Pink Fur and the Black Coats: Interview
October 2, 2012
The Australian garage rock duo, Pink Fur and the Black Coats, just released their debut EP and are currently on the road for their first tour.
For someone who has never been to Australia, tell me a bit about your hometown Brisbane. Do you think you will continue your career in Brisbane or is there another city in Australia or the rest of the world that would be more conducive to achieving your goals?
Brisbane is a cool little town. There are lots of friendly creative people and the music scene is quite good! I guess we would love to do the underground UK circuit one day.
You are said to mix art with your music? Elaborate on the art side of things.
Pink Fur and the Black Coats was started with an underground arts movement called “Lost Movements”. Lost Movements is about promoting artists. Hosting multi-arts events of live art, performance and music. The collaboration of music and art came from the concept of Warhol‘s Factory and The Velvet Underground. Live art and rock ‘n’ roll is what we are all about.
Your biggest inspirations are The Velvet Underground, The Stooges, & Syd Barrett. Are there particular songs or albums of these artists that have inspired you the most? Do you have any other notable influences?
It was the vibe of 3 different records that inspired us to make our debut EP Galleries. The first is the grit and raw guitar sounds of the 69’ Stooges self titled. The second is the record of The Velvet Underground, White light, White Heat. The album was recorded in just two days, it’s full of noisy improvised live jams and we are inspired by this particular live recording style. The third is Syd Barrett’s innovative experimental guitar sounds, the way he explored unknown musical landscape in Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Madcap Laughs is just simply out there, sonically inspiring.
The movement of rock ‘n’ roll as a whole inspires us. The blues jams of Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf. The gritty experimental garage sounds of The Who, The Kinks, The Animals, The Monks and The Creation. The incredible song writing of the greats, Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt and Neil Young. The Freedom found in rock ‘n’ roll music changed the world and it will always continue to grow.
As “drawing inspiration from timeless artists of the past,” what do you have to say about the state of music in the present? What do you hope Pink Fur and the Black Coats will be remembered for the most in the future?
I guess music today simply follows trends. We don’t plan to follow any current band or particular scene. We play rock ‘n’ roll and we do our own thing.
The Velvet Underground certainly was not concerned about leaving a legacy behind them and in the same way, nor are we. The Velvets were just lost in the good times. We just want to continue to jam and release records. Collaborate with art related events and have a lot of fun playing rock ‘n’ roll.
I’m impressed that it only took one day to record your album, was it a full 24 hours, nonstop?
We recorded Galleries in an hour or so. Our engineer asked us to play our EP through, start to finish. So we did, little did we know he was recording the whole session. Each song was played through, some more than others. We finished jamming and said we are now warmed up and ready to record. He replied and told us that our EP was done.
We had a listen back to the recordings and we thought, why not release it as is? We were surprisingly happy with how it sounded, it was raw and a little out of time, but it felt just like a live jam.
You also recorded each song in one take. What was the average amount of tries it took? Did you ever mess up at the very last second of a song, having to restart from the very beginning?
That is the strange thing about this recording process. We ended up playing a couple songs multiple times and tried new ideas. The whole session was being recorded still, so our engineer just picked out the takes he thought sounded best. Recording to tape is very complex, yet such a simple mixing process. It’s an experience we highly recommend to any keen garage bands out there who want a little grit in their recordings.
You recorded the EP in a small home studio. Would you like to have access to a big studio with loads of equipment or does your sound have to be homemade?
We will always be about the underground 60s sound. Big flashy studios and expensive gear is no interest to us. Pink Fur recordings will continue being recorded live to tape. Live, raw recording is real and people can feel it when they listen to thrashing guitars in the red, ghost vocals and casual banter.
Velvets used a mic or two in the middle of The Factory. They revolutionized the live recording sound of that time. I’d say our next record will most likely be recorded as a live jam in a warehouse also. Who knows, the more shows we play, the stranger our ideas become.
“Be sure to don your fur.” What exactly does this mean?
We have noticed at our shows more and more people keep turning up in fur, so I guess we now encourage this. Fur is a lot of fun for all.
You claim to improvise your sets. Is there anything that is preplanned or does it all depend on the night? Which factors help you decide exactly what to play?
Our live show is an experience. It’s raw, loud, and full of youthful angst. Our improvised jams are at times chaotic and relentless, other times controlled and have some kind of strange psychedelic energy.
Even though our recordings are 3-4 minute songs, when we play live each song has its own vibe. Some songs are psychedelic and soothing yet most are wild, young and free. The improvisational jams, the smoke filling the room, the smell of burning incense and the psychedelic lighting make each live Pink Fur show an experience.
10/07 – CONISTON LANE (BRISBANE)
10/12 – RETROSPECT GALLERIES (BYRON BAY)
10/19 – CAFE ENVY (SUNSHINE COAST)
10/25 – VERGE GALLERY (SYDNEY)
11/02 – BLEEDING HEART GALLERY (BRISBANE)
11/03 – THE GRID GALLERY (TOOWOOMBA)
11/10 – HOUSE OF BRICKS (MELBOURNE)
11/23 – OFF THE KERB (MELBOURNE)
11/25 – KERBSIDE (BRISBANE)
11/30 – THE END (BRISBANE)