Who Doesn’t Love Pie?

November 10th, 2008

A couple of weeks ago I was sifting through the digital stacks of bands and albums on Figment and I happened across a band that really caught my attention, or should I say the cover of their album caught my attention.  “Extreme Croquet Club” by dance metal act The Cutie Pies has a cover that looks like it could have come out in 1987.  It reminds me of the Marietta, Georgia alternative jangle pop act Guadalcanal Diary’s album “2 x 4”.  But the similarities end there, because The Cutie Pies are anything but alternative jangle pop.  No, they are purveyors of a new form of metal – dance metal.  It’s a subgenre of metal that claims such bands as Slightly Metallic (the originators of the genre), Miss Bathory, The Lars Polka and The Rooftop Crusaders among its adherents.  The Cutie Pies though seem to be Les Enfants Terribles of the genre and we thought it was high time we caught up with them for a chat.  We sat down with lead singer Piper Lawrence to discuss what makes The Cutie Pies tick.

Figment:  Dance Metal seems to be expanding as a genre on Figment with bands like yours starting to take off.  What bands influenced you to take this route with your music?

Piper:  I listen to a mix of bands, from The Beatles, to As I Lay Dying. When I started this band, I really didn’t have a mind set on the genre. We just happened to be Dance Metal.

Figment:  As a dance metal band your first album, “Extreme Croquet Club”, is that perfect mix of aggro punk, metal and pop dance music that makes up the genre’s definitive sound.  Is there any significance to the title of the album and what was the concept behind it?

Piper:  Well, our drummer, Joshua Kain, was a part of the Extreme Croquet Club of ConnecticutBut, it was just something out of the blue, just like the titles for the songs. Some of them were quotes we said either playing video games, or us just being weird and random. Really, the titles have nothing to do with the actual songs.

Figment:  So Josh plays extreme croquet?  I didn’t realize it was actually a sport.  It’s kind of a subgenre of croquet in much the same way your music is a subgenre of metal huh?  Does it require special equipment?

Piper:  Yeah, I guess you could call it a subgenre.  Like I said before, Josh is a huge Extreme Croquet fanatic, and he actually taught the rest of us to play. It doesn’t mean we’re any good, But its something to pass the time. What Extreme Croquet really is, is pretty much the same thing as regular Croquet, except it is played in harsh terrains, like very woodsy areas. And the mallets, wickets, and balls are reinforced for “extra strength”.

Figment:  What do you like to do when not recording or touring?

Piper:  Well, we play croquet of course, video games, and when we’re in New Mexico we buy a butt load of firecrackers, and do stupid things. Pretty much we do whatever to keep ourselves entertained, even when it means our manager has to bail us out of jail.

Figment:  Piper, we know you’re the band’s lead singer, but we don’t know anything about the other members.  Can you introduce us to them and tell us a little about each one of them?

Piper:  Well, you know me, so I’m gonna move on. But there is my brother, Matt, who plays the electric bass guitar. He’s the lame older brother no one wants to hang out with.  Just kidding, he’s really the one who gets us sent to jail, most of the time. Anyways, Aaron Mason, plays the electric guitar. He’s our little nerd. You know Josh, the Extreme Croquet drummer. And Dominic Aston, who is awesome with the synth and is the craziest of us all.

Figment:  How did the band form?

Piper:  We all grew up together in the little town of Tucson, Arizona. Except for Josh, but, really, who cares about Josh, he’s just the drummer. Just kidding. We met him in college at the U of A, and we all became even closer, if that’s possible. and one boring day, I just said, “We should make a band, it’d be awesome.” And so we did. We went from my dorm room, to the road, to the studio, to the road again. So, we’ve seen a lot of the road.

Figment:  What bands are you a fan of?

Piper:  We really enjoy the music of House, and Miss Bathory, and The Pessimistic Romance. Among others that don’t come to mind right now.

Figment:  A lot of bands have bizarre backstage rider requests, like only green M&M’s or a specific paint color on the walls of the dressing room.  Do The Cutie Pies have any weird rider requests?

Piper:  We are a humble group, and we really try not to be a bother. So, if there’s something we need, like Matt’s gross wheat grass, we bring it ourselves. And if they insist, we ask for pie. Apple, and Pumpkin.

Figment:  What do you think of touring?  Any plans to do so in 2009?

Piper:  Touring…. Well, we’re trying to get together with, none other than, The Pessimistic Romance. But definitely we’re gonna do some gigs.

Figment:  I’m sorry, but I have to ask.  The Cutie Pies – ala mode, whipped cream or old school plain?

Piper:  Whipped cream, definitely. Plain is ok, but the best has to have whipped cream.

The Cutie Pies, a top selling band with a growing legion of fans, and well, whipped cream.  Isn’t that the cherry on top?!

[Editor’s Note:  Just prior to this article’s publication The Cutie Pies released their second album “Kalvin Klein and the Chipmunks” – so check it out.]

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