Poor Pilate are a band that has a great sound, plays beautifully, and kicks it live, but they deliver where it matters most – the songs. The band explodes with a joyous, energetic immediacy rising from an organic sound that rides proudly alongside Houston bands like Buxton and Bright Men of Learning. Songwriter David Lascoe’s sharp songwriting and liquor soaked delivery is paired beautifully with guitarist Rich Talbot whose understated, melodic approach echoes the efficient craftsmanship of a Mike Campbell and it all comes together with the driving and at times raucous rhythm section of bassist Jack Gordon and drummer Bryant Talley. We recently joined the band for a few rounds at Double Trouble.
FPH – How did you guys meet?
Dave – Me and Talley started as Poor Pilate about two years ago
Rich – Jack and I used to play in a band called SNOWPLOW… all caps before B L A C K I E but no spaces.
FPH – The albums sounds great. How did you record it?
David – It was recorded in pieces at a studio inside XXXXX Church but we don’t want to say that.
FPH – That’s so cool. Why not?
Jack – Well, THEY might not think so.
FPH – Did you guys sneak in during off hours?
Rich – No, he has permission. Everyone there is really cool…they have their own message and they don’t care what we’re talking about. That’s where Dave and I met, I did live sound and he’s the recording engineer. He just happens to have a bad-ass recording studio at his disposal.
FPH – What is your approach?
Rich – (laughing) Our approach – Dave writes the songs and we try not to shit all over them. Dave comes up with something, we just gravitate towards it. He hears a song in his head and then, there it is.
Dave – I like to listen for melody and part of that probably comes from playing piano which is a different way of writing.
FPH –Lyrical themes?
Rich – Heartbreak, drinking, and… Street Fighter!!!
FPH – What was your first big break?
Rich – Roky Moon and Bolt’s tour kick-off. Jeff and Mike saw us, really liked us, and they asked us to open. We were first of four bands but there were a lot of people there and that’s really what kick started the whole thing.
FPH – Any new stuff?
Jack – We’re recording with a real producer at Pozo Hondo Studios. It’s at a ranch in Round Top called Rancho Milagro. It’s this big ranch with six houses on the property and one of them has been converted into a recording studio.
FPH – How did you score that?
Rich – The engineer there is Josh Moore and he’s one of our great friends. He’s done everything from local to big time stuff like Bun B. He’s really good, liked our sound, and he said he wanted to do a weekend with us so we recorded one song and he wants to do more with us.
Jack – It’s paradise – zip lines, heated pool, in-ground trampolines…
FPH – No way, that is so posh!
Jack – …and working with Josh as a producer…we’re all friends and we’ve known each other for so long that it’s just seamless and perfect to work with him – there’s no attitude or anything – we value his input completely.
Dave – He’s someone who doesn’t want to mess with the vibe of the song; he just wants to make it as good as it can be.
Rich – Funny thing about this song we recorded was it was one we’d put on the backburner. We got to the ranch and Josh asked us to play all of our songs. We did and then went to sleep. The next morning he said, “I really want to do THIS one.”
Dave – …and it turned out great. He had great ideas for it – it needed to be reworked
Rich – That process was one of the most amazing things to have been a part of. Honestly, it was a train wreck of a weekend. We get there (Jack isn’t there for the first day so Josh is playing bass) and all day we just couldn’t get Pro Tools to work at all! So we went to bed thinking we weren’t going to be able to record…
Dave – We got sad drunk!!!!
Rich – So Josh says, “Whatever, just call Jack up! At the very least we’ll have a good hang.” So Jack shows up that morning and when Josh fires up Pro Tools, everything was working!! We’re all, “OH MY GOD!” After that, he just did his thing: set us up, went through the song five or six times, and tightened us up. The song is really driven by the drums but we didn’t know that when we started working on it. Josh just said, “The main focus of this is going to be the open and close of the high hat and it really needs to lock in with the bass.” So we veered toward that and at the end of the day we were like, man, he REALLY knows what he’s doing!
Jack – That day was magical, relaxing, awesome…I showed up and everyone was excited. We tracked, took a break, went swimming, did some more tracks, had dinner…it was so chill.
FPH – Will we hear that session soon?
Rich – The thing is we got such a good response for the first album that our main goal right now is to release it on vinyl. …What sucks about local bands is that they don’t have enough material for you to listen in your car, or when you’re jogging, or when you’re baking cookies. When I’m in love with a band, I just want to hear everything they’ve released. If nobody comes to our shows, fine but if you listen in your car and it’s part of your life, that means more to me than anything. So, what we want to do is just put out more music.
Hear Poor Pilate’s debut at http://poorpilate.bandcamp.com/