interview by Lisa Gamble
from Vol. 1 No. 5 (1999)
One fine weekday afternoon I met Natasha and Isabelle of Pigeon Hole at the McGill campus, so we could talk about musical whatevers. The hot dog vender was dogging his hots and children danced on the horizon singing songs of bloody Halloween. Where was Scott the drummer? Right…the sun tricked us into believing it was warm outside so we sat on the grass until our bums fell numb.
Lisa: So okay…did you initially realize that your name Pigeon Hole is an office organizational item?
(Isabelle and Natasha, laughing): No!!!
Natasha: Like a cubby hole?
L: Sort of.
N: Hey! Put that in my Pigeon Hole!
L: It’s this big. There are many little holes, each person in the office claims a hole for their own, and it’s used to receive notes and messages.
N: Are you serious?
L: I guess it’s not very popular anymore. Everyone has e-mail.
Isabelle: We had a different idea.
N: Yeah, we meant Pigeon Hole in the sense that is sort of a niche… where I guess you feel in your element.
I: Comfort. Happiness.
N: So whatever, but I guess it makes sense, if you know what I mean…like this is our Pigeon Hole
L: Your little message hole…
L: I’m sure there are many things referred to as a Pigeon Hole through. I think it’s a multi…
N: interpretational thing.
I: You make it what you want it to be.
L: Do you guys go to school?
I: I hang out at the library (laughs)
N: Oh I so promised you…I should have taken you to the anatomy lab.
N: I dissect cadavers at school. It’s really FUN, except for the pubic section.
L: You dissected a…
I: Ohhhhh, you have to dissect the pubic section?
N: Those are really not fun, It’s like…
I: YOU HAD to dissect the pubic section?
N: Yeah, we get the full bottom, like from here to here (points to her abdomen to her thigh.)
I: Oh man.
N: It’s just nasty, and if they’re fat, it drips like crazy…
L: oh oh oh oh oh (totally disgusted, everyone laughs.)
N: Sorry, sorry.
L: No no, it’s all good. So why do you dissect cadavers? What is it exactly you’re studying again?
N: Uh, well, that was for an anatomy course I took, but I’m in physiology, so it’s like anatomy but you learn what all the stuff does…
L: What do you want to be when you grow up?
I: I hate this question!
L: Okay. What did you want to be ‘when you grow up’ when you were five?
N: I used to cut open my Cabbage Patch Kid.
I: I wanted to be a pilot. I wanted to fly planes for the longest time, and I even wanted to go to military college because that was the only way I could really afford becoming a pilot. But that didn’t work ‘cause my eyes are fucked up. …and so yeah, I don’t know, I love to do music.
L: (to Nat) What did you want to be?
N: I wanted to be a doctor…
L: Do you still have this ambition or….
N: Not so much, not so much… I think my two big dreams, which is either medicine or music… they’re both very far off.
L: How did you meet? How did this music ever start?
N: I spilled peach juice on Isabelle.
I: That’s right, the very first day we met.
N: We met in our high school cafeteria, in grade seven. And then Isabelle sang at a little high school talent show. She sang…
I&N: BARBARA STREISAND!
N: She made me cry because she sounded so cute, and it was like ooooh. It was really pretty, she had a soft tiny but fluid voice and she made me cry.
I: BUT RIGHT!(sarcastic) It was nasal, that’s all. It was, it was na… ha ha ha! I was a little one with a tiny body. I didn’t even have a diaphragm.
N: What are we even talking about? I think you had a diaphragm. (laughing)
L: Then what?
N: Then, the next time we were in the caf, I said, “Hey I play piano, there’s a little talent show thing coming up, why don’t we get together.”
N: And we did, and we learned ‘It must’ve been love’ by Roxette. (pause. Everyone thinks about this and laughs)
N: We were 13. We were so not cool.
N: Yeah, and whatever, the next year… um, that summer I said, ‘That’s it! I’m learning how to play guitar.’ And I bought myself an electric guitar.
L: What kind of guitar?