Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

Meet The Pack A.D. - The Bad Ass Blues Chicks from Vancouver

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
Your donation today keeps LAist independent, ready to meet the needs of our city, and paywall free. Thank you for your partnership, we can't do this without you.

packad1.jpg


Photos by Justine Warrington via The Pack A.D. MySpace

If you enjoy the bluesy garage rock of the White Stripes, have I got a band for you. Their hard hitting lyrics, wild woman drumming, and savage guitar licks have been winning them praise up and down the west coast.Hailing from the wild frontier town that is Vancouver, The Pack A.D. are descending upon Los Angeles this Friday to play at the Redwood Bar. If their music is anything to judge by, they probably chew glass for lunch, drink whiskey as a chaser for gasoline shots and are the kind of ladies you would want on your side in a bar fight. Mad, bad, and dangerous to know, Becky and Maya nonetheless took some time to call us from the road yesterday. Here is some of what was said.

What made you pick up an instrument? How old were you?
Becky: I started playing guitar when I was thirteen. I guess it was just something to do. I didn’t play all that seriously until we formed a band.

Support for LAist comes from

When did that happen?
Becky: About two years ago, we formed a band with a bunch of our friends because we thought it would be fun to have one. There were four of us. We got all this gear and a van, but it didn’t really work out, so Maya and I struck off on our own.

Have you ever considered a bass player? A tambourine, maybe?

Becky: (laughs) Just occasionally do we want a tambourine player. No, we’re happy just the two of us. We don’t need a bass player.

5b2c5b154488b30009280987-original.jpg

Where did you get the name the Pack AD?
Becky: We wanted a name that was really simple, so Maya came up with the Pack. We were the Pack for about a year, but apparently there was already a rap group in Sacramento called the Pack and so our MySpace kept getting deleted. So we figured we should change our name before we got sued.

That’s probably a good idea. Is your band a democracy or a dictatorship?

Becky: It’s a democracy. It’s just the two of us. We both write lyrics that start out as poems and then turn them into the songs. It’s not a very clinical process.

The blues should never be clinical.

Becky: (laughs) I suppose not.

Who did you write Don’t Have To Like You about?

Becky: Well Maya wrote it, but I don’t think so. Here talk to her for a minute.

Maya: No, it was kind of about everybody. (laughs) It’s kind of a running theme. You know when you meet people and there is something wrong with them, and so you’re supposed to be nice to them? And then they turn out to be jerks anyway? I mean you don’t have to be a jerk all the time. The song is about that.

What’s with all the kids wearing animal masks in your video for Making Gestures? Does it have a deeper significance?

Becky: Well, originally all we wanted was to do the video about kids in a school, but the director had his own take on the song. He wanted to emphasize the gestures of the kids and make sure there were no facial expressions. So yeah, I would say there was a little meaning to the masks.

What was the worst show you ever played?
Becky: It was at this bar/ Liquidation World/bowling alley in Kamloop. There was no PA at the bar and we hadn’t brought ours, so it was just me screaming at people. It was just a guitar, drums, and an amp trying to be heard. People started wanting their money back. It was horrible. I mean at the time it wasn’t funny, but it was really funny on the ride home.

If you could change one thing about the music industry what would it be?

Becky: Ideally, I’d like to make money playing music, but if I could change one thing major I would like to get rid of formula bands.

Support for LAist comes from

What’s a formula band?
Becky: You know bands that are just put together, like the Jonas Brothers. Bands that are all based on image and have nothing really real about them.

Would you rather be burned alive or frozen to death?

Becky: I’d freeze to death.

Why?

Becky: Well I figure you’d just go numb, wouldn’t you? Also I hate being hot.

Where did you get the name Funeral Mixtape for your album?

Becky: Well Maya and I were having conversation about different types of funerals. You know how the Irish kind is like party and everyone else is a really solemn affair? Well we decided to write a whole bunch of songs that we would like have played our funeral.

5b2c5b164488b3000928098d-original.jpg

Are you excited about SXSW?
Becky: Yeah. We are. We went last year and it was a pretty wild last time. It’s like a 24 hour party outdoors. I hope this time we actually get to enjoy some of the other bands and stuff instead of just running around like crazy people with gear.

What is the worst thing about touring?

Becky: So many things: starving, not being clean, and not getting any sleep. Last night was the perfect example. We were driving forever at night on the 101 from Arcadia and there were no rest stops. We were so exhausted that we saw a rest stop on the other side of the highway and pulled a U-turn just to get to it.

What is the best thing about touring?
Becky: Having a good show is always good. It’s nice when people buy merch and we actually have money. And I like long drives during the day. You get to listen to music or read.

Do you have a favorite local band at the moment from Vancouver?

Becky: Black Mountainis pretty good. They’re beginning to gain momentum, so that’s awesome.

How did you get talked onto Know Your Bandmate?
Becky: Well actually it didn’t take that much convincing. It was automatically going to be different from your average interview, so we were into it. Not that there’s anything wrong with interviews. It’s just fun to do new things.

Support for LAist comes from

I really like All Damn Day Long. It’s so grumpy. What inspired that song?
Becky: Oh man, we really hate that song.

What?

Becky: Yeah we’ve been working on new lyrics for the past year or so. The lyrics are so goofy. Wait hang on here’s Maya.

Maya: Hello?

I hear you’re changing the lyrics to All Damn Day Long. Don’t you know there aren’t enough grumpy songs on the radio?
Maya: (laughs) Yeah well we wrote that song early on to sort of find our footing. It has really shitty lyrics.

Really? I like the lyrics. What are you going to write about?

Maya: I dunno, but it’s going to be completely different. We’re going to confuse everyone.

5b2c5b174488b30009280991-original.jpg

If you were stuck on a desert island and you could bring three things what would they be?
Maya: I would bring a coffeemaker with endless supply of coffee, a copy of 1984 by George Orwell and my Xbox.

You’re not going to bring any food?

Maya: No, it’s an island. I can fish or climb trees and find food that way.

What are you going to fish with?

Maya: Ok, forget the Xbox. I will bring a book of how to survive on a deserted island that would teach me how to use the local flora to fish…and make a natural Xbox. I will be completely self sufficient.

Sounds good. Would you rather be a vampire or werewolf?

Maya: A werewolf.

Support for LAist comes from

Why?
Maya: It’s much more interesting because you get to turn into something completely different. You get to ravish people and then turn back into a person and no one would know what happened.

If you feel like getting ravished by the Pack A.D.'s gritty blues, head over to the Redwood Bar on Friday night.