Savage Pack returns to Kingston

Juno-nominated bookworms let their love for literature influence their latest release ‘Do Not Engage’

The duo has worked with Detroit producer Jim Diamond.
The duo has worked with Detroit producer Jim Diamond.
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Literature’s influence is prominent in the music of duo The Pack A.D.

Drummer Maya Miller quickly brings up her favourite authors when asked about the artists who inspire her.

“Books shape a lot of things for me … they definitely influence the lyrics that I write and I know they do for [bandmate] Becky [Black] as well, she’s a bit of a reader too so I think they definitely play a big part,” Miller said.

For Miller and singer-guitarist Black, a lot of their songwriting has been influenced by authors such as Raymond Chandler and George Orwell.

The pair read consistently while on tour and in studio. During the second half of recording 2014’s Do Not Engage, Miller was immersed in a Stephen King novel.

About half the songs on that album are heavily influence by literature, including “Creepin’ Jenny”, “The Flight” and “Animals.”

Having recently signed with a bigger label, Nettwerk Records, Miller said the Vancouver-based band’s sound hasn’t changed in the slightest.

“We really can’t do anything but be ourselves,” she said.

The band has been known for their combination of punk, rock, garage and blues sounds.

Critics have compared the duo to Jack White and his various projects, but that connection seems almost too easy to jump to — both groups recorded with Detroit producer Jim Diamond.

Miller and Black met through mutual friends and formed the band in 2006.

Since 2008, they have put out five albums including Unpersons, which earned a 2011 Juno nomination for Best Breakthrough Group of the Year.

The word “unpersons” comes from Orwell, and one of the songs, “Positronic”, comes from author Isaac Asimov.

As much as the group is influenced by what they read, they have no interest in sounding like their musical influences.

The group is extremely passionate about getting the chance to make and play original music.

“You really just focus on making music that works and makes you happy,” Miller said.

The Pack A.D. have toured all over North America. Miller said it gives them a sense of always moving forward, despite doing similar things each day.

“You’re driving and playing a show but you know you’re going to a new place all the time, so it feels like you’re accomplishing something just by moving forward to the next city,” Miller said.

Their last visit to Kingston had them played at The Mansion. Miller said it was an interesting place to play and recalled dragging their amps up a number of stairs.

This time, The Pack A.D. is bringing their loud, fun punk rock to the Grad Club — a single floor venue.

The duo has been known for playing fast and high-energy shows. They said they hope that the Grad Club audience will have fun, dance around, get sweaty and rock out.

“I’m glad that we’re getting the opportunity to [play to a university crowd],” Miller said. “It seems like it’s the place where we should be playing so I’m pretty stoked.”

The Pack A.D. play the Grad Club March 22 with Pkew Pkew Pkew.

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