|Interview by Burt Wolf with Matt Young, bassist & backing singer for PILLOW.
Interview done February 25th, 2007.
PILLOW STARTED OVER 10 YEARS AGO, CAN YOU GIVE SOME OF THE BANDS HISTORY UP
TO THIS POINT?
We started the band in high school, I was about 15 & the other guys a little older. We started the band because
there was a show happening at a local community hall. I asked the promoter if we could play & told him I had a
band, which was bullshit, because we hadn't even rehearsed. We ended up having one rehearsal & getting up &
playing. Since then, we've done lots of all ages shows, until we were old enough to play in pubs. Once we & we
started getting some good supports. We've released a few demos over the years & finally released our debut
album mid last year.
WHY DID THE BAND BREAK UP FOR A 2 & A HALF
A few reasons, our singer's work requires him to travel a lot, so
when he's in town we have to schedule our stuff around him.
We'd been doing that for quite a few years, so our guitarist
Adam & I decided we wanted to travel. We both did our
respective venturing & moved to London, where we made
several unsuccessful attempts at starting a band. When that
failed we decided to come back to Australia & give PILLOW
another shot. All members of PILLOW have been involved in
other bands as well, so time's gone into getting those established.
PILLOW IS AN ODD NAME FOR A BAND? WHY WAS
THIS CHOSEN AS THE BANDS NAME?
It leads back to us being young & stupid & the name sticking
with us over the years. We had to come up with a name for our
first gig & that stuck. It was going to be PUBIC DREADS for
about five minutes, but the promoter didn't want that on the we
tell them our band's called PILLOW. It's usually a half
scrunched up face with a "What the fuck?" expression. Usually
after they see us play live, it just makes of way.
I KNOW YOU GUYS ARE INTO A LOT OF STYLES AS SHOWN IN YOUR SOUND. WHO HAD SOME
INFLUENCE ON YOUR MUSIC & YOUR LIFE?
My older cousin used to introduce me to a lot of music he thought was cool, like MOTLEY CRUE & WASP &
later on METALLICA & SLAYER. My dad is responsible for steering me in the direction of AC/DC & BLACK
SABBATH. The rest I learnt from listening & having musician friends. I think it's good for a musician to be
exposed to lots of different styles.
SINCE YOU GUYS DO MIX IT UP A LOT WITH STYLES HOW WOULD YOU BEST DESCRIBE THE
SOUNDS OF PILLOW?
The objective of PILLOW has been to sound unique, which I think we've achieved to a certain degree. We're a
Hard Rock band for sure, but we also like Metal, Pop, Stoner, Funk, Country, Hip Hop & more. We do our best
to try & incorporate it all, whilst remaining true to our sound...if that makes any sense. Sounding Australian is
something that's evident when you hear us.
WHY HAS IT TAKEN 10 YEARS TO RELEASE YOUR DEBUT FULL LENGTH?
There was never really any urgency to record an album, until 4 years ago. We'd played a lot of shows & had
some money put away, so we hired a studio out for 4 days. It sat on the shelf for a whole 2.5 years until Jason
from BLOOD DUSTER offered to mix it for us. That just happened to be about the time we were planning on
playing shows again & were lucky enough to support CLUTCH & finally get the album out.
HOW WELL HAS YOUR DEBUT "GOOF ROCK HIGH" CD, THAT CAME OUT LAST YEAR BEEN
DOING IN THE SCENE?
It's doing ok. It's definitely not charting! We've got a good following in Melbourne, the other cities we haven't
had the opportunity to play often. It's an entirely independent release, so we've payed for everything, we've
always been that kind of band. There was interest from some publishing companies, but we aren't really
functioning to the extent they would like. We ordered heaps because we didn't want to run out, there's plenty
left, so drop us a line & we'll send you one!
