Both of those questions are fascinatingly beautiful because separate or intertwined they provide a scope as to how we view cultural landscape. Some of us revere the architect. Some of us revere what was built and don’t know the designers name at all.
“I used to browse P&P everyday in high school and after. I’ve submitted a few things to them. To no avail I guess lol. Man I thought blogs were dead dead but that really gives me hope”
“Jacob Moore is the editor and chief executive of Pigeons and Planes. Pidgeons and planes is like the sickest multigenre blog that helped catapult hella indie artists during the blog era. Wow I didn’t know they got bought by complex”
– Friend Of The Blog
“That’s awesome! Yeah I’ve never heard of the guy until this convo, I’mexcited to read.”
Jacob Moore: Damn, um. Really specific one and it doesn’t really mean anything, but I think this is actually my first memory of just being in my garage in a stroller. There used to be this little lip on the edge of the garage and my sister was pushing me on a stroller. I remember she used to just like, pop a wheelie and get me over that lip. And that’s like my very first memory. That doesn’t really mean anything isn’t attached to anything, but I can like very clearly. Remember that little moment.
YLB: Perfect, thank you. What was the first concert you ever went to?
JM: Think it wasBob Dylan. And this was like,Bob Dylan when he was older. Like he must have already been in his 70s and was not a good concert. I was there with my family but pretty sure that’s my first ever concert.
YLB: Okay. When the music blog became virtually no more like as it was in the aughts of the 2000s How did Pigeons and Planes adapt? How did it grow and what set itself apart from every other music site?
JM: Hmm that’s a weird question because I don’t think it happened all at once. happened in such stages that I don’t remember, like, “Oh, this is the moment when blogs don’t matter”. It was kind of a gradual thing. And throughout that time was already trying all these new things. I think we were just always open to changing. You know, whether it was social media and Twitter and Facebook and Instagram or making video content or throwing concerts.
Like the music blog was the beginning of Pigeons and Planes but we always thought of ourselves as just this music brand. We were there to share music content and share context around music and highlight artists we love. So I think the reason we were able to last is just because we weren’t so stuck on the way we do things through blog posts, you know, it was kind of like getting that message across however we could and we’re still doing that. So that’s the reason I think all the blogs that kind of faded away. It was so tied to that one format.
YLB: In my research, I figured out why you chose the name Pigeons and Planes. It was the two opposites that also have something in common, with flight being the common. Pigeons being the up and coming new artists. Planes is the mainstream musicians. Do I have that right?
JM: Yep you got it.
YLB: How do you stay up to date with the Pigeons of the industry now seeing as there’s so many new upcoming artists in the internet age?
JM: It’s actually easier than ever. There’s just so many artists making music and sharing music and the barrier to entry is so low. Like any kid at home with a computer and access to the internet can make music and share it. So it’s really easy to find stuff. I think the hard part is just filtering through it and finding quality stuff. Because, you know, we’ve always taken submissions. I think that’s an important part of Pigeons and Planes and something I always enjoy doing. Like I’ll sit at my computer pretty much every night and listen to at least a few submissions from just random people emailing. But yeah, I mean that part is easy of the finding it. It’s word of mouth, it’s submissions, it’s social media, it’s now Spotify recommendations and playlists. But um, yeah, the hard part is just filtering through and finding good ones because there are just so many people making music that it’s hard to stand out, and it’s hard to do something that’s gonna be really unique and compelling.
YLB: So I don’t have to give out any personal information. Do you have a email? How can they do pitches in case anyone’s looking to know?
JM: Yeah, yes, we make it public. Submission for Pigeons and Planes is just firstname.lastname@example.org then I also put my personal email in my Twitter bio, and I tell them, I tell people that’s just for artists. I don’t want to get PR email blasts and label blast there but I do try to remain accessible for artists.
YLB: Confusionisdead@gmail, right?
JM: Yeah that’s the one.
YLB: Perfect. I’m glad I didn’t go there. That’s not the one I hit you up on because I’m not amusical artist.
JM: No, it’s all good. I mean, I don’t know, I think it’s important to stay accessible. And I like doing stuff like this. I love when artists hit me up, even if they’re just like… “Hey, I have this thing, but I don’t know what to do with it or how to get it out there like that”. To me is part of the fun of doing this. And, you know, when I started Pigeons, I had no idea what I was doing. So I was so happy when I found other people who I could reach out to and who would help me and give me advice and all that.
YLB: Did you have any other names besides Pigeons and Planes when you first started?
