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New York, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2004

New York, New York, United States
Established on Jan, 2004
Band Alternative Rock




"Living Colour Headline Black Rock Coalition Tribute In NYC"

"Also on the bill were the DJ CX Kidtronik, another New York band Pillow Theory — I only caught the last few minutes of the latter's set, but enough of their metallic-Bad Brains fury to want more"
- David Fricke

Early in their brawling high-spirited June 5th show, in the thick afternoon humidity at Central Park Summerstage, the New York black hard-rock quartet Living Colour played "Decadance" from their latest album, The Chair in the Doorway, an indictment of obscene greed with a grinding riff, a slow crushing rhythm and singer Corey Glover growling, "Enough is never enough," with repetitive impatience, like a hanging judge hammering his gavel.

That line, taken a different way, was also appropriate for the occasion. Living Colour headlined a full day's rock-out as part of the Black Rock Coalition's 25th anniversary celebrations this year. The all-volunteer organization was started in 1985 — Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid was a co-founder — to address the obvious in a blinded industry: that black rock is not a contradiction in terms, and it didn't end with the death of Jimi Hendrix. As Reid pointed out during Living Colour's set, the BRC — which promotes and supports members' recording and gigging activities and is famous for its concert tributes to black music heroes and martyrs — "never took a dollar from the government or industry ever."

That the BRC is still here, and still needed, nearly a quarter-century after Living Colour supposedly demolished the bias with their 1988 breakthrough debut, Vivid, was pressed home every time Glover sang "Enough is never enough." Because the work is never done. One stage announcement was a reminder of the BRC's July 11th benefit, at B. B. King's in New York and also starring Living Colour, for ailing P-Funk singer-guitarist Gary Shider ("the guy in the diaper").

But the rock is worth the battle. At Summerstage, Living Colour — Reid, Glover, bassist Doug Wimbush and drummer Will Calhoun — covered their long spell in combat, from "Funny Vibe," the funk-and-speed-metal smackdown of racial profiling on Vivid, to the ecumenical prayer "Bless Those" from Chair, with Reid's striking swings between slinky bolts of country-blues picking and granite-block power chords. Reid is strangely close to being one of rock's forgotten guitar heroes: Since his band is no longer on TV or what passes for rock radio, the only time you get his full scalding amalgam of Hendrix's future blues, John McLaughlin's superspeed and John Coltrane's harmonic fury, pitted with distortion, is live, in the way he cut and skidded across the locked-grip turbulence of Wimbush and Calhoun in "Middle Man" and "Go Away" from 1993's Stain. Also missed by those who only remember the Top 20 single "Cult of Personality": Living Colour's twin gifts for pop choruses and stinging humor, which they fired up in the leaping irony of "Glamour Boy" and the crusted R&B crawl "Love Rears Its Ugly Head."

Also on the bill were the DJ CX Kidtronik, another New York band Pillow Theory — I only caught the last few minutes of the latter's set, but enough of their metallic-Bad Brains fury to want more — and the British fireball Ebony Bones, a woman with a wild brown-curl cloud of hair, a whooping-soul voice and a kinetic strutting presence to match the tribal-funk and motoring-disco drive of her eight-piece group. The original songs were dynamic if similar, a steady blur of Balkan fiddle, jazz-fusion saxophone and Eighties-synth beep and squeal. But Ebony Bones' cover of Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" confirmed the comparison that nagged at the edge of my mind through the first half of the set: Annie Lennox backed by Adam and the Ants — with a lot more soul in the charge.

For information about Black Rock Coalition membership, activities and shows, go to blackrockcoalition.org. - Rolling Stone

"AP Quickie: Pillow Theory's Banging 'Meltdown'"

They've been compared to Alice in Chains and Bad Brains. NYC rock band Pillow Theory just released their EP 'Meltdown' independently. Support indie bands! The record showcases their banging sound, lead by high-energy single 'Blipsters & Buppies' (listen below). You can purchase it and preview more songs here. Pillow Theory are also members of the AP online community, check out their profile here. - Afropunk

"Pillow Theory - Meltdown Review"

Pillow Theory’s sound pulls no punches as to its primary influences—straight out of mid to late 90s alt-rock, “Meltdown,” manages to not hide its nostalgic nature, yet not appear as a complete rehash of a musical movement. From the distorted vocals and crunchy guitars on track one “Blipsters and Buppies,” you know exactly what you’re in for.

