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5 Questions with Tucker Riggleman

Courtesy photo
Bishops is Tucker Riggleman, Ben Proudman and Paul Cogle. Proudman will miss the band's show Friday in Charleston and instead Jordan Hudkins of Rozwell Kid (and formerly Demon Beat with Riggleman) will sit in.

WANT TO GO?

Bishops, Rozwell Kid and Foz Rotten and his Dirty Scoundrels

WHERE: Sam's Uptown Cafe, 28 Capitol St.

WHEN: 10 p.m., Friday

COST: $6 INFO: 304-346-6222 or www.samsuptowncafewv.com

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Having spent time as bassist in the Shepherdstown-based garage rock trio The Demon Beat (now on indefinite hiatus) and as a singer/guitarist in Prison Book Club, Tucker Riggleman, over the past year or so, has taken his solo material and turned it into Bishops, a full band with area music scene veteran and producer Paul Cogle.

The band has an eponymous full-length debut and an EP ("Feel Alive") under its belt and is preparing to record a new full-length album. It performs Friday at Sam's Uptown Cafe in Charleston and Saturday at the Huntington Music and Arts Festival after party at The V-Club.

Riggleman spoke with the gazz about Bishops, how it came about, how it's changed and how his friends helped him get where he is.

Q: How did the songs you had blossom into Bishops when you went to record with Paul Cogle at his studio in Falling Waters?

A: Paul is one of the best motivators I've ever met. He really wanted The Demon Beat to come out to his studio and record some demos, but we were always too busy. Once we finally got a little bit of downtime, I contacted Paul about recording some songs that I had lying around.

I had become frustrated with playing solo acoustic shows because in my head these songs were fully fleshed out rock songs. I just never had the time or resources to make a band out of it. Paul really encouraged me to pursue that, and the songs from those initial acoustic demos ended up being the debut Bishops record.

Q: How much does being able to record your own stuff at your own pace help?

A: I think it's incredibly important to have access to some sort of local studio or DIY recording situation. The Demon Beat did the whole "make a record in NYC" thing, and I'm glad we did it. It turned out pretty good, but in the end, having only a short time to make a record exactly the way you want is not conducive to getting the best result, in my opinion. It's nice to know that if you don't like a certain vocal take that it's not that hard to go back and redo it.

Q: How has being friends and playing music with guys like John R. Miller (Prison Book Club) and Adam Meisterhans (The Demon Beat) influenced and/or encouraged you?

A: It's really easy to be influenced by your friends when they are as talented as those guys. I wouldn't say influenced in a direct style or anything, but the fact that my friends are consistently writing and recording awesome things really pushes me to try and step my game up.

I think we all do that for each other, and in that way we all have grown as musicians over the years. I think that's great about what we had in The Demon Beat, too, in that we always played on each other's individual projects as well and continue to be supportive of each other that way.

Q: From demos to full-band recordings, how much, if anything, has changed as it relates to writing/recording since Bishops debut?

A: I think the obvious answer is simply that I'm older now. A lot can happen over the course of almost two years, and I think life has kinda forced me to grow up a lot over that stretch of time. As far as writing goes, I think I would now define myself as a songwriter more than anything, whereas maybe in the past I would have considered myself a bass player or whatever.

I think my confidence in writing and playing has grown since the beginning of Bishops, and again Paul and my friends have a large part to do with that.

Q: "Silver Lining," one of the new demos, seems indicative of your thoughts on making a band or relationship work. How excited are you about not only that song but also about having Bishops active in 2013?

A: It's funny because it's really one of the first "happy" songs I've written in a while, and I really like it for that reason. I also think it's one of the stronger overall songs I've written, and Paul and [drummer] Jordan [Hudkins'] contributions are huge on the performance. It's pretty easy to get bummed when life, relationships, etcetera keep kicking you while you're down, but trying to keep your eye on the prize is important, and that has definitely helped me out lately.

I am incredibly excited about this new record. I think it is going to be the most representative Bishops release to date, and I'm pumped to get it out there and keep playing shows. @tag:Reach Nick Harrah at wvrockscene@gmail.com.

 


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