Part 2, YEAH!
Let’s go back awhile – you formed for your keyboardist’s birthday party, right? Do you intend to play at all forthcoming band birthday celebrations?
Kip: Well, we have, for the most part. I remember Alex’s birthday party in our first year, and we threw this big house party at the place I was living and A Sunny Day in Glasgow and Pants Yell came and played with us, and it was one of the most fun times ever. This year, there were noise issues around Kurt’s birthday party that prevented us from playing– but the party ended up getting noise violations from the police anyway, so our restraint was pretty much pointless.
This year, Peggy is curating a birthday show at cake shop and I think she’s trying to get Linton from the legendary Aislers Set to perform.
Alex: Yeah we always try to make band birthdays into some sort of popstravaganza.
Peggy: If not, I at least like to have a birthday party that involves lots of dancing to jock jams.
What music did you hear as a child? Do you think it had any effect on the music you create now?
Kip: Prince and David Bowie, mostly. I really love glam rock, though I suppose we don’t seem like a glam rock band. I love T. Rex and New York Dolls too, though I think I didn’t hear them until I was well out of my single digits.
My mom used to always sing me medieval ballads about lovers dying of broken hearts– I remember that very, very clearly, and that’s maybe why we’re so emo…
Alex: I listened to pop and rock radio growing up. My parents would play the Beatles all the time and I just got insanely sick of it. It took me until late college to even think about listening to the Beatles again. Starting around 15, I got into punk and hardcore and started going to local shows. That was really my gateway into non-commercial music and I never looked back.
Peggy: I really loved Madonna. I used to watch the 24-hour Madonnathons on MTV and it’d be kind of embarrassing whenever my mom walked in and Madonna would be like, humping a chair and grabbing her crotch. I also was a die-hard Debbie Gibson fan. That was my first concert. I owned Electric Youth perfume, and hand-embroidered her name on the back of a jean jacket I had. I guess even at a young age, I had a really obsessive relationship with music.
“You’re my sister, and this love is fucking right!” – That’s a pretty shocking lyric, isn’t it? What prompted that song?
Kip: The use of “sister” is figurative. It’s a gesture of solidarity, of closeness of same-ness– not of physical relation.
Do you enjoy the balance of sweet melodies and challenging subject matter? It’s a really good twee trick that keeps on getting renewed by acts like yourselves.
Kip: Is Nirvana twee? They did the same thing. It would be pretty sickening to write pretty songs with pretty words about how pretty everything is. It would be even worse to do the opposite– our songs are honest, and never strive for anything other than to be true and unafraid.
It’s sad when bands try to “polite” their way to the top by singing in universal, easily digestible language about the most generic situations that could possibly apply vaguely to everyone– but truly to no one.
Let us be not that.
What are your live shows like? Even noisier than the record?
Kip: We try to play really loud– I think people may expect a picnic on stage and it’s definitely not that…
Alex: Yeah it’s not really jangly or twinkly or anything, it’s big, big guitars. Also, Kurt might play harder than any drummer I’ve ever met.
Peggy: We’re louder than people expect.
You recently went on tour with The Wedding Present. One time, my brother got him to dress up as a bear (no joke, I’ve got a picture!). Did you manage anything similar?
Kip: David Gedge is wonderful, and a truly sincere and talented songwriter. I think I nabbed his BBC visitors pass as a souvenir, but he doesn’t seem like the sort of person to play practical jokes on or ask to perform as a clown at your cousin’s birthday party. I would like to see that picture, though….
“You’ve lost your love of fish, too much hibernation”
Alex: It was all I could do to muster up the balls to talk to the guy, let alone ask him to dress up in a bear suit, haha. I’m not sure I have the creativity or bad-ass streak it takes to be a true prankster. Gedge was an awesome guy and the Weddoes were really, really nice and accommodating to us.
Finally, Kevin Shields comes up to you and says “I’ve fired those other losers. Wanna join my band?” Do you leave The Pains behind? Do you become My Bloody Pains Of Being Pure At Heart? What do you do?!
Kip: I’d tell him “No thanks.” I’d much rather be in The Pains of Being Pure at Heart!!!
Alex: For real – Pains or bust!
Peggy: Yeah. I’d still wanna bro-down with Kevin Shields though.
Who wouldn’t, Peggy? Who wouldn’t? Maybe he’ll read this and add you to the ever-excelling line-up for the MBV ATP in December. PM sure hopes so. Until December, reader, you should listen to The Pains here.