Two Birds is a self-described pop/rock band from Pittsburgh. With a widely successful debut show under their belts, the four-piece is looking to continue creating music and focus only on a few shows for the time being. I sat down with Dan, who is a guitarist and vocalist for the band.
Q) You guys are a new band but not new to the scene, how did you guys all end up working together?
A) Paul has a lot going. He’s always playing or engineering records. He seems to have a role in production no matter what and is so talented. Mikey also plays in another band, Lotus Kid, and they’re great.
Paul and I started writing songs together back in ’12 or ’13 because we saw each other a lot and were close friends. We’ve known each other for about 15 years now. So we talked writing and then Paul was just willing to make it happen. He started doing his own thing as a recording engineer/producer and really became fantastic at it.
It’s really just personal for us, there was never a time when we were like “hey let’s start a band”. We just decided to play the songs we were writing rather than just recording them. We started playing with Pat and Mikey and it just came together.
Q) Your release show had a lot of local support–what was that like?
A) Cool. It was cool to just play a show. Cattivo was really cool. It was also overwhelming to have people show up and care about it and care about our songs. We were all really stoked.
Q) Is there anything that you’re working on right now?
A) We are writing and recording a lot more already. We have a handful of songs in recording and production right now. We are planning on releasing a full length in the fall. People seem to care so we’re going to keep writing. Really what we commonly do is “write songs and bring them to life”.
Q) What is the musical process for the band?
A) We are using the same formula as our EP. We wrote them. Paul does all of the preproduction. We are also in Audio Bridge Studios working on them. The studio is letting us have better live sounds. It gives a bigger platform.
Paul is really the producer whether he’s in that chair or not. We are doing the majority of the writing, recording, and engineering ourselves.
Marc McClusky is going to mixing everything, which he did for the EP, too. After that, we’re going to self release. The EP was really just the start, an intro to our band. So a lot of the songs will sound close to what the EP was. Those songs will likely be on there again.
The process for writing overall really depends, usually it’s me and Dan. Paul will have tracking done. He doesn’t send voice memos he’s recorded, he’ll email you a fully tracked song. So we’ll start tracking or come to it with “hey here’s an idea” and then we put it together.
Q) You had a lot of local support come out for your release, are there any local bands you think should be on people’s radar?
A) Young Lungs. I like their band a lot and they know Mikey and Paul which is how I got to hear them.
Any of these guys’ other bands, like Lotus Kid.
Honestly I haven’t been staying real current with the scene, 2007 was the last show I played until our release.
Bands that my friends are in are pretty cool. I feel like they don’t need an introduction, but Gene the Werewolf. They’re a great band and great guys.
Bobby who is writing new music. He used to play with Morning Light.
American Dreaming. They’re a really progressive band and it’s cool to see them play anything that comes in to their wheel house. They are doing a lot of hip hop and pop and they just have no real limits.
Cynimatics. Those guys are really cool and likeable. Paul showed me them.
Q) What advice do you wish you had had starting out?
A) As a kid playing (probably like 10-12 years ago) I wish I would have been smarter about it. Take guidance that is offered, care about pre production. Wait and be methodical about releases. I was, and a lot of us were, always on the brink of something. I was a part of it, and looking back there were a lot of times we (the bands i was in) were in over our heads a lot. Go into the studio and really just crank it out. Put ears on those songs. Now it’s really a different process, you wouldn’t put it out without other ears on it first.
Q) What would you say some of your favorite local businesses are?
I can tell you one I don’t like. The Monroville Sincerely Yogurt in Miracle Mile. I just want a peanut butter and banana smoothie. And they are ALWAYS missing one or the other or both. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I have a strict nutritional diet. I just want a peanut butter and banana smoothie. I’ve talked to the manager about it before. They KNOW me. And they KNOW they don’t have it. Like seriously, it’s just to a point of “do you even care?”
Oh, I like to google review places. Mine are hilarious.
Q) Which local pizza places would you recommend?
A) Piccolo Forno, they have high quality homemade dough.
There’s also a place in Shadyside. I call it Honey Pies. That’s not the actual name. I don’t know the actual name. I go for a honey pie. That’s isn’t a thing on the menu, but that’s what I get. My description probably wasn’t helpful.
Q) What are some of your local venues?
A) Laga. People were wild about that place.
Cattivo was cool. We had never actually set foot in there before the release or debut or whatever you want to call it, we just thought it was the right capacity and it was awesome!
Also, Mr. Smalls. I really like what they’ve done with the place. I took a tour and I played there a lot and it was “like I’d never been there before”
Q) How can people access/acquire your music?
A) We are on all the platforms. Apple, Spotify, iTunes, we’ll send you songs. You can get them from our website, too. But yeah, we’ll send anyone songs or give anyone records. We want to be accessible. We just want you to listen to it.
Q) Are you guys planning to do much touring?
A) Not a lot in the same city or town. We don’t want to oversatuaturate. Plus, most of us are kind of old and have a lot going on. I can’t play a party.
We want to play smarter. We want to see it people come back out because you only get one first show and then you’ve got to see if people still care.
We came in kind of late to the game for festivals. But we are going to be playing the DVE morning show next month. We are also opening for Punchline which will be cool to support. We listen to and like them, so we’re honored to play with them.
Q) All of you seem super involved in different projects, what are other outlets that you have that help to keep you creative?
A) Paul is working with other artists all the time. He’s producing and engineering bands. He’s got ears on other people’s music.
Mikey teaches how to play.
Me, I have my kids. My son wanted a piano and a DJ set so I got him those. I tried to learn how to DJ so I could teach him–that didn’t work. He picked it up really quick. My kids are 4 and 7, so we spray paint, we’re dying things. I tried to write a children’s book, it’s always just kind of there. I stay active with it.
Life sometimes catches up and there’s work and bills and money and you forget the things you cared about, the other things in your life.
I also did improv one year. I write jokes and I have a goal of doing standup. You wouldn’t guess because I’m not very funny in the moment.
Just keeping relationships with friends. Caring about your relationships does more than you’d imagine.