Pillow Theory—both live and on album are a benefited rock and roll band, and bring all the trimmings that come along with that. As “Blipsters and Buppies” reaches its climax, distortion amped to 11, it’s clear exactly the structure that this album will be following, distorted abrasive verses and anthemic choruses, all driven by chunky guitars, and minimal other instrumentation, give or take some frills from the percussion. Were straight ahead rock and roll not a dying art form, this album could be easily tossed aside as a rehashing of this exact formula. However, whether consciously or unconsciously, Pillow Theory manage throughout the five tracks which make up “Melt Down” to breath new fresh life into a sound which seems destined to become an artifact of a specific moment in time.

By track four, “Rescue,” you begin to assume that every track on this album will follow a formula of crunchy guitars, no intro and affected vocals. However, with the electronically driven lead in of “Rescue,” that concern is put to rest. “This Up,” could have benefited from a bit more of this sort of instrumental experimentation. Closing the EP strongly are tracks four and five, offering a significant departure both from the rest of the album and the bands prior work, while managing to leave you interested in the next evolution of the band’s sound. One can only hope that Pillow Theory manages to build off the work of track five “Warm The Blood,” which shows a slightly industrial tinge to their sound. Overall, this is a worth while listen from some guys who really have a mastery of what they’re doing musically.

words by Jeff Samuelson - Beyond Race Magazine

"pILLOW tHEORY - Interview"

1. How did you get your band name?

I came out of a blackout and had a band name.

2. How did this band get started?

It basically was a form of therapy for me. Music serves me that way often. I’ve been in several band or music situations before and they never really fit the right way. pILLOW was like a comfortable straight jacket I could choose to put on or take off. After the music, I went out to find other people who were just as strange as me, and also had a love of pop, jazz and hardcore music.

3. What bands are you influenced by?

So many. Nirvana, Tool, Nine Inch Nails, Bad Brains, Helmet. I love being in the van on tour because there’s so much cool stuff that gets played between all of us and we dig it. Last tour was a lot of Mastodon plus Gorjira, Car Bomb, Erykah Badu, Tyler The Creator, Telefon Tel Aviv, Metric, Daft Punk, Foo Fighters. Somehow this all comes out in our music without sounding particularly like them.

4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?

As for the past, Nine Inch Nails by far! Their live show is beyond incredible visually, sonically, the whole experience. I’m such a Trent and Prince freak. I’ve probably seen those two more than anyone else live. Now? I would say Deftones, Foo Fighters or maybe Skrillex because it would be fun and different. Skrillex is really onto the next wave of sonic surprise! Mindless Self Indulgence is on tour now, would love to be on that bill.

5. Best food to eat on tour?

Depends on the city; when in Chi-town Mexican; in San Francisco, Japan Town is a must. I had the best Rueben ever at The Local Gastropub in Barrie, Ontario. Get yo ass to Mama Dip’s in North Carolina for the best soul food of your life. Yeah, I said it.

6. Why should people listen to your band?

We’re not reinventing the wheel of rock but we’re definitely unique and fill a void that is missing from the charts these days. The music speaks for itself I believe, heavy, dynamic and just damn good SONGS! And we don’t rely on autotune.

7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with?

Kobi, but not this year.

8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?

Our parents, family and fans.

9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?

Replace greed with talent.

10. Memorable tour experience?

When we were on tour in LA a few years back we played the Whisky which was awesome. The next day though we played this exclusive party in South Central called Bingo and it was the most incredible time! It felt like this cool mixed crowd in Brooklyn and everyone was beyond cool (not in a pretentious way), friendly and so into the band. It wasn’t a club or a house. More like a huge warehouse type of space that felt more like a party.

11. What does AP.net mean to you?

Proof that decent music in various forms of heavy lives long and prospers.

12. What is your favorite song to play?

There’s a song from our Outpatience album called “Ritalin” and it never gets old. It’s
just a fun hardcore tune with an improv bridge that goes on as long as we want. It’s always fun to play and the crowd always goes nuts.

