RENDEZVOUS: A Quick Catch Up With Pinch Points
Melbourne’s Pinch Points are a force to be reckoned with. They’re outspoken, unapologetic and acutely aware of the inequalities that exist within society. Channeling their frustration into a tunnel of tight punk rock, the band deliver a sound that is both persistent and powerful. The Aussie vocals deliver the charm, while the instrumentals deliver the chaos. It’s as intense as it is fast - constantly bursting with catchy guitars that’ll stick with you for days. We caught up with the band ahead of the release of their much anticipated (and particularly excellent) debut LP Moving Parts, which is set for release this coming Friday.
As always, please press play below to enrich your reading experience.
This Pinch Points project seemed to gain some swift momentum from the get go, having only released your debut EP last year. Did you expect that to happen?
None of us actually had any expectations when the project started. We were all passionate about the music, and also in points in our lives where we were really motivated to get a new project off the ground. The response has been mindblowing and now the project takes up more time in our lives than we were initially bargaining for, but it’s worth it!
Can you tell us a bit about the recording process for your forthcoming LP Moving Parts?
In a technical sense the process was really straightforward. Just like our first EP, we recorded everything live in our small sun-room in Coburg, overdubbing vocals and a few guitar bits. Adam’s got a great knack for engineering live sessions like that and can get a great sound out of what is quite a simple setup in a small room with lots of bleed. Recording live creates a really nice energy within the songs as a whole. We did actually learn and record a lot of the songs on the same day so that at times was a bit difficult but was a great learning curve for us.
What does the general Pinch Points creative process look like? Who writes the songs?
Most of the time someone’ll bring in a riff or two, and then we nail it all together and expand on it as a group and, once the music is sorted, work out where the lyrics should go, and either Adam will go away and work on words or we’ll do it all together. After that It’s just a few more changes to make sure it all sits right and flows well. This time round, we'd rushed ourselves a bit putting together the record and that meant Adam ended up bringing in a few mostly-whole songs, and as a result we didn't get to workshop as much as we'd like.
OUCH! Is a seriously strong opening track, the energy levels are big. Do you sometimes feel that instrumentals can create a mood/tell a story in the same way lyrics can?
Definitely in terms of mood. I think we tend to have as few lyrics as possible, or at least not too complicated or abstracted, for efficiency—vocals are always going to draw people's attention. It feels a bit silly to write fast and cool riffs, spend ages practising them, nail them down and then just sing over the top. And less singing means more time for guitar solos!
What’s one of the weirdest instruments or recording techniques you used on the album?
Instrumentally everything is super simple. The same guitars, pedals, amps, and drums the whole way through. Acacia has her bass overdrive set up and left on; Jordan and Adam completely squash their guitars with compressors and then crank all the high end on their amps; Issy just plays drums hard and fast. Adam tried to borrow an idea he got from Sylvia Massy (her discography is enormous, and there's a lot of footage of her work on YouTube, so definitely worth looking up)—taping a mic to the end of a hose and then wrapping it around the drum kit. He didn't do it very well and it sounded like filth—not even good filth. It was horrible. So after that he just grabbed his eight mics and stuck them right up against anything that was making noise. It was all very vanilla (until he recorded his partner's chickens on his phone for a sample at the start of Put Out).
Lyrically the album flows between a feeling of being somewhat content and then soon after, totally dissatisfied. Am I right in suggesting that’s potentially a bit of frustration at the state of the world?
(cw: gendered violence). Yeah, that's accurate. So much of life can feel like one step forward, two steps back; a woman is killed, then there’s the public grief, the solidarity, people talking about how men need to change, promises by men to improve themselves and each other, a feeling that something might be changing, and then another woman is found dead in a park and we do it all over again. The same thing happens with the climate, energy policy, minorities’ civil rights, guns (in the US). Thoughts and prayers, et cetera ad nauseum.
‘But please just treat me like a human being, not part of the machine’ - this theme is pretty strong throughout both of your releases – do you feel like music is a good tool for fighting back and/or against the machine?
To an extent—concrete action is always going to be more effective. But music is really handy when you feel beaten or useless. Like a pep-talk (as long as you don't just end up patting yourself on the back and moving on).
You’re releasing your music via three different labels globally. How does that impact the way your music is received? Bigger scope?
It’s really interesting to see the way that different countries consume our music. I think North America and Europe generally have quite an affinity for new Australian punk at the moment, and their dollars are quite strong compared to ours so we have lots of fans willing to pay for merch to be shipped to them. It’d be great to get some more fans from the other continents too - we’re working on that.
Who are some local Melbourne bands that you’re loving at the moment?
We’re loving Gutter Girls! Their EP is sick and very catchy. MOON CUP are great. Hexdebt just released album of the year and Cable Ties have something powerful to release soon...
How do you want people to feel when they walk away from a Pinch Points live show?
Happy, revved-up and left wanting more!
Finally, you obviously have an ear for music. How do you go on the dance floor?
Jordan played Work It (Soulwax edit) by Marie Davidson to Adam the other day and he had some good moves. We’re collectively pretty awkward dancers though to be honest.
Moving Parts is set for release this Friday 31st May via Roolette Records (AUS, USA), Six Tonnes de Chair (France) and Burger Records (USA). Don’t miss Pinch Points live at Northcote Social Club for their album launch on Sunday 9th June.