PIGS: Canada’s most authentic Pink Floyd Tribute band will be hitting the stage in Red Deer come February.
In a recent interview with the Express, Josh Szczepanowski, the band’s lead-guitarist and vocalist, who plays David Gilmour, said they try and be the real deal.
“I’m the David Gilmour of the band and I sing every part that he would sing and play every instrumental part that he plays,” he said.
He added that one of the biggest things they do as a group that most other Pink Floyd acts he’s heard of don’t, is that they each play a specific member of the band.
“We play it as if it was ours. We play it like we wrote it, so it’s not like tongue and cheek, so it’s less like karaoke – it’s more like a real band,” said Szczepanowski with a laugh.
“I think one of the biggest surprises for a lot of people is that our Roger, our friend Geoff, has to do everything the real Roger does, which means that he actually doesn’t play bass for probably about half the show.”
Formed in 2008 in Victoria, B.C., some of the group’s members were in a band called Men Against the Sea.
“Our bass player was going away on tour with some other bands so we didn’t really have anything to do, and we jammed a couple of Pink Floyd songs and they sounded really good, and we thought, ‘Wait a minute, why don’t we just do this?’”
Although they haven’t met the original members of Pink Floyd, Szczepanowski said they’ve spoken to some of their auxiliary members like Roger Waters’ keyboard player Jon Carin.
“We’ve talked to various members of the camp here and there but never the big four.”
If that big four were to watch the tribute band perform, Szczepanowski would hope they would think they do a good job.
“We’ve certainly pushed really hard to be as absolutely accurate as possible, and I think we treat it with the respect it deserves.”
For Szczepanowski, he got his start in the music world in high school when he was part of the school band.
“We were going to do a production at the school of Grease, and I wanted to be in it but all of the saxophone parts were already taken, so I lied to the band director and said I knew how to play guitar and then I learned real fast.
“It was just an elaborate ploy to go on a date with the girl playing Sandy and it worked just fine.”
When it came to centring his now musical aspiration around Pink Floyd, he said it was his dad’s favourite band. Szczepanowski didn’t listen to them himself until he was 24, a short time before they started the tribute band.
He said something he really likes about Pink Floyd is that their songs are relatable.
“The themes they’re presenting are really universal and everybody has these same feelings. All their songs are about the fear of modern life essentially, all the things that can go wrong with modern life, and I think everybody can relate to that.”
He added that he can still listen to The Dark Side of the Moon today, and even after performing it hundreds of times, he can still be moved by it.
“It’s pretty powerful stuff. Even after playing it so many times we can still be moved by it, which is amazing.”
The group will perform at the Red Deer Memorial Centre Feb. 15th.