Max Sefton pitches a few questions to Faith and Louis of all-girl art-rock group PINS ahead of their show at Glasgow School of Art on Thursday November 11
Your recent video for LuvU4lyf was directed by Manchester based film-maker Sing J Lee. It has some really striking imagery. Would you tell us a bit about how that collaboration came about and how the video came together?
Faith: Sing directed our first video for the song ‘Eleventh Hour’ and he shot the live video we did for our song ‘You Don’t Need to Be’. That’s how we knew we liked working with him, he expressed that he wanted to do the LuvU4lyf video as soon as he heard the song. We really trust him so we didn’t have to think twice about it.
Listening to the tracks you’ve released so far, some of them have quite a raw and direct edge reminiscent of something like PJ Harvey, and yet your website has quite a German art-house aesthetic and you make these videos which are incredibly artistically detailed. Could you tell us a bit about the way that these different strands of art form have come together?
Faith: I think we just have a lot of influences, we have a thousand thoughts a minute, we throw ideas around, some of them get done, some of them get thrown away and some of them get saved for later. We want to be proud of everything we do, nothing is half-hearted.
Lois: We spend a lot of time talking about what we’d like to do and trying stuff out, musically and artistically. We work well collaboratively, as a unit, and that’s a difficult thing to find.
Your singles so far have been released on your own ‘Haus of Pins’. What was behind this decision? Is this a conscious motion against devolving too much power to the traditional machinery of record companies? If a major label came knocking is that something you would consider?
Faith: Our first release (Eleventh Hour/Shoot You AA side) was on our own label but the second one (LuvU4Lyf EP) came out on Bella Union. For the first release we enjoyed having full control, we didn’t need to think about distribution or anything like that because it was just a short run of tapes, it was very DIY and it was fun but for the second release we wanted to push it further which is how we got involved with Bella Union. We were able to retain creative control but got advice and backing from Simon who runs the label, there was no downside to it. I wouldn’t really want to be part of a band if we weren’t in control of what we were doing. A major label record deal isn’t something I’ve been interested in.
Lois: I think you work with what you’ve got and try to achieve the best you can with that, at the time of ‘Eleventh Hour’ we couldn’t afford vinyl. So a (gold) cassette seemed the way forward. When we started to record the EP at the bunker, we weren’t sure how we would release it – but it’s been great to do the vinyl with Bella Union.
In the past few years there seems to have been a new wave of all female groups coming through, with people like Vivian Girls and Warpaint, do you think there’s been a change of attitude within the music industry towards this kind of group?
Faith: A change in attitude towards all-female groups? I don’t know, it’s weird to me, I know that there are distinctly less females groups than there are male but even to compare Warpaint and Vivian Girls is a little strange, they’re totally different bands with a completely different sound.
Lois: I’d like to think they’re ‘coming through’ because people enjoy what they’re playing, not just because they’re all-female bands.
Are there any groups in the last few years who have really inspired you in your own work?
Faith: Yeah, definitely. Crystal Stilts, King Khan, Hooded Fang, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Ty Segall, Dirty Beaches, Strangeboys, Frankie Rose to name a few!
Lois: Frankie Rose was great live, Savages too. There’s loads of bands in our home town too: Money, Great Waves, Temple Songs, Weird Era, Base Ventura, to name a few.
[Be sure to catch PINS at Glasgow School of Art on Thursday. Tickets are a mere £5 on the door.]
PINS have also just relased a video for their single Say To Me [released today!]