Terror Pigeon

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Partying with 1,000% Confidence: Talking with Terror Pigeon!’s Neil Fridd about what’s important about a wild party, how he writes his music, and the first Terror Pigeon show.

“.. the more essential piece of a Terror Pigeon show is the people.”
By Sam Tolman

Throwing a good party is an art, and this is what Terror Pigeon! encapsulates – taking people out of their element and welcoming them into theirs. That environment changes from show to show; one show you could be running through a makeshift TV tunnel, another you could be dancing with Neil in a costume made of stuffed animals. That, mixed in with booming, high-energy pop melodies and creatively optimistic lyrics, a Terror Pigeon! party is like an open hand into a dark, sweaty, fun-filled basement, it’s up to you to take that first step.

This first step is what Neil has worked tirelessly over the years to bridge, making it his pursuit to bring you into the wonderful world of feel goods. He talks about how to bridge that gap, among the many other things he’s learned over the last 7 years of Terror Pigeon!, check it out below.

Why don’t you start out by introducing yourself.

I’m Neil, I do this band called Terror Pigeon. It’s a natural based band, the goal is to be really, really, fun and make you cry.

So what’s important about a Terror Pigeon show?

It’s to make sure that if people have any reservations about dancing like a dummy or screaming their brains out that they can lose those inhibitions.

So how do you get people to that point?

So this is my life work, I literally study how to lead people in that direction. I find that going in with 1,000% confidence, that the experience is going to go well for people, is paramount. Using language that is welcoming but is not too authoritative.

Beyond that, there are all these weird rules, little details that have come into being over the years; like people don’t dance if the music’s not loud, people don’t dance if it’s not dark, the more you can tailor the size of the space to the audience, are all crucial. For me, I never like to have a lull in energy, the music never stops for more than a second. I want the music to be relentlessly pursuing.

So, I heard Terror Pigeon got started at SUNY Purchase –
Yeah. My senior thesis was a Terror Pigeon show.

Really? What was your senior thesis?

It was called “Awesome Party.” It was basically a Terror Pigeon! show, but because it was my space I created, it had an avalanche at one point and the show ended with one of my friends bursting through a false wall in a laundry hamper cart, throwing fake money everywhere. Then we lead the audience out through this makeshift TV tunnel, and when you reached the door of the building, you were handed a slice of pizza and lit sparkler. And then the show ended outside with fireworks and pizza.

So what’s essential to have on stage at a Terror Pigeon show?

There’s so much production with Terror Pigeon, it’s hard to say – the thing I’m bringing to Missoula is this new set-up that has lasers. I think lasers are so cool.

So will there be smoke machines?

Yeah – you can’t have one without the other. All of it is really in the pursuit of fan-fair you can include, the more it enables people to loosen up and go for it. It’s all under the notion that if you can bring people into a place that feels different world, they are more comfortable to go wild. All of it is basically to meet the end goal of making people feel comfortable. I would say the more essential piece of a Terror Pigeon show is the people.

Is there an end goal, or an overarching idea in your mind when you’re writing your music?

All my music comes from me needing to convince myself of the truth of what I’m singing. A lot of my songs are about trying to believe in an optimistic future or believe in the supremacy of love and hope.

I think a lot of times people see or hear about my band and think that I’m an unwavering paragon of enthusiasm and positivity, and I’m totally just a regular dude. The reasons the songs are about that is because I literally need to convince myself that it’s true, that the best course of action in life is to go and fuck the shit our of your dreams.

So your website looks straight from 1998.

Heh. I’ve worked very hard to look like it’s straight from 1998.

I’m curious about what the idea was behind such a website.

I’m just interested in making a place on the internet that’s fun to be at.

Is there anything you want to say to the people reading this who will be seeing you at Birthday Bash on Friday?

There are strobe lights, so if that is something that is a problem for you, just a heads up.

And also thank you for coming.

You can see Neil, a.k.a Terror Pigeon this Friday, September 30th at The Palace Lounge. Tickets are on sale here.

Are you a fan of this interview? Tell your friends, and tell them to check out the other ones we’ve done.

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