Orville Peck is so poised on his debut album Pony, that it’s hard to believe the song cycle is his first release. The songwriting on Pony is full of surreal twists and turns, but it’s his gravelly voice, well beyond his years, that makes the collection so mesmerizing. Peck’s music reaches far back into the American mythologies of old, meandering through rodeos and badlands, big skies and buffalo, but with his own ambling, modern twist, venturing into shoegaze and playing with traditional rhythms until they suit his own needs.
Peck signed with the legendary indie label Sub Pop for his initial release, which comes out this Friday, and was nice enough to take a few minutes out of his busy schedule to participate in our vaunted 20 questions questionnaire series. Get to know him ahead of his debut album’s release below.
1. You walk into a bar. What do you order from the bartender?
Probably just a cheap beer. But nervously — I sometimes have this irrational feeling when I’m ordering alcohol that the bartender is gonna think I’m pretending to be old enough to drink — even though I’m obviously in my thirties. So I probably come off like a crazy narc.
2. Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?
Maybe Dolly Parton. Following Dolly is so comforting because it’s always some inspirational sentiment or a photo of her when she was young. Either her or Trisha Paytas — because she is honestly from another planet and I love mukbangs.
3. What’s currently waiting for you on your DVR or in your streaming queue?
Recently I’ve been watching Bad Girls Club and the Thailand edition of Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
4. It’s your last meal — what are you going out with?
A burger and fries!
5. What websites do you visit on a regular basis?
I really love geography so I go on this website a lot where it quizzes you on countries or cities etc. It’s actually become this mostly useless talent to be able to name every country on the planet.
6. What’s the most frequently played song on your mobile device?
Oh wow, I have no idea. I bet it’s a Mariah Carey song or Johnny Cash or something.
7. If you could go back and give your 18-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Nothing. I hate when people ruin surprises.
8. What’s the last thing you Googled?
The name of a Rancid song I liked in high school.
9. Dogs or cats?
I like ’em both but I more so dogs. Especially weird, little scraggly ones.
10. Best concert of your life was…?
11. What book are you most likely to give as a gift?
Close To The Knives — David Wojnarowicz
12. What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
I’m not sure about a singular event but I really like when someone I haven’t talked to in a long time contacts me out of the blue. Especially if we were never really close friends. Maybe it’s the result of a lonely childhood but I think knowing that someone is remembering you or thinking about you is the nicest feeling.
13. South Park or Family Guy?
14. You have an entire day to do whatever you want. What would you do?
Probably lose my mind. I hate not being busy.
15. What movie can you not resist watching if it’s on?
I’ve seen Showgirls a lot.
16. The sports team or teams you’re most passionate about?
Well, I wouldn’t exactly say I’m “passionate” about any sports teams. I like watching soccer and cricket.
17. Where did you eat the best meal of your life?
Malay Lamb curry at the Fireman’s Arms in Cape Town, South Africa.
18. The last movie you saw in a theatre?
I think it was called Escape Room and it was really bad. I have been too busy recently but normally I actually try to go to the movies once a week. I’ll watch pretty much anything.
19. Who was your first celebrity crush?
Casey Jones from the ’90s live action Ninja Turtles movie. Not the actor though, just Casey Jones.
20. What would you cook if Nic Cage were coming to your house for dinner?
Definitely a steak, because I’d make him eat it all crazy and flip the table like in Moonstruck.