Q&A w/Tucker Riggleman and Paul Cogle of Bishops
It’s always cool to see new bands form, ‘specially when they’re made up of cool dudes we’ve talked to in the past. Such is the case with Bishops, which grew out of Tucker Riggleman (The Demon Beat/Prison Book Club) recording some solo stuff with Paul Cogle (Nagato/Vox Populi).
Fast forward a few months, and after adding drummer Andrew Ford and pulling guitarist Adam Meisterhans (The Demon Beat/PBC/Rozwell Kid) in, Bishops is releasing a full-length in July and heading out on tour. We caught up with Riggleman and Cogle to learn more and talk about some rock songs…
WVRockscene: The first Bishops full band show was June 10? How did that go?
Paul Cogle: The first band show went great! Loved playing the “Ice Breaker” in front of all our friends.
Tucker Riggleman: It was definitely a lot of fun. Everyone was real attentive and had nice things to say. It’s only gonna get better from here.
rockscene: You’re set to release the full-length real soon right?
Cogle: Yes, it’s recorded and we are in the mixing stage. It’s got a sound all it’s own – Trashy Garage Rock, Dream POP/Shoe Gaze and just down right Rock at times.
Riggleman: Yup, and it’s sounding way bigger than I ever expected. Everyone really brought their best. It definitely doesn’t really sound like anything else I’ve ever done. People keep asking me ‘What kind of band is Bishops?’ and I never have an answer. We have some songs that are pulled back and soaked in reverb, and that might be followed by a raved up, almost punk sounding song. It covers a lot of ground, but somehow still makes sense that it’s coming from the same band.
rockscene: Tucker you’d previously done solo stuff, still write in PBC, but played the MACRoCk solo Bishops set, how & when did this collaboration with Paul come about out of your own writing? Did you two say ‘Let’s start a band!’ at any point?
Cogle: I’ve been bugging Tucker for a few years about doing some recordings for either PBC or the Demon Beat and schedules had never worked, out but last fall we talked (about a side project) he’d like to record and wanted to know if I’d be involved. I jumped at the chance. It’s been a really good time!
Riggleman: I’ve been writing songs pretty frequently since I was about 16 years old. Once I got to college I had the opportunity to do some solo shows and travel around a bit with that, but I was never really satisfied with the representation of the songs. Everything I write has more of a “full-band” feel to it in my head. Paul is a great guy and is very active in the West Virginia music scene.
I was finally able to find the time to go check out his studio in Falling Waters in early 2012 and cut some acoustic demos of a bunch of songs I had recently written. Once we got Andrew in there and plugged in the amps it all just felt pretty perfect. I was finally hearing the songs the way I had heard them in my head all of those years.
rockscene: Paul I thought I’d seen a Nagato show mentioned online not too long ago, what’s it like being in a band like Bishops with Tucker, something so different than Nagato?
Cogle: I’m a real music junky and love playing as many styles and with as many different people as possible (this is how I grow). Bishops and Nagato are so far apart but still, all a part of me.
rockscene: Paul, what’s up with Nagato, you gonna do another EP or anything? Still playing shows obviously right?
Cogle: Yep, still playing shows and getting ready to record a full length. Been a lot of challenges in “Nagatoland” but all is well. Greg Ball (also in Hovel) now lives back in Morgantown so there are a few schedule challenges but we do get together every few months.
rockscene: Tucker not to get too personal or specific but just looking at stuff you’d said on Facebook about life sucking in general, and then you have the lyrics on “I Wanna Marry Rock and Roll,” -- “Everything sucks don't you think I know/Tomorrow's gonna suck, just let it go.” But now the obvious question how cathartic is it now to have this band for you?
Riggleman: It is very cathartic. I think everyone needs that outlet. The Demon Beat’s songs are written by Adam, and PBC’s almost entirely by John, so it’s definitely nice to be able to cut loose and get some shit off of my chest. I think the entire act of writing, recording, and performing music is insanely therapeutic, and it always seems to help me out when I’m down.
I think as I get older I just realize that a lot of the negative or shitty things that happen around me are out of my control, so if I can try to remember to just sit back, let it go, and play some music with my friends it will make this whole “growing up” thing at least a bit easier.
rockscene: Is Meisterhans supposed to be in the band now?
Cogle: He started out as a fan, then a utility player but I think he needed to be in the band after what he brought to the recordings. Adam is great! Like cream, he rises to the top. Can’t wait for you all to hear the songs!
Riggleman: Yeah, we recorded one of the early practices we had with just a room mic and let Adam check it out so he could add some parts to the recording, but the parts ended up being so good and his enthusiasm about playing was awesome, so he’s going to start playing live with us as well.
rockscene: Where did you guys record at? And given each of your own respective amounts of recording how did it go for Bishops?
Cogle: We recorded at my house. Tucker, Andrew Ford (PBC) and myself. The energy was really good and we knocked-out the main tracks in an afternoon. All first takes! Was a pure joy to record. Adam came in a few days later and did his cuts. It’s all been really good. Lots of good performances captured to tape.
Riggleman: Paul has a great studio with amazing gear that he built from the ground up. That’s where we practice too, so it was a very comfortable environment to track in. I’ll admit, it being a brand new band I was a bit nervous about how the tracking would go, but I’ll be damned if we didn’t do 10 songs in one take each for the basic live tracking. Andrew and Paul are such professionals, and I’m really lucky that they let me add my sloppy playing style overtop of their locked in rhythms.
rockscene: You’re going out on tour with New God in July, how much are you looking forward to that?
Cogle: It’s gonna be a great time – totally looking forward to it!
Riggleman: I’m very excited about this, especially because Kenny (from New God/The Christmas Lights) and I grew up playing shows together in our very first bands, so it’s really come full circle for us. He’s an amazing musician, and New God is going to turn some heads. Check out their record “Motorcar” if you haven't already.
rockscene: Tucker maybe a side issue but you started Big Bullet Booking recently, what made you wanna do that and how’s it gone so far?
Riggleman: That is really just an attempt for me to take my years of booking experience to the next level. To kind of get my foot in the door. It’s been going pretty well. This tour actually started as Kenny from New God approaching me about booking a tour for them, and then I was like, ‘Well I’ve got this new band and we’d love to play some of the shows with you,” and he was all about it. I also have recently helped booked some stuff for my friend JKutchma from Durham, North Carolina.
rockscene: You’ve each been in and still are in multiple bands. How exciting is it to be in this band right now?
Cogle: The hardest part is scheduling. All the bands (we are in) are with our friends and time has to be shared with all our music endeavors but that said, I’m totally excited about Bishops and the future!
Riggleman: It’s very exciting. Like I said, it’s been years in the making for me to finally have an outlet for my songs the way I’ve always wanted them to be heard. That being said, it’s still just as important to me to go out and be super loud with The Demon Beat, or rock out with PBC. Each has its place in my life and are equally cathartic in different ways for me. I think we’re all pretty lucky to be involved in so many different projects. It’s hard for some people to find one band that they like to play in.
Bishops art: Jordan Hudkins
Sample mix of “Get Down” from Bishops soon-to-be-released debut record
Video(s) courtesy Bucket of Rock Blog
Bishops: “Shit Happens” 6.15 @ Church St. Pub
Posted by WVRockscene!