LA two-piece PYYRAMIDS – headed up by OK Go’s Tim Nordwind and Drea Smith from He Say/She Say – have been causing a stir with a moody, Cure-inspired sound.
How did you decide to combine forces?
Tim: A mutual acquaintance put us in touch originally via email. For awhile we were basically pen pals gabbing away about our love for The Cure, The Smiths, PJ Harvey – everything from post punk British music of the late 70s and early 80s.
Was it difficult composing songs before you had officially met in person?
Drea: It was surprisingly easy. We’d been emailing back and forth so much about what we were into, that we were pretty much on the same wavelength. Tim would send me skeletons of songs; I’d record vocals and lyrics on GarageBand and send them back to him via email. We would exchange notes back and forth , adding and or subtracting things until we felt we’d made a song.
Rumour has it you bonded over the love of British post-punk bands, but who do you count as your influences?
T: Our influences run the gamut a bit. Though we did originally bond over our love of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, The Smiths, The Cure, Blondie, Patti Smith…
D: I’d say we were also heavily influenced by the trip hop music that was coming out of Bristol in the late 80s and 90s. I personally count Martina Topley Bird and Beth Gibbons as two of my major influences.
Tim’s part of OK Go, Drea’s part of He Say/She Say – what makes the Pyyramids’ sound unique?
T: Pyyramids is definitely a darker take on pop then any of our other projects. It’s a mix of hi and lo fi elements, both electronic and acoustic, that make for a somewhat mystical and psychedelic dream world.
Your album ‘Brightest Darkest Day’ beautifully combines pop beats with dark sounds and performance. What was the process for creating the album?
T: It was inspired by us trying to create a mystical dream world where we could clearly communicate, often times, sad and frustrated feelings about relationships. I suppose it’s a dark and sometimes scary place where there’s a lot of struggle for happiness and hope. It’s also the sound of struggling to be heard and understood.
What are you most looking forward to during your time in the UK in April?
D: We’re excited too! This will be my first time in the UK and I’m stoked that it’s with this band. We’re looking forward to being in the place that inspired these songs. It’s almost as if we’re bringing them home, you know?
Are there any potential collaborations in the works?
T: Obviously Drea and I will continue to collaborate. We’re also trying to put together an album of folk songs sung by famous astronauts of the 60s. Maybe.
Brightest Darkest Day comes out April 15th in the UK. PYYRAMIDS will be playing the Shacklewell Arms on 17th April.
Words: Zing Tsjeng