PINS are more of a girl gang than a girl band… And I suspect they’re far more comfortable with the former designation. PINS are a Manchester quartet that are both indebted to 1960s girl groups and psychedelica and the subversive potency of late ‘70s post-punk… They write infectious, anti-pop songs with a playfully nihilistic take on things like young love. Their debut LP, Girls Like Us, is getting its US release March 4th on Bella Union, so the four girls of PINS; Faith, Anna, Sophie, and Lois; recently took some time to tell me about their own, personal gang dynamic.
Izzy: PINS is still a relatively new project. What have been the highlights of the band so far?
Faith: We all love touring, van life. Aside from that, making a full-length record was a dream come true.
Anna: I think some of the biggest highlights for me have been playing in places that I used to watch other bands at, such as Manchester Academy/Brixton Academy (when we supported Warpaint on tour). Also going abroad with the band because we have so much fun and we get to see new places and countries whilst playing music.
Soph: Definitely supporting Warpaint at Brixton Academy, that was a huge highlight for me. Also playing End Of The Road festival to a packed Big Top – it’s my favourite festival and it was as an honor to play it.
Izzy: You’re based out of Manchester, so I’m curious what the music scene there is currently like, considering its rich history of sonic subversions.
Faith: There are a lot of little record labels and indie promoters, which is great for bands that are starting out. I couldn’t label the music I’ve heard from the local bands that I’ve heard lately. It’s really diverse. As for the city’s musical heritage, I find it interesting from a tourist-type perspective, but the Factory Records stuff and the Madchester thing was before our time, so, I’m not sure it concerns or affects us as musicians, at all. We’re happy leaving our own legacy 😉
Izzy: Do you have any particular favorite Manchester acts, whether from recent years or not?
Faith: Yeah, I like Brown Brogues and Bad Grammar right now, both two-pieces, both from Manchester.
Lois: Obvious one we all like is Joy Division, but more recently Kult Country, Bernard and Edith, and Money. We have Leeds and Liverpool nearby, which have some great bands, too.
Izzy: You’re about to release Girls Like Us in the states. What would you consider to be the album’s most significant influences, whether it be certain sounds or certain states of mind?
Faith: It felt like we had been let loose! We chose Parr Street Studio to make the record because of all its analogue equipment. It was our first time in a high-end studio… We had a week to record and mix the album. We produced it ourselves too, so it was really full on.
Lois: There are loads of music references we looked at but, for me the most significant part was how we spent time constructing the right sounds and trying to make it sound like a complete piece of work, before we even got to the studio. Then to be able to hear it all coming together, and leave with something we were all really proud of was amazing.
Anna: I love the album we created and recorded. It is a product of where we were at as a band at that particular time. I remember it coming together quite quickly. Sophie had joined only a few months previous to recording it and a few tracks we just pulled together in the studio. We are always developing and are already onto the next things with four different states of mind.
Soph: It was a real baptism of fire for me, and although I would probably play a few things differently now, I really like how the record represents that time, that moment in the band’s history, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Izzy: Both your music videos and your fashion are some of my favorites of recent years. What is it that inspires the visual side of PINS? And, for that matter, can we expect more videos in the near future?
Lois: We go with what we like at the time really. We are all interested in visual arts in one way or another and it comes together really naturally for us. Yeah, there will be more videos!
Izzy: What’s 2014 looking like for PINS? What are your most significant plans? Any chance of a full-scale US tour? Any new music in the works?
Lois: It’s looking really exciting. We’re playing plenty of shows and getting to see more of the world – and we’re always writing new music, we need to record it faster!