If This Is It
Poor Pilate's eponymous 2011 album crept up on us over a few weeks, but once it fully latched onto our brain, each spin got sweeter and sweeter. The self-released set made good on the promise of the Houston five-piece's live shows.
Singer and keyboardist David Lascoe has one of the most endearing and distinctive voices in the city today, with shades of Leon Russell and Tom Waits. He's also the only member of Poor Pilate who knows how to type. Chatter recently spoke to him via email about the band's frequently mispronounced name, recording on a ranch, and being one of Houston's most prolific live groups.
Chatter: Why Poor Pilate? What's with the name? Do you get sick of people thinking it's pronounced like the fancy fitness craze?
David Lascoe: I've never actually done Pilates, but I imagine if I did, I would probably only perform one [exercise], maybe, successfully. There's a lot of confusion about our band name. Basically, we're just kinda bummed that Pontius Pilate in the Bible always looks like the bad guy. Even though he was just doing his job.
C: Were keys your first instrument? Some people pick it up along the way.
DL: Yeah, I took lessons for a while when I was kid and I didn't really like it. [I] picked up guitar in high school, started writing, and that kind of gave me a completely different approach to playing piano. Instead of reading notes on a piece of paper, I just started listening more and trying to figure songs out that way. That definitely made playing more enjoyable for me.
C: What's going on with the new Pilate music?
DL: We're about to begin chipping away at our next album. Many of the songs we play in our live shows haven't been recorded yet, so we'll get those done and maybe cover some Huey Lewis and the News. The only news we trust.
C: You are pulling a lot of fun gigs lately. I always see you guys in odd places like restaurants and block parties. What has been the most fun venue to play?
DL: Well, I got my face painted like Batman and wore a mariachi T-shirt at Mills-McCoin's Rock 'n' Roll Circus at the Orange Show.
C: What influences do people probably not know about with the the Pilates?
DL: Die Antwoord. We spent a weekend recording a song at a ranch in Round Top and that's pretty much all we listened to. Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Tom Waits, Relatively Clean Rivers. David Bazan was probably my first love. Of course you have Jeff Buckley, Fruit Bats, Santo & Johnny, Randy Newman. And that's all. No one else, I swear.
C: Recording on a ranch sounds awesome. It must add a smoky flavor to the music.
DL: The ranch is one of our favorite places on earth. There's a heated swimming pool, a zipline, an in-ground trampoline, a teepee, and a bathroom dedicated to Frida Kahlo. Seriously.
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