ATH Interviews: Pains of Being Pure at Heart
We’ve loved this band since the minute we caught wind of them, and now we had a quick chance to catch up with Kip on their way around the country, and into Austin for a show at the Mohawk. My thanks to Daniel Gill for hooking up the interview, and also to Kip for taking the time to give us some well-thought out answers, especially his mention of Chisel!
ATH: On the newest EP, the vocals are low in the mix. Is this the recording, or are you using the vocals as more of a musical element? Does this take away the meaning of the lyrics, or diminish their importance?
Kip: Our vocals are always pretty low in the mix– we’re not divas. To us, the words are very important, but the singing isn’t any more important than any other instrument. I try to sing like i’m not singing, and just think of it as one more melody in the song. We’ve never been accused of ripping off Scott Stapp [thank goodness -Ed].
ATH: As far as songs on the new EP go, is this leftovers from the previous recording session, or can we expect another album here in the very near future?
Kip: The songs from the EP are new recordings. We had a bit of time in between tours this spring and we wanted to have some new material to play live. There was a bit of a gap between when our first album was recorded and released– during that time we were writing a lot of new songs.
ATH: How has the success of the band this year changed your outlook on the music you make and/or your career as musicians?
Kip: We never anticipated anything even remotely like this. We’re just grateful people have been so supportive and into what we do. So many of the bands we are inspired by and loved growing up never got to have these opportunities. Bands like The Aislers Set, Rocketship, The Pastels, Helium, Chisel, My Favorite— they weren’t “commercially” successful, or even all that well recognized by critics outside of the tight-knit communities that loved them. So while that seems pretty unfair, we just try to be appreciative, work hard, tour as much as possible and not take anything for granted.
ATH: Along the same lines, what has been the greatest moment for the band this year? Care to share the lowest moment for the group?
Kip: I think there’s been so many “greatest moment” feelings, that it’s almost comical. Getting to meet Stephen Pastel in his record shop in Glasgow, meeting Amelia Fletcher (Talulah Gosh/Heavenly) in London, being Interviewed by Jarvis Cocker and being too in awe to say anything clever or sensical, talking ot Damien “Pink Eyes” of Fucked Up about Canadian punk bands and bonding over our shared wonder at the incredible breakfast buffet in Spain, getting to party in Italy with The Vivian Girls and, of course, getting to play so many places we’ve never been before and meeting so many awesome people— I dunno, most everything we get to do is such a great feeling because it’s all beyond what we even thought was possible.
As for lowest points? I don’t know– i feel the fact that we get to travel and play music we love doesn’t allow for any wallowing or invitations for pity.
ATH: You guys haven’t been to Austin in awhile, is there anything you have to do when you come into our town? Is there ever anything you guys do as a ritual whenever you come into a new town on tour?
Kip: Well, we played at SXSW this year and we were really psyched on the BBQ, so we’ll definitely be hitting that up. Also, the tacos were really good, so we’ll eat some of that too. Rituals? Nothing that Satanic….
ATH: We are assuming you guys are traveling by van, so what is pumping on the van’s stereo?
Kip: The new Atlas Sound record is really good, as is the new Kurt Vile. We’ve also been listening to the new Vivian Girls and Girls record and when we were driving through Idaho, we put on Built To Spill‘s There’s Nothing Wrong With Love. Oh, and we blasted Siamese Dream by Smashing Pumpkins on one of the drives, and that made us really happy. That’s some good driving music for sure. We also like to listen to comedy, because it keeps you awake, especially late at night. We listen to so much Patton Oswalt we practically know it by heart…
And! Their Higher Than the Stars EP hits stores on September 22.
Photo credit on the cover image goes to Annie Powers.