13. What is your vacation spot of choice?

The South of France is absolutely gorgeous and the most relaxing place to download.

14. What music reminds you of your childhood?


15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?

I would like to be able to heal people, myself included. It would be the best to not have to deal with getting sick or suffering from physical pain. We’d all feel better and wouldn’t be in such a tiff with the health care system, at least in the U.S.

16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals?


17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?

Danos is a pilot, Joaquin is a lawyer and I am book nerd with perfect pitch (blessing and a curse.)

18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish?

Radio is definitely a place where we could flourish without a doubt. However, the balance between substantial rock and electro vs. pop and/or hip hop has taken a dive in my opinion. There use to be more of a balance in the early 2000s and the 90s. It seems to be more of the flavor of the month autotune club as opposed to 20 Adeles, you know. You get one of her and a bunch of people who you probably won’t hear from in the long run. I’m saying this in regards to rock stations as well. It’s definitely time for a shift and more of a mix in the music mainstream for all genres.

19. What do you like to do in your spare time?

Hang with friends, have a glass of wine, watch 30 Rock or Dexter, write music, produce.

20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?

I can’t print that.

- Jeremy Aaron - Absolute Punk

"Feature - pILLOW tHEORY"

pILLOW THEORY are a uniquely exciting New York rock band who have been on the scene for a number of years. Supporting bands such as TV on the Radio, Living Colour and Ebony Bones, their style is distinctive yet unpredictable, refusing to be categorised by any cliques of the New York rock music scene. The band have received applaud from magazines such as Rolling Stone and Village Voice for their previous album Outpatience, which was recorded by Steve Albini, and have now returned with a new EP, Meltdown (which includes the single Blipsters & Buppies - read a separate review of that here).
The EP is an exciting mixture of hard rock with subtler layers of sound, particularly in the second track entitled Rescue, which combines funk in an effective contrast to the heavier rock in the main body of the song. The other tracks on the EP are fast paced rock songs, with heavy guitar chords and drums serving to create a grunge-like, aggressive sound. The songs also break off into impressive guitar solos which demonstrate the band’s creativity and musical ability. The final track on the EP Warm the Blood, is slower paced than the other songs, with a percussion base that provides the rhythm and body of the track. The slow build up of rhythmic layers creates a more haunting tune than the early songs, slowly building up into a powerful crescendo of sound.
Meltdown is an exciting and dynamic alternative rock production, effortlessly propounding its distinctive and unique sound that defies a specific genre categorisation. pILLOW THEORY are still as yet unsigned, but their talent and originality have won them acclaim from within musical circles. The release of this latest EP on an independent label should continue to build upon the reputation they have already succeeded in creating.
-S. Adams (for Music Junkie UK) - Music Junkie UK

"pILLOW tHEORY - Blipsters & Buppies - Single"

There is a large void in the world of music that has needed filling for some time - namely the shortage of good alternative/indie bands that are willing to display a proper rock edge. Of course, there are plenty of metal bands for the more hardened listener, as well as emo to keep moody teenagers happy in their bedrooms. But what about the rest of us? Good alternative music is massively skewed towards a more clean-cut, soft edged approach. Thankfully, NYC’s pILLOW tHEORY are here to fill that void.

Recent single, Blipsters & Buppies, starts in a fairly restrained manner for the first few bars, before a solid angular guitar riff kicks in. The vocals have a definite nod to TV on The Radio (a band they have opened for in the past), but pushed into a much harder sounding territory, bringing in elements of punk and hard rock - lead singer Kelsey produces an impressive scream when he wants to, yet also manages to maintain an element of soul, helping to give them an original sound. The beefy production here works well with the hi-octane guitars and bass in the chorus, as well as the satisfyingly pounding drums that underpin the track. There is also a nice classic-sounding guitar solo (something else you just don’t get enough of these days) before the final chorus. Recommended listening.

A feature on pILLOW tHEORY will follow soon, covering the release of new EP, Meltdown, from which this track is taken.

