Toronto’s heavy rock/alt-metal/punksters Pterodactyl Problems will be releasing their debut full length, Esoteric Hobbies, next week and it’s a kitchen sink approach that actually works. Having traditional metal, riff driven heavy rock, amazing indie folk and good time punk-rock on the same album sounds like way too much going on but the way this group puts it all together is an extremely fun ride – one that constantly gives up new things and is never, EVER comfortable staying in the same place very long. Just ahead of the album’s release we had the chance to pose our set of Profile questions to the band to get a bit of a backstory so read on to see how it went down.
How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?
We’ve all been playing music for a long time, but we met each other in middle school and started jamming then. I don’t know if we hoped for much then, but now I think we all want to make a living playing music and touring and stuff like that. We’re not there yet, but we’re working towards it little by little.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)
Geez debased is a strong word. Well we haven’t really had any offers to do so yet, but our inbox is open in case anybody needs us to lower ourselves, if ya know what I mean.
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
The expansive revival of underground and old school death metal is pretty sweet. Also it’s fuckin cool and it sounds sweet with modern production and all the new toys to make records more ridiculous than ever.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
Well, this is a source of contention in the band. Davey (White, guitar and vocals) is our primary lyric writer, and when anger rears its head in his writing it can come across as canned ’fuck the system’ kind of stuff, so making music that doesn’t feel cliched, or that does but is fun enough that you can look past it is important to us. I think that right now there are so many damn things to be angry about that it’s really important to be present to anger but in a context of joy and celebration. That’s what we want our performances to give folks, some angry joy.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
Lmao well, Oliver (Salathiel, drums) and Jack (Neila, guitar) are the resident metal heads in the band, and Davey is working his way there. Ciarán (Neely, guitar and bass) is a lost cause honestly, she’s too pretentious to appreciate the sheer ferocity of metal. Oliver’s introduction to the genre was Lamb of God, which he still loves today, and Jack came out of the womb head banging to Black Sabbath. No, but for real he heard Motörhead in SpongeBob and never looked back.
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
I think you’re all doing a pretty good job. The internet is both incredibly important for music, and incredibly large, so I feel like it serves both bands and the folks doing work about music to do things that are fun for everyone involved. The goofier the better we always say.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
World domination seems like a solid place to start, then we can go from there. Maybe we’ll hit up Jeff Bezos’ soon to be ex-wife and collab with her on starting that. Ollie takes pictures real good, Ciarán thinks about things real good, Davey bakes okay and Jack makes the riffs sound RIFFY.
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
Oliver: Anything by Revocation
Jack: Hornet’s of the Pogrom by Arghoslent
Ciarán: The La La Land Soundtrack
Davey: Sky Blue Sky by Wilco
What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?
Well, it’s funny you should ask, as we have our RECORD RELEASE EXTRAVAGANZA planned for March 8th, 2019 at Lee’s Palace in Toronto. Our debut album drops the same day and we’ll be joined by a few other bands and our MC, Tanya Cheex, to rip the place up. It’s a night you won’t want to miss, we promise.
Summarize your band in exactly one word.
Many thanks to Pterodactyl Problems for their time!