents in human history. (i.e. wars, child molestation, racism, etc.) Did you find people that people misinterpreted the track? How have people reacted to the song?”
PIGEON JOHN: “Not yet. I’m surprised. Actually, no. I’m not surprised. I’m happy that people are feeling the song and like that song.”

TODD E. JONES: “When I first heard that you were using and interpolation of R.E.M.’s ‘It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)’, I originally thought it would too ‘easy’ or too blatant. After I heard the whole track, I was very impressed.”
PIGEON JOHN: “Yeah! I know what you mean. Thank you.”

TODD E. JONES: “Do you consider yourself a spiritual person?”
PIGEON JOHN: “Yeah! I’m a Christian, dude.”

TODD E. JONES: “How has being a Christian affected your hip-hop life?”
PIGEON JOHN: “I think that is the foundation of my life. It kind of dictates and lends itself to my music, my life, my marriage, and everything. Oh, yeah. I was talking to some dude in Chicago. He was, what I like to call, a neo-hippie in disguise. It’s kind of idiotic for me when I see simplistic stickers like ‘Impeach Bush’. I mean it sounds good. It’ll never happen. I saw another sticker that said, ‘When Clinton lied, nobody died’. There was a war going on in Kosovo that no one talked about. It is very dumb. It lends to one side. It’s either the Republican side or the Democrat side. If there’s no balance, I think there’s no reality. Everyone is lying. Anyway, the neo-hippie guy asked me, ‘Aren’t you a Christian emcee?’ I knew that he was doing it in the cloud of clowning. Yeah, I’m a Christian dude. I came from that scene as well as this scene. I came up doing both. He said, ‘I don’t think music should be a way to talk about politics or religion.’ I replied, ‘Can you name one great band that didn’t?’ Look at U2, Rage Against The Machine, Public Enemy or The Beastie Boys. Every single band did! Probably the only ones who did not do that would be The Beach Boys.”

TODD E. JONES: “Actually, my brother is a big fan of The Beach Boys. I think that they may have had some socially conscious songs, which are B-sides.”
PIGEON JOHN: “See! Right! I think that usually people think it is cool to say that it should not be a platform, but it absolutely has to be! As for me, God goes hand in hand with everything I do.”

TODD E. JONES: “When did you get married?”
PIGEON JOHN: “4 years ago.”

TODD E. JONES: “The final song, ‘Growin Old’ is a magnificent way to end the album. In the hook, you name groups like A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan, and Beastie Boys as a way to mark our generation. I’m 31 years old and I’m coming to grips that those groups may be considered old these days.”
PIGEON JOHN: “Well, I didn’t mean that they were old, totally.”

TODD E. JONES: “For this new generation, they may be considered old.”
PIGEON JOHN: “Yes, for this new generation. I think I’m okay with that. It’s just a new generation of hip-hop. My nephew is a freshman in high school. It just seems like they are literally the 2nd generation of the hip-hop world. Their hip-hop has no history, but the way that he loves his own hip-hop is just like the way I love my own hip-hop. It gets me excited. I’m not a fan of a lot of the new stuff, but neither were my parents.”

TODD E. JONES: “If parents didn’t like it, the music felt so much better.”
PIGEON JOHN: “Yes! You know, I was glad my dad didn’t like it. You never hear, ‘That reminds of The Isley Brothers!’ That would make you feel stupid. I think, with the whole movement, I know that E-40 was staying in-tune with literal producing. I can definitely see how things parallel old school hip-hop because it is definitely electronic. It is just what we used to listen to. It’s like Roxanne Shante. It’s real simple. ‘We like the cars. The cars that go boom!’ That’s what they are doing with Puff Daddy and the Danity Kane record. It’s the same feeling, but I don’t think that there is anything wrong with that. We thought it was cool because we’re young. I just love music too! Making new dances? I love it! You know why? It makes me think that I’m alive. There’s no new rock and roll.”

TODD E. JONES: “Primal Scream is one of the last rock & roll bands.”
PIGEON JOHN: “I likes that.”

TODD E. JONES: “What have you been listening to lately?”
PIGEON JOHN: “The new Sean Lennon record. Hello! He’s royalty. He came from royal blood. He’s the last one! It’s a great record and all self-produced. It’s called ‘Friendly Fire’. It comes with a DVD with movies and stuff. It looks real expensive. There’s also a bunch of crazy cameos too. Carrie Fisher is in it. You realize that this dude is freaking royalty for real. I would love to hear what people, in his genre, think when they press play. It’s really dope stuff. It’s simply intimidating. It makes me feel dumb. Anyone can do the whole retro thing, but he can do anything he wants. My personal opinion? You can do exactly what you want because where you come from. The style he did it was so simple and so completely modern. It’s timeless stuff.”

