Pigeon Park: Determination Pays Dividends


By Keith Sharp

If at first you don’t succeed, obtain constructive criticism and take one more shot. That seems to be the mantra of Vancouver area rock band Pigeon Park who made the top 10 when they entered Vancouver C-Fox’s prestigeous Seeds competition in 2012 with ther self-titled, six-track debut EP. But they didn’t win a competion previously won by the likes of Nickelback, Default and Matthew Good.

“So we consulted with CFOX’s Chris Duncombe (who helped organize the competition), he gave us some constructive criticism and when we entered again the following year with our second EP, `Black Widow, we won the competition,” explained Pigeon Park’s lead vocalist, Nick Weber, on the phone from Vancouver as the band prepared to launch a three-week Canadian tour that kicks off at London Ontario’s Rum Runner venue November 30th.

Top prize was a recording session with ace producer Ggarth Richardson (Rage Against The Machine, Red Hot Chilli Peppers) which produced the band’s third EP, Stripes, released late last year.

“Recording with Ggarth was a daunting experience, he’s obviously worked with some great bands and we were happy to learn from him and let him teach us how to record properly,” Weber acknowledged.

artworks-000176145154-vfzewy-t500x500The resulting six-track EP boasts a strong classic rock feel, but in retrospect, Weber feels the overall vibe is a bit of a depature from the direction Pigeon Park was evolving. “When `Stripes’ came out, we were obviously very excited about working with Ggarth but we know he likes to put his own spin on things. At that time we were in the process of moving away from that classic rock sound,” he noted.

What is more attuned to the band’s future direction is a new track “Sunlight Fading Away” which arrangement wise, is a little more layered than their previous releases. Produced by Jordan Oonebeek, who helmed their `Black Widow’ sophomore EP release, the band’s new single is reflective of a more complex future direction.

Formed in 2008, when Weber, a former child actor, moved to the Vancouver suburb of Port Moody from Penticton, he quickly fell in with a group of local musicians which eventually resulted in the formation of Pigeon Park.

Named after a notorious drug hang out off Vancouver’s East Hastings Street, Weber, dual guitarists Logan Pacholok and Kevin Okabe, bassist Artur Leppart and original drummer Hunter Elliot launched the band with a six-song indie, self titled EP. “The tracks were all over the map, we had all these songs with different influences,” reflected Weber. “There was absolutely no identity there.”

Still, the band entered their debut entry into CFOX’s Seeds contest, and when they just fell short of making the top three, the band decided to get serious. “It was like, okay everybody, let’s get on the same page and hone in on one specific direction. If it doesn’t work out, we can always try something else.”

The result was a four-track EP titled Black Widow which won them the Seeds contest, earned them a recording stint with Richardson, and on the strength of their resulting `Stripes’ EP, has created touring opportunities with the likes of Aerosmith, Slash, Collective Soul and Big Wreck.

Now with Spencer Burr taking over the drummer’s chair from Elliot, the band continues to build a strong national reputation with the current tour that seems them play Toronto’s Adelaide Hall December 1 before heading out West to finish off  at the Upstairs Cabaret in Victoria, BC December 18th.

“We have been a singles band, we have liked the process of releasing EP’s, instead of those 16-track records that nobody listens to, but we are writing more complex material for a debut album,” allowed Weber. “Right now, it’s just a matter of  building up our national support and tours like this one help us create a name for ourselves.”

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