Interview: Pillar Point
Scott Reitherman has now been active in the music scene for over a decade, first with indie pop act Throw Me the Statue and now with his new, synth-heavy project Pillar Point. Pillar Point are currently on tour with of Montreal, opening for the flamboyant psych-pop act as they sell out shows across North America. The tour stopped by Denver’s Bluebird Theater, and we talked to Reitherman after his fun set came to a close.
How’s the tour with of Montreal been so far?
It’s been amazing. They are definitely heroes of mine from a little while ago, and it’s honestly been pretty surreal getting to play with them every night.
So before the whole Pillar Point thing, you were the leader of Throw Me the Statue. When you already had a built-in fanbase with that group, why did you decide to start over with a new name?
I wanted to switch gears musically and, as a succinct answer, life just went in a direction that led me to write darker, synthier songs. Writing songs with elements of dance music turned out to be cathartic to make and, I hope, to listen to.
Any events in particular that led to the change?
Oh, we don’t want to go into it now [laughs], but just overall stuff. You can Google it.
Is Throw Me the Statue over or what’s the status on that?
It’s definitely on the shelf for a while. There’s Throw Me the Statue songs kicking around on my hard drive from back in the day, but I’m fully doing Pillar Point right now.
Whilst out on the road, what is your favorite food joint you’ve ever eaten at?
Honestly, I get kind of screwed because I’m a vegetarian on the road [laughs]. So I eat a lot of Subway veggie foot-longs. That would be the most frequently eaten, but my favorite spot to eat… on this tour, we’ve been touring through smaller cities in the Midwest, so I haven’t found a vegetarian goldmine. Actually, the last time we played in Denver, we played at this place called Forest Room 5 and they have a fantastic kitchen, and a great little bar and a cool venue on top of that. Honestly, that might be one of my best tour meals ever.
So you’re from Seattle, which is kind of known as an indie music haven. Is it hard to stick out in a city where everybody and their dog is a musician?
It’s a small city, even though there’s a really thriving music scene. It’s a great place to be from; it’s really supportive of the bands and the songwriters. There’s just a great infrastructure. There’s a lot of great clubs. There’s a great radio station in KEXP that loves to support local music. I’ve found it to be great. I’m from San Francisco originally, and I’ve thought about leaving Seattle and going back closer to home, but the thought of a bigger city is kind of intimidating. Quality of life is just really good in Seattle, even though it’s getting more and more expensive day-by-day.
So if you could tour with one artist, living or dead, what would your dream tour be?
Oh, Jesus [laughs]. Probably Madonna. Or maybe Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. I’ve been on a big OMD kick lately. As for a current band not named of Montreal, Hot Chip. That would be a lot of fun. Or Caribou. Every new Caribou record just destroys me and makes me think I should do something else [laughs]. Caribou and Dirty Projectors just make me think I should be serving coffee.
In your show, you use a lot of video accompaniment. Where do you get that video and what are you main influences in that aspect?
Some of the footage, my friends have shot and I edited it together. And a lot of it, I just find on archival film websites. That’s why a lot of the stuff is old, because it’s archival and free. I like that aesthetic, old, grainy, black and white. That’s the way I’ve been interested to present this project, and I like the simplicity and honesty of it. Sometimes I like to be a little ironic with it; we closed with the song “Black Hole” and had an old American G.I. boxing tournament in Korea or something playing with it. I like making that old, masculine thing a bit tongue-in-cheek.
If you were not doing the whole musical thing, where would you be at this moment of time?
I would probably be trying to get a job in Berlin working for Ableton Live. That may be what I do if they ever reach out [laughs]. That’s the software I use to make music, and I love how intuitive it is and it pulls ideas out of you. Or I’ve always been involved in architecture. Now in my life, that seems like a long slog to get to the point that I would be designing somebody’s building, but I kind of always fantasized about that life. That’s kind of how I think about music, putting together blocks architecturally and making sure the structure is sound.
Any last thoughts for the fans?
If you listen to this music and it resonates with you, I love you.
October 15th, 2014