-MJ (for Music Junkie UK) - Music Junkie UK

"pILLOW tHEORY & Exclusive Interview"

For Meltdown, you worked with Slim Willy who has worked previously with LL Cool J. How did his work influence the sound on the EP?

K: Slim was super cool. Very laid back, knows his sound and is an extremely fast engineer which I love. Our previous album was recorded strictly analog. We wanted to expand our sound on the new EP and do it strictly Protools. Slim has worked with several rock artists before but mainly does hip hop and pop which is great because we wanted a different sound on this EP. It’s definitely a heavy rock thing but has a bit of electro and slicker elements without us trying to sound like Daft Punk. We met each other half way and influenced each other sound-wise. I worked with Slim before on a few sessions and he’s so fun and easy to work with. He really understands the vibe and is not just a hip hop producer doing rock. I found it interesting because at that time I heard the new Mastodon album was going to be produced by Mike Elizondo, another predominately hip hop guy pushing musical boundaries. Skrillex just did tracks for the new Korn album, similar ideas of what we were trying to accomplish – next level sonics.

You guys all have jazz backgrounds. Why the sudden change in direction? Do you think that having those roots has worked its way in Pillow Theory?

K: It was more of a process of growth than a sudden change in direction. We all grew up appreciating and playing different styles of music. It just so happened that we all honed our chops through jazz instructors growing up or in college. We all applied them to playing rock or in my case, applying, learning and then stripping it away. We’re not a jazz band but we definitely have a vast playing field technically and theoretically which helps with our sound. Sometimes we’re aware of this but it’s mainly a subconscious thing.

“Rescue” has got a cool funk/metal vibe going on with art-rock touches. How did that song come about?

K: That was a fun one. I was just trying to write some cool heavy dance pop track that was funky and sexy. I think NIN’s “Closer” had that vibe when I first heard it back in the day. “Rescue” was a song we did live a few times and put it away because it never really gelled. It wasn’t until we recorded it with Slim that the song really started to take shape and make sense. I think he said “Rescue” was his favorite track. And yes, all the drums are played live but triggered sonically through plug-ins, of course.

Your previous album Outpatience was produced by Steve Albini of Pixie and Nirvana fame, who is known for his loud dynamic drum sound. What was it like working with him?

K: I probably learned more about recording from those sessions than any session ever. It was a dream come true and an amazing moment. Hate to blow his cover but he’s really a super sweet dude. He has this amazing knack of getting the best performance out of an artist. You really feel confident about yourself after recording with him. I’ve never seen so many mics in my life! (Laughs). We were all taking mental notes of his setups and stuff. To hear the drums in that room and witness his mic techniques was total bliss man!

Kelsey – your voice is a combination of soul (“Warm the Blood”) and metallic screams (“Blipsters & Buppies”). Have you always been singing this way, or is it a style you cultivate for Pillow Theory?

K: My voice definitely was not this way in the beginning. I was really shy with singing as a kid because I never really wanted to do it but I started to appreciate it. I always had a bit of this airy soulful sound but then I started gravitating towards the vocal options of punk rock and metal vocalists like Phil Anselmo and Mike Patton especially, early Chris Cornell as well. Pantera made me want to scream as a kid! However, whether its Henry Rollins or Randy Blythe, there’s a technique involved with heavy singing. It took me awhile to realize this and my voice would always go out after trying to scream/sing. I was trained vocally in the classical world and it’s a lot different. When I came to NYC I took a few lessons with Melissa Cross and it opened up a new chamber for me. So I learned how to blend it all into a style that’s comfortable for me. I love to mix both and pILLOW tHEORY gives me the freedom to do so.

You’ve opened TV on the Radio, another genre-bending New York band. How do you feel fit into the rock scene there? And why do you think this type of rock is coming out of there now?

K: It’s interesting because I never thought TVOTR really fit into the NYC rock scene which is another reason I was so glad for their success. They actually sounded so different from the bands around here and they made it work! I don’t think we fit into the scene either; however, we do receive love from so many different cliques around the area. I’m not quite sure where we fit but what I am sure of is we have support from a wide range of people here which keeps us going. Maybe this has to do with the multi-music genre thing we have under the rock umbrella. The crowd from Bleecker Street doesn’t necessarily mix with the people from the cool LES NY Rock scene or the Williamsburg kids but they’re all at our shows. I love that! I’m glad that so much music is still coming out of here especially in the rock world. I would like to see it become a bit more integrated and less separate. “Blipsters & Buppies” addresses this big time. I hope the scene becomes more of a family here.