JM: Not that I can remember honestly. That name was like a 15 minute thing. Like I just thought of it and ran with it. And I had no idea it was gonna be anything more than my own little personal blog. So I didn’t put that much thought into it. And I wasn’t thinking like, Oh, this is something that I’m going to be stuck with for 15 years or whatever.
YLB: (we both laugh at how something so simple can transform into a movement) When I click on the pigeons and planes website, it takes me straight to the Complex site. How did that partnership come about?
JM: Yeah, so I started Pigeons and Planes by myself, ran it for at least a few years by myself, and then eventually got to a point where, you know, like, it wasn’t a job, like I figured out how to serve ads on it and make a little bit of money, but I could never live off of that. So when I was looking for a job, one of the places I went was Complex, and they actually offered me a job writing about music for Complex. And I mentioned you know, “I have this blog. It’s gonna suck not having the time to put into this.” At that time, the editor in chief was Noah Callahan Bevor and he just brought up the idea of like, “oh, what if you write about music for Complex but you also run the blog”. And yeah, we just figured out a way to make that work were Complex actually bought Pigeons and Planes, but it was my job to run it. As P&P kept growing, eventually it was just like put all your attention in the P&P.
They hired other music writers for Complex. And yeah, I mean, the switch over to actually publishing on Complex was basically just because like you said, the blog format is kind of dead. We were thinking about the future. We’re less focused on pumping out 20 blog posts a day and thinking about stuff like putting on concerts and running the playlists and the social media. So it just made sense to, you know, if we’re only gonna be publishing a couple things a week to just do it on Complex and not have a whole website for that.
YLB: Have you ever felt like Complex stifled your creativity? Or did you ever feel like you stifled your own creativity because you became more of a bigger brand?
JM: I mean, I feel like I’m always stifling my own creativity. I don’t know. It’s like a constant battle to try to hold on to that spirit of like, DIY mentality and just staying hungry. And yeah, I mean, to me, that’s, that’s all self imposed though. I think Complex has been really good about never saying like, this is what you need to do, or this is how you should do it, or you should stop doing this. If anything, it’s them being like, all right, you tell us what you want to do next. And, you know, there’s some pressure that comes with that too. Just trying to figure it all out. But um, yeah, I’ve never felt like, I sold out or anything. I feel like P&P is still pretty… You know, we’re a very small team, and I think we are always open to taking risks and trying new things. I don’t feel like we’re just… you know, a corporate environment at P&P. I think we’re still far from that, that it’s not even a concern really.
YLB: So would you consider yourself on the side of the creative still or the machine if someone has asked you that. Like me asking you that right now?
JM: Definitely, creative. I mean if I ever got to the point where I was just like doing this for money or sacrificing integrity. I would quit immediately. The whole reason I do this is for the creative part. I feel like if I don’t have that creative outlet, I start going crazy. So definitely the creative side.
YLB: The reason I want to talk to you because I know you still have an immense love for music, and I really like some AMA’s (ask me anything) you did back in the day you were fourth right. You’re always pretty honest. So what do you miss most about those early days in Florida when you were just getting started?
JM: I mean, I think there is something cool that comes with being anonymous. I feel like when I was doing it at first it was just an internet thing. Like I called myself Confusion. People didn’t know my real name. People didn’t know who I was. And there was something kind of liberating about that where I could just go on the internet and do stuff and kind of not even think about people knowing who it was coming from. So now it’s like, you know, I’m out there more, taking meetings and I’m taking to people and it just starts to feel more like when I write about something, I’m thinking like, oh, the artist is going to see this or their manager is going to see this or the labels gonna see this. I think that takes away a little bit of the magic of just like having a blog and not having to answer to anyone. So that’s definitely a thing I miss. I wouldn’t say it’s like a bad thing, I think it’s good that people have accountability. But uh yeah, that was part of the fun.
YLB: It’s kind of like Peter Pan growing up, you know?
JM: Yeah, a little bit yeah.
YLB: Are you a music during sex or no music during sex guy?
JM: No music during sex.
YLB: no music!
JM: I’m weird about music man. People would think I’m like listening all the time. But I don’t like listening to music when I’m like walking around outside or I’m taking the subway. I will never be the guy with headphones on. I just, I don’t know. I like to be aware of my surroundings when I’m doing things and music is almost like if I’m listening to music, like that’s what I’m doing. I feel like it takes so much of my attention that I can’t really do other things when I’m listening to music.
YLB: Did you think about yourself or your platform in general ever getting into the podcast game?
