2nd Grade – Hit to Hit (Q&A)

Get Alternative writes: Sincerity and sarcasm are the central tenets of 2nd Grade’s music. It’s full of  tenderness and wit that can only come from musicians who love playing together and respect what they’re doing. They’re a super-group of sorts, composed of members of bands like Remember Sports, Friendship, and A Million Dollars. Their new record, Hit to Hit, is a collection of 24 songs that run on the shorter side, usually between one or two minutes. This works to their benefit, though, as each track feels like a sweet burst of fizzy indie pop.

SweetSweetMusicblog spoke to Peter Gill about Hit to Hit, Stephin Merritt, Styx and Pitchfork.

What was the moment you knew you were on to something?

I was sitting in a nightclub on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, writing lyrics onto a cocktail napkin while getting blasted with techno music from the house speakers. I looked up from my work, and saw that Stephin Merritt was sitting next to me copying my lyrics onto his own cocktail napkin!

What’s the gig you will always remember? And why?

I saw Styx somewhere on Cape Cod when I was a kid. The thing I remember most is that before the show my Uncle Paul taught me a great line which goes “you paid for the whole seat… but you’ll only need the edge!”

When was the last time you thought ‘I just wrote a hit!’?

Last year I was competing in a regional songwriting contest against other songwriters from the tri-state area. My best event is typically 15’s, a category where you have only 15 minutes to write a full song. Anyways, I came up with this great glam-rock tune called “My Baby’s Been Radicalized” in that day’s 15’s, beating out some Win Butler wannabe from Delaware, and as a prize, they now play my song every day on ABC Channel 6’s weather report.

Recording music. What’s all the fun about?

For me, the best part of recording is the certainty that the final product will be designated Best New Music by Pitchfork.

You can’t control the way people ‘hear’ your music. But if you could make them aware of certain aspects, you think, set your songs apart. What would they be?

I know that some people tend to think of these songs as being “simple.” I would like those people to be aware that I fooled them!  

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