February 28, 2010
|Pedigree's Official Homepage
Connect with Pedigree on:
Traveling 5,000 miles from Florida to the Estonian capitol city, I had a lot of time to try and calm my nerves before sitting down to interview what has become my favorite band over the last few years. Estonia as a whole has become a major point of interest for me, and being granted an interview with one of the oldest Estonian bands still playing was a huge honor. So when I finally arrived in Tallinn after almost a full day of travel, I could only think one thing: don’t mess this up!!! The entire band sat down with THTV to discuss their roots stemming from the Soviet occupation era, their latest record SKELETAL, and even gave me a chance to ask a few questions in their native language. Ma räägin eesti keelt! It was somewhat of a dream come true and this turned out to be TH’s finest interview yet.
TYRONEHOOD: We're here with Pedigree before their show tonight in Tallinn, Estonia with Cult Of Luna. How are you guys doing tonight?
Taavi "Taff" Aavik: Very good.
TH: Ready for the show?
Taff: I think so.
Holden "Bonne" Laamann: Probably, yeah.
TH: Yeah, its your home town, so ready for some business. Lets talk about the latest record, Skeletal. How has the album done so far in you guys' eyes?
Bonne: I think its had a pretty good response here in Estonia. we have great reviews and we've been nominated for the Estonian Music Awards for best new album and its been great so far. But we haven't been dealing with the other side of the world. Also, in Finnland, there are some companies showing interest in it. So far, so great. Everybody takes some time to hear it.
TH: Yeah, thats what we're waiting on, except me, so. Is there a favorite track off Skeletal?
Bonne: We probably have everybody personal, right? My favorite track is Phantom Report. So we're playing it for the first time tonight. The other guys have different opinions though, I guess, I dont know.
Margo "Marx" Rindemaa: My personal favorite is Quarantine.
Jaagup Tormis: Mine also.
Taff: I like too many to say (?). I like them all.
TH: The whole record's good. I think I like Shrine. It's a couple of really really good album.
Taff: Well, Shrine, yeah.
TH: One of the tracks on it, March Of The Blades, you guys actually released as a single a couple of years ago. Was it always intended to end up on Skeletal?
Bonne: Yes, in 2007, I think, when we released the single, we thought to show some kind of direction for the new album, of the forthcoming album. And we intended to put it on the album since day one. But yeah, in the mean time, it was another passed and we had some doubt that maybe this track is a bit too old for the rest of the composition. And when we fit it in, we thought it was too good of a track to leave it out. So, we decided to leave everything in. Basically, all tracks we had for the Skeletal album is on the album now.
Jaagup: We had some disscussions before about what to leave out.
Bonne: But finally almost every song made it to the album.
TH: Yeah, 18 tracks is a good long album.
Bonne: yeah, 17, I think.
TH: What about some of the past albums? Like before Spite Rising. Will they ever be re-released?
Bonne: Yes, we are, right now, working on it. The old albums were released only on cassette in the nineties will be released as a box set during this year, I guess that will happen at this point(?).
TH: What did the music sound like on some of those older albums? And how do they compare to the band today?
Bonne: I think it reflects our minds back then and right now also but of course the techniques and everything developed so much during those years that musicly, sound-wise, its very hard to compare. Because they are very primitive and maybe to compare to somebody we know about(?) or earlier Killing Joke or something sounds like this. But there are some more death metal influences on some songs and very harsh and raw and primitive but yeah, its the Pedigree.
TH: Cool, I can't wait hear all that. Talking about some of the other bands in Estonia, what are some that you guys enjoy listening to and would recommend for the fans?
Bonne: As we've always said, we all have very different tastes in music so every guy has different things in mind. But for me, my favorite music made by Estonians has always been a band called Mr. Lawrence. They are not (?) . They don't play heavy music but they have very catchy songs and very professional ways to play. Mr. Lawrence being always my favorite band. Then bands now in existence, Talbot comes to mind. Theres only two guys, drums and the bass, they are very doom.
Taff: by the way one of the guys is playing tonight with us as an additional member.
Bonne: Maybe you other guys have some other Estonian music in mind, tell the whole world?
Taff: Back then I was listening to Estonian pop-punk, and they are real old bands.
Bonne: And in respect to our sound guy Novix Island,always respect.
TH: is there any bands in Estonia that you enjoy playing shows with?
Bonne: Yeah we have been doing shows with Novix Island, really cool and professional band also Talbot who I mentioned before, we have played with recently, doing a small tour in the South of Estonia. Actually, there have been a lot of friends bands “” is a very good band. And our drummers other band, Recycle Bin, a very good metal, straight in your face metal band.
TH: Talking about tonight’s show, it’s a semi acoustic set with guest musicians, how did the idea to do this show come about?
Bonne: I think it was in the back of our minds that for the last year, we did an acoustic version of Skincrawler in 2008 and since then we had been thinking why not try to play live, its different interpretations of our own songs, and big influences have been Young Gods..totally awesome…and we tried it out and thought why not try to play to a wider audience.
TH: Did it take a lot of extra practice doing the acoustic versions of the songs?
Bonne: Actually, not a lot, they came out quite easily. We didn’t have to break our backs…
Jagup: Actually we have to play less then on the original songs.
Bonne: Yes, its way easier to play live than our original stuff.
TH: Well I heard the acoustic versions of Skincrawler and Head Drug Rising, it was really cool, I’m looking forward to hearing what that sounds like tonight.
Marx: Definitely was with Metallica.
Bonne: The biggest experience for life was definitely Metallica, you know, standing in front of eighty thousand people on stage together with Metallica and singing “So Fucking What”, It’s not an easy thing to take and to forget, definitely never going to forget the show with Metallica. But yeah, we have played a lot of shows with good bands, from Massive Attack to Napalm Death, different good memories and experiences. Most of the ones, here in the smaller clubs, with more unknown bands, its always different. Sometimes there is very good vibe, with only a hundred people, better than a bigger audience. But its different, always good.
TH: Talking about some of the influences in the beginning of the band, how's Pedigree changed since, like, the early 90's?
Bonne: As I said, uh, our influences, uh, for me the influences [for] why we started the band are basically the same and I still listen to the [?] and, uh, Godflesh, my favorite band. And then the...Ministry and [the] Young Gods, they are [a] big influence for us. But definately our own sound has been changing a lot during [our] long career. So we are...going almost [?]. Ya know? Technology's changing fast and so do we.
TH: Aweseome. Well, um, were any of the band's themes influenced by the, like, the occupation here, like before Pedigree started?
Bonne: Uh, you mean...?
TH: Like the Soviet occupation...
TH: ...like back in the day, pre-90's.
Bonne: Yeah it was, uh... you know I'm quite proud that I started listening to music in the early 80's, and uh, during the Soviet times and it was