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There's no question as to the quality and authenticity of most of the other touring Pink Floyd tributes out there; they have our respect and endorsement that you should see them if you get the chance. That said, our goal with Pigs on the Wing has always been to provide an interpretation of Floyd that balances our appreciation and dedication to the source material with our own style and evolution from an original rock band.
In contrast to many other Floyd tributes, which attempt to take the arena rock experience of Floyd and scale it down just enough to fit whatever venue they are playing, Pigs on the Wing's goal is to put the experience of Floyd's music squarely in the context of rock club / small-midsize venue.
We're not trying to specifically recreate the experience of the Wall or Pulse tours - rather, we're imaging what it might have been like to see Pink Floyd performing this music in a 500 seat venue, where you can walk right up to the stage and talk to the singer, watch the interaction of the band onstage, check out the gear if you're interested, or chat with the band before and after the show - and most of our fans truly appreciate the personal connection to the music this offers.
The answer is that though we typically perform the songs in a note for note fashion, we don't obsess over this aspect of the performance. We have spent a lot of time studying the source material and we draw from both live performances and studio recordings. We've found that is' safe to say that Floyd themselves, particularly in the pre- Wall era, didn't obsess over a note for note aspect either; their performances often varied and included a fair amount of improvisation.
To this end, there are a few songs in our current performance catalog that we slightly alter the arrangement to allow for extended improvisational parts. For the most part, our arrangements are exactly as Floyd would have performed them. We always strive to maintain the feel and mood of a song as it was originally intended, but we also have found that in live situations and in smaller venues it makes sense to perform with higher dynamics and energy than may have been found in an arena rock performance of the song. Sometimes fans describe this as a slightly louder or heavier approach to Floyd, which we like and think matches the music well in a live environment.
The band does perform music from the Syd Barrett era. The band does not currently perform any post- Roger Waters era material.
There are two possible explanations.
The first is, the guitarist made a mistake. The experience of live rock music is, in our opinion, not intended to be a precision science and this is something that varies greatly from either watching a concert video at home or seeing an arena performance in which every single step every musician takes is scripted, practiced, rehearsed, and performed to time-based click track with in-ear monitors. By contrast, there are countless variables which come into play in our performances and our experience of live music. In our opinion this is what makes the experience real as opposed to the detached experience in your local enormo-dome or wide screen TV.
The second explanation is that it's possible the guitarist took a chance on trying something new that varied slightly from the recorded version of the solo.
Though the answer to that is nuanced, in a word, no. The answer to the above FAQ is probably best stated as, it's an apples to oranges comparison - and you should experience both. Brit Floyd and Aussie Floyd interpret Floyd in the strictest note for note sense. They also perform venues that hold at minimum, several thousand and it's fair to say these tributes have production budgets hundreds of times larger than POTW. For some Floyd fans, this is the only context in which Floyd makes sense, and while we respect that perspective, it's only fair to tell you that Pigs on the Wing is probably not for you.
Pigs on the Wing doesn't and has never claimed to be the biggest, best or most note for note authentic Pink Floyd tribute in the world, and we emphatically do not have our sights set on challenging Aussie Floyd or anyone else for that crown. We frequently have fans tell us that, while they enjoy the scale of production of an Aussie or Brit Floyd show, they equally appreciate the high energy interpretation, varied song selection, and relative intimacy of a Pigs on the Wing show.
Yes. We are based in Portland, Oregon and perform primarily in the NW region of the US. The other Pigs on the Wing is a collective headed by David Murphy of Sound Tribe Sector 9 based in the SE United States. We've occasionally crossed paths, and it does lead to confusion. The good news is, they are excellent too and have a similar approach to their Floyd in many ways, so regardless of who you think you're showing up for, you'll enjoy the show.
The less than arena-rock scale of our shows and our attempt to keep ticket prices reasonable doesn't provide us with a production budget on the scale of an Aussie Floyd show. We attempt to balance a level of production which matches the technical capacity of smaller rooms and the technical capacity of the band and crew to get it all set up and ready to go under our time constraints. We put a lot of thought into our lighting design and projection, but it is not the center piece of a Pigs on the Wing show.
Here's what the band members themselves said in answer to this question:
David Lindenbaum (guitar, vocals): Brian Setzer, Peter Buck, Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins), Lindsey Buckingham, John Lennon, Townes Van Zandt, Tom Waits, Tom Hanks, Tom Petty and Mike Campbell, John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Peter Gabriel, Robert Fripp, The Edge, Brian Eno, Alex Lifeson, Miles Davis, Niles Crane, Lemmy, Kacy Mazur, and Alex Hall
Pete Galluzzo (sax): Lenny Pickett, Grover Washington Jr., Boney James. Dave Koz, David Sanborn, Kenny Gortley, Tower of Power, Aretha Franklin, Earth Wind & Fire, Lettuce, Van Halen, Rush, Stevie Ray Vaughn, KISS, Blue oyster cult
Bryan Fairfield (drums): Billy Martin, William Winant, Joey Barron, Jack Dejohnette, Hamid Drake, Gene Krupa, Danny Heifetz, Stanton Moore, Tim "Herb" Alexander, Dale Crover, Danny Carey, Mitch Mitchell, John Bonham, Stuart Copeland, Dave Grohl, Mike Bordin
Keeley St. Clair (vocals): Robert Plant, Tori Amos, Karen O and Bjork
Eric Welder (bass): Les Claypool, Mike Watt, Queens of the Stoneage
Jason Baker (guitar, vocals): The White Stripes, Nigel Tufnel
Matt Jones (keyboards, vocals): Hip Tanaka
Pigs on the Wing began life as a one-off performance of Dark Side of the Moon by Portland based rock band Oxcart (http://www.oxcartmusic.net) The success of that show in Oct 2006, as well as a series of encore shows, led the band to decide to create a separate side-project dedicated strictly to Pink Floyd. Though initially Oxcart and Pigs on the Wing were the same band in terms of members, that has changed over the years. Currently, Matt Jones and Jason Baker are the only original members of Pigs on the Wing.
The direct evolution from an all-original alt/psych rock project has doubtlessly influenced the style of POTW and our interpretation of Pink Floyd's music, and this is another sense in which we vary from some of the other currently active Floyd tributes.