Pagoda is an American alternative rock band from Brooklyn, New York. Formed in 2001, the band consisted of singer and guitarist Michael Pitt, accompanied by Reece Carr on drums, Willie Paredes on bass, and Christopher Hoffman on cello. The first album of the group, the eponymous Pagoba, is released on February 27, 2007, and a second was planned for 2011, but the group is separating well before its release. It is difficult, according to the statements of the group, to know if the group starts a break or if the members decided to separate definitively.
Pagoda's founders, Michael Pitt and Ryan Donowho, meet at a friend's house in 2000. Having knowledge of Michael's musical talents, Ryan asks him to play one of his songs. He runs and Ryan accompanies him on the drums. The chemistry between the two musicians is instantaneous. Despite some talent on the guitar, Michael has never taken a guitar class. His friend Rodrigo of The Hermitt, was, according to Michael, the only one who "sort of took me out of the street-he invited me to settle down with about seven other people in this studio in Chinatown. And he taught me to play the guitar. The first song written is Death to Birth, which becomes Pagoda's best-known song. The group is officially formed in 2001>.
The name Pagoda comes from the Asian type of construction of the same name, but also, according to the official biography of the group, the name of recordings with which Michael Pitt learned to play the guitar, the latter being called Sessions of Pagoda. According to Michael, "it was really the only name that did not fear more than the others". Pagoda means "time" (weather) in Russian. Between 2001 and 2004, the group invites many friends to perform bass at their concerts. Among them Christian Zucconi, leader of the Aloke group. During his presence in the group, Zucconi shot a video for the song of Pagoda Happy Song, pastiche-homage song to Nirvana as well in its form as in its lyrics and in the video clip.
Michael's musical talents are beginning to be recognized in the art world. Bernardo Bertolucci gives him the soundtrack of the movie Innocents - The Dreamers, in which Michael plays the lead, Matthew. Michael will then participate with the Twins of Evil in a cover of the classic Hey Joe popularized by Jimi Hendrix and Bertolucci, turns a video available as a bonus in the DVD of the film. The following year, Pagoda contributed to the soundtrack to Asia Argento's The Book of Jeremiah, a film from JT LeRoy's book of confessions. The band starts to shoot live regularly. The concert at Sidewalk Café in New York was their first. The concert showed so much energy and potential, and sparked so much enthusiasm that Spin magazine included Pagoda in the list of "underground New York underground bands" .