Introducing Sylvia Platypus! This band, who creates a musical experience that is out of this world, is playing at this years PEX Summer Festival and they took some time to tell Cavootle about their unique sound, what they love about live shows and their upcoming rock opera! Check out our interview with Sylvia Platypus’ Janet (vocals), Charlie (bagpipes), Ruchama (bass) and Bill (lead guitar) below!
What is the main influence for your unique sound?
JANET: Thanks for calling it unique, ’cause we like to think it is! Well, we didn’t model Sylvia Platypus off of some other band if that’s what you mean. When such an unusual variety of individuals from such different musical backgrounds come together, the sound kind of creates itself!
CHARLIE: The members of Sylvia Platypus each bring their own particular musical baggage to the group. It’s a little of this a little of that- cast over a very wide net. For me, it’s working together with each other that is really the main influence for us. We take what we want from everywhere & proceed to “Platify” it all to make it relevant & meaningful for us.
JANET: Did you have to say “baggage”? That doesn’t sound quite right! But, “a little of this a little of that” is also a good way to describe a platypus!
Are you going to be playing any new songs during the PEX Festival?
RUCHAMA: The songs aren’t new to us, but I’m pretty sure that they’ll be new to a lot of the festival goers!
What’s your favorite part of playing live shows?
CHARLIE: Watching the audience dig what we’re doing!
JANET: What he said, and wearing my latest piece of wearable art (hat)!
BILL: The creative tension on stage to execute the music… watching people react to what you do. As a guitar player, to enjoy just making the instrument drive and sing…and the interplay between guitars and pipes.
Do you have any crazy fan stories?
CHARLIE: Well, plenty… but why embarrass the guilty parties any further?
JANET: I’m working on a book idea- “The Independent Female Musician’s Guide to Stalker Survival”. Does that answer the question?
BILL: Can I tell one of my favorite fan stories from the Wallenstein days? (Bill was the lead guitarist in the German progressive rock band Wallenstein between 1971-1975). While in Europe on a French tour, we had a gig in Marseille and we were going to be late due to headwinds slowing down the flat-faced bus we had. When we arrived, the M.C. went on stage and told the crowd that if a few people could help us unload, we could get started faster. Well, the people came out like ants carrying equipment in. We had almost a ton of gear on the stage in about 15 minutes. We wired up, not much of a sound check, and in street clothes, played the gig. We got 4 encores that night! So I guess that qualifies as crazy!
Where do you go after the PEX Festival?
BILL: Back to Philly, then God willing, onward and upward…
CHARLIE: I have a funeral the very next morning and several Independence Day parades later in the week. (By way of explanation, playing funerals and parades is Charlie’s “bread and butter”.)
RUCHAMA: We’ll all be starting to get ready for the return of our rock opera “Le Mirage/Dead City Philly” (part of the 2012 Philly Fringe Festival in September). We’ve got new songs and new scenes we’re going to include in this version.
JANET: It’s Germany or bust! We have a confirmed December gig in Wallenstein’s hometown of Monchengladbach, Germany. But, how will we get there? Kickstarter, anyone?
Vote for your favorite band playing at PEX Summer Festival 2012.