What’s next for Pillow Theory?

K: Gearing up for a show at Bowery Electric in NYC March 22nd, prepping for the “Blipsters & Buppies” video and looking forward to “Mo Money Mo Problems”.

- Matt Satterfield - Leading Us Absurd

"pILLOW tHEORY: The First TVD Date"

“I feel like vinyl was injected into my life and culture while I was still in the womb.”

“My older brother and sister had tons of albums in the house and would play them constantly. In fact, my love of music started from my brother and sister playing old soul and funk records and not from playing a musical instrument. Earth Wind & Fire, Parliament, Rick James, Prince, and the Isley Brothers were a few major staples on the family turntable. My brother introduced me to classic rock and jazz fusion with Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Mahavishnu Orchestra. My sister played a lot of pop. My home was a music library. I loved reading liner notes, absorbing album art and pulling records from the sleeve studying labels.

Yes, I still have CDs and obviously download, upload and share MP3s because I love music and will obtain it regardless of the current medium. However, nothing replaces holding an album, reading those liner notes, shopping in stores with like-minded music freaks, flipping through the albums to get to the next one, coming across an unexpected rare gem. And of course, the warm sound of vinyl will never be duplicated. I don’t care what anybody says!

Later in high school when I developed more of a love of hip hop, industrial, and dance music, my vinyl fetish became even more serious when I started to DJ. I would practice guitar for hours in my room and then call my DJpartner/ best friend Asaf and we would mix everything from Run DMC, Public Enemy to Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Michael Jackson, Nitzer Ebb, Ministry, and a slew of house and freestyle music.

We were also really hard up on b-sides then. They were special and definitely a vinylhead treat. I was such a huge Prince, Depeche Mode, and NIN freak so I would look for any and all b-side material that existed from them, Siouxsie & The Banshees as well. We grew up in South Jersey but shopped mainly in Philly. Going to the record stores and stocking up on new 12 inches was an adventure. Sound Of Market and 3rd St Jazz & Rock were two of my favorites shops. There were a few good ones in South Jersey too and it was fun because you got to know the clerks after awhile. I loved DJing and kept at it seriously through college. I still do the occasional DJ gig but I can’t remember the last time I spun vinyl.

In NYC I used to go to Academy Music a lot to add to my collection, Bleecker Bob’s, and Disco Rama were also on rotation. I live a few blocks from Other Music so I pop in there once in awhile. I also really liked Sounds in Hoboken and Halcyon in Brooklyn.

There was a place on the Lower East Side years ago I frequently spun at called The 12 Inch Bar which was close to Mercury Lounge and I loved it. It was always fun because I got to play what I wanted which was all over the place stylistically. No CDs, computers, or ipods allowed, just strictly vinyl.

The first time I played there a bunch of my wild friends represented and turned the tiny club into a chaotic party. Most djs at that place would play trip hop or some sort of down tempo style. I was playing a bit of that, but more crazy stuff – like mixing Depeche Mode into Black Sabbath, Modest Mouse, ESG, Squarepusher, LCD Soundsystem, Godflesh, The Rapture and then Wu-Tang Clan. The owner came in that night to find girls dancing on the bar and people just drunk and dancing in a place with no cabaret license. The bartender wasn’t too pleased but the owner had a great time and invited me back. Plus, he complemented my record collection and beat matching skills of odd artists (and the hot crowd). Ah, memories.

Anytime pILLOW hits the West Coast to tour we always make an effort to stop by Ameoba Records. I picked up some old Cocteau Twins and Nina Hagen last October. I bought a few CDs too but don’t tell anyone. It’s not a big surprise that vinyl is still popular amongst the underground. It never died in the DJ culture. It will always be a staple regardless of music trends or industry ups and downs.”

pILLOW tHEORY is shooting a video for “Blipsters & Buppies,” the first single from their new EP Meltdown. Find out how you can kick in at the band’s Kickstarter page.

pILLOW tHEORY Official | Facebook | Twitter - The Vinyl District

"Funk Gumbo 5: Kelsey Warren & pILLOW tHEORY"

1: Describe the growth of the band from the first album 9 1/2 to Outpatience to your latest Meltdown EP. Describe the changes good or bad in the evolution of the group.

