Interview: Pillow Person

Pillow Person

If you’re addicted to pop music that is as clever as it is catchy, then you won’t be able to get enough of Pillow Person.

This is the new solo guise for Sarah Jones, a music maker who you’ll have heard either drumming for Hot Chip or the PRS for Music Foundation funded NZCA Lines.

Now hooked up with Moshi Moshi, she’ll be unveiling Go Ahead, the first slice of summer pop later this month – we get to know her in our new interview…

How did you get into music? Was there a person or record that first started you off on your musical journey?

I started playing piano but I was a bit crap at it. I was after something that felt a bit more instant and easier to improvise. Some friends of my parents left a drum kit at my house over the summer and I started having a go on that. My dad played guitar for fun so we would jam Black Sabbath songs. I joined a local metal band and just started playing and recording a lot. I grew up in deep countryside so I spent pretty much all of my time on music.

What inspired you to start making your own music?

I heard the Braindance compliation on Rephlex as a teenager in someone’s Renault 5 and couldn’t get enough of it. There were certain tracks that made me start experimenting with my own stuff, especially in ways to change your voice. When playing the drums, I would often record new ideas but I wasn’t thinking about songs at all at the time. I would just add little bits of music from time to time and became addicted.

Go Ahead is your debut single as Pillow Person – could you explain a little about this project and your debut single?

I had been writing bits and bobs for a while without really getting to a finishing line. So I had been chatting to my friend Charlie March who also produces NZCA Lines about them and we decided to try some things out. We gave each other a very specific deadline of my birthday and that was the only goal. But it was well fun and went a lot quicker than we expected so ended up putting some songs out and doing more and more.

How did you link up with Moshi Moshi?

I’ve known of them for a long time but only just met fairly recently … whilst having a bop around a coffee table. Then we exchanged Facebook eggs, then some music.

You’re well known as a collaborator, working with the likes of Hot Chip and NZCA Lines – what have you learned from these projects? And how does this feed into your own music? 

It’s been really interesting seeing how different people go about doing their own music. I have been able to observe many different ways and have had the chance to be involved in lots of projects also in the studio. Everyone has such a different approach which is the interesting thing to get to know. It would be very boring if you were sure that it would work every time. I am a big fan of how Hot Chip go about things. It always feels good and super relaxed. I definitely learnt something from these guys in their approach, including how to make an espresso martini.

Who would be your dream collaborator? 

I wouldn’t mind having a bash with Vybz Kartel

Have you got a favourite piece of studio gear?

Recently I’ve been going nuts for the DX7. It’s changed my world a bit.

What do you enjoy more – live gigs or working in the studio?

I enjoy both knowing that the other one is around the corner somewhere. I definitely like to mix it up.

What does the future have in store?

I’m working on lots of new music and planning my first show in London collaborating with some very exciting people. I’ve just learnt how to save my DX7 sounds … so who knows what’s going to happen 🙂

Who are your current favourite artists/acts?

I have been listening to Lechuga Zafiro lately.

Have you any advice for new and emerging artists?

A friend of mine told me ‘it’s just music’ and it made me happy.