While we were at Firefly Music Festival, we sat down with some of our favorite artists on the lineup to chat with them about their past year and what’s to come. Vancouver’s Peach Pit has been putting out some of the most impressive “sad bangers” (their description) of the past decade in indie-rock, with songs like “Tommy’s Party” and “Shampoo Bottles” winning them over legions of fans and putting them at festivals like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and more. Live, they’re a force to behold — at this year’s Firefly set, singer Neil Smith launched himself into the crowd in the first two minutes of the set, and the musicianship of the band (including Chris Vanderkooy, who might be the best guitarist in indie-rock today) brought one of the biggest crowds to the Wonder Stage over the festival weekend. Before their set on Friday, the band stopped by to answer some questions about their past year, You and Your Friends, and what’s to come for the band:
Melodic Mag: Is this your first time in Delaware? What’s your take so far on the festival?
Neil (Smith, vocals): We slammed some oysters before we came here, so it’s so far, so good. Nerding out over bridges, yknow.
It was funny walking into this because I was asking myself “what am I going to say to Peach Pit” — y’all put out You And Your Friends a year ago, and then the world shut down! So, apart from the obvious “no shows” part of the pandemic, how did that affect your first year, and is it nice to play these songs live for the first time?
Chris (Vanderkooy, guitar): It’s so awesome – we played in NYC on Wednesday night and we played a song we’d never played live in front of other people-
Neil: “Brian’s Movie”!
Chris: Yeah, “Brian’s Movie”. So we played that for the first time and like, EVERYONE knew all the words. So going from never even playing it to that is just like-
Neil: I didn’t even know people liked that song. (laughs) I thought I just liked it.
Chris: Seeing everyone be that into it — it reminded me of the first time we played and folks were singing back to us and thinking like “THIS is why we do it”.
Mikey (Pascuzzi, drummer): It was just this realization that people really liked the album; like, we gained fans from that album and we weren’t really able to experience the benefits of that because everything was shut down.
Yeah, I could imagine that’s weird as hell – it’s almost like the past year didn’t happen! You mention the fans singing back to you; one thing I love about the band is that Peach Pit fans love Peach Pit. Y’all inspire a fandom that’s pretty devoted regardless of what else is going on in the world—
Neil: And the ones that hate us fucking hate us. (laughs)
Is there anything you think that you’re doing differently to create that kind of connection with your fans?
Neil: You know what, I think we’re lucky in a lot of ways that people like our music, but we try really hard to just be honest and like ourselves with our fans. I’m notoriously bad at remembering our own lyrics; in New York the other night, I completely forgot the words to “Peach Pit” — you know, the one that the band is named after and is one of our most popular songs — and it wasn’t too embarrassing because we just laughed it off and moved on. I think our fans like that, and I know that I like to see that in bands that I listen to.
Chris: I think that’s one thing we do well: we just don’t take it too seriously. And it didn’t happen that way because we were thinking about it or any intentionality — we’re just having fun, man.
Neil: I think we all have very strong imposter syndrome as well. (everyone laughs) We’re just always like “THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING TO THE SHOW” and try not to be dicks about it.
So, there’s the show in New York and Firefly Festival, and that’s kind of it for y’all this year. What’s on the horizon for Peach Pit?
Chris: We’ve got a single coming out [“Up Granville”, which you can listen to here], and we’ll have some new music out this fall and hopefully an album in the new year.
Neil: Big tour next year for the new record, hopefully, if things keep going down, and Mikey was looking at some NPR modeling and everything’s coming up well it seems!