Friday 7 August 2015

The Pixo Control play Emergency Festival Saturday August 15

left to right: Keeghan Rosso- Michael Mikus -Steve Edwards

What sets this band apart from other young rock acts in the Sault? 
What do you bring onstage that other bands miss the mark on?

This is a tough question 
because there are more than a few great bands around here 
that ... pour themselves into what they do. 
I don't know what exactly has gotten people's attention about us at all; probably has something to do with the music. 
We just aim to play a good show for people every night. 
When people leave our show, 
I want them to feel different from when they first walked in...
it doesn't matter if we're playing in front of 4 people or 400
...we have to keep doing our thing no matter who sees it. 
You have to really give them that high-energy live show 
that makes them feel something.
That's been our natural approach to playing shows so far.

What local acts are you excited about 
and what do you feel the music scene is missing?

Gnaeus and Caroline Divine are buzzing for me 
as far as young bands. Aldous is another good one. 
Then there's my heavy taste which likes 
Jack Spades and Destroilet. 
This Sault Ste. Marie scene is small right now 
but it's got a lot stemming from the branch. 
I think right now it's just missing the chaos. 
There are a lot of kids here that don't get the opportunity 
to see new music because even when it's promoted, 
it falls short to cover bands. 
In my opinion that's a little backward, but nonetheless, 
the community of people 
who are brought together by music and art 
is growing stronger than it has in recent years. 
Hopefully the city's reputation for music 
will continue to improve with the addition of the Machine Shop 
as a go-to venue for touring artists. 
The bands are here, the talent is here, 
and all the hormonal, pissed-off teenagers are here too, 
we just need to get them off their phones 
and out to a damn show. 
It's a far more memorable and emotional experience 
than today's trending topics.  

As Mike had mentioned before Caroline Devine, 
Gnaeus and Aldous are great young bands in the Sault. 
I also really enjoy bands such as Frank Deresti and the Lake Effect 
and Shannon Moan. I feel that the music scene is missing 
..swarms of teenagers lining up outside of a venue
(for) a band they want to see. 
...the Sault music scene is definitely growing in all genres, 
slowly but surely.

The  band was recently signed to Tidal records: 
How is life on a label for Pixo so far?

Tidal Records has been great to us. 
We're still a really young band even though we seem to be doing alright. We have a lot to learn, and it's just nice to have people there who can offer you that family-based support that you can't get from a major label. We play the rock n roll, and they provide a good vehicle for us to get our music into people's ears. It's people helping people.

We have had complete support from Tidal Records 
since we first met Dustin and the Tidal crew on day one, 
even before we were signed with them. 
We have just gotten started...

really excited for the future with them 
and the experience that comes along with it.

The album you've just about to release will be the first for the band.
How did you enjoy the recording experience 
and how do you see the album as far as your musical direction goes?

Recording this album was our first time cutting a whole LP 
and it had bits of all things good and bad about being in the studio. 
We had our moments of pure awe....
hurdling over on the couch in utter joy, 
along with long hours of self-loathing 
where you wanna break the microphone under your foot. 
I like to think it balanced out the way we wanted it to in the end. 
It's as rough as I wanted our first record to be. 
It sounds like a band that is far from well worn-in....
quite the teaser to say the least.

Your music strikes me as being fairly retro in its approach 
to both punk music and the influence of the blues. 

I dig the old aesthetic, I'm not gonna lie. 
I would say I'm more of a guitar player than a singer too. 
I like players like Josh Homme and Kim Thayil, 
Johnny Greenwood, really aggressive yet melodic players. 
And as raunchy as I may like my guitar tone, 
I'm still a sucker for a well-written pop hit. 
There's no perfect formula for what we try to capture in our music,
 it's just me trying to push the limit of rock music songwriting. 
Whatever it is, it's working for me.

Since the earliest of age that I can remember, 
I was always listening to older rock and roll, 
bands like The Steve Miller Band, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, 
Kiss, Ac/Dc and about everything else in between. 
As I got older I started enjoying heavier and lighter bands like Alexisonfire, 
Queens of the Stone age, Kings Of Leon, City and Colour 
and tons of other bands. I think our influences come out when we play 
whether we try to or not, 
it's who we are as musicians.

Tell me about the journey from solo Mikus music to the Pixo.

I started writing music when I was 12 or something. 
Just these really simple, sorta cheesy songs about pre-pubescent love. 
I played acoustic shows and that was about it. 
And then I just kept practicing, 
expanding on my musical repertoire 
and eventually I found myself in a two-piece garage rock band 
called The Fever Tops with Mitch Harris. 
We did that for nearly a year and in that time, 
the songs were getting better 
and I was getting impatient to start something new. 
So I quit that band and moved on to Pixo 
and now we're doing a lot more than I thought we ever would. 

How do you keep your head on straight while becoming a teenaged rock frontman?

I still have one more year of high school to go, 
so I'm just gonna keep riding this wave. 
It's been nothing but amazing so far, and there's no chance in hell 
I'm putting the brakes on doing it anytime soon.

What's behind Keeghan's leaving the drum chair in the pixo control?
 Is this a big concern to the rest of the band?
 Has a new drummer been recruited?

Keeghan's just not really in the right mindset 
to devote himself to playing music right now. 
It's a difficult change to take on. He's our friend and yeah, 
it sucks that we don't have our original line-up anymore 
but it's not a concern for the band at this point. 
It would be really silly to live out this band thing 
thinking everything's always going to stay the same. 
That's not how life works, and at the end of the day, 
we're just people who have to take care of themselves. 
We have a new guy that we're working with right now, 
and to me it still sounds like The Pixo Control,
 if anything, a much more focused Pixo Control. 
But we'll save the introduction 
for when he starts playing the shows.

You've been gigging locally on the regular this year.
Where have you played outside of the Sault 
and what's planned for this summer and beyond?

So far we've done one mini-tour of Southern Ontario;
playing in Toronto, Barrie, and St.Catharines. 
Now we're back home to play the Emergency Festival on Saturday
We're hoping to book more dates later but for now, 
I think we'll focus on getting the record out.

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