Saint Petersburg shoegaze five piece, Pinkshinyultrablast talk turning anxiety into art and their new album, Grandfeathered.
Remember the good old days when Crystal Castles were still Alice Glass and Ethan Kath? Her voice was a screeching cry set to the sound of machines in meltdown. Well, Pinkshinyultrablast sound nothing like that, but they the Russian five-piece shoegaze outfit have the same otherworldly, rebelliously unrefined quality. Lead singer Lyubov Soloveva has creepily angelic voice, rising high above the war drums thudding and white noise distortion guitars.
There’s something more pleasing about PSUB’s sound than your usual shoegaze though. Usually full throttle, wall-to-wall sound, they’ve twisted the genre into something their own, that glitters with indie guitar-plucked inflections in the quieter moments away from the distortion. Think you’ve heard these guys before? Someone might have approached you in the streets to ask your opinion on single “Kiddy Pool Dreams”, see if you can spot yourself below. We caught up with the five piece ahead of the release of their second album, Grandfeathered.
How did you guys get together?
I feel like most bands have some sort of a similar narrative — young, restless, idle, we were college friends, worried about the future, trying to navigate the world, recycling our anxieties into a creative force. All this stuff seems like a commonplace, kind of.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
There are too many of us in the band to make generalizations and try to combine all the influences throughout the years into just a few reference points. It’s helpful to think of it as a rolling Katamari ball though — you roll over all this stuff and ingest things that caught your attention, and then incorporate those synthesized constellations into your own creative process.
Your live performances have been celebrated: what’s been your favourite thus far?
We’ve enjoyed many shows throughout touring, among the most memorable ones would be our last gig at Manchester’s Day and Night Cafe and the show at London’s XOYO.
How is your sound different from first wave shoegaze?
I don’t think we have that much in common at all at this point, maybe it would be easier to talk about the similarities? It’s just an altogether different feel and vibe I think.
Talk to us about the scene in St Petersburg: what did you findboring about it?
There’s not much to find either boring or fun about it really, there is simply a void, not much is going on. Things that would be worth mentioning, for the most part, happened in the 80s. People are moving around, there are few venues, there is maybe a lack of curiosity and inventiveness among musicians, also, a lack of interest from the industry and the press abroad (which is often what makes bands visible on the radar). It’s hard to know what exactly is contributing to the scarcity of the scene, but whatever it is, hopefully it will change in the future.
Grandfeatheredis more experimental than your previous record; what was the recording process like?
It was pretty standard. The recording itself took us about a week, post-production might have taken a bit longer, but about the same amount of time. It felt kind of intense though, during that time we would spend 10 hours a day at the studio, it was basically a full-time job. We had a deadline this time around, and clear plans for what will to happen to the album and how it’s going to be put out, so, in some way, putting it together felt more purposeful, than the one before.
Did you feel that second album pressure bands always talk about?
No, we didn’t really feel much of that, possibly for the reasons mentioned above.
After this album, what’s the next step for you guys?
We’ve started working on some new stuff recently. We’re still trying to figure out the direction in which we’ll be heading, but already accumulating some material we could work with in the future.
“Kiddy Pool Dreams” is a super weird song title… Where did it come from?
It came from a compromise, haha.
Where do you wanna be five years from now?
Playing live somewhere we’ve never played before would be cool. Keep making music would be great.