New York rockers Pink Elephant are set to shake your world, we’re sure of it, and had a chat with them!
Hey! We all love your album ‘Around Your Neck’ here at Born and it’s launched you into the stratosphere of popularity, were you expecting it to be as big as it is? How does it feel?
It feels awesome! We didn’t have any expectations other than to make the best record we could and try to get it to reach as many ears as possible.
Were there any bands that you were into growing up which have influenced how you are as a band?
Of course the list is very long…near the top are a lot of great 90s bands such as Pearl Jam, the Melvins, Fugazi, Entombed, The Pixies, and Crowbar. Outside of the Rock world, we were also into a lot of the all-time greats such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, 2Pac, George Jones and Marvin Gaye.
Have you got any dream collaborations in your mind at the moment?
Absolutely. There are so many great bands in the Rochester, New York scene where we’re from, and we’d love to collaborate to with some of our favourites like Fuzzrod, The Ginger Faye Bakers, or Babayaga. Outside of Rochester, we think we could do great collabs with No Joy, Thurston Moore, Roky Erickson or Father John Misty.
What advice would you give to new artists starting out today?
Let your art be a pure expression, treat people right, and give it everything you’ve got!
How does it feel like to get such amazing feedback from publications such as BuffaBlog?
Buffablog has been so supportive and we really appreciate what they’ve done in helping our music get heard, along with all the other great blogs such as Born Music Online. We always hoped people would have a positive response to hearing our new record, so when that happens, it feels great!
If you could describe your live gigs in 3 words what would it be? Quick, GO! Think of it as music speed dating.
Energetic, visceral and LOUD!!!
How is your creative process when writing tracks? How do you write as a whole? Is it one person writing or all of you collectively?
Typically Eric (our singer and rhythm guitar player) drafts the chords and lyrics, and then brings that to the rest of the band, and we all add our own parts to flesh out the tune. Then we collaborate to adjust, polish and finalise the structure, intros/outros, etc. Eric is actually a very prolific songwriter, and he also writes all the material for his other band, Jan The Actress.
In your opinion, what is the hardest thing about being in a band? Why?
It’s not hard, it’s actually quite a joy. It’s one of the most fun things a person can do in our opinion! We’ve all been in a lot of bands, but with Pink Elephant, it’s always been quite effortless and deeply fulfilling to be a part of. To answer your question, I would say it’s just finding the right balance in how much time to dedicate to your art vs. how much time to put into the other areas of your life, such as family and relationships, and sometimes establishing a practice schedule can be tricky.
In this day and age it can be very hard for bands and artists to gain publicity. Do you think social media plays a crucial part in gaining popularity?
Social media is a great way to connect to lots of people you may never meet in real life. And for bands it’s a great way to get your music and information about performances out there. So in that way it’s a really positive thing. We’re all lucky to have access to so much great new music and art all the time.
Do you think you have matured since producing your self-titled album in 2014? Has anything changed?
Yes, this project has evolved in some really interesting ways. When this band started, the songs and vibe were much more straightforward, faster, punkier and grittier—that real Rochester sound. This is evident on our self-titled album, and even more so if you go back to our Lips EP from 2012 (Plastic is a perfect example of this). The songs on our new album Around Your Neck are more dynamic and nuanced, with a more complex vibe, and an underlying tension and anxiety that is really cool. I don’t know how well I’m articulating this, but if you listen to the album, you’ll know what I’m trying to say.
What is next for Pink Elephant?
More shows, more good times, more new songs, and hopefully another album before too long! We’re looking forward to it all!
Listen to Pink Elephant now: