PINS Interview: “A few wines later it was ‘let’s just ask Iggy Pop'”

pins interview

PINS’ new EP Bad Things is out on 24th March.

Manchester hypnotic garage rock quintet PINS are notorious for their advocacy of all things D.I.Y. They run their own record label, and book their own small tours. So, in one way, it’s not really a surprise they managed to get punk legend Iggy Pop to appear on their latest single ‘Aggrophobe’. Anyone who is used to getting by on their own steam and nous knows that if you don’t ask you don’t get. Having said that, it’s still a bloody awesome coup.

Those of you familiar with PINS will not be shocked in the least at how easily Iggy Pop fits into their swirling, seductive sound. His spoken word vocal adds a paranoid and dusty vibe to the song, coming across like a more energetic version of ‘The Dead Flag Blues’ by Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Deserts and desolation spring to the imagination as one listens to the first track to be released from the band’s upcoming Bad Things EP.

We spoke the group about how they managed to get the Stooges legend on the song, the formation of the track, and the conception of the artwork.

Overblown: You released full length albums in 2013 and 2015, but your next release is an EP. Why choose the EP format for this release?

PINS: The first vinyl we ever did called LUVU4LYF was an EP and we did a collection of 60’s girl group songs cassette EP too – they’re a good interim between full lengths. We love making and releasing music, we’re prolific songwriters, the band is really fluid, I can’t imagine only release 12 songs every three years or whatever.

O: The first track to be released is called ‘Aggrophobe’. Where did the title come from?

P: My husband wrote the lyrics to that song. I wrote the music a while back but I couldn’t get any lyrics or melody to sit on top of it so one day last summer when we were living in Berlin I gave him the demo and I went out for the day and left him in our apartment to bash out a poem and lay it over the track, when I got home he had come up with ‘Aggrophobe’, I thought it was perfect. I guess it’s a play on words, but you would have to ask him.

O: Iggy Pop appears on the track. How did he get involved in the project?

P: We went to rented a cottage in the Scottish boarders for a few weeks last September, we took recording gear and a bunch of demos and set up a makeshift studio. ‘Aggrophobe’ was one of the songs we decided to record, we recorded the music then made loads of loops from all the stems and then layered everything up until we had this punching, heart pumping sound. It was unusual for us to work that way as in the past we have tended to record live in a room and keep all the mistakes but ‘Aggrophobe’, and the rest of the EP actually, was really clinical and there was a lot of cutting, chopping and moving things around in the edit, it all sounds more mechanical.

We were joking around saying that Iggy Pop had the perfect voice for the track then a few wines later it was just like ‘why don’t we just ask him’. Of course if you told me a few years ago that my band would be doing a song with Iggy Pop then I wouldn’t believe you but here we are.

O: What was it like to work with him? Was it all done via email?

P: He recorded his vocals at a studio in Miami then sent them over to us, we were about to soundcheck for a show in Southampton with Honeyblood when we received his email, Sophie played it on her iPhone, it was surreal, we were buzzing.

pins interview
‘Aggrophobe’ artwork.

O: What is the concept behind the artwork for the release? Who designed it? Reminds me of a game I used to play in school.

P: I think it was my idea, I’m not sure, it’s just cheeky. my friend and photographer James Sutton took the photo.

O: You have a tour on the horizon that ends with a homecoming gig in Manchester. Is it nice to finish a tour at home? No more travel!

P: Sure, it’s nice to see familiar faces and go home to my own bed at the end of the night. This homecoming show is at The White Hotel, we’re going to make it extra special, I can’t wait.

O: What would you consider to be a successful 2017 for PINS?

P: I don’t know, I don’t like all of that goals for the year thing, we all just want to be happy.

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