The Pack A.D.: “The new album, the new year, and horror novels”

The Pack A.D. have both classical and postmodern approaches to the spreading of their sound.  They pride themselves on being road dogs… but they’re also very adept at things...

The Pack A.D. have both classical and postmodern approaches to the spreading of their sound.  They pride themselves on being road dogs… but they’re also very adept at things such as YouTube videography… The Pack A.D. are drummer Maya Miller and singer/guitarist Becky Black.  They’re best known for kicking out raunchy and bluesy garage jams, but they’re also quite proficient in the slightly more popularly infectious sonic subcultures of the 1960s.  They’re already five albums in, with their latest, Do Not Engage, set to be released January 28th on Nettwerk.  Amidst the holiday shuffle, Maya actually took some time to chat with me about the new album, the new year, and horror novels… among other things.

Izzy Cihak: 2013 is almost over, so I have to ask, what have been the highlights of the year?

Maya Miller: We were nominated for a Juno this year, which was pretty awesome. We didn’t win, but we did get a nice certificate. We made some cool videos where we dressed up in Yeti costumes and also beat each other up. So, yeah, those were highlights, too.


IC: Your next LP, Do Not Engage, is set to drop at the end of January.  How do you feel like the album compares to previous releases?

MM: Every time you make an album, you hope and want and strive for it to be better than the last. Somehow. Or at least different. I feel that we did that with this album by just sticking to what we know best. The same writing and recording process, the same producer. In sticking with the same elements I think it helped the album become more focused.

IC: What would you consider to be the album’s most significant influences?

MM: For me it might have been the horror novels I was reading at the time. That definitely shaped my lyric writing. Generally, the album was no doubt influenced by our mutual interest in science fiction.

IC: The album is being released on Nettwerk Records, which I’m quite the fan of.  What are your thoughts on the label?  Any particular favorite label peers?  I’m really into BOY, Family of the Year, and Savoir Adore.

MM: Nice choices. Nettwerk has been home to a lot of great acts, both past and present.  I think it’s a very positive combo for us and we’ve all been on the same page, which is of course the best. I was definitely interested in Severed Heads, so that lent even more appeal to the working together.

IC: You have a tour coming up in the early months of 2014.  What can be expected of the live experience?  What does it draw inspiration from?  (I was rocked pretty severely the last time I saw you live.)

MM: Thanks very much. That’s great to know. For us, we just give it everything emotionally and physically we’ve got when we play and we don’t play quietly. I think if you don’t leave the show sweaty, then perhaps you may be a robot.


IC: In addition to the album release and this tour, what do you have planned for next year?  What are you most excited about in 2014?

MM: Tour, tour, tour, and more touring. It’s what I’m the most excited about, honestly. Looking forward to just getting back out there.


Band Interviews

During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.