Pinegrove Talks New Album and SXSW

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Pinegrove who seemingly came out of nowhere have taken over the indie alternative scene with their new album Cardinal. They played a sold out PhilaMOCA a couple weeks back and we had the opportunity to chat with, singer and song writer, Evan Stephens Hall.

Rock On Philly: What’s your name? What do you do in the band?

Evan Hall: My names Evan Stephens Hall, not hyphenated, Stephens is my middle name, it’s my mom’s last name, and Hall is my dad’s last name. I like to use both because I like both of my  parents. I want to respect both sides of the family. I play guitar, I sing, I write the songs.

ROP: So tonight is sold out, how does it feel to be playing a sold out show of a decent sized venue?

EH: Yeah it rocks it’s been awhile now that Philly has been a super great place for friends and listeners of Pinegrove it’s kinda like a DIY capital of the world, as far as I’m concerned. I think it makes sense that there’s listeners of Pinegrove here and people are enthusiastic about our sound and our songs. Our last show was in Boston and that was sold out to, I think that was one of the first shows of the run that we were like wow it’s in a real club there are people here, that are fans of ours that know our songs.

ROP: How was the tour with The World Is A Beautiful Place, and Into It Over It?

EH: And The Sidekicks too, let’s not forget because the Sidekicks are kickass the tour was really good.

ROP: Was that your first larger venue tour?

EH: It was the first tour that we were playing venues consistently and there were monitors and green rooms but that was our second US tour. It was long, it was good, we reached a lot of new people and new listeners and that was kinda the point.

ROP: I’m so upset, I was sick and I couldn’t go. How does it feel to have such a sudden success. I feel like just months ago you started doing big things, you got signed to Run For Cover, how do you even take all that in?

EH: It’s great, I always hoped that people would like my music. I don’t think I can answer it any more thoroughly than that. It’s kinda strange and it’s kinda cool, it’s something I always wanted to do.

ROP: You recently came out with a music video, where did you come up with the concept? It’s very entertaining.

EH: Awe thanks! I think it wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that I like to walk around in my neighborhood a lot especially at night. That’s frequently when I do a lot of thinking and writing and accidently  finding cool places around my neighborhood. One of those places is an elementary school and they happen to have a big map painted essentially in Pinegrove colors, aka primary colors even though I don’t think I can claim the color wheel. I also really like geography and I’ll sometimes just hang out late at night by the map and think about tour routes and it just sort of developed naturally from that and went on from there.

ROP: So I’m actually seeing Cardinal on a lot of people’s mid Album Of The Year lists what does that mean to you that it means that much to other people?

EH: It’s been terrific especially traveling more and meeting people for whom the album has made a pretty strong impact. It is a deeply cool realization that I can have a positive influence on people’s lives and this music is cathartic and it also helps me work out emotional or cognitive things I’m thinking about. This is a helpful process to me and it completes that process in an interesting way to find that the feelings I felt are resonating with other people. There are people who tell me that the things that I say are articulated and make them feel less lonely or that they feel understood and its the same for me if they feel the same things. It’s a feeling that makes me feel more understood so it really is a reciprocal thing and a really beautiful thing.

ROP: How did you get involved in the compilation for Orlando?

EH: Oh yeah! It was great, Tom from Run For Cover just reached out to us about it he said “there’s a ton of great bands on this, do it if you want to”, and we were like “we absolutely want to”. We want to help out in anyway it’s such a helpless feeling when you hear about a tragedy like that so it feels good to help even just marginally.

ROP: I have to ask because I was there, how was SXSW for you?

EH: There was so many friends there, it was so cool, but it was also so crazy and exhausting. We played six shows in two days, four on one day, two on the other day, but it was great to see all sorts of friends who I didn’t even know were going to be there. Of course I could have pieced it together eventually if I had time to think but just running into our friends in PWR BTTM and Donovan Wolfington in just random places.

ROP: Did you play an actual showcases or were they just unofficial?

EH: Yeah we played the Run For Cover Showcase and the Brooklyn Vegan.

ROP: Well thank you so much for sitting down with us! Good luck on the rest of your tour.

EH: Thank you!

Check out their full album Cardinal below!

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