South by Southwest virgins Lucky Pineapple already have quite the résumé: a national release of The Bubble Has Burst in Sky City, their video, “Moment in an Empty Street,” showing on Fuse On Demand, and a new single and 12” on the horizon. Drummer J.C. Denison talks about his SXSW expectations, which include playing great shows, hanging out with fellow traveling Louisvillians and gnoshing on BBQ for breakfast. Of course, getting noticed by music industry types would be an added bonus.
LEO: This is Lucky Pineapple’s first time at South by Southwest. Does the band have any expectations?
JCD: I’m fairly certain we have no concrete expectations. We’ve tried to get in to South by Southwest for several years now, so the realization that we’re actually going this year is still kind of setting in. I think our game plan as of now is to expect the worst, which isn’t that bad really, the worst being that we have a blast hanging out with each other, meet new people, eat good food, play some of the best shows we’ve ever played, see some amazing live music, enjoy the company of other traveling Louisvillians, and all get home safely. Of course, we would love to get noticed by musical types that may have the means and determination to help us further the realizations of our musical goals and, you know, get offered millions of dollars to tour the world and make records for life … So, we’ll see. Oh, and I do expect to eat BBQ for breakfast with you.
LEO: What was it like seeing the video for “Moment in an Empty Street” take shape?
JCD: If you mean what was it like to see it get made/produced, then it was very exciting. What a treat to be able to watch someone who is really starting to master his craft (Andrew Vittitoe) work so diligently on a video for Lucky Pineapple’s music. It was pretty surreal to go from looking at e-mails and storyboards involving loose concepts of the video to watching video projections of the final product. Now it’s been shown all over the Internet, was featured in the Louisville Film Society’s festival, and will most likely be shown at South by Southwest. We’ve all seen “Making the Video” on MTV, but to actually be involved with making the video was a real learning experience. We got a keg of beer, turned the video shoot into a party, and just had lot of fun making it. Andrew should be proud of the end result, as the band certainly is.
LEO: You’ve expanded the group. Who are the newcomers, and have you considered creating your own ZIP code?
JCD: Let’s see, most recently we’ve added Alex Molina (Bloom Street) on percussion and Drew Miller (OK Kino) on alto saxophone. We decided that, rather than worry about there being too many cooks in the kitchen, we’d just expand the menu. Let me tell you, these guys are pros. I might close my eyes and think Mongo Santamaria and Charlie Parker had just walked into the room. They picked our songs up right away and without fear or apprehension, began adding their own colors and personalities to them. Some of these songs are five years old, so it has been nice to hear some fresh flavors added. I feel like now we can go in so many more directions. We have discussed seceding from the union to form our own nation, Pineapple Island. Perhaps after we’ve added a string quartet and an opera singer …
LEO: You’re in Bloomington, Ind., now mixing and tracking. New stuff?
JCD: Sort of. We’re adding overdubs to two songs we recorded up there a few months back, “A Million Brazilian Chameleons” and “Old Data, New Signal.” All of this is taking place at Russian Recording. So I think the plan is to try and release a 12” single of “Chameleons” and use “Old Data” for our upcoming new album. We have tons of songs ready to record for a new album, which we will hopefully get cracking on in the very near future.
Speaking of too many people in the band and going to Bloomington: Last time we were there, we all went to Upland Brewery for dinner. Because of a complicated, two-car situation, the band and engineer ended up leaving me at the restaurant, “Home Alone” style. I had to walk back to the studio, because I didn’t have a working phone. It was fun though; Little 500 was going on so there were plenty of sights and sounds to absorb along the way. So yeah, that is perhaps the biggest problem in adding more musicians: keeping track of everyone.