London based trio Pin Ups are fun, fresh and fierce. Their sound is a combination of different aesthetics – indie-pop with a post-punk twist – which makes their music endlessly fascinating to listen to. The band has ended 2018 on a high with the release of ‘You Make Me Feel So Sick’, their latest single. It exemplifies their quirky sound and is an exuberant anthem about self-confidence. Joshua Gibbs (vocalist/guitar) took the time to chat about what inspired the track, dream venues and the band’s major influences…
So, how did you come together as a band?
I was in a band before this and needed a drummer as I was without one quite suddenly, having moved from Falmouth in Cornwall, back to my hometown of London.
I got recommended Jesse by a friend who worked in a studio that both of us had been recording in and that was that pretty much it! We clicked straight away and it felt like we’d been playing together for years.
Eventually, this previous band disintegrated and a new one, Pin Ups, was born in its place. Jesse then offered up his brother Louis as a bass player which worked perfectly for our rhythm section.
How did you choose your band name?
Pin Ups as a name came about from two places really. It was a combination of a song I had called ‘Pin Ups’, which in turn was the namesake of the amazing David Bowie album. It seemed like a good fit and there weren’t any other ideas kicking around!
How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard your music before?
I always find that question quite hard to answer – as we do write and play songs that from one to another sound like they come from different eras and bands. They get smushed together into a weird bodge job of whatever genre we’re listening to at the time!
I suppose I’d say its sort of punk but more the weird 1970s art rock edge of it, like Magazine and hopefully something more like Bauhaus (though we’re probably too pop obsessed for that).
Big choruses and three part harmonies go through it all as well and we all sing different songs so that too.
Who are your major influences?
I suppose Blur is a big obvious one and Pulp too. All kinds of mad post-punk music is a big deal for us also. Any band that sounds like its going to be fun live also has an influence on us too, as that’s a big driver for us.
I’m currently getting really into Sloan who came out of Halifax (Nova Scotia, not Yorkshire) in the 1990s – that super sweet power pop sound. They’ve got a song called ‘Penpals’ that I’d really recommend. It’s great for walking out the front door in the morning to.
What inspired your latest single ‘You Make Me Feel So Sick’?
It was really about self-belief and confidence and trying to instil it in someone else. It was originally quite a venomous, sarcastic song but I thought it would work better as a positive statement. The main tagline is “Cos you don’t think you’re good at that” but of course you are!
If you could perform at any venue in the world, where would you choose?
Red Rocks in Colorado looks amazing although I’m not sure what the sound would be like. Also the Whiskey in LA would be incredible. I’m a huge Tom Petty fan, and I love that story about them playing there, when they realised they were about to blow up. That would be a dream.
Which person in the music industry, would you like to swap lives with for a day?
It would be pretty entertaining to be someone like Jarvis Cocker, frontman of the band Pulp. He is a weird sort of enigma who’s personality and band’s history precedes him wherever he goes . I imagine buying milk must be a pretty strange experience.
If you were stranded on a desert island and could only listen to three songs, what would they be?
‘Wildflowers’ – Tom Petty
‘Man On The Moon’ – R.E.M
‘Do I Make You Feel Shy?’ – Connan Mockasin
If you could steal credit for any great song, which one would you claim?
‘Just Like Heaven’ by The Cure. I was listening to that this morning and I’m so bloody jealous Robert Smith got there before me. I am about 33 years or something late though.
What are you working on at the moment? Do you have any upcoming shows?
We’re quite busy promoting our current single at the moment, as well as trying to play as many shows as we can. We’ve got another single that we recorded with Rory Attwell (who produced the current one) to come out that we’re all pretty excited about. Then we’ve got a couple of shows in London in January and another show in Cambridge in February. There’s a load more about to be announced that we’re really keen about. Check out our Facebook or Instagram for the actual dates and locations, it’s all up there.
Follow the links below to discover Pin Ups’ music:
By Eveline Vouillemin – Up&Coming