TODD E. JONES: “Last time we talked, you told me that you were working on a track with Count Bass D. What happened with that?”
PIGEON JOHN: “Yeah, we finished it, but I don’t know where or when it will come out.”

TODD E. JONES: “Count Bass D’s new album, ‘Act Your Waist Size’ is dope.”“Count Bass D’s new album, ‘’ is dope.”
PIGEON JOHN: “Who knows if it made that record? We did a song called, ‘Leaning’. It was a hymn song with singing on it called, ‘Leaning’. His new album is called, ‘Act Your Waist Size’?”

TODD E. JONES: “Yeah, actually, there aren’t many guests. The only one I can remember is Van Hunt.”
PIGEON JOHN: “Oh, wow!”

TODD E. JONES: “Do you still talk to your old group, L.A. Symphony?”
PIGEON JOHN: “Yeah. I don’t talk to them that often, but once in a while, I do. It just seems that the times are changing, dude. Times are changing. They are doing their own things and they have their own life decisions and stuff. I definitely keep in touch with them. There are just different mind states. I really that was what happened.”

TODD E. JONES: “On the song, ‘Power, Money And Influence’ from Guru’s ‘Version 7.0: The Street Scriptures’ album, Talib Kweli remarks that Pro-Tools made producers lazy. Do you agree?”
PIGEON JOHN: “No, I don’t. That’s a classic case of an older guy commenting on the younger generation. Every generation does that. It’s just very common to think that way. Even though I may think that way too, I don’t want to because I know that it’s not true. I remember when people used to pick up a guitar and say that they were going to start a band. To their older generation, they were being lazy. To be in a band, was like that. The older generation literally thought it was not music, but those kids were actually playing instruments. It is just a case of an older generation commenting on the new generation. When my nephew makes his beats, he loves that stuff! He loves what he’s doing. There’s a magic in his eyes and I recognize that magic. I’m like, ‘Dude, Oh! It’s the same damn thing!’ Now, do I like it? Maybe. Maybe not. Time goes on. There is always going to be something. I’m very sure that in the future, Pro Tools is going to be considered old school. They may think that the real way you are supposed to do hip-hop is Pro-Tools. People will say, ‘We actually used to have to record in Pro-Tools! We had to bounce the hooks!’ In the future, we’ll be saying, ‘Now, you guys have to use Liquid Face’, or whatever it will be called, where you just think of a song and it comes out. Plus, to say Pro-Tools made producers lazy, you are saying that 9th Wonder is lazy because he essentially uses Pro-Tools type of thinking.”

TODD E. JONES: “Who are some contemporary producers you respect?”
PIGEON JOHN: “My favorites are J Dilla and Madlib. Those two always were cutting edge. When everyone was sampling, J Dilla was electro. Like for 2 years straight, J Dilla was all electro. Look at the Frank N Dank stuff. I remember he wasn’t doing it as much. It wasn’t really cracking. Then, we went back to sampling. That’s when ‘The Light’ by Common came out and all of that stuff. I think that the way he used sampling definitely was at the height of his creativity. It’s the same way I think about Madlib. He’s the only producer, in hip-hop or whatever, that Blue Note opens up their catalog for. That has never happened. You know that producer, Nigel (Godrich)? He is the guy who produces Radiohead. They don’t open their stuff for him. But, a lot of people consider Nigel Godrich, obviously, better than Madlib. I would love to produce Madlib to produce the next Radiohead album.”

TODD E. JONES: “Since you are a fan of Radiohead, what do you think of the Radiohead tribute albums, the remix albums, or the reggae album called ‘Radiodread’?”
PIGEON JOHN: “I heard a couple of songs and they are pretty hard. They’re freaking hard! I would love the big boys to bow down to the little guys. I think Madlib is dope. The last Paul McCartney record was him, essentially bowing down to this younger guy, Nigel Godrich. It was really dope! It was one of the best he has done in a while. I think that friction is exciting. I like when a big band works with a smaller producer. Still, look at Nigel. Anyone can go to him and it is going to be huge. Like, Beck working with Nigel Godrich cancelled each other out. Beastie Boys working with The Dust Brothers was magical.”

TODD E. JONES: “The album, ‘Paul’s Boutique’ by Beastie Boys was excellent. It is one of my all-time favorite and essential hip-hop albums.”
PIGEON JOHN: “They were not known. That’s what I’m saying! They were not big. Beastie Boys, at once, pretty much laid the entire foundation of Beck’s career.”