JM: Yeah, definitely thought about it. I’m still thinking about it, and might be doing something soon. We’ve done some radio shows, but I don’t know I need to do it with the right people. Because I’m not a talker. Like, I don’t talk that much. I don’t start many conversations. So l need other people around me to kind of bring that out.
YLB: Would it be would it be the Pigeons and Planes podcast? Would you think of something completely different but associated with the brand?
JM: Yeah, I think as we start to do more things, the idea of coming up with little sub brands is fun to me. So like with live events, we do the showcase and it’s called No Ceilings. And I think if we do other things like podcasts or you know, other playlists and things like that. It’s kind of fun to think of new brand names in building little sub brands around that.
YLB: Do you still go to festivals or were you ever a festival guy?
JM: Not really. I used to go to Governor’s Ball every year because it’s in New York. I mean, I’ve been to a bunch of them but I was never huge into them. The one I do like a South by Southwest, I think it’s gotten…you know…it’s changed over the years, but I still always have fun when I go there.
YLB: If you could have any three living acts headline a festival, who would they be?
JM: Oh they gotta be living?
YLB: Yep. All alive still.
JM: Headlining a festival. Okay I would takeOutKast, MF DOOMand Frank Ocean.
YLB: What’s an artist who has surprised you with the run they went on or the longevity they’ve had?
JM: I mean, I gotta say Wayne. I think it’s amazing that Wayne is still doing what he’s doing and has been doing it for so long.
YLB: How do you feel about Funeral?
JM: Sounds good. It’s not my favorite Lil Wayne album, but there are songs I like. I think it’s too long. But um, yeah, there are definitely songs I like and I just had so much respect for Wayne like I could never talk shit on Wayne. I just think he’s incredible and has inspired so many people like there have been it almost feels like three or four different waves of artists under him that have become superstars. And it’s like, he’s still there. He’s still doing it.
YLB: Yeah, the one thing that I love is I love that Wayne can still rap, like he doesn’t sound washed or age. I think if some of the production or someone said slim that down to like 12 songs and made it feel like a concise album it would be amazing. but he can still like make the songs in rap while asleep.
JM: Yeah, definitely. And it’s funny, he doesn’t listen to other people’s music. And I go back and forth in my head whether that hurts or helps. It’s kind of funny to just think like he’s just in his own world.
YLB: You’ve been in New York a decade now about?
JM: Yeah about a decade.
YLB: What’s your best hidden food spot in New York so far?
JM: I mean, on the block I live in now there’s a place called Superiority Burger. And it’s like vegan burgers that don’t taste vegan but I end up eating there a lot because it’s on my block and I love it.￼
YLB: alright. You have to create a smash hit kid song, think like Baby Shark. Which rapper, which singer in any genre and which producer are you putting in the studio together?
JM: huh… kids song. I would put you know I want to hear youngYoung Thugon a kid song. I feel like just with his voice he could do some real fun things. You said a rapper a singer and a producer?
YLB: Yep. Singer of any genre and a producer.
JM: Singer. I would put Halsy just because I feel like she can make it pop. And then producer; I’ll throw an Madlib just make it real weird.
YLB: Okay that’s creative. Did you ever write a verse?
JM: I make music that I never share with anybody. Like I play guitar and piano and I’ll just like do little things on my voice notes. Save them for myself, but I never shared those with anybody
YLB: You got like a secret YouTube page out there something man? Do you think?
JM: I don’t it’s all on my phone but like only for myself.￼
YLB: Aww man I was about to send out a little Easter egg. Do you sing?
JM: I do sing, but only for myself. I would never like get on a stage. I don’t think sing in front of people I gotta be really drunk to do karaoke. But I do sing.
YLB: Oh man. When you do the pod that’s gotta be like the first episode because that is gonna bring people in. Review the reviewer! Who the last artist that really made you feel like a raw emotion with their music?
JM: I’ve been listening to this artist Jean Dawson a lot lately. And yeah, just keep getting deeper. He’s got an album called Bad Sports that came out in 2019. And that’s one of the few albums by new artists that I like, keep going back to and discovering new things and Yeah, that’s like one of the artists I’m most excited about. And that album definitely brings out a lot of feelings in me.
YLB: Do you feel that because this era has been called like the microwave more cookie cutter, just because it’s so easy to release music and so much new music happens because it’s streaming. Do you find it harder to connect with artists? Or do you find it easier because you see more than personalities?
JM: I think it’s hard. I think there are more ways to like show context around an artist and who they are and what they stand for. And I’ve always thought that was really important. Like I grew upKurt Cobainwas my idol. And part of it was definitely just the music and connected with the music. But then the more I found out about him, like the more connected I felt to it. And yeah, I think that’s possible today, but there’s so much noise, that it’s just it’s really hard. It’s got to be like the perfect storm of great music and the right kind of presentation and choosing to share the right thing. With everyone sharing shit all the time. I think it’s harder to make that connection.
