INTERVIEW: PINS – Faith Vern

Pins - courtesy of Bella Union

Words by Helen Knott / Pic courtesy of Bella Union

PINS bring their woozy, post Punk, Garage Pop to the Hare & Hounds on Tuesday 22nd September. Birmingham Review caught up with lead singer, guitarist and founder member, Faith Vern (née Holgate).

Birm_Prev-logo-MAIN - lrPINS formed in Manchester in 2011. Lead singer, Faith Vern, was fed up of being “the token girl in bands full of guys”, so she decided to find some women to form a band of her own.

Working through a mixture of friends of friends and recruits from, “posters we stuck around town” (‘new girl band forming in Manchester. Influences: The Jesus and Mary Chain…’) eventually she hit upon a mix of personalities that worked and PINS was formed. They found success, almost immediately; playing packed gigs and signing a record deal with Bella Union (also home to John Grant, Beach House and Flaming Lips) after self-releasing their first single, ‘Eleventh Hour/Shoot You’, in 2012 on their own Haus of PINS label.

PINS’ debut album, Girls Like Us – released through Bella Union in September 2013, showed a gnarly promise that went some way to living up to the early hype. Thier follow-up LP, Wild Nights, released earlier this year, marked a natural refinement in their sound (as Vern modestly puts it, “I mean, I’d hope it’s better. It feels better”), resulting in an album that’s either ‘an appealing mix of spikiness and swoon’ (The Guardian) or ‘ferociously pedestrian’ (Pitchfork), depending on which record review provider you prefer.bella-union

For Faith Vern a major development between the two albums was a very different recording process, with the band recording Wild Nights in the desert at Joshua Tree’s Rancho de la Luna.

“The second record, Dave Catching (from Queens of the Stone Age) was directing and guiding us through it, whereas with the first one we did everything ourselves. Dave had a million pedals and would be like, “why don’t you try this one or this one?” He had amps that he thought would suit the sound and loads of equipment that he had collected over the years. I think we had more options and it’s fuller as well, with more instruments on there.”

Indeed, the recording of the second album is described by Faith as an “incredible” experience. “We only had seven days to do it. We landed in New York, lost all of our instruments, had a big stress about that, got them back then Wild nights - PINSdrove to Joshua Tree and met Dave Catching at 3 o’clock in the morning. Sophie and Anna stayed in literally a caravan and the rest of us were in this wooden out building thing… it was a very basic situation!”

Over the next seven days the band recorded intensively for 10 hours a day, but still managed to find some time for extracurricular activities. “There’s lots of weird stuff around there to go and see. And we managed to go and watch the Dandy Warholes play, which was really cool. The electricity went out, so they ended up playing acoustically and all the crowd was singing.”

PINS have toured America and Europe throughout the year in support of Wild Nights, including some support slots for Sleater-Kinney at their comeback UK shows. Despite the continual gigging, this is PINS‘ first gig in Birmingham in 2015 – with Birmingham Review’s net sadly slipping past their last time in the city.

This is Tmrw - logo transFaith has fond memories of a cramped evening at The Sunflower Lounge “in the early days”, but what can we expect from their gig at the Hare & Hounds?

“It will be loud, fun. I hope it will be high energy. We’re playing all of the songs but two off the new album, then some off the first album and even a couple that are even older than that, from our first EP. Anyone’s welcome to come and dance with us and if they want to sing along they can sing along, if they want to get on the stage they can get on the stage. I feel that the more the audience gives us the more that we give back.”

After the current tour, PINS will support post-Punk icons Gang of Four. There’s also some more American dates in the pipeline, and the band have already started on songs for their third album.

“We’ve started messing around with a few songs. I can’t really say what category it would be in but I’d like to some something less Garage Rock, something more developed… It’s at the fun stage at the moment because we feel no pressure to have album three ready right now, so we’re just playing around and experimenting.”

PINS play the Hare & Hounds on Tuesday 22 September, as presented by This is Tmrw. For direct info and online tickets, visit http://hareandhoundskingsheath.skiddletickets.com/event.php?id=12452394

For more on PINS, visit http://www.wearepins.co.uk/

For more fromthe Hare & Hounds, visit http://hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk/

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For more from This is Tmrw, visit http://thisistmrw.co.uk/

For more from Bella Union, visit http://bellaunion.com/

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