I wasn’t too comfortable recording the first album. Scott the drummer was at ease though haha, but I was still feeling things out and this “band” was forming at the same time. I always had a shy, cold feeling in big recording studios. The best part of that whole experience was Hillary Johnson who engineered and produced 9 ½. She opened me up to try new things, challenge myself and turn a cold environment a warm one. So I felt more confident and comfortable afterwards. The Outpatience sessions were amazing. We were definitely more of a band with a sound. We were rehearsed, confident, amped and prepared. Steve pulled the best out the band and was an amazing coach figure for us. He makes the studio feel like home and it shows on that recording. Meltdown was the next phase and again, the band had a sound and wanted to explore further sonic journeys. It felt right and I think we created an amazing body of work. You grow as a band in a rehearsal space, recording studio and live shows after years of doing it. Well, you should I guess haha.

2: Describe the writing process of pILLOW tHEORY. Is it more band or individual driven in crafting the following songs: Blipsters & Buppies, Stalker, Four Drinks

I pretty much write the songs at home or other surroundings, bring them into rehearsal and then we shape them as a band. “Blipsters” came to me after reading this article on “blipsters” or "black hipsters" in Brooklyn and I thought it was hysterical. It was just my take on the whole clique thing whether it’s underground or mainstream. I’ve experienced acceptance and rejection in both.

“Stalker” was written about an experience I had and a friend had as well. That was definitely an example of my life in a song.
Same with “Four Drinks” which is literally about me missing work due to drinking too much the previous night. Yes, I worked in the World Trade Center and drank heavily on September 10, 2001. I like to write about and explore life, people and situations I find interesting. Most pILLOW songs are about reality more so than fantasy.

3: Starting with your first interest in music up until this very moment, what artists have influenced you?

Prince is my all time master! Learned so much about performance, songwriting, production, and being a music chameleon just from his albums. Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails kicked a new sonic wall down for me and definitely rubbed off in the best way. Huge influence and would be honored to work with him somehow one day. Grew up on lots of George Clinton, Earth Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Frank Zappa, The Cure, Smiths, Depeche Mode, Public Enemy, Metallica, Slayer, later Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Radiohead, Stereolab, Deftones. Love Chris Cornell, Al Green and Prince vocally but most of my favorite vocalists are female: Bjork, PJ Harvey, Cassandra Wilson. Oh, Mike Patton! I can go on forever here. Too much influential music in my brain. Right now I’m listening
to Deerhunter this very moment, Joni Mitchell earlier.

Hmm, so far this year I’m feeling Bon Iver, Ume, the new Foo Fighters. Fleet Foxes are nice. Adele of course, everyone loves her lol. Definitely looking forward to new Mastodon! Yes I have music schizophrenia

4: Has the election of President Barack Obama created a post-racial America that will allow Black Rock to become more acceptable to the mainstream in the present and future than it has been in the past?

I’m not sure if it will make it more acceptable but I hope that if anything it’s not such a strange thing for people to digest anymore
(especially music “bigwigs”). We paved the way in rock and roll from the beginning, but that fact seems to be forgotten for whatever reason. Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Jimi Hendrix were all accepted and made history before I was born you know. One of the best things about Barack becoming president is the self esteem factor for minorities of all. So maybe more brothers and sisters will come out musically in the rock world whether it’s accepted or not. That's what I would like.

5: Who would you like to perform with from the past,present or future?