TODD E. JONES: “‘Paul’s Boutique’ did not get the deserved love until years later.”
PIGEON JOHN: “I loved it.”

TODD E. JONES: “You usually produce a majority of your albums, but on ‘Pigeon John & The Summertime Pool Party’, Chris James produced a majority of the album. You also have DNAE, Rjd2, Rhettmatic, and Great Jason on production too. How was it lending over the production duties?”
PIGEON JOHN: “With this record, I wanted to open up the doors. With ‘Pigeon John Is Dating Your Sister’, I pretty much produced most of that. With ‘Pigeon John Sings The Blues’, the same thing. I just wanted to open it up the doors. For me, it was more exciting. I was running into all of these bomb beat makers. New songwriters is what I like to call them. It got me excited. Working with other people, I would work a little differently. I would fall in my groove more naturally. Like, a show with just me and a guitar would be slightly one dimensional. It may be pretty good, but when I have a backing band, I’m more free. I can do this or that. I can change up and have a bigger sound to the show. I think a show can be equally as powerful with just me and a guitar or me with a band. But, for this record, I wanted that bigger feel. I wanted that flashy, sing-songy, tap-dancing, baseball bat type of freaking let’s party type of feel.”

TODD E. JONES: “Speaking of live shows, how has your live show changed since we last spoke?”
PIGEON JOHN: “The way I tour now is with a DJ. His name is bTwice. On drums, we have Gib. Peter ‘King’ Hong plays keys and acoustic guitar.”

TODD E. JONES: “What is your favorite part of your live show?”
PIGEON JOHN: “I like when it is stripped down, when the acoustic guitars and the drums go at it. Also, you know how a DJ may throw a different track into it? I like to do that, but going back. There might be the track, but the DJ cuts out and there’s just the band. Right after the band, something else comes on. I kind of use the band as a record. Those are my favorite moments. I think that live, people really respond to that old school feeling. ‘Pass The Courvoisier Part 2’. When that first came out, everyone was like ‘Ahhhhh!’. Everyone used that in their show. It just has that energy.”

TODD E. JONES: “What songs do you perform with the live band?”
PIGEON JOHN: “Pretty much all of them. The drums are on all of them, or percussion is. The keys fill in tracks and stuff.”

TODD E. JONES: “Do you think that some hip-hop artists should stay away from working with live instrumentation?”
PIGEON JOHN: “Yeah, definitely. Obviously, everyone knows hip-hop started as a live band. But, it was one band. It wasn’t like there were 70 hip-hop bands touring the nation. There was one, Afrika Bambaataa, who dressed crazy as hell. That’s it. To say that it came from that, is really not true. It really started with a wack beat machine and the emcee, or turntables and that traditional element. It is the foundation of hip-hop. I love doing it that way. But for me, it is done so much, that it doesn’t matter. It was revolutionary when it came out. It is done right with someone like DJ Premier. When there is a good DJ, like Eyedea & Abilities, they do not need a band because they are the element. Ugly Duckling? To put a band behind them would slow them down. Most DJ’s aren’t good. They just mostly play tracks. There are so many of them that they are in competition. Going back, people don’t like the live instrumentation sometimes, because it may bring a softer element. They say, ‘What are you doing? Is this alternative rap?’ For me, if I see that most people are using a DJ and an emcee, I naturally will not do that. This is because I do not want to be like anyone else. I don’t want to run with stupid idiots. Especially when you tour, that’s all you see. I need something, something just to keep my interest in it. That usually is bringing something I like to my sound.”

TODD E. JONES: “Do you think success and credibility are mutually exclusive?”
PIGEON JOHN: “No. I think that they go hand in hand. Me, personally, I think they go hand in hand. I think credibility is, ‘That dude is doing what he loves to do. He doesn’t really care about what other people think. He’s really trying to refine his voice.’ I think there is a difference between what we view success and what success is, in the long run. Financially, look at De La Soul. They never waived. They are probably going to have just as much money as Nelly when they die. Now, Nelly may make more in a three year period than De La Soul’s entire career. Just by numbers alone, let’s say Nelly came out and had 3 million fans and had a 5 year run with 4 or 5 records. De La Soul will probably have 20 records by the time they die.”

