Vancouver garage rockers The Pack A.D. recently released “Do Not Engage”, which is just as eclectic as their previous releases. The one constant throughout this duo’s music is that they like to rock. Drummer/songwriter Maya Miller and singer/guitarist/songwriter Becky Black worked once again with producer Jim Diamond (who worked on the first two White Stripes records and played bass in the Dirtbombs) for what is already their fifth album. Read on to see what Maya had to tell us in a short email interview we did.
PRT: For the people out there who haven’t heard of you yet (shame on them!)… if The Pack A.D. was the lovechild of two bands, which bands would’ve had sex and which position were you conceived in?
Maya: I come from the planet Skringblat and on my planet we shake hands and confirm our identities with a subtle dance of waving fingers and eyebrow raising. There are in fact only two other bands on Skringblat: Voltand and The Steel Interface Modules and Klarg of the Klargnon. So, I suppose we came from them and a series of eyebrow raises.
PRT: Your new album is called “Do Not Engage”… but your music is pretty in your face. Or is it more of a personal statement and is an email interview a safer choice than a live interview with the two of you?
Maya: Well maybe it's more of a warning label so you then have to make your own choices. Much like those signs where they tell you not to feed the tigers or crocodiles and then you decide whether or not to climb the fence and do that. Orrrrr, it's like height restrictions on a roller coaster orrrrr maybe it's like an album title.
PRT: Your first albums came out on Mint and you have now made the switch to Nettwerk. How is that working out for you and what are some of the differences?
Maya: Well, it's a bigger label so that means more people and that's super. It's still similar in the sense that they're based in our hometown of Vancouver and that we deal with them daily. It's pretty great.
PRT: There’s been quite an evolution in your recordings between the first album which you recorded for next to nothing and the new album where you got to work with Jim Diamond. How do you look back on that first album?
Maya: With this sort've "awww, really, Pack? Really?" kind of look. If you were here I would obviously perform that look for you.
PRT: I read somewhere that you recorded “Do Not Engage” in a chicken-processing plant… where did that idea come from?
Maya: That's where our producer, Jim Diamond, has his studio. I imagine he likes chickens? Or maybe it's processing he likes.
PRT: Now that we’re on the subject of chickens, a recurring theme in all of your interviews seems to be food. What’s the last dish you discovered while on tour?
Maya: Really? Hmm, I guess food is a topic that we like to bring up to blend in. I personally discovered the worst Ceasar salad ever recently.
PRT: The video you did for “Battering Ram” looks pretty impressive. Are music videos important for you or is it something you do because well, you’re supposed to when you have a new album out?
Maya: Why, thank you. I think it's fun to make videos so we make videos.
PRT: My favorite song on the album would have to be “The Water”. Can you tell me a little bit more about that one? Is that a song where you came up with the riff first?
Maya: Excellent choice, I also like that song. I could tell you what it's about but I think mystery is good. Like most of our songs, I think we just jammed together and came up with it.
PRT: It’s just the two of you in the band… does that ever feel like a limitation? Or is it ultimate freedom?
Maya: There can be no limitations when you have multiple personalities.
PRT: What is the future looking like for The Pack A.D.? Lots of touring? Any plans to come over to Europe?
Maya: All touring all the time and yes Europe in April and May so good times, here we come.
PRT: Last question… in the movie Almost Famous there is one scene where the band is in a plane and they think they are going to crash and so they come out with all these big confessions. If you were in that situation, what would you confess?
Maya: It was Mrs. White in the Study with the Knife!...I really held onto that one too long. Thank you, I feel so much better.