Prince, NIN, Deftones, QOTSA, U2…so many - Funk Gumbo

"B.E.A.F. Alt Rock Stage"

There is nothing sleepy about pILLOW tHEORY ( a band that last year opened for Living Colour in Central Park). The NYC quartet’s current and second release, “Outpatience” showcases hints of jazz intertwined with the aggressiveness of metal, drive of punk, the smoothness of soul, and the energetic appeal of pop, delivering dynamic variety and unexpected twists on New York’s typical rock outfit. (MB) - Deli Magazine

"Pillow Theory Returns With 'Meltdown'"

Pillow Theory is a four piece band based out of New York that have been steadily tearing up the New York rock scene for the best part of a decade. Their first album, Outpatience was produced by legendary producer Steve Albini and has gone on to become an underground classic. If you don’t have it, get your behind online, go to Itunes and get it. It’s as good as a rock n roll album you’re going to hear. The band has gone through various permutations, but it has always remained the vision for lead singer-guitarist-chief songwriter Kelsey Warren. The current lineup, which includes Danos on guitar, Joaquin on bass, and Aaron on drums, has been the most consistent through PT’s history and it’s also their best.

Meltdown is a blistering 5-song EP that captures the songs that Pillow Theory have been showcasing live over the last couple of years. ‘Blipsters and Buppies’, is a crushing putdown of the posers and so-called hipsters that infect the current music scene complete with the will-stay-stuck-in your head hook of ‘you’re all so serious’. The twisted guitar interplay between Kelsey and Danos highlights the very dark rocker ‘The Stalker'; ‘Tongue’ is relentless punk-rock driven by a deceptively placed reggae groove. ‘Rescue’ is the biggest surprise: It’s a intricate foray into electro funk anchored by a sledgehammer rock chorus that deserves to be played in a live setting. The moody ‘Warm The Blood’ is a great showcase for the band – terrific vocals, fantastic drum work by Aaron, thundering bass by Joaquin and more dazzling guitar interplay between Kelsey and Danos.

With exceptional production by Wicz (Slim Willy of the band Ferrari Snowday) and studio legend Ron St. Germaine (he added his trademark sonic touches to ‘Blipsters & Buppies’), Meltdown is a full-on triumph.

On Sunday, July 10th, Pillow Theory will be celebrating the release of Meltdown with a CD release party at The Mercury Lounge (217 East Houston Street) in New York City. California King – another outstanding band based out of Brooklyn with a killer CD out, La Belle Epoque – will go on at 7pm and Pillow Theory will hit around 8pm.

Meltdown will be available at the show on July 10th. You can also purchase it through http://www.pillowtheory.com.

This doesn’t suck! - Earl's Blog

"Natalie In New York: Sunday with Pillow Theory And An Explosive Monday"

“By day Kelsey and I are friends; by night I am a fan,” Denise Barbarita said of her fellow Morning Papers band mate just following the end Pillow Theory’s set, guitarist Kelsey Warren’s other band, on July 10th at the Lower East Side’s Mercury Lounge. After witnessing Warren’s impressive set, it’s understandable why Barbarita speaks so gushingly about her fellow musician.

Warren got in touch with me nearly a month ago, introducing himself, as some of you may remember from my fifth NYC blog, as the Morning Paper who breaks strings. His message was to alert me of the impending release of the band in which he front’s “Meltdown” EP, which was digitally dropped July 11th, and this past Sunday’s release party show.

I got to the Mercury Lounge just after 7 p.m., where I found Warren preparing for his set and hanging out with a couple of friends next to a counter displaying free mini pink and green frosted cupcakes for the celebratory occasion. After introducing myself, we briefly chatted about venues on the Sunset Strip, before opening act California King took the stage.

As a lover of raspy voices, I immediately took a liking to this band when I heard front- man Mike Mills melodically howling into a mic with a pink feather boa wrapped around the stand. His soulful growl, which seemed to crack at all the right moments, perfectly accompanied dance-worthy rock music, even if the thinly filled floor didn’t feel like moving much at that point.

By the time Pillow Theory took the stage, the house had developed a significantly larger crowd, as the band kicked into “Miscommunication,” a track that didn’t make the cut for “Meltdown,” but is featured on the latest Black Rock Coalition Compilation.

The first time I heard the five track EP weeks ago in un-mastered form, I was immediately reminded of Living Colour, so it wasn’t surprising at all when Warren recently said of their 1988 record Vivid, “ That album changed my life.” Apparently guitarist Vernon Reid is also a fan of Warren’s as he described Warren as “one of my favorites,” in a 2009 article for Soul Summer. Reid was also responsible for hooking the band up with producer Ron Saint Germain, who worked with the group on “Blipsters and Buppies.”