TODD E. JONES: “Speaking of De La Soul, what did you think of their last album, ‘The Grind Date’?”
PIGEON JOHN: “I thought it was solid. It wasn’t my favorite, but they are doing it from their own voice. I think they are taking themselves too seriously. I don’t want to hear about rapping like it is a job. Bob Dylan does not sing about rock & roll like it is a job, and he does it better than anyone else. What are we doing as a job? It’s just a different mind state. I don’t think they did that during a certain time. I can sum up that time in just two words: Prince Paul. They need to go back with Prince Paul. The Beatles had their producers. The Beatles were one of the greatest bands on Earth and they had producers. Some people don’t need it, like Prince. Some of the heavyweights don’t need a guiding force, but most of them do. I’m looking forward to that.”

TODD E. JONES: “Some artists are now known because of their association with certain producers. For example, Kaze gained some fame when 9th Wonder remixed his album, ‘Spirit Of 94’. Do you think that now, more than ever, hip-hop is a producer’s market?”
PIGEON JOHN: “Here’s an example. Al Green’s producer was a singer-songwriter who never made it. He had his own sound. He heard Al Green and said, ‘You are the bomb! Come sing over my sounds.’ That’s what pretty much happened. The producer got his share and Al Green got his. I think, today is the Motown era. The backing band dictates things. I mean the Motown era, meaning only hits and not so much full albums.”

TODD E. JONES: “What collaborations could Pigeon John fans look out for in the future?”
PIGEON JOHN: “With this record, the guys who are on it. I did a song with Grade School, which is coming out next year. It’s awesome. I love working with those guys. I did a bunch of other projects. I did another Brainwash Project which will come out next year. I think, in this season, I’m definitely having fun. I’m looking forward to the next season when things would happen that I would love to happen. I want to work with Prince Paul. I want him to produce my album. Or, I would like to approach it like a singer/songwriter production. My total goal is to make all the music and make all of the words, build it from the ground up while working with a live band.”

TODD E. JONES: “What will your next solo album be like?”
PIGEON JOHN: “My competition? I look at the Elliot Smith record. I listen to that and I listen to the new Mobb Deep record. What I do is, I say, ‘What am I more drawn to? What do I think is more important?’ If I’m going to go the hip-hop route, I’m going to have to play a game, literally. Even underground rap is like that. You have to have a 9th Wonder sounding track with snares way too high, sounding like kick drums. You are going to have to do very traditional beats and raps.”

TODD E. JONES: “Maybe, a track with a sung hook?”
PIGEON JOHN: “Maybe, but it will have to be straight ahead. That way is absolutely boring and I used to listen to that when I was 16. Or, there is the commercial rapping with all new beats.”

TODD E. JONES: “Do you have an idea or concept for your next album?”
PIGEON JOHN: “Yes, I do. It’s coming into focus because I know my choices. How can I even try to even be in the same ballpark as Jimi Hendrix? How in the world will I do that? Will it be the traditional way? Let’s follow 9th Wonder. 9th Wonder made it because he didn’t follow anybody so, why are we following 9th Wonder? You can either do it that way or do it the commercial way. That means electro beats and hope that someone will put a million dollars behind one song, which might not happen. (Laughs). The third way, which is the best way, is to do important music, dude! When I listen to TV On The Radio, I can tell that those dudes are doing something they love. You can hear that they are doing music that they love and that they are trying to break ground. When Bjork went from The Sugarcubes to ‘Debut’, she did a huge ass jump. That was because all of the stuff she was listening to, like rock & roll.”

TODD E. JONES: “Personally, I think ‘Debut’ is Bjork’s best album.”
PIGEON JOHN: “I like ‘Post’. I think that she always sounded the same. Even with The Sugarcubes, you can hear her voice. But, as an artist, I have to take a chance and not worry if I am going to make it or not. Even with what she is doing now. When she was just with beat machines, it was incredible. Who else was doing that? No one! I think that I have to do something that no one is doing.”

TODD E. JONES: “What will that be?”
PIGEON JOHN: “Well, if that means not using any beat-makers, maybe. It would not be because I don’t like them, it would be because everyone does it. Who doesn’t have a beat-maker? That’s very common. If I was doing rock & roll, I would not be content with just bass, drums, and guitar. There’s no way. I would be bored by that. I think that something has to happen. In the meantime, I’m having fun. That’s why, with this record, almost every song has guitars on it. There’s a lot of live stuff, based around programmed kicks and snares. I wanted that bigger feel. In this era of hip-hop, I think that it is a little uncommon. That’s why I wanted to do it.”

TODD E. JONES: “Final words?”
PIGEON JOHN: “Watch ‘Boogie Nights’ and believe in yourself.”


Interview by Todd E. Jones aka New Jeru Poet

NOTICE: This interview is property of Todd E. Jones and cannot be duplicated or posted without written permission.


The Official PIGEON JOHN Website:
The Official PIGEON JOHN MySpace Page:
Quannum Projects:

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