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE ALBUM COVER & WHO DID
Our friend Boyd Synnot did the artwork. He's always done the
artwork for PILLOW posters & over the years has come up with
all the characters you see on the cover. We wanted a theme of
"goof rock high" with the idea of having a school photo on the
front & us playing the high school ball & the characters dancing
on the back. I guess it'd be a little confusing to anyone that saw it
& didn't know us, but it's all relative to us & we'd prefer it that
way anyhow...you can check out more of Boyd's art @
WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE PILLOW SONG & WHY?
I think I prefer the longer ones that venture out into different
styles, than the straight ahead Rock songs. I would say
"Spitshine" is my favorite one to play at the moment.
WHAT IS SOME THE LYRICAL SUBJECTS IN YOUR
SONGS? WHO WRITES THE MAJORITY OF THE MUSIC?
There was a lot drinking on the album. When it exceeded 50 we started thinking "What message are we trying to
portray here?" Other than drinking, cars, chicks, fighting, drugs, midgets, aliens, ufo's, cooking your brain,
apaca's, bar tabs in Chicago & a pet sheep named Joseph, not much really. Adam & myself usually write most of
the music, but we all have a go at everything. Heath writes a majority of the lyrics & I write some here & there.
ARE THERE ANY LABELS INTERESTED IN PILLOW? IF SO, WHO?
There's been some interest. At the end of the day, we find it easier to do it ourselves in Australia, because of the
fact we're limited in the amount that we can tour & play, not only because of distance, but work commitments as
well. It's unfortunate, I've always wanted to push the band a lot, but there's only so much you can do when the
other members that make it happen, have other commitments, you begin to accept that after 10 years. We haven't
played a live show since we put the album out last year, so I think the time will come when we'll have to get back
I GUESS YOU GUYS DON'T PLAY OUT A LOT? WHERE & WITH WHO HAVE YOU PLAYED?
Not recently, but we've played with a wide variety of bands: NEBULA, THE DATSUNS, THE SMUGGLERS,
CLUTCH & from Australia we've played with BLOOD DUSTER, THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT,
FRANKENBOK, DREADNAUGHT, COCKFIGHT SHOOTOUT, COG, WARPED, THE HARD-ONS. I
like the fact that we can sit on a Rock bill or a Metal bill & not bee too out of place. We've played some of the
worst venues in Melbourne & some of the best & played shows interstate. It's a lot harder to get to other cities
from Melbourne, the nearest which is Adelaide is an 8 hour drive.
DO YOU GUYS FEEL YOU AREN'T TAKEN SERIOUSLY AS A BAND BECAUSE OF YOUR NAME &
For sure, but honestly it doesn't bother us, we come out & play when we want to & people still come see us.
There is a portion of Australian bands who are tongue in cheek & enjoy their sarcasm & taking the piss. It would
be fair to say we're one of those bands. Bands like TISM, PAINTERS AND DOCKERS, FRENZAL ROMB,
THE HARD-ON'S, THE ONYA'S have all been popular & stuck to their guns. Not your typical regenerated crap
that's quite common these days.
ANY INTERESTING BAND STORIES YOU COULD SHARE WITH US?
Plenty, it's been over 10 years now. I remember one from when we were younger, our first pub gig ever with 2
bands DREADNAUGHT & W.A.R. It was in Ballarat a small country town & none of us were legal drinking age
yet, which is 18 over here. We got to the city & drove about 2 miles up the wrong way of a packed one way
highway. When we got to the pub they almost didn't let us play because we were to young. After we played they
made us go to our rooms up stairs & wouldn't let us watch the other bands. So the other bands ended up
bringing jugs of beer & chicks & we partied up there all night. It ended up being a good introduction to band
ethics. Adam likes to get dressed up & wear costumes. I've dressed in drag before & as Hannibal Lector once
too. I got wheeled in to the show chained to a bed, it was funny for about 5 seconds. There's lots of stories of all
the money, we've earned from gigs mysteriously ending up back in the bars cash register. We're still trying to
work that one out.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST ALBUM YOU
BOUGHT? WHAT WAS THE FIRST
CONCERT YOU WENT TO?
