Band of the Day: Quantum Pig

Planning on a quiet Sunday? Well, stop it. Get your ears wrapped around the video below and find out some more about Quantum Pig…

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

SE14, New Cross, south east London – more known for bands like Squeeze, Dire Straits and Carter USM… We thought it was time some prog was added into the mix.

How did you meet?

In the pub. We still meet there actually.

How long have you been playing as a band?

It all started by accident one New Year’s Eve about 5 years ago, when Ian said “I’ve been writing some proggy things”, and played one to Mark who immediately and drunkenly said, ’’That’s brilliant! Can I have a crack at a topline and lyrics?”. The result was “Statement of Intent” – the first cut off our debut album…

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

We were discussing naming conventions for musical acts with our mate Richard, who’s a local blues legend. Blues artists, we joked, are always named after a disability and a fruit, e.g. Blind Lemon Smith, or Lame Kumquat Johnson. He asked what was equivalent for ‘prog’ and we said “oh, something scientific and an animal, you know, like ‘Atomic Rooster’.” He suggested we call ourselves Atomic Pig which led us very quickly to where we are now. We were, of course, in the pub.

What are your influences?

Everything and anything – and we mean that most honestly. Ian, in particular, is a musical sponge, you’re just as likely to find him at a Sleafod Mods gig as a Yes one. It’s all about songs at the end of the day. Intellectually we’re about progressive thought from Carl Sagan to Maya Angelou. If you pushed us we’d say Quantum Pig would be an attempt to merge the grandiose pop genius of Queen to the raw intent of Husker Du, via affairs with Rush, XTC, Earth, Wind and Fire and Bertrand Russell.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

Think of us as the Sex Pistols smashed into Yes. Also, we like to keep it short – all killer, no filler. You’re unlikely to find a Pig album straying over 45 minutes. In prog, that’s almost heresy.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

Big ones. The first album is very much about transition, from the old world we have to leave behind to the new that must be born. Essentially our lyrics are about the grand questions the future is asking us as a species, and what we might do to answer them. It’s progressive rock in the service of progressive ideas.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

Our live show is still in the works but expect jollity. Quantum Pig started life by accident at a drunken new year’s eve party. We never expected to get to this stage but were blown away when Craig (Blundell) joined us on drums and John (Mitchell) took on the mixing of the album. We’re hoping Craig and John will join us on the road. Live, we take a lot from our favourite proggers Frost* (who also feature Craig and John) in that we intend to have a huge amount of fun. We can’t stand bands that act all serious. You’re in a band for Chrissake! Cheer up!

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

It wasn’t our own show, but Mark did wee in the bushes at Buckingham Palace during a gig by The Feeling. In the UK that’s hangable.

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

Guitar-wise we’re huge telecaster fans – and Ian has his own specially Pigged version. Bass is either a Rickenbacker or Fender Jazz (essentially we’re Geddy Lee acolytes here). Craig is a Paste/ Mapex guy.

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

Our debut album Songs of Industry and Sunshine, out on (the lovely) White Star Records.

What are your plans for 2019?

We’ve got to deliver album 2, which is about 70% there – and we’ll finish when our new studio is completed (imminent we hope!). Mark has a play touring the UK too, and a third book to write. We’ll almost certainly have most of album 3 done by the end of 2019 as well, ready to tour thereafter.

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

In a fantasy world it’d be 1978 and we’d support a Freddie Mercury fronted Queen, and have a Hugh Cornwell fronted The Stranglers in support. Today, we’d love to support Steven Wilson and have the insane Three Trapped Tigers open up.

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