East Coast Rock Band Andre Pettipas and The Giants from Nova Scotia, Canada have taken the music scene by storm with their recent release Andre Pettipas and The Giants Live at The ElMo. The band recently talked to ai love music via email about their 2022 so far and recording the album. Check out the live album below while reading what inspired the band to release a live album and how is it like being on tour once again. Let me know what you think in the comments!
Hey, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. First of all, can you let me know a little about Andre Pettipas and The Giants? How did the band form?
With their take no prisoners; live performances, stellar musicianship, and habit of finding grist for the songwriting mill in everything from southern rock to pop and prog, Andre Pettipas and The Giants are a rarity – an act who absolutely refuse to let anything take the fun out of their creative process and performances on record or on stage, and with absolutely no fear of stepping outside of the box to get their message across.
‘No Fools No Fun’ produced by Brian Moncarz (Alice Cooper, OLP) has been nominated for rock recording of the year for the 2022 ECMAS. This album had tracks receive national recognition with “Sympathy Card” reaching #27 on Billboard’s active rock chart and “Overtime” used in a montage during game 4 of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The band is fresh off the release of their live record in June recorded at the legendary, ‘El Mocambo’ last September. They also just began tracking for their third studio album at The Bathouse (The Tragically Hip.)
AP and The Gs formed in 2015 when brothers, Andre and Travis Pettipas asked long-time friend, Mark Cosh (drummer) to be a part of a project they have been working on. Mark hopped on board without hesitation and was an obvious fit as the band began recording their first album two days after the first rehearsal. After performing as a trio for three years the band looked to broaden their sound. This happened by adding John MacDonald on lead guitar roles.
What artist or musical genres inspire your music?
For me, the combination of everyone’s individual musical tastes blended helps round out our sound and inspiration. Travis and I grew up on rock n’ roll but I was always a sucker for a good pop song. Combining these gave a great foundation for the band having high-energy rock music that is focused on a good hook. With Mark and John being into punk and emo stylings that gives us another avenue to reach out while creating music. Over the years there has been a handful of consistent listenings in the band. These include Blind Melon, Foo Fighters, Jason Isbell, The Beatles, Rush, and The Band to name a few.
What is it like being in a band? What motivates everyone? What fuels everyone to make music?
I’ve been in a band since I was 12 years old and couldn’t see my life any other way. Having a group of friends you can not only rely on musically but to help with daily endeavours is a blessing. Without the Giants life would definitely not be as exciting. We motivate each other to become better musicians; creating new songs that are different from the last one and finding new places to play, and cities to tour in keeps our motivation high.
The music business can be a scary place. Hunter S. Thompson said it best, “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.” All the hard work and sacrifice aside, we are born to entertain. The stage is our playground and we make sure that we hit the stage every single show with fresh energy ready to have some fun.
How has 2022 been so far?
2022 has been fantastic for us thus far. It started with a nomination for rock album of the year at the East Coast Music Awards. We spent three weeks on the road in early June touring and recording our next studio album while releasing our Live At The ElMo album to conclude the tour. This summer sees us performing all over the maritimes and we are thrilled to see some new places, and faces and make memories together.
Let’s talk about your recent release Andre Pettipas and The Giants Live at The ElMo. What made you make a live album?
Over the years we have been told that we need to capture our live performances as audio as it’s the most genuine way of representing the band. We had the idea of recording a live album in 2018 when we met the owner of The El Mocambo on a flight to Sweden. Talks continued over the years and the initial date of recording was set for April 1st, 2020. The April fools joke was on us as the global pandemic put a screeching halt to that. Persistence, a big one for our band paid off once again as we were able to finally record the album in September of 2021 during my 30th birthday.
Was this your first show after the COVID pause on live shows? What has playing live after such a long break feels like?
We actually kept rather busy during the pandemic by adapting to the surroundings and restrictions. We did weekly live streams and “stripped-down acoustic” sets live when we could and were able to accommodate our performance in smaller rooms. This helped us keep on our game by being focused and hungry for when we were able to tour outside of the province again.
The summer of 2021 was busy for us as we played 40+ shows including the ElMo dates, which I feel we’re a couple of the best shows we have ever put on. The crowd was so warm, the boys were on fire and we were so happy to be on that stage manifesting what we had dreamed of years prior.
You have an energetic set list for this live album. Was there a theme or feeling you wanted to display on this album?
Genuinity; the message at the beginning of the night was, “let’s just go out there and do our thing.” Even though we were recording an album we didn’t stray far from our regular show. There were behind-the-head solos, shenanigans on stage, and all the extra excitement that a rock n’ roll show needs. We wanted the set to show the journey we’ve been on so far with a glimpse of what’s to come in the future. We performed a few fan favourites, the entire No Fools No Fun album which we were currently promoting, and five previously unreleased tracks.
What is your pre-show ritual?
Energy drinks haha (there has to be a sponsored opportunity out there?) and usually some banter between the band. We like to show up extra early for gigs so we have plenty of time before we have to hit the stage to relax and ensure that there will be minimal snags throughout the night. Pending on the venue we’ll work on expanding an idea that may have spontaneously happened on stage the night before.
Any future plans?
Our plan for 2022 is to engage with new listeners online and at shows. We are looking to continue building our team and finish recording our next studio album which will be released in 2023.
What do you want the listeners to take away from your music?
We want listeners to take the content and relate it to moments in their life. We like hearing people tell us what a song means to them or that a song/album has gotten them through tough times. Connection is everything and it’s a big reason why we keep pushing towards growing this band.
Make sure to check out Andre Pettipas and The Giants at the following: