Life of Pi

Life of Pi is named after the novel of the same name.

Handout photo

Life of Pi is named after the novel of the same name.

Pi life: Stephen Hammill, vocals and guitar; Alastair St. Hill, vocals and guitar; Mark Bustin, bass; Kevin Pytlak and Cristian Ripoll, drums.

Recordings: Sunrise with Seamonsters, 2003; Pyrrhic Victory, 2005; and a new full-length, Genuine Fake, is due out soon.

A variety of morsels: Life of Pi serves up a flavor for every occasion. Songs go from light and ambient to heavy and richly textured.

All-star band: Since forming in Tampa in 2003, the band's lineup has changed considerably. Hammill is the sole original member, and his bandmates have earned prestige in other local acts — Bustin in Pagan Saints and Vera Violets, St. Hill in Incredible Crisis, Ripoll in the Semis and Pytlak in Dumbwaiters. Hammill says they mesh well, and there are no conflicts of ego. He answered a few questions about the band.

Two drummers? Just for now. "Cristian just had a baby, well, his girlfriend did. He's a little tied up with that, so we recruited Kevin to fill in for the next couple of shows, and he's been super cool. But we love Cristian — member for life."

Why Life of Pi? "It's a long story, but essentially we named the band after a song I wrote which was inspired by the book (of the same name). I was working at a local bookstore at the time and had read the advance copy of it. I never expected it to do so well, but I'm glad it did. I got to meet (author) Yann Martel at one point and tell him about the band. He was pretty excited."

The new album: "The sessions began last year, with a different lineup, so the process has involved reworking some of those songs and recording some new ones. I'm happy to say the album is finished: 10 songs. As for a CD release, we've considered latching on to a small label for this one, as opposed to releasing it ourselves, which is what we did with the first two. We'll see how that pans out."

Mood-making: "Sad songs have always meant more to me than typically happy ones. I guess you could say I like to explore the darker edges of seemingly mundane and ordinary things, and the happier aspects of typically sad things."

A tune called Eat a Rainbow? "Yeah. Alastair wrote that and another one (This Time) for Genuine Fake. I think it's important to have another songwriting voice in the band, and he's a really good singer. Anecdote: I actually recruited Alastair after seeing him perform at an open-mic night in St. Petersburg. He did a They Might Be Giants cover. I thought I was the only person in town who would do that sort of thing. I had him on my radar from that point forward. I don't think he knows that story."

If they could play a celebrity's private party: "David Bowie's 65th birthday party."

Hear 'em: 10 p.m. Friday at New World Brewery in Ybor City. They play first, before Soft Targets and Mirror Pal. $6. myspace.com/lifeofpi.

Life of Pi 08/28/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 2:24pm]

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