The Big Pink interview
One time electro terrors turned indie fuzz debutantes The Big Pink have a swoonsome soundclash of a live show to make you go weak at the knees. Camilla Pia gets all dreamy
We’re told The Big Pink’s Robbie Furze is something of a charmer. Quite apt, then, that his band’s debut is all about love, as we imagine, the singer has had a hell of a lot of experience. Furze is on rare downtime and in the middle of dog walking on a sunny Saturday afternoon in London when The List finally tracks him down after a few missed encounters. Despite the distraction of a plethora of picnic-ers, sending his pup wild with excitement, Furze is every bit as affable and engaging as we were led to believe he would be.
‘We are so lucky to be in this amazing position and I couldn’t be happier really,’ he says of the hype and expectation surrounding the release of The Big Pink’s self-produced debut A Brief History of Love. Recorded in the legendary Electric Lady Studios in NYC, where Hendrix, Bowie, the Stones and The Clash among others have all laid down tracks, Furze describes their time there as ‘absolutely incredible’, going on to paint an idyllic picture of how the record was made.
‘It was so nice being in New York because we had the freedom to do exactly what we wanted, utterly detached from our usual lives. We were existing in this insane fantasy, staying in a beautiful warehouse apartment in Soho, getting up to go to this amazing studio and then partying all night in an incredible city and getting up the next day and doing it all over again.’
Furze continues: ‘We had real tunnel vision, like we were completely living the record … We were The Big Pink, not Robbie and Milo (Cordell) and we didn’t think about anything else for two months.’
With an extensive background in songwriting, recording and producing Furze toured with Alec Empire and was a Digital Hardcore Recordings artist in his own right called Panic DHH before forming the duo with his best friend Cordell, founder of Merok records (Klaxons, Crystal Castles, Teenagers and Telepathe) in 2007. The pair allegedly met at a drum & bass rave on millennium eve, but it was a different style of music altogether that informed the theme of their first offering.
‘We were listening to a lot of soul music while we were writing the record,’ he says, ‘and I think that the thing about soul music, when you’re listening to someone like Sam Cooke or Otis Redding, is that when they want to say “I love you”, they say it. There’s no messing around with cryptic messages … and we took our influence from that. We wanted to be bold and fearless and not hide behind lots of words – that is the most powerful way of getting your message across.’
So the record is about love. But before all you cynics run screaming, it’s far from soppy hearts and flowers stuff. ‘It’s about every aspect of love,’ says Furze. ‘A celebration really, about loving the highs and lows of life, and appreciating that the tragedy of love is as important as the glory, and making something positive out of sadness.’ And the ultimate aim? Well it’s no less lofty. ‘We have great expectations and we want to go all the way, take it as far as possible … be the biggest band on the planet … and this record is just the beginning.’
King Tut’s, Glasgow, Wed 14 Oct.