Dinosaur Pile-Up

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Dinosaur Pile-Up
Origin Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
Genres Alternative rock, power pop, post-grunge
Years active 2007 (2007)-present
Labels So Recordings, Big Brain
Associated acts Mother Vulpine, Japanese Voyeurs, This Et Al, Castrovalva, The Old Romantic Killer Band
Website dinosaurpileup.com
Members Matt Bigland
Mike Sheils
Jim Cratchley
Past members James Sacha
Tom Dornford-May
Steve Wilson
Harry Johns

Dinosaur Pile-Up are an English alternative rock band who formed in late 2007. Hailing from Leeds, West Yorkshire. Current members are lead singer and guitarist Matt Bigland, drummer Mike Sheils and bassist Jim Cratchley. Their past members include Steve Wilson (2008-2010), Tom Dornford-May (2008-2010), Harry Johns (2010-2011), James Sacha.


Formation and name[edit]

Dinosaur Pile-Up formed after Matt Bigland's old band Mother Vulpine split up back in 2007. Matt had been creating songs used for Dinosaur Pile-Up whilst he was in Mother Vulpine. Matt recorded a demo tape consisting of the songs "My Rock 'n' Roll", "Love Is a Boat and We're Sinking", "Melanin", "Let's Get Up", "What Howard Said" and "I Get My Direction" whilst he was still in Mother Vulpine. A short time later, after Mother Vulpine broke up, Matt recruited Tom Dunford on bass and Steve Wilson on drums to complete the line up.

Matt Bigland has said he thought of the name 'Dinosaur Pile-Up' after watching the 2005 film King Kong. Matt Bigland has said in an interview; "I watched the remake of King Kong. Which was pretty bad! It was ages ago, before this band, or even the idea of this band ever existed. Anyway, there was this part in it where this stampede of dinosaurs, the front one is shot in the leg or something, and it trips up, and then all these huge dinosaurs trip up, roll down this hill, and it just ends up in this massive pile up, and everything in between them survives. I thought it was ridiculous, and as a joke I said, I have to start a band called Dinosaur Pile-Up."[1]

Early releases and line-up change[edit]

Dinosaur Pile-Up then released My Rock 'n' Roll EP in late 2008 and the Traynor 7" and The Most Powerful EP in the Universe in 2009. Also in 2009, they played on the BBC introducing stage at Leeds Festival and were invited on tour with alternative rock group Pixies on their European tour. Then in 2010, Tom Dornford-May and Steve Wilson left the band. Steve Wilson joined the band Japanese Voyeurs (whom Dinosaur Pile-Up would later tour with on the Rock Sound Exposure Tour alongside The Xcerts), and Tom Dornford-May joined the punk rock band Fake Death.[2] Matt Bigland then went into the studio alone to record Dinosaur Pile-Up's debut album Growing Pains, and bassist Harry Johns and drummer Mike Sheils were recruited for the rhythm section for live shows.

Growing Pains and recording follow up album[edit]

The recording of Growing Pains took place between late 2009 and early 2010 in the space of about two and a half months. Growing Pains was recorded solely by Matt Bigland playing all the parts on the album in a home studio in Bridlington.[3] After the release of Growing Pains in October 2010, Dinosaur Pile-Up began a full UK tour, also playing in the rock exposure tour and various dates across Mexico, as well as supporting slots with bands such as Feeder, Cage the Elephant, Turbowolf and Twin Atlantic. By August 2011, the band had finished their tour and are set to record their follow up album due to be released at the beginning of 2012. On 1 December, they uploaded to their SoundCloud and Facebook accounts demos of two tracks, "In My Room" and "Thread", which are said to be featured on the up-coming album.[4]

In November 2011, Matt Bigland posted on the Dinosaur Pile-Up website that Harry Johns had left the band to concentrate on his solo project and that two people known as Alessio and Scott were filling in on bass and second guitar.[5] Also, On 8 March 2012, Japanese Voyeurs had announced their breakup and said on their Facebook that their bassist Johnny Seymour had joined Dinosaur Pile-Up.[6] Matt Bigland has also said he's currently in the studio recording the second album and will be recording every instrument on the record as he did on Growing Pains[7]

Nature Nurture[edit]

On 22 January 2013, Dinosaur Pile-Up announced the follow-up to Growing Pains, 'Nature Nurture', with the free-download of 'Lip Hook Kiss' off the band's website. The album was released in the UK in June 2013 and in the U.S. in February 2014 on So Recordings, the rock imprint of Silva Screen Records. To coincide with the band's debut U.S. tour supporting You Me At Six, they released a video for the song 'Peninsula' as well as the U.S. exclusive Peninsula EP. In late February 2014, the band undertook another U.S. tour supporting Middle Class Rut with additional showcases at South by Southwest. They will support Brand New on a U.S. tour in July 2014.

Musical style[edit]

Dinosaur Pile-Up usually play in Drop D tuning, however, several new songs at recent live gigs have been played in standard tuning. They have listed alternative rock bands like Foo Fighters, Weezer, Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins and Pavement,[8] rock acts from the 60s like The Beach Boys and The Beatles, and metal groups such as Slayer and Deftones as influences.[9] They are also often compared with the Seattle grunge scene of the early 90s.



Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions
2010 Growing Pains 108
2013 Nature Nurture
"—" denotes a title that did not chart or was not released.

Extended Plays[edit]

Year Album
2008 My Rock 'n' Roll EP
  • Label: Friends vs. Records
  • Formats:CD, Vinyl
2009 Traynor 7"
  • Label: Friends vs. Records
  • Formats: CD, Vinyl
2009 The Most Powerful EP in the Universe!
2013 Peninsula
  • Released: 29 October 2013[12]
  • Label: So Recordings/ Silva Screen Recordings Ltd.
  • Formats: Digital Download


Year Title Chart Positions Album
2009 "Traynor" Growing Pains
2010 "Birds & Planes"
"Mona Lisa"
2011 "My Rock N Roll"
2013 "Arizona Waiting"[14] Nature Nurture
"—" denotes a title that did not chart or was not released.


External links[edit]