RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW FINNISH DUO MEOW PIGLET
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
Aurora: I started playing piano at the age of five, music has always been a big part of my life. When I had to choose the next step in life for education and career, I couldn’t see music only as a hobby. From there onwards I’ve been able to study and work in music in various ways.
Bane: I’m not sure. I was always creative and when I started playing music I liked it enough to stick with it.
Introduce us to all of the members and your musical history.
Bane: Grew up in Serbia in quite an artistic family. Since I was a little kid, I hung out in my dad’s bar listening to whatever was playing on the stereo. Bunch of local musicians were coming there to hang so there was always interesting music playing. Often there would be blues-rock gigs and it was fascinating to me to be around the older musicians at the rehearsals. Hadn’t picked up an instrument until I was about 12 or 13. I had a lot of friends who were in punk-rock bands, and was hanging out at their rehearsal spaces all the time, so eventually I got a bass guitar for my birthday and started playing in a band. I figured out how to play on my own, and only years later I started taking classical double bass lessons, which didn’t really resonate with me, so I got in music high school playing jazz bass guitar, which led me to Conservatorium van Amsterdam where I got the Bachelor of Jazz diploma. During my time in Amsterdam, I really got into music production, recording, and experimenting in the studio. Since then, I kinda departed from jazz, as a player.
Aurora: I grew up in Finland, where I studied classical piano and music in an institute and music-oriented class at school. That gave me a great foundation for piano, music theory and working in an orchestra and other kinds of ensembles. As a teenager I also started getting pop/jazz lessons, bass guitar lessons, played in a local big band and a few pop bands with my friends. From those years onwards nothing else really interested me more than music. I consider myself lucky to have had these possibilities early on. After high school I went to study music and shifted from classical to pop/jazz piano. I also tried some other side instruments such as drums, saxophone and vocal lessons, but I was the most inspired by jazz piano. I continued my studies in the jazz departments in Groningen and Amsterdam and during pandemic finished my master’s in Helsinki. Beside Meow Piglet, I am doing a lot of composing work for my own jazz quintet, big bands and string ensembles.
What was life like for you before music?
Aurora: Music was a part of my life early on, so I don’t really recall time without it.
Bane: Skateboarding, hanging out with friends mostly.
What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry?
Bane: I guess not to care about what others think of your art and not to take yourself too seriously.
Aurora: Stay true to yourself and keep going forward, no matter what others might say. Equally important is to keep your mind open to new things, to stay awake. Evolve with your art. Stay sensitive.
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.
We are workaholics when it comes to making music. We both love The Office. We definitely know what we’re doing!
If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?
An agent! Haha
Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? Discuss….
Aurora: I’m trying to be quite mindful in my music and lyrics, sometimes hiding secret messages and thoughts inside the lines. However I don’t see any of them being hurtful to others, I’m not worrying about that.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? If not why not?
Yes. We believe conspiracy theories are a hoax.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Aurora: Those horrible blackouts when your mind decides to shut down for a second. You learn to swim through though.
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about.
Aurora: Bane is insanely interested in woodworking, I don’t think there is one YouTube channel about the topic that he hasn’t seen.
Bane: Aurora knows pretty much all the birds and animals on this planet.
Aurora: I used to only watch nature documentaries!
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
Probably the experimental side, our music is a blend of a lot of styles and that’s the way we want it to be. To evolve and try out things. The detailed sound design is important, that you can listen to a and find something new in it every time. Like little easter eggs.
What was the recording process like?
The album was made between 2020-2022 mostly in the living room of our apartment. We recorded most of the vocals in various studios and did the drums in the old barn/summer cottage of Aurora’s cousin.
We did all the engineering and everything ourselves. Since we hadn’t make music together before, we had no idea what is Meow Piglet. Anyhow, we started making demos, and working on them until they became complete songs, tried bunch of things out in the process. As it was the pandemic at the time, It didn’t feel that horrible to stay inside four walls and work our asses off.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
The start of this new project was difficult, but we both wanted this to work out and opened up more, being that we’re quite stubborn people, haha. We tried out new things and found solutions to get both of our (quite different) styles and ideas into the music. We had to make compromises which neither of us really wanted, but in the end it turned out to be the best thing we could have done.
Aurora: But also I loved the challenge of adding my own ideas, melody and lyrics to something Bane had made as a structure for new music. I learnt so much in that process!
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Aurora: In my opinion, this is a great debut album! I’ve never done this kind of music, written lyrics, nor made such a big project together with someone. I don’t think it could’ve gone any better, but I cannot wait to start working on the second album. I have new ideas for that one.
Bane: Well, in a way, most art is never truly done. It’s just a matter of deciding that you will stop working on it and it’s time for the world to see it. That being said, now when I listen to Deeper, I hear things that I would have done slightly differently today.
There’s also a perfectionist in me that is not letting me be totally satisfied with my own work, haha. Anyhow, I’m quite proud of what we did, and the album had turned out fine in my opinion.