Have some Funk with your Waffles: An Interview with Greg of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

If you attend college at SU, every now and then you need an excuse to go to Funk N’ Waffles. Maybe it’s the sweet aroma, abstract art, or the dynamic acts they book. No matter what your reasoning is, October 9th is the day to be at the Funk, because the one the only Pigeons Playing Ping Pong will astound all of us with a funky fresh energy that will make the best (waffle) dinner and a show of all time. Based out of Baltimore, this quirky combo has sailed to the top in the past five years, from the University of Maryland dorms to prestigious stages across the nation. I got to talk with the lead singer Greg about their past summer festival season, greatest moments, and upcoming releases.

Julia Wolfe: If you were describing your music to someone who doesn’t know your band, what three adjectives would you use?

Greg Ormont: High energy, psychedelic, and funk. I would need to put fun in there somewhere, so I would probably do that for extra credit?

JW: Sure! I’m cool with bonus points. I also noticed you guys recently played at the Catskill Chill Music Festival, alongside Lettuce, Papadosio, and Dopapod. What was that like?

GO: It was an honor to play Catskill Chill. It was our second time playing there, and the lineup is just so impressive from top to bottom. It was an incredibly deep and fanastic, funky lineup, so playing alongside those musicians is just a dream come true. We were able to invite some of our friends up on stage, so we had Mihali Savoulidis from Twiddle play guitar with us, along with others. There’s so much great cool stuff to see and great music.

JW: What would you say is your dream gig? What bands do you idolize?

GO: My dream gigs would be Jam Cruise, Madison Square Garden, and Vegas on Halloween somewhere. I would play with Phish, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd. If I had to answer with one dream gig, though, it would be the Superbowl Halftime Show with special guest Stevie Wonder.

JW: I looked into your discography, and it shows your first record was released in 2010, so you guys are still pretty new. How have you handled taking off so quickly in the past 5 years?

GO: We just love to play music. Back when we started this band, it was for fun. To this day, it’s still about the fun. As we play bigger venues and have more prestigious lineups, we continue to focus on having a good time on stage and have the crowd have an even better time. We’ve always been drawn to the energy that we share with an audience, and that’s what we focus on. It’s nice that we get to play later and longer at shows, but it all boils down to having a great time.

JW: It looks like you’ve hit up a ton of venues across the US. What has been your favorite so far?

GO: Opening for the Disco Biscuits at the Best Buy Theatre on New Year’s Eve. The 930 Club in DC and the 8 by 10 in Baltimore were also some of our favorites.

JW: Where can we expect to see you in the future? Any cool shows or releases coming up?

GO: We just recently announced New Year’s Eve in Richmond, Virginia. Just yesterday, we announced more shows in Upstate New York. We’re also playing Aura Music Festival in Florida, which is one of my favorite places to play by far. It’s one of the most beautiful grounds I’ve ever stepped on with the most visionary lineups of the year. It’s going to be a great show.

JW: If people want to follow your updates, where can they find you?

GO: Definitely on our facebook page as well as our website, but I also would recommend to follow our Instagram. Facebook has most of our band information, but our Instagram has all of our wacky, spur of the moment photos from our tour, so both are worth checking out.

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong released their second album, Psychology in July of 2014, and have undergone an extensive season of touring since. Despite their multiple stops in upstate New York, you won’t get as much of an inclusive experience unless you go to Funk N’ Waffles on South Crouse Ave. They stop here October 9th at 8:30pm, and food and beverages will be available for sale, as always. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door, but I’d recommend getting there early to secure a seat. See ya there!