The Piper Downs
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The Piper Downs

Hollywood, California, United States | SELF

Hollywood, California, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"LA Times, Calandar Live"

The Downs' latest release, "Varying Degrees of Failure and Tunelessness," is as ironic as the band's live show is raucous.... - Kevin Bronson with Jeff Miller

"WMHB - the Echo"

Fire up the CD player with the volume jacked. Hit "play." The sound waves created by the pulsing rock drum beat hit you like a train. Then the crisp guitar chords kick in followed by a crankin’ bass guitar groove. Rock and Roll!! It’s THE PIPER DOWNS and the song is appropriately titled "Louder." It’s track 1 on their new CD, "Varying Degrees of Failure and Tunelessness." Cue track 2, and the jangling rock guitar chord intro is followed by the bass guitar and drums kickin’ in. MORE Rock and Roll!! The second track, "Hardcore," kicks as much rock ‘n’ roll butt as track 1.

The new CD by THE PIPER DOWNS is described on the PD’s website as "Unforgettable, unmistakable, relentless power pop - Jimmy ate the World and it had a Foo Fighter aftertaste." I agree completely, and THE PIPER DOWNS sound also reminds me of the Smithereens at their best - crisp guitar rhythms with a great bass guitar/drum section, plus awesome vocals and harmony. Other tracks kick, too, such as "When I needed You," "Stutter," and "10 Speed."

THE PIPER DOWNS were formed in 1996 as a trio featuring Bobby Bognar on guitar and lead vocals, Garner Knutson on lead guitar, and Yell on bass. The three band members were all students at Virginia Commonwealth University and it was there that they met and created the beginnings of what is now THE PIPER DOWNS. The band subsequently added a drummer - Ellen McGuyer, a stand-out percussionist known for her hard, rock drumming.

THE PIPER DOWNS are ready to break nationally, but for now they are touring hard, giving the fans some great rock and roll, from Chicago to Denver back to their home base of Los Angeles, and even to Australia. Pick up a copy of their GREAT new CD - "Varying Degrees of Failure and Tunelessness" - on the web at, or listen to this up-and-coming rockin’ band on Maine’s alternative music station -- 89.7FM, WMHB Waterville. - WMHB DJs

"Revolver (Australia)"

I am speaking to Bobby Bognar, vocalist/guitarist with LA pop rock outfit The Piper Downs. He is inside Kellys On King in Newtown, downing schooners. He has also only been in the country for roughly two hours. "We have a reputation to uphold!" he laughs.

Beside any alcoholic expectations, the band also have something to prove in the rock arena. Although remaining independent back home, the band have managed to tour the States a number of time and sell a modest 8,000 albums. "[It's] hardly a million, but that's definitely enough without a major label to show we're doing something right," remarks Bobby, "especially 'cause we're in Hollywood. We're in the heart of the cut throat music industry! But we do real well, and what we've found is that as long as you have a good band then people will want to come see you."

The band is out here on a kind of musician exchange program through our own Starky, whom they gave shows to in the States last year. "I love those Starky guys! Between the two bands it was love at first sight. We hit it off so well, they said if we ever come to Australia let us know and we'll hook it up. The last couple of weeks all we've listened to is the Starky CD."

Something that stands out for the Piper Downs in this male dominated rock universe is their drummer Ellen. Forget the token bass chick, Ellen is the driving force behind the band's energy, and her recent inclusion into the band has caught everyone, not least of all Bobby, by surprise.

"I will be completely honest with you," Bobby admits, "Ellen sold our t-shirts for a couple of years. She had never played drums before, and she came up to me one day and said, 'I'm sick and tired of you going through drummers'. The other three of us have been together the whole time, but she's our seventh drummer. She said, "If I learn to play drums, would you let me play with you guys?' I said absolutely not! There is no way I could ever let a woman play drums because they can't hit hard enough. It turned out that we had a show in Las Vegas and our drummer couldn't make it. She said, 'I'll sit in with you', and she learned to play just to play with us. She sure showed me. She beats the hell out of those drums! If anything she's making us get excited again about playing." - Craig New

" (presented by Billboard Live)"

“Ladies and gentleman, we have a piper down. I repeat, we have a piper down!”

