(SNO) So who are PRYDEIN (when formed, band members, where are you from)?
(Pryden – Aron) Prydein actually started out as a band I formed with some friends back in college in 1995 out of a desire for something new in the music scene. There weren’t too many rock bands with bagpipers back then so we thought we’d give it a shot. That band was called Whisky Before Breakfast. After that band split up in 1998 I got to keep the bagpiper in the divorce settlement. Our fiddler, Ellery Klein, went on to play with Gaelic Storm and we became Prydein. Prydein now consists of myself (Aron Garceau) on Guitar, Vocals and other random things found round a studio, Iain MacHarg on Highland Bagpipes, flute and pennywhistle, Andy Smith on Bass and Caleb Bronz on drums. We recently a new member to the band, Dan Houghton of the band Cantrip also plays highland bagpipes as well as bouzuki, flute, whistle, etc. As we say on our website, the sound of two bagpipers playing tight harmonies backed by a rock band is enough to make the blood shoot right out of your eyes!
(SNO) What inspired the formation of the band?
(Pryden – Aron) In the 90s, all the music being played on the radio either sounded like Sound Garden or R&B Hip hop pop-a-lop. Not for us. We wanted something different… very different. I think we found it! We also noticed quite a lack of young kids in the trad music scene, we felt like this was a way to trick them into getting interested in what was going on.
(SNO) Describe your sound (and influences)?
(Pryden – Aron) We are a Celtic rock band blending the influences of our piper Iain (who grew up listening to NOTHING but bagpipe music, Tannahil Weavers, Bothy Band, Battlefield Band, Gordon Duncan) and myself who grew up listening to… well, everything else. I was a huge Zeppelin fan as a kid as well as Jethro Tull and so I think of this as Scottish-Folk-Zeppelin.
(SNO) What going on with the band right now (recording, touring etc)?
(Pryden – Aron) Since the lot of us are a bunch of public school music teachers, we keep our tours heaviest in the summer time. With that being said we’re in the season deep now with a Scottish Festival in Northampton Mass this Saturday (The Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival) with Enter the Haggis, a highland games in Detroit as well as Maine and our home-state of Vermont. The big news this year is that we’re about a month away from releasing our first live album; Prydein: Live From the Fort. We can’t wait!
(SNO) What song in you catalog best defines your sound (and why)?
(Pryden – Aron) Our fans would say “Stairway to Scotland”, it’s our show ending mashup of Amazing Grace and Scotland the Brave. However I think that the reel rocker, “Loud Pipes (save lives)” is probably the one that captures it best. A couple of reels put to a pretty straight ahead rock background, it’s strong, it’s solid and I think it is, in its entirety, Celtic Rock. It’s also the video on youtube that has gotten over 100,000 hits and has introduced our music to the world. We recently found out that there is a band in Russia who is covering our stuff! The internet is amazing.
(SNO) Soapbox – anything you’d like to say?
(Pryden – Aron) We’re pretty lucky, I think, to have found the niche that we’re in. It’s tough you know, often times we find that we’re too “rock” for folk festivals but at the same time we’re too “folk” for mainstream rock festivals. Heck, sometimes we find that we’re too Irish for Scottish Festivals and too Scottish for Irish Festivals. We take the gigs as they come and love talking to the crowd both before, during and after the show and found that we’ve got some amazing, dedicated and loyal fans and we strive to bring them 110% all of the time. Every new show brings more folks into the fold and we look forward to doing so for a long, long time.
Thanks John, and thanks for all that you do to introduce folks to new music. Your efforts are