Josh Szczepanowski hasn’t always been a fan of Pink Floyd, perhaps unexpected seeing as he’s the lead guitarist and vocalist of a band that calls itself “Canada’s most authentic Pink Floyd tribute band.”
His appreciation for the rock group didn’t begin until his early 20s or so, his interest piqued after someone played Atom Heart Mother for him.
“It was a pretty strange starting place,” he said of the album, which was released in 1970 and begins with a six-part instrumental piece.
Approximately a year or two after that introduction in 2008, tribute band PIGS, which is performing in New Glasgow in November, was formed.
Szczepanowski and other members of the band Men Against The Sea found themselves with time on their hands while their bass player was on tour with another group, inspired to start the venture after seeing another tribute band.
Seeing other tributes struck him as being more like “fancy karaoke.”
“I really don’t like that. It just seemed fake and I don’t like that.”
Szczepanowski said PIGS doesn’t feel that way.
“We play the songs like we wrote the songs,” he said, adding they present it as a rock and roll show, rather than a revue. “I think that makes a difference for the audience. It certainly does for us.”
Lucky for Szczepanowski, his voice already sounded like David Gilmour’s. The vocals are the hardest part for him, though, as Gilmour is a “hell of a singer,” he said.
“I think I do a pretty good job, but it can be difficult.”
Based in Victoria, B.C., the group has seven members — bass player, rhythm guitarist and vocalist Geoff Howe (Roger Waters); keyboard player and vocalist Adam Basterfield (Richard Wright); drummer Mike Quirke (Nick Mason); guitarist and bass player Jon Baglo (Snowy White); Sharon Driver (Dick Parry) on saxophone; and backup singer Amy Konowalyk.
It was an “awful lot of work,” with a goal of being as exact as possible, from listening intently to every live recording and searching for the best gear.
After listening to their music every day, that’s when he classified himself as a fan.
“When I look back at it, it’s sorta strange because you spend so much time so immersed in their stuff to the nth degree … you would think it wouldn’t matter anymore,” he said, adding that he can still put on Dark Side of the Moon and be moved by it.
PIGS: Canada’s Most Authentic Pink Floyd Tribute Band comes to Glasgow Square on November 5. Show time is 7:30 p.m.