Kangaroos can’t distract them… the fierce wind of the Midwest can’t get to them. Not even the flying attacks of designer jeans, shoes and haircuts good old Los Angeles provides can break these cat’s strides. The piper downs have everything going for them right now, and awesome attitudes that keep them sane in a sometimes-insane industry. Don’t tell them the scene in la sucks, because they don’t back that program. -


It's undeniable that the Piper Downs put on a show when they put on a show! What I mean is, there are a lot of groups out there playing music but fail to entertain, that's not the case with the Piper Downs. Their recent show at the Gig really showed off their ability to give the crowd something memorable.

The band started with a video for "Louder", from the, then, soon to be released "Varying Degrees of Failure and Tunelessness." The crow, curious to what was going on, gathered around the projection screen in front of the curtain watching attentively. Once the curtain came up, the 4 members of the Piper Downs were in full force, projecting their energy through their music.

The Piper Downs play a pop/punk sound, which is undeniably catchy and each song has its lyrical "hook". The group's choruses may be the fail-safe formula, each with a unique verbal passage like: "I am a dick, I am addicted to you," "You want it, You go it," or "Anything at all." They mixed it up with a "Piper Downs" version of "Hard Day's Night," but you quickly realize they have an inescapable sound.

It's obvious as you look around the crowd that the Piper Downs have "fans" because a lot of them are singing along. The between song banter leads to all sorts of craziness. Inter band humor puts off a rebellious, "we'll do it our way vibe," mixed with a college frat party atmosphere. Bobby announces Yell's bass solo in a song called "Madeline," consisting of one bass note transition. It's nice to see a drummer smile through the entire set or the guitarist, Garner, laugh off a broke string, twice in one set.

The Piper Downs are one of the more comfortable bands I've seen on stage. They demand the audience's attention and often their participation. They don't hold anything back from the first song to the last note, leaving a memorable impression on the audience. - TLAMS

"Campus Circle"

As I watched the handsome devils take the stage, clad in red, white and blue, I was reminded of all that is right with America and the American dream. Onstage stood three young hard working men who moved to Hollywood from the East Coast in search of fame and fortune and have since working tirelessly since their move to capture a sound that appeals to everyone. The crowd's response as well my own delight on this particular evening showed that the Piper Downs have already achieved that goal. They played songs from every CD they have ever put out, including a compilation from The Wheat From Chaff Festival that lead singer Bobby organizes to help kids with autism.

The boys were in top form, and new drummer/all-around hottie Ellen kept up with the boys just fine. It was hard to believe that she has been with the band for such a short time. Everyone at the Hard Rock (tourists included) [were] completely comfortable and in tune while The Piper Downs ran through their furious set of radio-ready, Southern-influenced pop music, which featured the crowd favorites "Cold Day in Hell", "Stutter" and "Hardcore". It is amazing that Bobby, Garner, Yell and Ellen have managed to shred so hard for so long without drawing major label interest, but things being what they are in Los Angeles, the Piper Downs are still 100% DIY. If anyone out there works in A&R, do yourself a favor and sign this band. These guys are one of the few L.A. Underground secrets worth exposing. - Brooke Garten

"Music Connection"

PIPER DOWNS MAKE HISTORY AT THE HARD ROCK: Local favorites, Los Angeles’ own Piper Downs were honored recently at the Hard Rock Café, Beverly Center. Asked to donate an instrument to the chain’s legendary music exhibit, the band’s founder and leader, Bobby Bognar, offered a guitar. This marks the first time in Hard Rock’s 24-year history that an item from an unsigned act has graced its walls. The band is also one of the six national finalists in the Cabo Wabo/Hard Rock Café Battle of The Bands. - Daniel Siwek


2003 - Varying Degrees of Failure and Tunelessness
2001 - Rock Juice



Are The Piper Downs are the best damned band on earth? Three guys and chick drummer who kicks ass, this four piece met while students at Virginia Commonwealth University. A quick move to Los Angeles, four national and one Australian tour, and two self-released cds later, and The Piper Downs are ready for world conquest. The Piper Downs place a premium on songwriting and exciting live shows. Their live shows are a blend of Foo Fighters rock and Barenaked Ladies humor with emphasis on audience participation - never a set list in sight, they play what the audience calls out. Twice they have been named the "Best Unsigned Band in Los Angeles," have appeared on radio, movies, and television shows, headlined the local stage at the Vans Warped Tour, and opened for Sammy Hagar in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Check out their website at and join their e-mail list!