As one of Guelph’s most beloved characters, Gregory Pepper doesn’t need much of an introduction. For the uninitiated: Gregory Pepper and His Problems is the stage name used by singer-songwriter / multi-instrumentalist / visual artist Gregory Pepper.His eclectic, heavily layered recordings focus primarily on melody and harmony, while the live show ranges from punkish-indie-rock to melancholy baroque-pop. An incredible musician and a master of the short pop song, Gregory Pepper is releasing his 13th album later this summer. You can find the first single at the bottom of this page. The new album, Chorus! Chorus! Chorus!, promises to be concise and rich with many songs running just over a minute long. Pepper’s ability to cram a hefty amount of narrative and scenery into a short pop song is incredible. Each song feels like a really fleshed out story that’s being told to you by the best story teller you know.
Gregory Pepper and His Problems, to me, represent the best of Guelph. The city, and especially the arts community, is a warm and genuine place. From the people running Kazoo fest, to the random house shows that seem to happen all the time – Guelph is awesome. Catch Gregory Pepper and the rest of the band tonight (Friday) at Night #2 of the Eternal Summer festival that’s happening across the city this summer. If you’re looking for tickets or more information check out the festival website.
Q – What are you working on these days, musically speaking?
Peps: Just hanging out with 4/5ths of PROBLEMS, sipping beers and working on low impact finger exercises. We have a new 10-song 7″ album coming out on August 21st that we’re premiering live at Eternal Summer this Friday! Here’s the first single, if you’re curious (link).
Q – Which of your songs has the most summer vibes?
Peps: Well, the entire above-mentioned new album, “Chorus! Chorus! Chorus!”, is kind of a study in 90’s nostalgia. Heavy shades of early-Weezer going on so if you were born in, say, 1983: you’ll be transported back to your first chocolate-chip-mint ice cream flavored kiss. Maybe?
Brooks: Also, our cover of “Beyond The Permafrost” by Skeleton Witch.
Peps: Right. And our rendition of “You Suffer” by Napalm Death. See, because the summer is a short and fleeting mistress.
Q – You are playing Eternal Summer in Hamilton – – can you share your favourite Hamilton related anecdote?
Peps: My relationship with Hamilton is still kind of in its naissance, though I do vaguely recall getting drunk enough to dance in public last time i was at super crawl. Still just relishing the I like you / I wonder if you like me too stage of our relationship, me and Hamilton.
Q – What would be an absolute deal breaker for a backyard / cottage party?
Peps: A few weeks ago I made the mistake of inviting a bunch of fools over for a BBQ with nothing more that a 15″ hibachi to grill with. They were not impressed.
Brooks: Grilled Pinneapple and Peanut Butter all-Beef Burgers.
Alex: No Badminton? No party.
Q – What’s the best summer festival for hook ups, or finding love?
Brooks: Wacken Festival!
Peps: Nah, The Gathering!
Adam – OHM fest, doye!
Q – Do you have any porta-potty use tips or some etiquette to offer?
Peps: Yeah, either that or have a penis. That way the whole world is your porta-potty!
Q – What’s your favourite Ontario beach to visit?
Brooks: Tiny Beaches, Penetang.
Alex: Thunder Beach, Georgian Bay.
Adam: Killbear Park, Granite Saddle.
Peps: Adam’s girlfriend showed me a pretty sweet spot at Guelph lake but it’s a sssssecret…
Q – What are your thoughts on camping? Yay or Nay?
Adam: Yay, duh!
Peps: Meh, i’d take a firm, cleanish mattress at a Howard Johnson any day of the week.
Q – What can you make on the BBQ that you’re proud of?
Alex: Apple Pie
Brooks: Flaming snare drum
Q – Do you have a favourite ‘makeout point’, or a trusty spot you’ve either visited in the past or frequent today?
Brooks: Tim Hortons (misc.)
Q – Do you have a signature summer beverage?
Brooks: Russian (White)
Peps: That’s a goddamn lie, Brooks.
Alex: Shoutout to the homies at Wellington Brewery. Their Mike Brooks is extra Extra pale ale.
Q – All time favourite movie that’s set in the summer?
Brooks: Police Academy IV
Adam: I Know What You Did Last Summer
Peps: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
Q – What’s on your road trip mixtape, or playlist?
Brooks: Funny 820 Hamilton on the AM dial.
Peps: Jokes aside, Brooks isn’t kidding about that. When the conversation has run out of momentum and the road is looking long and winding, Funny 820 every time.
Q – All time best summer jam?
Alex: “Sweet Home Alabama”. Kid Rock’s version.
Brooks: Seals et Crofts “Summer Breeze“.
Peps: “Party In The USA”, but Karaoke version so i can sing the trills in the pre-chorus.