Budapest’s PIGEONCOMA (members of Hungarian indie bands ROSA PARKS and marionetteID) are one of these bands that revive unforgettable hooks and elements recombined in dozens of configurations throughout the 90s and early 00s, but still having a lot to offer. PIGEONCOMA bring in the emotive, post hardcore inspired performance and mix it with almost radio friendly pop dynamics. Their debut record on Go Away Records, perversely dubbed ‘Third Self-Titled’, retains some edgy trappings, but serves more melodic and subtler approach. You’ll either be discontented with its gentleness and carefulness, or captivated by its unique mixture of contrary moods. If this is what PIGEONCOMA continues to give us after a couple more years and records, I truly believe these guys are working towards something big and will be able to bring in more vibes that have everything to carry you away. Great record. See the full interview with PIGEONCOMA below.
Live photos by Laszlo Szabó Photography.
Hey guys! Thanks a lot for reaching out and introducing your new project! How are you?
Hi Karol, We’re fine thanks, just got back from gigging yesterday we were at a small but culturally blooming city Szeged we played at an art cinema. People stood up and watched it was crazy :) but not seriously it was awesome! Frist gig at the countryside and got really good feedback from the audience.
Cool! Ok, so let’s start off with a standard introduction to the band, shall we? :) Can you give us a brief summary of the band’s story and what you’ve been up to the past six months?
Ok. Well are pretty much head over heels in many ways. We were able to put out our first album titled the ‘Third Self Titled’ in march. A lot of favours we had to call in from a lot of friends and it worked out. We were going for head in collision pretty much. Eight songs in their original form as they came out as they were written. Had a few shows in Hungary, alongside with the album premier show in March, which was honestly a blast!
A narrow circle of friends were able to catch us on shows beforehand a good thirty people :), but this time we felt like we had reached out to a crowd you never see at these type of punk indie shows. At least in Hungary. So the wagon is rolling and slowly cracking for a good head start :)
As for the band :) We’d been playing together Me (Gabor) bass-vox, Peter (drums) and Thomas (guitar) in a formation called Marionette ID. Know each other’s smell from miles we spent so much time on tour with each other and in the van. :) So if anyone listened to PIGEONCOMA and MARIONETTE ID the first thing your recognize is that mID would last longer :) while the PIGEONCOMA record would start over again :) meaning we shortened our feelings instead of the prolonged heavy post rockish 6 min song we were able to have our songs packed in small portions of emotions. It’s kinda nice. and me singing… nyeh :) its emoish, as our friends having told us :) which I won’t be lying I take as a compliment :)
Cool :) Did you have a set idea of what you desired PIGEONCOMA to sound like? What were your inspirations?
It’s more like a certain attitude than a set of ideas. We all like to think it’s more important that we would strum those ‘right’ chords and notes to feel like we are Ok with. There isn’t much of a force or thinker behind the band i guess :) that’s why we kinda left the merch table unguarded last time in Szeged :) which wasn’t funny but someone from the crowd stepped in and sold a cassette :D
Getting back to the process: Thomas (guitar) comes up with a three bar something, Peter plays along, I play along :) the result is (and I’m saying the crowd and friends opinion) It’s a mix of late 90’s emo, and modern indie. We don’t hide it under the veil we like AMERICAN FOOTBALL, THIS TOWN NEEDS GUNS (ANIMALS), ANNABEL, EMPIRE!EMPIRE! (I WAS A LONELY ESTATE) still as Peter usually tells me “Man, i don’t mind, we could play anything ” its freedom. He is right.
The band is based in the beautiful city of Budapest. Being surrounded by impressive architecture and atmospheric places has such an effect on one’s spirit. Can you tell us about your outside-music inspirations as well?
Indeed :) I can only speak for myself. I actually moved to a Budapest from London where I lived for two years working and delving into the environment of that vast city. I’ve been living here for a more than a year now and it’s true, Budapest is the center for music , culture, and protests nowadays. Although two of us live in the city I live in Buda, Peter in Pest. and Thomas lives in Tatabánya 45min’s far from the city. Pest is party Buda is low-fi, chill, trees and all. What really affects me musically is the mood of this city. Outside it looks amazing, but inside it’s rotten from the core. I wouldn’t pull this on the capital necessarily. Big cities are a source for alienation, solidarity. You wanna get away from it, but when you do, you wanna go back… it’s the case of love and hatred with me.
Why name a band PIGEONCOMA? What’s the story behind it?
As with previous band names we just went for the ‘what sounds good’ motto. Actually Coma pigeon is a song we had with my old band called RUSHWORMS. As for PIGEONCOMA. We just mixed it up.
Ok, and why is your first full length called the Third Self-Titled? :)
I have no idea :) Thomas found it funny. No context behind it, it’s just the contradiction between the two words. Starting something that has already existed for the third time :) Bands name records self-titled usually when they feel like they have a firm grip of their material. Perhaps we felt this way too when the album came out.
