AN INTERVIEW WITH PIERCE AND THE GALS
Rock and roll from Sacramento, California! Pierce and the Gals is Pierce Junker (guitar/keyboard/vocals), Claire Tauber (bass), Cooper Coffroth (guitar), and Eyan Conyer (drums). Melted Magazine stopped by the band’s recording space while they were in the midst of recording new tracks for an upcoming release to follow their debut, self-titled LP Pierce and the Gals.
How did you get started?
Pierce: Well, originally I just recorded the Pierce and the Gals EP over the summer with my friend Joe, and then we had a really bad first show in my garage. Claire came to that and we started hanging out and then I met Cooper through another friend of ours. Originally, Cooper played drums and we had our friend play guitar for us… and then, I don’t know –
Claire: It was mostly just you kind of hitting us up like, “Hey do you wanna be in a band?”
Pierce: Yeah, and then we figured out that Cooper was way better at guitar.
Claire: Yeah, so we kind of just switched things around.
Pierce: And then we found Eyan in the dumpster at American River College in the bathroom.
Cooper: He was eating banana peels.
Pierce: He was banging his sticks against the garbage.
Cooper: And we were like, “Hey Eyan… hop in this van…”
What are your biggest influences?
Cooper: Probably like … amethyst crystals.
Claire: My bed.
What about musically, any bands that you guys are really into?
Claire: I think when we were starting out we talked a lot about Pink Floyd.
Pierce: Yeah, but we don’t sound anything like Pink Floyd.
Claire: They’re just something we all listen to.
How does the songwriting process typically work for you?
Claire: I think it’s kind of changing now. It used to just be Pierce would have a song, or a lick of a song, and then we’d just start playing it.
Pierce: Yeah, I usually have a verse and a main melody or a chord structure.
Claire: The first album was all pretty much like Pierce had a melody already.
Pierce: Yeah, I had a lot of it done. I had the main part and then everybody would just start playing and then they’d be like, “Yeah, that sounds good.”
Claire: And now we’re doing that even more. We’ll just have like 20 little riffs that we play off of.
What are your plans for the future? I know you’re recording stuff now, are you planning on touring a lot in 2017?
Pierce: I hope so.
Claire: I think we would all like to be able to tour, it’s just finding places that we could get people to come out to and having it be worth our money to go… but we’ll certainly be playing more shows.
So you’re recording new material, are these songs for an EP or LP?
Pierce: I don’t know, originally this was supposed to be for an EP but we’ll see.
Claire: We’re just kind of testing to see what the process is like for us right now to record.
Pierce: Because I recorded the first EP by myself through GarageBand, so we’re just trying to test…because we had someone else do our album.
Eyan: We just kind of want to do it ourselves.
Claire: ‘Cause there’s a lot more you can do if you have more time. We could add, like, hella different layers and shit.
Pierce: Yeah, and then we’re not worried about paying hourly.
Eyan: And we’re in charge so if there’s something we don’t like we can change it or do whatever.
You guys released your debut album, Pierce and the Gals, how do you feel about it and what’s it like having your first album out?
Pierce: It’s cool. I think we’re all pretty stoked that we made it this far haha. I think considering the time that we’ve been together, we only played our very first show like just about one year ago, and I feel like to be able to put out an album like that–
Claire: And we did the bulk of our recording in like April and May so we had really only been together for like 6 months by the time we recorded.
Pierce: I feel like it’s pretty mellow compared to our live show.
Eyan: It’s wild.
Claire: Yeah it’s different than how it sounds on the album, for sure.
It seems there have been a lot more local bands popping up, how do you feel about the growing Sacramento music scene and the other bands?
Cooper: We want more.
Claire: Yeah, it’s tight. This last year has been really fun, especially with Bottom Feeders and Destroy Boys, and whoever else is around, it’s been fun just having stuff to do every weekend. It would be tight to have more people to play with.
Do you guys have any favorite stories from any shows you’ve played or anything band related?
Cooper: The LA show was wild.
Pierce: We played a frat house.
Claire: Which I was not ready for.
Eyan: And I had the stomach flu.
Pierce: It was a really interesting crowd. It was a mix of, like, indie, LA, art kids…
Claire: And then like straight up sorority chicks.
Cooper: Yeah, a lot of frat kids.
Pierce: But then the cops came.
interview by NASH ROOD