Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Interview with Nick Charyk from Pariah Beat

Can you give us a quick glimpse inside the minds of the members of Pariah beat and why you choose the instruments that you play?

Tough to speak for other folks... I play guitar, and that's about it. Billy can play almost any instrument he picks up, which is something I occasionally, in my weaker moments, am jealous of. Emily is the really cool one. Girl bass players are cool, as evidenced by the Talking Heads, Devil Makes Three, The Pogues whose original bass player was named Cait but left the band to marry Elvis Costello, and finally, A Perfect Circle, who aren't cool in my book, but had a cool girl bass player.

What styles of music do you mainly draw from when writing your songs?

Speaking purely for myself, the Clash was the first band to really get inside my head, and I followed the influences in their music and got into Reggae, rockabilly, Woody Guthrie, Stax soul, and about a thousand other sounds. The next person that really blew me away was Steve Earle. He seemed to be coming at the American country music tradition with the same intensity as the Clash did with their music. From Earle, I started listening to a lot of outlaw country, Hank Williams and bluegrass. The idea with Pariah Beat was to do what someone like Steve Earle or Joe Strummer did with their influences, work with them in a contemporary way, not trying to reenact past sounds. Another way of putting it, I wanted to do to the American folk and hillbilly music tradition what the Pogues did to Irish music.

If you were a costumed character in a amusement park who would your choice character be and why?

I'd like to be in a Pig Costume selling chicken... I think that would be funny.

How would describe the atmosphere at any given Pariah beat performance?

Raucous, rowdy and lots of fun. Folks have, almost without exception, a good time at our shows - otherwise they wouldn't come. Even when we've played badly, it is usually fun to watch. If we play extra bad, we do the audience the courtesy of ending the show in a big pigpile, or some other type of shenanigans. I think our shows are a positive thing for all involved. It's a pretty disparate set of characters that turn out, and the fact that they are in the same room, dancing together is pretty incredible. It will get sweaty, I will usually tell at least one dirty joke, and we will give it our all. That's the Pariah Beat guarantee, and if you don't like it you can always sneak in the back for free.

What is going on in your video Elvis in Jerusalem and are you going to put out another video soon?

I don't want to give away the game, that's up to you the viewer to decide. My thoughts as a viewer? Perhaps the video is an elaborate metaphor for conflict between East and West, young and old, religion and the secular? Then again, maybe it is an excuse to dance funny, get a man in a gorilla suit and make someone slip on a banana peel. That's not up to me. Tough to say what the next video will be, but I don't doubt there will be one.

What will we be expecting from Pariah Beat within the next few months?

More shows, new songs, and good times. I'm enjoying myself maybe more than ever with the band, and am living in Vermont again. It's a challenge making it happen, but we always have found a way. I'm pretty excited about our new album, and already working on the next one... Now all I have to do is learn a few more dirty jokes.

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