What are some of the lyrical focus points of the record?
It was pretty much spontaneous, but I had a foggy vision of how the lines will work out. I think the main focus was on what had happened since I came home from London and how I see Hungary now. These thoughts were phrased and conceived earlier in me, but hadn’t had the courage to say it out. Definitely feels like tearing up shackles speaking my mind which I hadn’t been living up to as a writer before. I usually just had words and assembled them together instead of crafting something meaningful out of thin air.
Although answering the question: There isn’t a focus point but pieces of rather traumatic events I’ve been meaning to address for a long time. For instance ‘Social Disappointment’ is me not getting work home :) Council Estate Limbo is reminiscing about things I’ve done which would’ve led me to a different path in my life, because I used to take items from shops like it was normal to do so. Pity meaningless crimes, but at the time they meant a lot.
Wow, you’re a genuine bad guy, haha.
Ok, and how about the cover art? Can you tell me more about this concept?
Me? dude I was beaten up lotsa times, I had to work me way up the chain :D hah.
Oh yeah the cover art was an emergency solution. Thanks to our Timi Kiprich who resides in Gent, Timi was able to drop in and do this for us. Just to give an idea how much we thought about it. The conversation was like, yeah we need this for next week, okay I know this girl… and that was it, it turned out fun right? :) so it got settled and done with.
We have another design , a picture of an origami pigeon. It was design our longtime friend Tamas Slabeczi, who is head of ‘Go Away Records’ a small distro, sometimes booking agency and DIY everything and has an awesome French bulldog Misha’.
How did you connect with the label? Tell us more about GAR. Are there plans to reach out for more labels to spread the word about your new effort a bit more?
Of course. Tomi’s giving us the momentum right now. He was the one doing everything including the cassettes’ design to the actual manufacturing. For some reason, right from the start he was with us, which I’m glad for. He always tells me when he feels something is off and bothers him, but it didn’t happen with PIGEONCOMA. True fellow, true vegan warrior he is
We’ve shared tour buses and I’ve known him before mID even. We are working together and trying to get PIGEONCOMA to different crowds via blogs and websites.
Ok guys, we all desire to make changes and various promises to ourselves in the very beginning of every calendar year. What were your resolutions for 2016?
We wanted the album out so bad, so people could hear it. Particularly between the end of 15′ and beginning of 16′ was the most stressful we somewhat lost track of time were so busy mixing and mastering. Every day was about the band and you hate the songs you hate the process, but when it ends you reap the joy :) and it happened we got great feedbacks so if we had a wish it’d have been the one. And lots good shows.
What’s your view on touring in general. Do you it should regarded as an integral part of the process surrounding a DIY band? How much touring do you plan on doing this year?
Indeed, it’s our main goal to tour as much as we can. We are fortunate we have past relations and new ones hopefully we’ll be able to throw together a tour in a few places I don’t know when maybe next spring, when we consider ourselves organized and experienced in this new position as a trio.
Honestly, touring is the only thing I’m doing the band for. The past experiences and the love we got from people was unbelievable outside the country. I love Hungary and our friends and people who are helping us. No disrespect to the bands who are trying to conquer new fans and music lovers inland, but I’d rather play two mini tours in a few countries than to play 3 shows in Hungary, it helps you iron the worrying wrinkles on your Hungarian face:) it’s refreshing :D But yeah, it’s just the way it is, sleeping on the floor, seeing kids who don’t speak the language you speak, sharing experiences…. We feel like making a connection with a foreign stranger through music is beyond everything that sounds can express.
So fingers crossed, I hope we can do a small tour next year.
Alright fellas, one more. What’s your take on the current state of your local DIY / independent music scene and are there any local bands coming up right now that are really exciting you?
Well, that isn’t an easy one. DIY is doing good :) though in Budapest. Last we checked was a while ago, not sure those bands are still functioning, but there are new friends we have mutual love with. These are Normafa records‘ CAMP KOALA and BERRILOOM. The chaos pop group dUNA and one upcoming instrumental post-metal influenced band called HEGY which means mountain in Hungarian and must be keeping an eye for :) I heard their stuff first hand it’s smashing.
What are some of the best aspects of being in band located in Budapest? :)
Budapest is basically a haven for music nowadays. The countryside is pretty much dead with one or two towns as an exception which is a pity because I find the crowd outside of Budapest much more enthusiastic for new music (since they only have wedding-gypsy-disco music and retro parties mostly) :D
Haha, tell me about it.
Ok, thank you for taking some time with IDIOTEQ! I look forward to keeping up with your future releases. Any final thoughts you’d like to share before we say goodbye?
Yes, eat lotsa stuffed cabbage, that’ll keep you strong