Manchester-based five piece PINS have been wowing for some time now. Dropping their new EP “Bad Thing” earlier this year, it was hardly any surprise that the record would continue to impress: featuring a track with the legendary Iggy Pop and a cover of Joy Division’s “Dead Souls”, it’s an accomplished piece that shows off the quintet’s talent in crafting captivatingly twisted alt-pop bangers.
With their latest track “Serve The Rich” produced by the one and only Jamie Hince, we caught up with vocalist Faith to find out all about the EP, working with The Kills’ go-to guy, and what PINS are up to next…as well as scoring a couple of behind the scenes pics of the band at work in the studio!
Firstly, can you tell us how PINS came together?
I started the band. I was looking for a band to join originally. There was a lot of failed attempts of trying to be the guitar player in other people’s bands, so decided to put my own together. I met Anna through a mutual friend and then after that we met Lois and then we added a drummer which was Lara at the time, and then Lara left to become a writer and Sophie joined as our drummer. Then we recorded an album in Joshua Tree and we put a load of keys and synths on there and needed someone to play them, so that’s how Kyoko joined!
Who would you say are your musical influences?
I read on Wikipedia, like, every interview we ever do it’s like “Faith cites Jesus and Mary Chain and Hole” and I’m like “oh my god, I said it once like five years ago!”. I don’t know, it really does change all the time. I find going to shows the most inspiring thing, whether it’s just pinching someone’s idea of what pedals they’re using on the guitar! Every time I’m watching someone else play songs, I’m writing songs in my head.
You dropped your EP “Bad Thing” earlier this year. Can you tell us how it came into being?
We recorded it in Scotland, we went to the Scottish Borders. We just took a load of recording equipment with us and made a little makeshift studio there. My husband is a sound engineer so we’re fortunate to have him there to record everything for us. But it meant that we could be really hands on with everything. A lot of our music in the past has been live in a studio together, but this was a lot more structured and mechanical. It was a lot more layers, like, we’d record something and put something over that and put something over that. It was a different approach to any way we’d done it in the past.
What was the reason behind this new approach?
I think we wanted to break away from being “garage”, “punk”, those kind of labels that we get a lot. And I guess that’s what we were. We’re always writing, if nothing else we’re a prolific band, so our sound is always changing. I think we just wanted to do a fresh thing. We released it ourselves so there was no outside influence in any way, it was just us doing what we wanted to do.
You just mentioned you released it yourselves – how come you decided to do that?
I guess we’ve gone full circle because we released the first ever single on House of Pins, the little label we set up, and then we signed to Bella Union, and then when we were out of contract with them we had the decision of whether to continue with them or to try something else. I think we just really wanted to take hold of the reigns and take control and just make sure that we weren’t losing any of our integrity, and I think that was really good for us all as a band.
You recently released new track, “Serve The Rich”. Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the song?
It’s probably the most political song that we’ve done and we just released a video for it which was at an anti-austerity march in Manchester. That’s just what we talk about all the time. Everyone’s just got their eye on politics at the moment and that’s just a little nod from us to say that we’re all in it together and we believe the same thing too.
Do you think it’s important for bands to address politics in their music?
I don’t think it’s important because I don’t listen to other bands with that in mind at all! I suppose it’s important because that’s what we were talking about at the time, and it’s really current. The video that we did, we only decided that at the last minute. We were going to do an all-singing, all-dancing, glittery video and all of that, and it really felt wrong. We really felt we should do something that’s real, that’s happening in our city. After everything that’s happened in this city, it was a nice little homage to where were from.
And you’ve been working with Jamie from The Kills! How did that come about?
My husband was in a band who supported The Kills on tour and they stayed in touch. It was only after we’d written the song, we were like who should we record it with, we want to work with a producer. Then we just kept coming back about asking Jamie and we didn’t know if he would say yes. We just messaged him and he happened to have a week off in London in-between their crazy schedule. And yeah! He hadn’t even produced anything other than some of The Kills stuff. We were more basing it on enjoying his guitar playing and hoping that he would bring that to the table. He did the pre-production before we came into the studio, and then when he played that to us we were like “oh my god! This is exactly what we’re going for!”.
So what’s next for you guys?
We’ve got our own tour, a headline tour. Then when we come back in December – we’ve got some dates with the Cribs – then in January we’re going to try and get some time to record, and hopefully start tracking the next album.
Do you think you’ll get Jamie on it again?
We’re going to speak to him about it, but his schedule is so crazy! But maybe if that’s possible we would love to do more, because he was bang on.