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Greg Ormont from one of the fastest growing emerging groups in the jam and festival scene, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, sat down to answer a few questions with CHIRP Radio. Don't miss them Thursday, March 26 at The Tonic Room. Doors open at 9:00 PM | Show at 10:00 PM
Greg Ormont: Lead Vocals | Rhythm Guitar
Jeremy Schon: Guitar | Vocals
Ben Carrey: Bass | Vocals
Alex Petropulos: Drumagic | Electro-Swag
CHIRP: How are you guys feeling at the Midwestern point of your tour?
Ormont: Exhausted, haha, and incredibly grateful. This month-long tour has felt more like a vacation than usual. We began in the Southeast, spent a weekend in Florida for AURA Music Festival where we played a late night set, and then spent a vacation day in New Orleans on the way to a two-week Colorado run. While out west, we got the chance to hit the hot springs in Steamboat Springs and some of us snowboarded and skied at Snowmass in Aspen. Now we’re trucking through the Midwest for some awesome shows on the way home to Baltimore. All of our shows this month have been explosive, complete with epic sit-ins and packed houses. We’re having a ton of fun.
CHIRP: It sounds like fun! What did you do on your day off in New Orleans?
Ormont: Well, we started with the most important thing: food. Our friend took us to his favorite spot in New Orleans, Verdi Mart, a true hole in the wall with unbelievable shrimp po’boys. We made our way to Frenchman St. and hopped between different live music venues and checked out all the art vendors in the street. According to our friend it was a ‘beat Monday,’ but there were still a million shows to choose from, including local legend John Cleary, Mike Dillon and a bunch of local brass bands. There were so many art vendors in the street that it reminded me of Phish lot. The next day we got beignets at Café du Monde and completely lost our marbles trying on masks in a masquerade shop. Then we drove 27 hours straight to Colorado.
CHIRP: You guys play a remarkable number of shows – upward of 200 a year is really impressive. People are flocking to your energy. Are you meditating or something between shows to stay rested?
Ormont: I definitely should be meditating. We went through a phase of listening to podcasts of different successful people and almost all of them meditate. We get our sleep when we can and continue to work on our routines before and but the crowd is what energizes me. The adrenaline of playing for the crowd and building energy together is enough for me to stay charged throughout the year. I do anticipate welcoming meditation, as well as more yoga into my routine as I get older.
CHIRP: It seems your ever-evolving arrangement of funk, psychedelic rock is consistently reaching and passing new limits. How would you describe the journey of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong from the Funk EP release in 2010 to the release of Psychology last July?
Ormont: It all boils down to relentless touring. We played so many shows between those two albums, and when you tour as much as we do, you continue to develop your group sound every night. Funk EP was the culmination of our college career and encapsulated up our initial sound. Psychology is more representative of our sound as we transitioned into more jam-oriented dance music. Our music will continue to evolve simply because we play with each other virtually every day year-round.
CHIRP: There are some really blissful moments on Psychology, like the opening to Julia. Was the making of this album just as smooth for you?
Ormont: Actually, no. It took us two years to record Psychology because we were touring so much, plus we recorded it ourselves. Our friend has an awesome recording space in his house near Baltimore called Studio 10, so we had the ability to go there whenever it was mutually convenient. But since we were personally setting up all the microphones, setting levels, basically getting everything ready technically and creatively, it took us a while to get everything laid down. We had help from of a few of our amazing friends click record when we were physically playing, but it was nothing like having a professional take care of everything so you can just focus on playing your best. We were on the road virtually all the time in 2011-2013 and when we were home, we were often in the studio. It was a busy few years, but we like to be busy birds. We’re thrilled with how Psychology turned out and we learned so much about recording, mixing and balancing touring, recording and downtime.
CHIRP: Tell us about your festival Domefest.
Ormont: Domefest is the brainchild of our lead guitarist Jeremy Schon, who threw a legendary one-day music and camping festival in 2010 that continues to grow in attendance and scope every year. Now in its sixth year, Domefest will has three nights of musical madness on May 28-30 at Trip’s Farm in Terra Alta, WV. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong officially hosts Domefest and we’re playing three nights along with sets by Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, The Heavy Pets, The Mantras, BIG Something, and a ton of other amazing bands, including my new solo act, Scrambled Greg. It’s the ultimate gathering of our fun-loving fanbase known as The Flock, plus it’s the best deal of the summer, only $60 advance. All info is at www.domefestival.com.
CHIRP: Do you see another album on the horizon?
Ormont: You know what, that's not a bad idea...
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