Small Talk: GREGORY PEPPER

Who are you and what do you do:
Gregory Pepper. I’m mainly known for the singer / songwriter thing, but i also work on other people’s records and make art.

Current obsessions:
We’re pretty into that “Tattoo Age” documentary series on VBS.TV now. The episodes about Dan Santoro and Grime were awesome. There’s also this comic called “Forming” by Jesse Moynihan which is fucking epic and wonderfully drawn. http://jessemoynihan.com/

A song or a record that will always put you in a good mood, without fail:
That’s a tall order, but when all else fails: THE BLUE ALBUM.

Tell us about an album or artist you think is really under-appreciated, and why they are deserving of more praise:
Drew Smith (of the now-defunct Bicycles) released an album called “Gadzooks” as Doctor Ew last year. First rate pop songwriting, beautiful voice… Why that guy doesn’t have the Polaris Prize in hand and a pack of indie-rock sycophants praising his name is beyond me!

Most played track on your iTunes:
Apparently it’s “Atlantic City” by the Boss…

Most cherished musical object:
Probably this old Heintzman upright piano in the living room. I do all my writing and arranging on that thing.

Proudest moment:
I tend to relish the little victories: A sweet parallel parking job, correctly predicting the weather or winning small sums of money at poker.

Most vulnerable moment:
The first one that comes to mind was the annual ‘Christmas Assembly’ at highschool, which was a sort of talent show. You could either attend the assembly and get to leave school a couple hours early, or sit in the library and read or something. So the whole student body is packed in this auditorium, jeering and booing. I distinctly remember this heavy-set girl doing a choreographed dance routine to that “Mortal Kombat” techno jam. Anyways, I had this garage band and we’d never performed in public. I was about 15 and couldn’t sing or write a song to save my life. it was a wannabe-Pavement-type number, and halfway through the first verse i broke a string. My guitar had a floating bridge so the instrument instantly went grotesquely out of tune. The song kind of grinded to a stop and the entire audience erupted in depraved laughter. At this point, I experienced what therapists call the “fight or fight” response. Blinded by panic, we clumsily finished the song. Pretty great start to a musical career, nowhere to go but up.

If you could score a film for anyone, who would it be any why:
I’ve heard that Harmony Korine is into metal, so maybe I would do some atmospheric sludge-doom for one of his depraved outings. My little known side-project DEAD ANIMAL CIRCUS could really benefit from the exposure.

Your favourite use of a song in a film:
Remember the montage scene in the Karate Kid that was set to “You’re the Best” by¬†Joe Esposito?

Favourite venue to play in and why:
Does my basement count if Kitty and Tito are watching? Playing live still feels like a formality, but i’m doing my best to enjoy myself and give people something worthwhile.

Dream venue to play in and why:
Do they still mime along to pre-recorded backing tracks on ‘Top of the Pops’? That sounds like a sweet gig, no pressure to hit the right notes, plus a bunch of british teenagers loosing their shit.

First band t-shirt you ever purchased from a merch table:
I’m pretty sure it was a Stomp Records t-shirt. Old ladies used to come up and talk to me because they thought i was into some lame-ass musical that was big in the 90′s.

Band you’d leave your bandmates for:
It sounds selfish, but I really don’t get much out of playing other people’s music. Besides, it’s enough of a struggle to keep my bandmates from leaving me.

Album you want to expose your kin to whilst in the womb:
“Tomb of the Mutilated” by Cannibal Corpse. Just so the kid comes out totally brutal!

Last record you purchased:
“Gravestone Rock” by The Skeletones Four. And it fucking rules, by the way.

If for some reason you lost the ability to make and play music, what would fill that gap:
I’d be perfectly happy drawing and painting full time. Plus I would make just as little money as I do playing music, so it would be a smooth transition!

What was your last dream about:
I got a really janky tattoo of a penis along with the words “TUFF GUY”!