Tonight, Athens-based HT faves Perpetual Groove return to Brooklyn Bowl for their first-ever two-night stand at the venue. Always known for their stellar live performances, especially in NYC, the band is particularly excited for this run since Sunday is guitarist Brock Butler’s Birthday.
Following up from an interview I did with keyboardist Matt McDonald in March before their last BK Bowl show, shortly after his return to the band that re-established the lineup that has defined PGroove for the better part of the past decade-plus, I figured this would be a great opportunity to catch up and see what’s transpired in the world of PGroove of late. Here is our exchange from yesterday that McDonald was gracious enough to squeeze into his busy schedule…
Brian Bavosa: So, the last time we chatted, you were just getting back into the fold with PGroove full-time. How’s that been going throughout 2012?
Matt McDonald: We’ve been having a great time this year. Been writing lots of new songs, discussing more of a vision for the future than we have in the past.
BB: In our last discussion you also mentioned a change in the management style and doing more things “in-house”, by yourselves. Has that been for better or for worse?
MM: Definitely for the better. However, we have accomplished a lot of the goals we put forth for ourselves and are now patiently talking to folks about fulfilling that role with the right people this time. Patient being the operative word.
BB: One of my favorite things about PGroove, especially with you back in the fold, are your studio albums. Anything new in the works?
MM: We are definitely working on finalizing the vision and tracks for this album. Albert [Suttle, drums] will be going into the studio next month to start doing the drums and we’re looking at a spring release…hopefully.
BB: You and Adam have also been dealing with new members to your families over the past year plus. Now that they are growing, how has your schedule been revolving around life at home versus life on the road?
MM: We took a lot of the summer off. It was great for both of us to spend so much time with the boys. Davis (bassist Adam Perry’s son) turned 1 and my boy James turned 2 right before we left for this run. We are hitting it hard this fall but we have months like October where we are more weekend warriors instead of staying out a couple weeks at a time. We find balance like any other working family.
BB: How has material evolved from when you played it the first time around? I know you talked about evolution of songs, but has that gone according to plan or been different in any way?
MM: The evolution is definitely there as we have all been playing together for so long that we can better anticipate each other on stage. It’s definitely making for new execution musically. We are challenging ourselves and each other by keeping it fresh. The new tunes like Fend for your Life and Paper Dolls I think reflect that plan coming to fruition.
BB: Anything special that we can expect at that Brooklyn Bowl shows besides the normal PGroove fireworks?
MM: As always we have big plans for NYC. Being two nights it gives us a chance to tie some things together. Also, it’s Brock’s birthday weekend, so I’m sure we’ll address that! We’ve been calling it “BBBBBB” (Brock Butler’s Brooklyn Bowl Birthday Bash) fun times.
BB: How about for the rest of the fall and leading up to New Years?
MM: Big plans for Halloween, Georgia Theatre and NYE. We’re about to make some big announcements for 2013 too. Can’t let the cat out of the bag yet!
PGroove plays Brooklyn Bowl tonight and tomorrow. Tauk, Wyllys and Business Casual Disco share the bill with Perpetual Groove this evening, while Tauk opens tomorrow. Don’t miss it. The BBBBBB is sure to not disappoint. And as always, thanks to the band and Matt McDonald for taking some time to chat with us here at Hidden Track. And Happy Birthday to the Reverend – Mr. Brock Butler!