Daniel Pitout, guitarist, singer and songwriter of Vancouver grunge-pop group Eating Out, had a headache scheduling recording time for their single, Burn. “All the members that play on that record have more serious bands,” he admits, “and we’ve never had a solid practice space. We just kind of wing it.” This could explain why, despite playing for four years, they have yet to release a full album. However they have re-released a much anticipated album from a 150-pressed limited cassette release with Burger Records vinyl and accompanied its A-side single with a great music video.
The record brings a noticeable increase to the fidelity, but still captures a low-fi and grungey spontaneity. “Those recordings were from a while ago and I definitely had no money,” Pitout explains. “They’re all recorded live off the floor, which always sounds better.” Yet what Eating Out may lack in the sense of being a formally driven band, they make up in value as Pitout’s personal therapy. “I put a lot of effort in to the songs and music videos of Eating Out, but it’s because I enjoy doing that,” he relates, “but it seems to have done well even though I have never attempted to push Eating Out. All these crazy things keep happening to those bands.”
Eating Out’s EP also showcases Pitout’s personal tastes, rather than the amalgamated material of a Vancouver “weird punk” supergroup. Being manned by members of Peace (Geoff Dembicki), White Lung (Mish Way, bassist), and Nü Sensae (Brody McKnight, guitar), Pitout is still more keen to draw inspiration from personal favorites such as the Pixies and Hole. “I get to have full input in Eating Out,” Pitout states. “I listen to a lot of Breeders, Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins and stuff like that.”
Burn was recorded with both longtime friend and touring partner Jesse Taylor, whose label Nite Prison brings all these acts full circle. Nite Prison’s home in the Secret Location was Pitout’s first jam space with his short-lived first band Maggy Gutwrath in 2006. “The Secret Location was my first insight in to anything Vancouver music-related,” Pitout explains. “It was next door to the Emergency Room at the time and that whole alley was just a whole bunch of bands.”
Contrasting an expectation for modern bands to tour relentlessly, the worst thing about being a “supergroup” is not actually having the time to perform their material. That’s why Eating Out is focusing on releasing a full-length album later this year, along with three possible new music videos. “The one song is ‘Burn,’ which is the video that we just did” Pitout mentions, “and then there’s a sequel to that video for a song called ‘That’s My Man’ on the B-side.” They’ve also teamed up with Dazed and Confused magazine to release a video to “Grandpa.” “That was shot on Super 8 at a strip club,” reveals Pitout. “The person directing it was Tyler, a really good friend of mine. It was also cool because the video has Crystal Lai, Canada’s top pole dancer in it.”
Their new single can be found locally in independent Vancouver and Seattle record shops, or online through Suicide Squeeze and their Bandcamp page. They’re releasing their next music video this year but probably not playing any shows locally. Pitout doesn’t discredit the possibility, “Nü Sensae has definitely played with weirder bands than Eating Out,” he assures. But rocking out to a new record at home is the next best thing to paying cover, after all.
Eating Out’s new 7” Burn is now available via Suicide Squeeze.
By Mathieu Youdan