Morgantown's False Pterodactyl hits Empty Glass
Listen to False Pterodactyl's Nov. 30 set opening for Karma to Burn at Morgantown's 123 Pleasant Street here.
WANT TO GO?
WHERE: The Empty Glass, 410 Elizabeth St.
WHEN: 10 p.m. Friday
COST: $5 before 11 p.m., $7 after
INFO: www.emptyglass.com or 304-345-3914
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The dinosaur in False Pterodactyl is fake, but the friendship between singer/guitarist John Jacob and drummer Josh Ratliff is real, dating back to their Little League days in Flatwoods. After reconnecting last summer over a jam session there, Jacob promptly quit his job and moved to Morgantown.
The duo released its "Shanghaied" EP in November and, on Friday, it plays its first show in Charleston, with InFormation, at The Empty Glass. The gazz caught up with the pair in advance of its appearance.
Q: You play bar shows and house shows. Do you have a preference?
A: John Jacob: "House shows are great. Bar shows are a lot of fun. Really, anywhere that people are listening is good.
"To be honest, one of the funnest gigs we played was for about eight people at a house party in Roane County. The vibe is relaxed, and everybody is friends. It's great. Bars are good for meeting new people; house parties are good for having times with the old ones."
Q: There is a good music scene in Morgantown. How supportive of an atmosphere is it?
A: Josh Ratliff: "Well, it's small but very supportive. There are a lot of fresh bands taking off lately, which is very cool. 123 [Pleasant Street] is definitely doing a proper job of scene-building. Plenty of local shows are going on all the time these days.
"It's neat, because a lot of the scenes have tons of overlap. People coming out to the dubstep shows are coming to the metal shows, too. It's very inclusive. Everyone here just likes having a good time and maybe a drink or three."
Q: Some bands don't release CDs anymore, choosing to put everything out digitally. You released "Shanghaied" that way in November. What are your thoughts on getting your music out in this digital age?
A: John Jacob: "I listen to a lot of music online, and that's where I think it's most important for our music to be. People go online to listen to music, so our music needs to be online.
"Other than that, we try not to put too much stock in Internet promotion and all that. It seems unlikely that you can make many meaningful connections through social-networking and online media. Those kinds of things happen in the real world, between people."
Q: You've both mentioned on Facebook how much work goes into rehearsing and recording. How seriously do you two take False Pterodactyl?
A: John Jacob: "I take this project about as seriously as I take anything in life. Following the whole wrist injury thing, I'm just stoked to be making music at all, let alone making this music" [Jacob took a few months off from playing guitar because of a repetitive-stress injury.] "I don't really have a backup plan, ha-ha."
Josh Ratliff: "Dead serious. (Laughs.) No, we're really liking the results of this collaboration, and we want to see it out. I think we're only starting to hit our stride and find our sound.
"We're definitely both kind of floored at the reaction we've gotten a couple times. We're both confident in what we're playing, so that kind of allows us to just fully commit to it when we're on stage."
John Jacob: "Yeah, this is the first band I've been in where I could just freak out on stage. I love it."
Q: Are you looking forward to playing The Empty Glass?
A: Josh Ratliff: "The Empty Glass is a great place to introduce ourselves to the town, and we're super glad those folks are having us. So many amazing acts have been there over the years."
John Jacob: "Yeah, we are really stoked to play Charleston. We're hoping this will be the first of many great shows that we play there."