Manchester’s latest bright young things, PINS have certainly garnered a lot of blog love this year and the cynic may be forgiven for thinking that perhaps ‘blog buzz’ is often somewhat overstated. After all, bloggers are possibly more prone to over excitability than Tony Parsons upon mention of the Queen. However, throughout 2012 PINS have proved that they possess all the qualities needed to transcend the blog buzz label and have rapidly gone from young hopefuls to one of the most exciting new bands of the year.
So forget the buzz, forget the insouciant air and effortless cool, PINS are primarily about great fucking songs, full stop. Because without the bedrock of great music, bands that look cooler than Arthur Fonzerelli’s thumb grafted onto a cryogenically frozen James Dean and used to stir an iced cocktail in a bar in Alaska -during a particularly chilly spell, invariably amount to naught. From the brooding, ominous drama of ‘Eleventh Hour’ or the adrenaline fuelled cacophonous garage rout of ‘Shoot You’ through to the visceral explosion of ‘Love U4Lyf’ and not forgetting the thundering stomp of ‘Say To Me’ PINS have amassed a collection of songs that more than suggest we finally have a band to believe in.
Their ‘Love U4Lyf’ Ep has just been released in conjunction with Bella Union and demonstrates with perfect clarity that music can be just as exciting, just as edgy, and just as exhilarating as it’s always been despite what the backward looking, blinkered naysayers would have you believe. There is still gold to be struck in them there musical hills if only people could be roused from their mindless Cowellian induced inertia, stopped lapping up warm diarrhoea and opened their ears, hearts, and minds.
We had a word with” PIN-up” singer/guitarist Faith Holgate to talk about all things PINS
VP: Hello, I heard that you’d said previously you were somewhat obsessed with idea of being in a group, how long did it take you to finalise the PINS line up? You met Anna first – and then Lois and Lara?
FAITH: Yea growing up I always knew I wanted to make a band, my Dad bought me my first guitar when I was 12, some terrible child sized acoustic thing (I still have it) I’ve always been obsessed by music and I tried a thousand times to get something together but nothing ever really worked, I came to realise that I wanted to do my own thing so actively searched out band members but, again, this took forever. It was worth it though, meeting Anna in late 2010 confirmed that I wanted to be in an all female band and together we made posters and stuck them around town in an attempt to find girls who wanted to play music, we ended up finding Lois through some mutual friends in April 2011 then eventually Lara by chance at the end of August 2011 then we played our first gig a few weeks later.
VP: You’ve also said you’d previously tried being in bands with boys, but you found that a little uninspiring? Are blokes that bad?
FAITH: Not at all, I hadn’t officially been in bands with any boys I just tried out to be in a few and on occasion jammed with some male friends but, for the most part, I felt like a token girl. I had my own ideas for a band! Looking back on it now I think I just wanted control of what I was doing – I think I’ve chilled out a bit now, I hope I have.
VP: Even before you had released a tune there was a buzz about PINS did the level of interest at least initially surprise you – Do you think the net and blog buzz has kind of speeded everything up, with people obsessing over the next big thing -and does that put unfair pressure on artists knowing how quickly interest skips from one band to the next, or is it best to ignore it and just concentrate on what you do best?
FAITH: We weren’t aware of any buzz, I mean, we played our first show at Islington Mill and a bunch of people showed up which took us by surprise – we were just expecting to play to a few friends, it was fun. The next show we played was in October and that was Iceage and Brown Brogues at Kraak Gallery, Wes and Jon from Now Wave really threw us a bone by letting us open as we had nothing recorded, no demos, barely enough songs for a 25 minute set, nothing! After that, we practiced loads then recorded the songs for our tape with our friend Jonny Sture at the beginning of this year. Once we had put some music online we got a lot of blog attention, which was flattering and bizarre, it was only then that I realised how fast it moves! We were like ‘no way! People are listening to our music in fucking Australia’. I don’t feel any pressure, I just want to make records and play live and have a good time with my band, the band has grown a lot in a short space of time, and I don’t see that slowing down.
VP: Your live shows conjure up a certain atmosphere, as do your videos – do you take great care in getting the visual side of things right to promote a certain aesthetic
FAITH: We have always been aware of the aesthetics of the band, you know like 60’s bands would always look so cool, they would think about their outfits and how they look on stage together – I love this! It adds another dynamic. We like to make our own visuals to project behind us whilst we are playing – we enjoy creating an atmosphere.
VP: Your latest video, for Love 4lyf has a rather different vibe, not quite as shadowy and not shot in an eerie Josef Fritzel type basement. I’m not sure your all attired suitably for Mountaineering, however who came up with the idea, where was it shot and was it hard work!
FAITH: the video is by Sing J Lee who also shot the ‘Eleventh Hour’ video and live video of ‘You don’t need to be’ he’s very talented and amazing to work with – we conjure up ideas together and he makes them a reality. It was shot miles away in the mountains. I think it was hard work for Sing and his team but we just had fun all day dancing around surrounded by coloured smoke.
VP: What have been your most memorable live shows so far?
FAITH: I think we all agree that supporting Best Coast at the Ritz was an important milestone – just the venue itself holds a lot of memories, from before we were in Pins or anything like that.
VP: Who writes the songs? Is it a collective thing whereby you all chip in?
FAITH: At the start of the band I did, all of the song writing but now it’s a mixture for instance on the Luv u 4 lyf EP I wrote the title track but the other three were a collective effort.
VP: Which artists would you say really influenced you to form a band in the first place?
FAITH: I’m not sure, I can’t say that I idolise anybody, I’m fascinated by musicians so perhaps exploring that fascination lead to wanting to form a band, I couldn’t name anyone specifically though.
VP: You’ve got your own label “Haus of PINS” and you’ve hooked up with Bella Union who know a thing or two about music how did you that come about?
FAITH: Our own label came about because we self released the first single. As for Bella Union, we met Simon Raymonde at the show we played with Savages at the Fuhrer Bunker in Salford earlier this year, he came to see us and said that he liked it, we liked him and his label so we met him again in London when we were down there playing a show, we expressed how we wanted to put out an EP on 10″ glitter vinyl but we had no money – that’s where he stepped in, he’s been very supportive.
VP: Do you plan to release any other artists via Haus of PINS?
FAITH: Yea we have just made a limited run of tapes for ‘King D which is the solo project of Brown Brogues singer, Mark Vernon – his first live show is next month. I’m also working on something right now; I might self-release it on Haus of Pins… who knows…
VP: Simon Raymonde has also said that The Manchester scene is the most exciting in the UK, do you feel there is a definite buzz around the Manchester scene at present?
FAITH: There are a lot of good bands coming out of Manchester, there’s always amazing bands to go and see, and it’s a great city to live in.
VP: Are your family supportive of your musical adventures, or baffled, or possibly both?
FAITH: My Granddad loves it; he’s always comparing his experiences of being in a band with mine.
VP: Everybody’s favourite question now – Five words to sum up PINS
FAITH: Demonic, holy, fucking, love, babes.