Holy Smokes met up with Jeff Ellom, Rob Coslett and Ray Panke of Victoria’s latest post-punk outfit PPPD after their set at Studio Robazzo on October 7th to discuss influences, social media, and the band’s future plans with bassist Rob Coslett leaving for Montreal to continue playing with his other project, Fountain.
interview by curtis lockhart
HS: How did you guys become a group?
Jeff: We all lived together a year ago.
Rob: Yeah, it was also just for a short month that Jeff and I’s roommate Evan moved out to Montreal and Ray moved in.
Jeff: We’ve got a basement full of instruments, so we just decided to play music.
Rob: We’ve always wanted to jam together.
Jeff: Yeah, me and Rob have played quite a bit before that, just in other fun projects, and also my band had just broken up a month before, because everybody had moved away, so I was a free agent.
Ray: And Evan, who I was subletting for, was also in Fountain with Rob so all of us were sort of out of actual creative projects at the time, so we needed something.
HS: So you’ve played in various projects; you (Jeff) were in People’s Pool, and you (Rob) currently play in Fountain. How has being involved with different groups influenced PPPD’s sound?
Ray: Definitely different styles I guess!
Jeff: I think the poetry aspect from me comes from People’s Pool stuff. I’ve also always been the worst person in any given band, so I feel that’s contributed to how I play.
Rob: It’s fun to approach different instrumentation from a different instrument for me because I play guitar in Fountain, and I always love playing bass, so, getting a chance to play with these guys is amazing. For vocals, we write everything together, and it feels really fun and great.
HS: Do you have any other influences outside of the you’re involved with?
Rob: Definitely have a lot of bands I think of as influences and things I think about but not really working with PPPD I guess.\\
Jeff: Yeah, I think we’re just trying to be as goofy as possible. Yeah, me personally I don’t try to think too much about influences, I think I’m just influenced by other bands in Victoria if anything.
Ray: Yeah, I think this is very different than anything else that I’m listening to right now, which is kinda fun.
Jeff: Yeah, for me it’s like trying to create something that I wish existed without that sounding too self righteous. Just like “oh, I wish there was a band that did this”, and then it’s like, “well, lets just do that”.
HS: That’s really cool! For social media, you guys do not seem to have any social media presence. Was this a conscious decision?
Ray: No, we just haven’t recorded yet. We’re trying to get around to it, and it seems kind of silly to put a page up if you don’t have a recording with it, so we’re waiting on having some media before we bother making a presence online.
HS: Where does the name PPPD come from?
Jeff: I think it came about, because we’ve been trying to come up with a name for so long and nothing worked, and then PPPD came up, and we were just like, “ok!”.
Ray: Yeah, it had been a while since we had heard an acronym band name that we thought was funny. Jeff, you sort of just spat it out.
Jeff: I like the way it sounds phonetically, and I like the way it looks, I like the way that the ‘d’ looks like an upside down ‘p’. Yeah we don’t know the details.
HS: How do you go about writing your lyrics?
Ray: A bunch of the stuff Jeff came up with on his own, like the poetry stuff, but then a bunch of it also was just as we would sit around and spitball, and then, certain, funny things would come up, then we would all agree, then it’d be like “yeah, yeah what if we did this instead of that” and just steamroll until all of the sudden we had a string of stuff to say.
HS: So it’s more of a group effort then?.
Rob: Gotta give Jeff some good credit though.
Ray: Yeah, primary!
HS: Rob is leaving for Montreal soon: do you have any plans to do anything before he departs?
Rob: I really wanna record.
Jeff: Probably record and maybe play one more show.
Rob: Yeah. Both very important things. We gotta play one more show. We gotta record.
Ray: We can finally make that online presence once we’re gone and not playing anymore.
Jeff: We’ll change our name to R.I.P.P.P.D (laughs).
Ray: Then we’ll just put all of our effort into merch and our online presence (laughs).
Jeff: Then we’ll send out demos to every college radio station in Canada.
HS: So what does this mean for future plans with PPPD?
Jeff: I dunno, we kinda talked about it a bit, but it’s… I dunno, we’ll just see what happens, as cliche as that is (laughs).
Rob: It’s a bit sad; I don’t want it to stop.
Ray: Yeah. There is the option of finding someone else, or just lose one member and making it a two piece band, but no one wants to play in a two piece band, or we could just become a recording project.
Jeff: I also, well, we created a t-shirt design for the band, and I really like the t-shirt design, so just for the sake of the t-shirt, we might continue (laughs).
Ray: We might come back eventually, or not. I dunno.
Rob: I’ll be back in Victoria again, for sure.
Jeff: Yeah, I feel like anytime the three of us are in the same city, something will happen.