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The Everlasting
French version
   BIRDPEN - On/Off/Safety/Danger (2009)

Birdpen - On/Off/Safety/Danger
 01. Breaking Precedent
02. Airspace
03. Off
04. Machines Live Like Ordinary People
05. Man on Fire
06. The Ghost Bird
07. Admiral Red
08. Slow
09. The Birds and the Antennas
10. Thorns
11. Cold Blood

BirdPen is a british band composed of Mike Bird, Dave Pen and James Livingstone Seagull.
BirdPen have recorded and self released 3 EP’s and one 7” record which have all received great reviews throughout the UK and Europe and gained radio play all around the world. They released this year their full debut album On/Off/Safety/Danger.
BirdPen are also involved in other projects, including writing with brilliant London based band Archive.

Interview with Dave Pen singer and guitarist of BirdPen :

Dave Pen

S: When and how was Birdpen born? 

D: BirdPen was born in 2003. We were actually making videos and live images for other bands and we went under this name BirdPen…

S: Where is the name of the band coming from? 

D: The name comes from nicknames that we had. Dave was called Penster hence Pen and Mike was called Manglebird hence Bird. We never actually thought the name would stick.

S: How and when did all begin with music? 

D: We were working together in various other bands and projects. The band we were in before BirdPen was an 8 piece full on progressive band which split up. 2 weeks after the split we had written 10 songs and had a brand new EP which we started sending out to people.

SWhat are the positive and negative sides of being a musician in UK?

D: The positives are that we are so spoilt for choice for music in the UK so there is always new music to discover which is a great thing. On the flip side of that a lot of new acts really struggle as the market is so swamped. The UK has always been great at recognising good independent music – with the crash of all the majors and the limits on what they can release regarding new material, means that the independents are more important than ever.
S: Do you feel anxious before a show?

D: Ummm sometimes a little bit but in all honestly we love it and it’s a great way for us to let go on stage and loose ourselves in what we have created…

S: What musicians or artists had an influence in your life and in your work?

D: Between us all it varies a lot…Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Faith No More, Squarepusher, Boards of Canada, Massive Attack, New Order and the whole Warp records label had a huge influence on Mike and I…

SDo you remember what was the first CD you bought?

D: Yes it was Rage against the Machine’s debut album…First album on record was Guns and Roses - Appetite for Destruction.

Rage against the Machine Guns and Roses - Appetite for Destruction    

S: Do you think the emotion is different between a song in English and in another language?

D: Only because I can understand the language and words hold a lot of meaning but I have seen bands singing in another language and been completely blown away…

S: How could you define the music of Birdpen?

D: Its DOOM GROOVE.. Like watching the end of the world with a smile on your face.
Its built on thoughts about random things. Robots, war, the corruption of our societies, love, ghosts, and Birds…It goes around and around…

S: Do you agree with Victor Hugo who said :"Melancholy is the pleasure of being sad"?

D: Yes.

S: When you write a song you follow your heart, your brain or your hand?

D: All 3 in no particular order…It depends on the mood and how it will begin.

S: What is your favourite song of Birdpen and why?

D: Only the Names Change at the moment. Its about 3 lost souls in the world and how things never change apart from the names. Its our last song in our live set and we all love performing it…

S: As musician, what is your feeling about Internet?

D: Its good and Bad. Its amazing for the outlets musicians have through media sites, but Piracy is and always will be a problem for up and coming bands that need money…Its moved the Live scene forward in a massive way which I hope will benefit new acts a lot…Exposure isn’t a problem Money is…
S: Do you think "Machines Live Like Ordinary People" ?

D: Definitely… Haven’t you seen my new 100 Inch Plasma tv – she’s all you need in a woman!!

S: I've heard you wrote something like an hundred songs for this great album and only selected 11, what have you done with the rest, did you "archive" them?

D: We didn’t write 100 songs for just this album we just spent a lot of time writing a lot of material. For a long time we wrote material rather than performing live. We built our own studio and spent 3 years being hermits. Everything we did is archived, and there’s some really great stuff, and we’ve also been writing new material for our next album.
S: Can you describe what is a typical Birdpen's day?

D: From a recording point of view, coffee, a discussion about songs writing or recording, then full steam ahead.. we work quite frantically. A good day is when we start recording at 11 am and we’ve written and demo/recorded a brand new song by 5pm.  We love working this way. Then walking home listening to the idea on my ipod ready to work on new material the next day.

S: What are your hobbies aside music?

D: All 3 of us are obsessed with the HBO tv network. And I like reading, cooking and hanging out with our friends and loved ones.

S: Are you venturesome persons?

D: Yeah James Livingstone Seagull and I climbed the north face of Ben Nevis in Scotland in April. A few years back Mike Bird and I climbed the Dragon in Switzerland. We like adventures…

S: Where would you like to play in the future, is there a place in the world you would love to visit?

D: The Cabaret Metro in Chicago, I don’t know if it’s still there, but I’ve always wanted to play there. When that day comes, I’ll choose somewhere else.

S: Are there any things, which you are afraid of? Do you have any fears?

D: Spiders.

S: What is the best moment and best place to listen to your music?

D: I only ever listen to my music when I’m working on it. Once BirdPen material is mixed and mastered I very rarely listen to it. I only listen to new BirdPen material that I’m working on.

S: As our website is related with Manic Street Preachers maybe can you say some words about them?

D: One of my first 12 inch records was Motorcycle Emptiness on limited edition picture disc, I played it relentlessly and I still absolutely love this song. It is one of the coolest songs ever.

S: I know it’s a difficult question, but if you would have to keep just one album from your CD collection what album would it be?

D: On/Off/Safety/Danger as I never seem to be able to keep a copy of the album – I always give it away. I would rarely listen to it, and would give it to the other last person left on earth.

Birdpen - On/Off/Safety/Danger 

S: What was the last song you listened to before the interview? And, if you know, which one will be the next?

D: Across the Universe by the Beatles as I’m also in a musical collective called Archive, and we covered it on French Virgin radio in Paris. The next will be Falling by Angelo Badalamenti as I’m currently watching the whole of the David Lynch series, Twin Peaks.

S: Can you tell us the name of one French song, or singer, or band?

D: Phoenix. I quite like the track 1901.

S: And say something in French?

D: Merde.

S: What are your plans for the nearest future?

D: 5 week tour of Europe supporting Archive – I’ll be doing two gigs a night.. Rock on..

SAnd finally, what’s the most important thing in life for you?

D: Health, love and honesty.

MANY thanks to Dave and Birdpen for the interview!

More informations about Birdpen:

- on their site:

- on their Myspace:




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