Interview: Confusion of Pigeons & Planes Music Blog

There are tons of music blogs around the Internet these days, and it is hard to really find a solid audience. I know first hand as I created one at a time where tons of music blogs already existed. Yet, one blog that was an inspiration for my decision to create one has found a huge following. Many of you may check out Pigeons & Planes, and if you don't you probably should. Although the site has a big focus on hip hop and indie, it's the writing and passion that makes you feel like you are having a conversation with the team. I wanted to interview Confusion, the creator, owner, and writer of P&P.

You go by Confusion, why that name and if it's not too big of a secret what's your real name?
I liked the idea of being anonymous, so I didn't want to use my real name when I started blogging. Confusion has been a nickname for a while. The idea came from "con" meaning "with" in Spanish and "fusion" meaning bringing things together. I've always liked a really wide variety of things, so one of my goals was to bring those things together with this blog. It also leads me to be pretty confused a lot of the times, since I don't really fit in anywhere. So, Confusion.

That's the basic idea. I was in high school and fucking stoned when I came up with it. My real name is Jacob.

When and where did the idea hit you to create a music blog?
It was at the end of 2008. I was in Florida, wondering what the fuck I was going to do with my life. I had just graduated with a degree in finance, but after looking at some jobs I quickly started to realize that I was going to be terribly unhappy working at a finance job. I had no intentions of turning this music blog into anything more than an outlet, but I guess I just felt like I needed to get involved in something I was passionate about, because at the time I wasn't doing that.

Where did the name Pigeons and Planes come from?
It was a spur of the moment thing, but it's taken on a lot of meaning. Basically, I wanted to think of two things that had something in common, but were also completely opposite in most other ways. I knew I wanted to post mainstream hip-hop, but I also wanted to post obscure indie stuff, so I wanted the name to symbolize that. Pigeons represent the indie artists, mostly ignored and struggling to get by, and planes represent the major label artists, backed by big corporations with deep pockets. Different in so many ways, but both take flight. I've always felt a stronger connection to the pigeons. Over the years, it's come to mean so much to me that I could go on forever about it, but that's the summary. Pigeons & Planes. 

Out of the genres you typically post, what would be your favorite?
That changes with the day. I'm the type of person that makes playlists for myself that jump from Youth Lagoon to ASAP Rocky to Bon Iver to Michael Jackson. I don't have a favorite genre.

What would be the coolest moment you have had with your site since its inception?
Good question. I don't think I really take advantage of everything I should. I'm pretty introverted so I'm not out every night networking and getting backstage passes and shit, but I have had some really cool moments. I guess one of them would be when P&P had a show in Brooklyn. We only did it once, but we brought together E-Dubble, Carlos St. John, Gorilla Warfare Tactics, and Frank Ramz & Shortman Score for a night. It was just cool to see this Internet blog thing translate into some real life shit.

The other one would have to be getting a job with Complex. That's like one of the few big sites that's running shit that I always looked up to, and to go into the offices and have people like Noah, the editor in chief over there, actually be familiar with P&P and talk about it blew my mind. Plus, now I don't have to wear a tie to work every day. Shout out to Complex.

Being able to sit down and just share something that I love--that's my favorite part.

I'm a bigger reader of your blog, actually one of my inspirations to start my own. I've noticed your love, slightly creepy (kidding...maybe) obsession with Lykke Li. How'd that develop?
Hahahah, ummmm. I really liked Lykke Li's debut album Youth Novels. That's how I got into her. Then I saw her at Lollapalooza a couple years back. I'm pretty sure we made eye contact. I had a girlfriend at the time, but that's the point when I knew it wasn't going to work out. My heart had moved on. Ever since then, I've been trying to combine animal parts and pieces of machinery to recreate a life-size Lykke Li doll. So far, it's just a bloody, reeking, hairy mess stuffed in my closet, but I feel like once it's complete we're going to develop a really great relationship that should be a nice substitute until Lykke actually agrees to date me. (Lykke - I know you get my daily emails. Call me.)

What are your favorite aspects about music blogging?
I've always seen it as a creative process. It can definitely turn into a daily grind, but my favorite part is when I have something I really want to talk about. Being able to sit down and just share something that I love--that's my favorite part. Like, late last night I really wanted to write about Elliott Smith, so at 2:45 in the morning I posted about the song "2:45 AM" and just wrote about Elliott. It's the kind of thing that won't bring in tons of page views or whatever, but it's probably the most enjoyable thing.

Where would you like to take the site in the future?
We've got a big redesign coming, so I'm really excited about that. One of the main things that we're going to focus on in the future is longer features. I don't want every post to be like, "here's a song" or "here's a video." We're going to branch out more and start doing long-form articles, hopefully work directly with artists for more features like this one, and just continue to seek out creative ways to cover things instead of just doing the same shit every other blog out there is doing.

Any advice for the would be music bloggers interested in starting their own?
There are so many blogs out there. It's almost like being a rapper. These days, anyone can rap, and that's cool, but it also makes it a lot harder to stand out. The same goes for blogging. I guess my advice would be just to find a way to stand out. Whatever it is, you need to find some way to be different and unique, and to provide something new that isn't already out there. It might be your voice, it might be your unique taste, or it might be some cool feature that nobody else has. Over the years I've seen so many blogs come and go, and I think people look at another blog and think, "oh, I can do that," but they don't realize how much work goes into it and how long it takes to see any results. If you're gonna start a blog, expect to go months putting in work that nobody will ever see. If you're okay with that, you're on your way.

I always say it, but if any new bloggers are reading, feel free to hit me up if you have questions. I would have never been able to get P&P off the ground without help from other bloggers, so I'm always willing to do what I can to help others.

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