Rick Maguire is on tour a lot. This is not one of those times.
As guitarist/vocalist for beloved local indie rockers Pile, he and the band—Matt Becker (guitar), Matt Connery (bass) and Kris Kuss (drums)—spend about nine weeks a year on the road. Before he can do that, though, he has to pay the bills.
“I think they are kind of tired of my shit,” says Maguire on the phone, as he walks home from work at a prominent national supermarket chain, where he’s worked for the last six years. “It’s kind of why I got it, because I knew they would let me take three weeks off at a time and I could still come back with a job.”
The arrangement has worked so far, allowing Maguire and his band to build their reputation outside Boston’s city limits after several well-received albums, the last of which, Dripping, dropped in 2012. They’ve only released one 7”, the brooding “Special Snowflakes” b/w “Mama’s Lipstick,” since then, having spent most of the meantime driving from gig to gig in their bio-diesel fueled van.
“Going on the road is a good way to hit the reset button,” says Maguire. “Most of the time I work on stuff in my room or in our practice space, so to get out of that headspace a little bit when you’ve hit a dead end is kind of nice. I also don’t write all that fast.”
As a veteran, Maguire offers a few pieces of general touring advice: keep a journal; work some nature activities in if you can; bring envelopes and stamps, because you never know (“It’s kinda cool to write a letter from someplace,” he says, before admitting “I think I’ve done a total of one time”). Most of all, keep things in perspective.
“We’ve played tiny places and weird situations, but you kind of deal with it,” he says. “None of us get sour about that kind of stuff. We get to travel around and play music for people—that’s a luxury. We’re entitled to nothing.”
Maybe not, but they didn’t return from their last trip empty-handed: Their new record was recorded in Omaha, after playing spots the way there and back, and is slated to drop in February.
“I think as soon as that record is released we are going to head out for a few months,” says Maguire. “That’s when I quit my job.”
PILE W/ SPEEDY ORTIZ + EX HEX. 1222 COMM AVE., ALLSTON. THU 10.30 9PM/18+/SOLD OUT. PILEMUSIC.COM