The second song of their performance, and first single off “Meltdown,” seems to be a critique of a certain pretentious group with an affinity for thick black framed glasses, stating in one verse, “Subculture revolution, Subculture prostitution, By any means necessary.” The first half of their set showcased other tracks off of “Meltdown,” like the sensual “Warm the Blood” and the distortion heavy “Tongue.” The EP translates well live; the only major difference I noticed was that Warren exercises his power of scream more frequently onstage.

Though the band’s hard rock sound would have fit in with music scenes of decades past, it became clear that Pillow Theory is existing in a modern music industry when Warren announced that rather than purchasing discs of their new release, fans could buy “download cards” for $5 at the merch table.

The latter part of Pillow Theory’s set was dedicated to their 2008 debut “Outpatience,” which was produced by another noteworthy name, Steve Albini. By the time the band closed with “Ritalin,” the more mobile audience was heavily grooving (especially Barbarita, who grabbed me and our friend and fellow journalist Will Helms to head bang with arms over each other’s shoulders.) - NatalieJill Blog

"Album Reviews"

With the release of Outpatience, which was produced by Steve Albini, over three years ago, the quartet of pIlLLOW tHEORY quickly developed a reputation as being one of the more exciting acts of the local rock scene. Not only was their effort critically praised by the Village Voice and several other publications, they’ve played with several of the local scene’s beloved and most renowned acts such as TV on the Radio, Living Colour, Ninjasonik and others. Meltdown is the first official release by the band in three years. And as a follow up to their critically well-received debut, pIlLLOW tHEORY’s sound has grown in an impressive fashion. You can still hear the explosiveness of the earlier efforts on Meltdown. After all, these boys can thrash on those power chords. However, the major difference is that the hooks are tighter than ever before. When you listen to the EP you’ll hear the buzzing power pop of the Foo Fighters’ There Is Nothing Left to Lose and One by One, the brooding melodies of TV on the Radio, and in one instance strangely enough, a track off of Incubus’ Make Yourself in a synthesis that isn’t exactly perfect because the material hews so closely to its source. But still, it works well. If anything, Meltdown reflects the band’s relentless and perhaps restless desire to never be pigeon-holed into one particular genre. What I can tell you is that I’m excited to see how their sound develops. - Joy Of Violent Movement


Outpatience (2007)
Meltdown EP (2011)
Meltdown Album (2012)


Feeling a bit camera shy


pILLOW tHEORY is NYC quartet who delivers a high-powered dynamic sound and performance while successfully genre-hopping under the alternative rock umbrella (electro, metal, punk, pop). They've shared bills with TV On The Radio, Savages, Solange, Questlove, Living Colour, Dismemberment Plan, Betty Who and Halestorm to name a few and have received accolades from Rolling Stone, Village Voice, Time Out NY and Afro-Punk.

pILLOW tHEORY collaborated with sonic genius Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, NIN) for their album Outpatience in 2007. Working with Albini on Outpatience allowed the band to successfully explore a full cohesive raw sound. The album earned the band critical praise and a strong, loyal audience with the singles "Jealous" and "Reason" licensed to several television programs and "Four Drinks" in the 2012 film Dealer. Also in 2012, pILLOW tHEORY released their Meltdown album, produced by front man/composer Kelsey & Slimmy Neutron (50 Cent, Lil Wayne, LL Cool J.) For the band’s next sonic chapter, Kelsey mixed pILLOW tHEORY’s organic sound with unexpected refinement. Legendary producer Ron Saint Germain (U2, Muse, Tool, Soundgarden) came on board to mix the first single and opening track “Blipsters & Buppies.” With its unforgettable chorus, infectious guitar riff and a video skewering the hipster scene, this song has quickly become a fan favorite along with the sensual trip-hop, pop rock track "Warm The Blood".

They were selected to perform at festivals SXSW, Central Park Summerstage, CMJ, Northside and CBGB. Currently they are in the studio recording their follow up to Meltdown to be released for Summer 2015.

Band Members