YLB: Stemming from Kurt Cobain were you or are you a bigFoo Fightersfan?
JM: Um no, I’m not. I don’t dislike them. I was always like Nirvana andDave Grohl to me it was always like the Nirvana drummer and thenFoo Fighterswas like the next thing that I never got super into.
YLB: When I first found out that little tidbit it blew my mind. I was like, just the you know the drummer from Nirvana and like that connection is crazy.
JM: Yeah it is crazy.
YLB: All right, if you are a professional wrestler with the WWE, what would your intro music be?
JM: I mean, maybe Nirvana. I don’t know. I don’t watch wrestling. So I don’t know like what kind of music do they use? Do they use like actual songs?
YLB: Yeah, like back in the like, early 2000s, late 90s The Undertaker this famous wrestler he hadKeep Rollingby Limp Biscuit.
JM: Oh shit. Yeah something from Nevermind by Nirvana.
YLB: You came in right at the height of the blogger era and you accomplished everything that a music blog could hope for, especially when you didn’t have any expectations to begin with. I know you still have a love for music, what else keeps you going? And where does the hunger and the ambition come from now that you’re firmly established?
JM: How much the music industry is changing, keeps me driven. Like I know, within the next five years, somebody’s going to have an idea that’s going to change the music industry. Whether it’s like the way we experience music live or the way we consume music online or the way music is covered. I think that’s exciting because it’s like, I’m always trying to think of new ideas and figuring out like how can Pigeons and Planes be a part of whatever is that next thing in music?
YLB: And what’s the legacy of Jacob Moore, you still have a long time to build your legacy? And what’s the legacy of Pigeons and Planes?
JM: I mean, I just hope that is always known as a music brand with integrity. Like we’re always willing to take a risk on an artist and really highlight something we love just because we love it. And as far as me, I mean, I guess it’s hard to separate the two at this point. I feel like my whole career in music has been with Pigeons and Planes. I do want to do more things directly with artists and I think outside of Pigeons and Planes. I would love to work with more artists and help build artists help develop artists, and kind of apply all the stuff I’ve learned doing Pigeons and Planes to some specific acts that I really feel strongly about.
YLB: Perfect. It was a such great interview so far. I got one more question when it comes to adding new roots to the atmosphere. Do you get more pleasure from the Pigeons of it or the Planes of it all?
JM: Definitely the Pigeons, it’s always been the Pigeons. I mean, this is something like I don’t really talk about this that much. But I think the only reason we cover big artists is to bring people in, like, that’s the reality all of it. People don’t care, you know, if we’re just posting brand new artists, they’ve never heard of 24/7. It doesn’t really make sense. But when you put it in context, with bigger artists, you start to like, build this world that people realize, like, Oh, “Pigeons and Planes is covering Frank Ocean, Tyler The Creator andAndre 3000.” And, you know, you start to build this world of like “ Oh, these are all things that I like” Then you throw in something new, and they’re like, maybe I’ll like this too. But it’s kind of all like a bait and hook thing where you’re just like, bringing people in with content around artists they like and then sneaking something new and you can start to build that fan base. But yeah, it’s always the fun part has always been discovering new artists and trying to share that with other people.￼
Who is Jacob Moore?
What happened to Pigeons and Planes?
It was not a question posed with any form of disrespect. It was offered with sincere curiosity and answered by its founder very poignantly.
Established, innovative and dream fulfilling on a multitude of levels for a variety of people. We don’t get Pigeons and Planes cultural staple without Jacob Moore. We don’t get Jacob Moore in this aspect without Pigeons and Planes.
At its early height it was on the list of go to music blogs for up and coming and mainstream artist alike. A creative space where you sat with familiar names you knew and introduced to new indie artist that would break the mold. Now it is changing and evolving pass the ceilings many others of its ilk simply stopped at or were demolished by.
As I was doing research I found a quote Jacob Moore’s father said to him a year before he started the blog that is now a brand. Jacob was living back at home again and working a job he hated. His father said “In five years you’ll be doing something you can’t even imagine right now”
What will you be doing in 5 years?
I ask this of myself and you.
Pigeons and Planes is on a very similar trajectory as its pilot. It has no plans of landing anytime soon.
Life is all about the view. Respect to the creation Pigeons and Planes. Respect to the architect Jacob Moore.￼