First album I ever bought was GEORGE
HARRISON "CLOUD NINE" on cassette, it
had that song "Got My Mind Set On You".
The first concert I went to was POISON on
the "Open Up & Say Ahhh" tour in 1988. I
was 7 or 8 years old, I had a denim jacket
with a POISON patch on the back of it. I
sucked big time!!!
I KNOW YOUR INTO MANY STYLES OF
MUSIC. WHO ARE SOME OF THE
BANDS YOU HAVE CURRENTLY BEEN
I always listen to AC/DC, SABBATH, THE WHO, ALICE COOPER, THE KINKS, ZEPELLIN, all the
classics. WEEN, MELVINS, CLUTCH, MASTADON, ZZ TOP, RADIO BIRDMAN, MONDO
GENERATOR, TURBONEGRO, THE CLASH & some good local Australian stuff I should mention as well,
BEEN FLIPPER, FUCK I'M DEAD, THE ABANDONMENT, THE BLACKLIST, There's lots of good stuff
over here at the moment, especially Metal. I like vinyl, so I'm always getting some strange records & giving them
a listen too.
WHAT DO THE MEMBERS OF THE BAND DO WHEN NOT DOING ANY WORK FOR PILLOW?
Adam our guitarist plays in a Melbourne band LEGENDS OF MOTORSPORT, I'm not quite sure what else he's
doing at the moment, but they've just put an album out & been playing a lot. Heath our singer is a puppeteer (no
bullshit) & has to travel quite a lot for his work. He also sings in a Country band called THE PALENECKS. Ben
our drummer is a business guy & also plays in a band called TAILBONE. I play in two other bands at the
moment, UNCUT WHITE NOISE which has been going for about a year & a new band I'm doing called
TIGERNAUGHTS which we've just started...you don't wanna know what I do for money in my spare time. I'll
give you a clue...it involves the colors, brown white & pink...and I don't make Neapolitan Ice Cream.
WHAT'S THE AUSTRALIAN SCENE LIKE? WHO ARE SOME OF THE BETTER BANDS & LABELS?
Melbourne in particular has a great music scene, lots of good venues & a strong support base. When it comes to
extreme Metal, theres some good bands, BLOOD DUSTER, PSYCHROPTIC, THE ABANDONMENT,
FUCK I'M DEAD, EARTH, TERRORUST. The Rock scene is probably the healthiest, you only have to look at
bands like JET to see how far that's gone in Australia. There's a new band coming out called AIRBOURNE, they
sound like a cross between AC/DC & MOTORHEAD. They're very enthusiastic & put on a great live show.
The thing I like about Melbourne most is you have to be different to stand out, whether that's being funny,
exceptionally talented, wearing a g-string on your head, or going on stage naked & covered in blood...theres so
many bands here that you have to do something original.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE NEXT FROM PILLOW? ANY NEW MUSIC WRITTEN YET?
With the amount of songs we've written over the years we could probably go & record another album
tomorrow. It probably wouldn't be very good though. What we usually do when we haven't played for a while, is
book a show a few months down the track & see if anyone turns up... We're all usually there & end up having a
good time. We've written a few new songs, so it'd be good to get a recording done this year.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE
ANSWERING THIS INTERVIEW? WHAT
WILL YOU DO NOW THAT IT'S DONE?
I woke up, it's 4:30 in the morning, I just had
one of my wisdom teeth pulled out the other
day & my face looks like a balloon, so i
thought I might as well do this while I'm
THANX A LOT FOR ANSWERING MY
QUESTIONS. IF YOU'D LIKE TO ADD
ANYTHING FEEL FREE! THANX!
If you want a copy of our debut album
"GOOF ROCK HIGH" send me an email &
we'll sort it out from there. Thanks for you're
support Burt, we appreciate it...