On title of the new album
Mike – Basically, we didn’t mean much of anything by that title – or rather I didn’t, because I’m the person who came up with the title. It just seemed like an evocative turn of phrase when I thought of it, and Jake agreed, so we kept it. That was the title of the album from the start. To me personally, the phrase/title “Designing Women” evokes the kind of societal roles that have been created for women over the years, often without their consent, but it could just be a heartfelt tribute to Delta Burke and mid-’80’s sitcoms. It’s really just something we thought sounded good, so we kept it without thinking of what it might mean to other people. The title itself has little to do with the content of the album, really.
On sound of debut album
Jake – Well mastered, loud, and bassy enough for a ghetto
On possibility of doing a massive American tour
Mike – Massive American tour? No. To start with, we live on two different continents and did this entire album over the Internet. Jake and I haven’t even met face to face yet. That said, I think the plan is to do a six-song EP and then maybe release an outtakes collection. Maybe even a non-album single. After that, we’d probably start recording the second album, though we have no plans for how that’s going to sound at the moment. Next year we’d like to play at least one or two shows, with an actual band behind us (me on vocals, Jake on guitar, another guitarist, a bassist and a drummer). We really, really want to play live someday, but we don’t plan on touring right now because it seems like a headache, not to mention a cash drain.
Jake – I can’t really see Pink City becoming a full-time band any time soon unless I move to America, let alone touring on a short term basis, and moving to America from here is an expensive hassle apparently.
The new EP will be different, we hope. Less reverb if anything. The rarities thing may come out a while later, we have a lot of outtakes and unfinished ideas as well as great demos that Mike recorded of him singing songs like Pitcher with an acoustic guitar, which were then sent to me to be cranked. They’re really weird and cool, I mean, an acoustic version of Pitcher! We’re not going to do an unplugged session anytime soon but those recordings would be great to use sometime in the future somehow.
On getting comparisons with other bands
Mike – Unsane certainly seems to be the most common comparison at this stage, which is sort of baffling to us. I mean, Unsane’s a good band and the first album is a minor classic, but we were never saying to ourselves that we wanted to be like Unsane. We’re not really a rage band. I think most people just think Unsane when they hear us because of how the vocals are recorded. We also got compared to Distorted Pony, who neither of us had ever heard before; I went and downloaded Punishment Room to see if that comparison held up, and I don’t think we sound anything at all like Distorted Pony. Hell, we even got Cop Shoot Cop, which is bizarre since Cop Shoot Cop was not a guitar band. We did like it when Verbal Rocket compared us to Part Chimp. That was pretty cool. I don’t really care about being compared to other bands, it’s fun. I’m mostly just bemused by the comparisons at this stage.
Jake – All the time, yeah. It doesn’t really bother me as we’re following a long line of bands that play loud and noisy music so we’re sure to get comparisons. As long as we aren’t compared to shit bands then I have no problem with it, though some of the bands we get compared to make no sense to us, musically at least.
Jake– Obvious ones, I guess. Me and Mike’s first collaboration was a Cows cover, so you know, stuff like that. I like a lot of music, which is why Pink City doesn’t really sound like my other band, it’s usually a whole different set of influences. A different frame of mind too, I guess.
I really don’t have anything in mind when I write music for the band, which is very different from Mike, most of my ideas are kinda like condensed improvisations. To me, it’s pretty obvious that me and Mike have really different styles when it comes to writing music, which is great as it keeps it interesting and varied.
Mike – Both of us are influenced by AmRep and Touch & Go type stuff, and for me personally some more contemporary bands like (the sorely missed) Twin Stumps and Pygmy Shrews, the Cherubs, etc. Postpunk is an influence on both of us as well. Jake is right in that I usually have sounds and ideas pretty solidly in mind when I write something for Pink City, but that’s because I have to. One big reason our writing styles are different is because Jake has the recording equipment and can get away with writing droney things that aren’t quite so structured. I have to write more conventionally structured songs because my own recording equipment is almost nonexistent. So mostly I write on the acoustic guitar I have and send him demos. “Condensed improvisations,” as he put it, don’t quite work when it’s just you and an acoustic guitar. And it’s not like acoustic guitar played through a laptop mic is going to work with Pink City instrumentally, or anything really. The electronic element of the record came about because I didn’t have anything to contribute instrumentally otherwise. Someday I want to play guitar on Pink City stuff.