EF – First, I should have you identify yourself.
RM – Sure. My name is Rick Maguire and I play in a band named Pile. Aside from that, I play shows by myself, just with a guitar.
How long have you been doing that?
About seven years, under that moniker anyway. It’s been almost a year of not really having any other job outside of just doing this, so this is sort of where I spend a lot of my time, in this van. I travel around when I do either play shows by myself or with the band, so I’ve spent a lot of time here in the past year.
Do you have a set process for writing?
I’m not necessarily set on it, but what usually happens is I’ll come up with something on guitar and try to think of it in a bigger context of a song, and it usually takes a while for it to have other parts grow around it. By the time that starts happening, sometimes the initial idea can change too, so it can be a slow process. Unless it’s something that’s so simple it just needs to be one thing, and that’s it. But as far as musically, each one sort of varies. Lyrically, I usually put that shit off to the end, unless that was part of it all coming together at once.
I don’t try to rush it too much; I think there’s parts of it that I rush once they’re actually done, I don’t give them enough time to become their own things. But prior to that, I take my time. It’s not like I’m doing anything that’s out of the ordinary, so to give it some time to have some more interesting parts organically make their way into it is something that I should give time to, otherwise it’s even more ordinary. But yeah, that’s usually the process, just trying to give it time and patience and not get too frustrated about it.
The [instruments] that I play more often than others, I feel the most comfortable with, and they’re probably the ones I take the most for granted. I’ve had this for a while, it’s like a $200 guitar – it’s not a good guitar, but it does what I need it to and I don’t have to baby it. I don’t mind it getting beat up a little bit. It’s comfortable, I know how it’s going to sound. I’ve thought at times about getting a better guitar – with this guitar in particular, I think about getting a different acoustic guitar to play shows. I worry about it though; sometimes the guitar sounding a little bit crappy can lend itself to actually sounding better, in a way. What it lacks in sustain and volume it makes up for in this twangy, slightly out-of-tune sound that sounds good to me.
Rick Maguire plays in Pile and on his own. He was photographed in Pile’s van in Fitzwilliam, NH on the morning of December 13, 2015.