WORDS: JO COSGROVE
The 2010s was an exciting decade in the world of Dinosaur Pile-Up: they began it with their debut album, ‘Growing Pains‘ and ended it with their most recent album, ‘Celebrity Mansions‘. 2019 itself was a great year for the band, and for each member for their own reasons inside and out of the music world. Frontman Matt Bigland has commented on how 2019 was “a really big year” for them all.
“It’s just been a super good year,” he said. “The turnout for our headline tour was fucking nuts…the shows were sold out, then our US headliner run and the Canada tour.”
If anyone needs to know anything about Dinosaur Pile-Up, it’s that the band love playing live and travelling around the world. The band have always considered themselves “ambitious” and it shows as they dare not to stay within the confines of the United Kingdom. They always challenge themselves to go further, play louder, and do what they can to achieve their dreams.
“Touring around America was such a big thing for us. It was a big deal.” Bigland wasn’t holding back on how driven the entire group are: “We don’t want to just be a band that does well in the UK, we want to grow globally. I want a lot of people to hear our songs, not just some people, and I think that’s about getting around the world.”
“We don’t want to just be a band that does well in the UK, we want to grow globally.”
Of course, there is still the financial risk of it for the guys, and they are always honest and transparent about the effort it takes to keep the international travel up – especially as a small act from Leeds. “At our level, it’s really difficult to make that happen and you have to put an insane amount of physical work into flying out somewhere and driving across America.”
“It takes a lot to do that, but we all want to do that. If we get the opportunity, we’re gonna take it. We gotta make that happen.” The determination is inspirational!
It already seems that the band have achieved more within the last few years than many have within decades of work. But there is never any satisfaction in the Dinosaur Pile-Up world… “There are a lot of things we still haven’t achieved, so we’re still striving to achieve them. We’ve achieved a lot, but we still want to achieve more.”
But as time goes by, and as band members grow and mature and their minds and thoughts change, so do their goals and their dreams. It’s only nature, and the guys know this to be the case: “A lot of the goals and dreams we have are not the same as they were.”
“We always wanted to be a band, and that’s because we wanted to connect with a lot of people via music.” There was pride in Bigland’s voice. “I just wanna play for a lot of people, and for them to connect with what we’re doing.”
“I don’t think that it’s a matter of we’d be bad people if we didn’t play heavy music…”
So throughout what Bigland labels a “long and interesting” journey together, there have been many big changes. One of the most recent is the band’s signing to Parlophone, one of the biggest record labels in the UK and the label they released ‘Celebrity Mansions‘ through. As everything becomes bigger and better, will the band ever change themselves or change their traditions? Simply put: no. “A lot of people have the misconception that when you sign to a major label, everything changes…not a lot has changed.”
Bigland continued, “We still tour with the same sized crew…Me, Mike and Jim, our tour manager and our sound man. It’s the five of us doing everything.”
“It’s still exactly the same. We just wanna grow what we’re doing. It doesn’t mean everything we do would have to change.”
So the guys aren’t the biggest fans of change, and that’s perfectly fine! They seem to know what they’re doing and they’re definitely succeeding within their local scene, as well as internationally. Since their formation in 2007, they’ve been a band to just keep doing what they’re doing because they’re doing it so well and it’s a system that works with them – even thirteen years down the line. Stating that “perseverance is a really important character trait”, they aim towards leaving behind a legacy for the future generations to explore.
“I would fucking love to write timeless songs for people to listen to.”
“I would fucking love to write timeless songs for people to listen to,” is one of Bigland’s personal aim for his legacy. “Whether it’s pop songs, rock songs, heavy metal songs…anything.”
As 2020 begins and a new era is underway for Dinosaur Pile-Up, it prepares them for what they want to achieve by the time 2030 rolls around. So what does Bigland want to see by 2030? “I would love it if we were way bigger, playing to a lot more people, and all those people if they come to our show, they’re like “I know it’ll be a fucking killer show because they’re a killer live band”.”
As time continues to pass and the guys keep writing songs and recording albums, here’s hoping they rise higher and reach the stars. 2020, here they come!