Exposure: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
- Ed Jupp
- 18 March 2009
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart: Young Adult Fun
New York's The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart make dreamy, shoegazey, noise pop with boy/girl harmonies - like a Galaxie 500 LP album played at 45rpm, or the the fictional Creation Records 1992 Christmas party that saw Ride and Jesus and Mary Chain take the stage and cover each other's songs. Alex, Kip and Peggy from the band share their passion for jockrock, the indie ethic and optimum recording formats.
Looking at many of your influences, do you consider Glasgow a musical spiritual home?
Alex: It’s definitely incredible how perfectly one city nailed a sound and still managed to spawn so many original bands. Hanging out there felt like being part of the cool kids club. It’s not often you go to a city and the hot-spot club is playing Belle & Sebastian side-by-side with Madonna.
Kip: Definitely. I feel like Glasgow is probably the coolest city in the world. The Pastels, Vaselines, Teenage Fanclub, Camera Obscura, Belle and Sebastian, Orange Juice, Aztec Camera, Strawberry Switchblade – If we moved to Glasgow, we’d be like the 27th best band there… and that would be pretty good.
Peggy: Yeah, I immediately took to Glasgow. It has a big scene for a city that is small and tangible. It was rainy and dreamy while we were there. I kept telling everyone that I wanted to move there throughout the rest of the tour. I think Kip got annoyed.
Do you think the word ‘indie’ still has any currency in 2009?
Yes, absolutely. Regardless of whether you’re playing hardcore or rainbow pop, the idea that the artist controls their music is 100% important. I feel like, sure, the term has been bandied about to describe an aesthetic or fashion sense – but at it’s core, it’s about economics and the bands being in control. Alex: I think it’s tricky, because 'indie' has become such a loaded term. Largely, I think, people now associate it with kinda shaggy dudes playing not-too-shiny guitar rock - 'mainstream indie; like Death Cab. It’s not about 'independence' so much. Which is fine. But as an ethos, I totally agree with Kip - it’s more present and more valuable than ever. It’s totally possible to get lots and lots of people to hear and love your music through new and untraditional channels and to do it yourself. It’s very exciting.
CD or vinyl?
Kip: Vinyl w/ digital download, pleez.
Alex: Vinyl and digital for me too! CD has quickly become just a space-sucking middle man. R.I.P.
Peggy: I only listen to music on my computer these days. That sounds lame, but I just don’t have space for records and whatnot. I like walking around and spacing out with my ipod on. Maybe ideally I would say that I prefer cassette tapes because you can make them and record them yourself.
What are your plans for 2009?
We have some tour dates in February and March up to SXSW after the release of our album. We also have a new single Young Adult Friction coming out in March.
Alex: Have as much fun as possible with my friends.
Peggy: Yeah, before I get too old. I think I rediscovered fun this past year though. Hopefully there’s more of that to come.
What’s the coolest record shop you’ve ever been to?
Monorail Music - i mean, Stephen Pastel works there. Is there anything possibly cooler than that? Plus I bought all these Teenage Fanclub 7 inches that you could never find back in America.
Peggy: I second Kip’s answer!
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart play Nice'n'Sleazy, Glasgow on Wed 20 May