Features Interviews Capillary Action

Interviews: Capillary Action

Jonathan Pfeffer: A man who needs no introduction.

Scene Point Blank: State your name and your role in Capillary Action (!)

Jonathan: My name is Jon and I am Capillary Action. I would also like to state that Matt Andrews and I have a half Puerto Rican/half Sasquatch lovechild named Hector.


Scene Point Blank: Intriguing. How did you get started playing music?


Jonathan: My mom made me pick up an instrument in 3rd grade, so I chose the cello because...I'm not sure why exactly. I played the cello for a few months and quickly became bored with it. She wouldn't let me off the hook, so I picked up the saxophone and the cycle continued. She told me I had to pick another instrument and, long story short, I've been playing guitar for the last 6 or 7 years. Wow has it really been that long?


Scene Point Blank: Yes Jon, yes it has. So when did you actually start writing the music that became Capillary Action?


Jonathan: Around late 2002.


Scene Point Blank: How would you describe Capillary Action's sound?


Jonathan: Our old drummer Jeff described the music as "abstract instrumental pop" and I kind of find it fitting, though I can't explain why. I guess I like it because it's pretty open to interpretation. I've heard the term "prog" thrown a lot when describing my music but I feel my stuff isn't as academic as the term "prog" might imply. How would you describe the music, Matt?


Scene Point Blank: Hm.. I'll get back to you on that. Where did the name come from?


Jonathan: The project was originally called Noiseland Arcade but that name was apparently taken by a fictitious side project featuring Buzz Osbourne from the Melvins. So, late one night, I decided that I needed a new name so I randomly did a search for 'fluid dynamics' and came across 'capillary action.' I thought the name had a nice ring to it and no discernible flavor that would give away my artistic intentions (as opposed to "angry beavers throwing onions" or "goreblood combustication") so I ran with it. Do you like it? (aside) Oh man, I had tofu burrito casserole for lunch. My stomach is exploding.


Scene Point Blank: It's definitely better than a Simpsons reference. What about the record name 'Fragments'? Was that intended as a description of what the music is?


Jonathan: Yeah, for the most part. One of the underlying intentions behind this record was to see if I could get away with mashing together a bunch of distinct parts without any sort of explanation. At the time I thought I was being pretty clever but looking back on it now, it wasn't a particularly original concept and one that certainly had a lot of flaws. I feel like the abrupt, ADD sort of songwriting style is definitely my niche to a certain degree, but I'm trying to either refine that formula or break away completely from that in the songs I'm writing now.

Scene Point Blank: So did you envision touring with a band at first, or was it always going to be just you?


Jonathan: I didn't really envision anything at first, to be quite honest. This all started when I figured out that I could make mp3s of my own music (I'd been recording on a four-track and a boombox up to that point) by plugging my guitar into the mic-line output on the back of my computer and playing through Windows Sound Recorder. I had a huge stockpile of riffs and little musical ideas floating around that I hadn't recorded, so I'd just sort of jam on some riff and then take it from there. "Fragments" is simply the product of me improvising at ungodly hours of the morning using Windows Sound Recorder. I didn't start seriously thinking about playing live until I started recording the album in late 2003.


  1. 1
  2. 2

Currently reading page 1 of 2


Words by Matt on Oct. 16, 2010, 11:05 a.m.

KFAI - Roar of the Underground
Leave a comment

Posted by Matt on Oct. 16, 2010, 11:05 a.m.

Share this content
Related news

Bands Capillary Action In Accident

Posted Feb. 28, 2008, 4:41 a.m.

Capillary Action were in a serious accident earlier this week while on tour.  The band issued the following statement: Capillary Action narrowly escaped death on Feb. 26th when their van ...

Breaking News Joe Lally & Capillary Action Robbed In S.F.

Posted Nov. 16, 2007, 1:54 p.m.

Joe Lally, whom you might know from a little band called Fugazi, and his backing band Capillary Action had their van broken into last night in San Francisco, CA while ...

Tours Joe Lally (Fugazi) / Capillary Action Tourdates

Posted Jan. 2, 2007, 1:06 a.m.

Joe Lally of Fugazi fame will be taking to the road in January in support of his debut solo effort, There to Here. The album was recorded at Inner Ear ...

KFAI - Root Of All Evil

More like this

Also in this section
The Murder Capital

Interviews The Murder Capital

Posted Oct. 3, 2019, 2:40 p.m.

When Irish five-piece The Murder Capital recently released their debut album When I Have Fears, it was rapturously received by critics and music fans alike ...


Interviews Glitterer

Posted Oct. 3, 2019, 2:34 p.m.

Glitterer is a one-man band made up of Ned Russin, who made his name in Title Fight, a project he seems to be creating distance ...

Aaron Rice

Interviews Aaron Rice

Posted Aug. 27, 2019, 3:48 p.m.

Having started out in bands and working in collaboration with other musicians, Minnesotan musician Aaron Rice decided to strike out on his own in 2015 ...



Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.