ATJF Interview :: Dinosaur Feathers

ATJ presents DINOSAUR FEATHERS, Friday, August 28, 2009, at After the Jump Fest ’09. This year’s 3rd annual festival is a three day extravaganza of independent music, and will take place at Brooklyn NY’s Littlefield Performance & Art Space.  Individual and weekend passes are available to purchase online here.

Listen :: Dinosaur Feathers – History Lessons

In preparation for After the Jump Fest 2009, Music Is Art asked vocalist/guitarist Greg Sullo of Dinosaur Feathers to answer our ATJF Interview questions, and below are his special replies.


Please share your earliest memory involving or creating music.

Greg: My dad would always play old records (the Beatles, the Stones, the Kinks), and my sister and I would dance around the living room like maniacs. It was awesome. I was like 3 or 4. My favorite album was the Beatles’ Second Album. I also had an Everly Brothers cassette and a Silver Beatles (Hamburg-era) cassette that I would listen to all the time. Under these influences I would make up songs, strumming my plastic Fraggle Rock guitar with 50’s rock inspired lyrics such as, “Don’t take my love away from me – don’t take my girl-uh-url,” – that one’s on video tape.

May you share about your academic background concerning music?

Greg: I started taking violin lessons when I was four, and I continued taking lessons until I was 18. Derek has taken a ton of music theory classes – he knows his stuff much better than I do.

If you had to explain your music to a stranger, how would you do so?

Greg: I would start with the obligatory, “Wow – that’s a really hard question to answer,” and look really pensive. Then I would probably say tropical indie pop. Or just pop.

What are your favorite instruments to work with and what aspects do you like most about using them?

Greg: I should probably say guitar because that’s what I “play”, but like most guitarists I would much rather be a drummer. It’s really fun to beat the heck out of drums. Also – I love playing with the drum machine we have: manipulating the sounds and coming up with new ways to think about things.

What are your inspirations?

Greg: Ha! A girl. But also the Ruby Suns and Tropicalia music and a million other things. Also – my bandmates. I spend a lot of time working out these songs with my guitar and the drum machine, then I bring the songs to them, and they breathe new life into them and come up with things I never would have thought of – that’s pretty inspiring.

On average, how long does it take for you to create a song?

Greg: I really have no idea. It may depend on how lazy or inspired I am at any given moment.

On the website Music Is Art, our mission is to show how music and art are simply connected. Which albums do you credit as having the biggest influences as far as your life and creativity are concerned?

Greg: This is a dangerous question, as I could go on forever. As I said earlier, definitely the Beatles’ Second Album. Other big ones include Arthur by the Kinks, the Stranger by Billy Joel, ’77 by the Talking Heads, Paul Simon’s self-titled album. As far as Dinosaur Feathers are concerned, Strawberry Jam by Animal Collective and Sea Lion by the Ruby Suns spurred a ton of creativity.

If you could have a drink with one musician, living or dead, who would it be and what would you like to ask them?

Greg: It seems impossible to single out any one musician from the last 60 years, so I’m going to do something really pretentious and say Antonio Vivaldi. I’d ask him about his writing process and after playing him some contemporary music, ask him what he thought. I would set up fictional hangouts for my bandmates as such: Derek with Nina Persson and Tom with Harry Nilsson.

What do you hope people take from seeing you perform live?

Greg: Sweat. From dancing and singing along.

What has been your favorite experience thus far in your career?

Greg: We had a really great practice the other day and came up with some really cool ideas for some new songs. That’s my favorite part – when you’re just discovering how wonderful a song is. Also, just meeting lots of cool musicians and playing new and interesting venues around the city. It’s cool to feel like you belong to something, but there’s no one particular experience that stands above the others.

What would your number one suggestion be for someone who wants to do what you do?

Greg: Make music you like. And make friends with people whose music you like. Then just have fun and share your stuff with people and then the worst thing that happens is you end up playing music with people you like.

What exciting projects do you have coming up?

Greg: We released an EP on August 18th. It’s available at as a free download. And even more exciting – we’re working on recording a full-length album right now, which hopefully we’ll release in the winter.

May you have a particular inspired quote, statement or favorite words to live by?

Greg: When my sisters and I were little, our dad would say, “Follow your bliss.” I think that’s pretty good.

Please share a mix tape within a theme of your choice.

Greg: I decided to consult my bandmates for this one. The theme we chose was cooperation, as inspired by a video for the Muppet’s Cooperation:


Village Green Preservation Society – the Kinks (T)

Jump in the Line – Harry Belafonte (D)

Express Yourself – NWA (G)

Simon Smith & the Amazing Dancing Bear – Randy Newman (T)

My Sweet Lord – George Harrison (G)

It’s Not Up to You – Bjork (D)

Another One Bites the Dust – Queen (G)

The Knife – Genesis (T)

Person Person – Mirah (D)

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One Response

  1. Bert

    Hi there,
    I wandered into this site from a googlesearch, where you mentioned playing your plastic fraggle rock guitar. If you still have that, would you sell it? If not, have you seen one anywhere in the world? My now adult son is a heady musician, one of the best bass players I have heard. I have been looking for one for the last two years because at age 3, the fraggle rock guitar was the first instrument he played. Today, he pays big bucks for his ibanez and other fine pieces, but I would be really ecstatic to gift one to him.