Girls with guitars are no longer a kitsch niche occupied by sundress wearing singer-songwriters, oh no. They’re mighty queens of DIY and Manchester based PINS are leading the charge of sisters who are doing it for themselves and by themselves. I caught up with them to talk Record Store Day, dream tour line ups and controlling their output.
L = Lois Macdonald
F = Faith Holgate
R: Girls Like Us was self-produced and now there’s the Haus Of Pins label, was it ever your intention to create a label yourselves where you have more control over your output?
L: We created the Haus of Pins label right at the start, when we wanted to release our first songs. We weren’t ready to be working with a label, but we wanted to put a few songs out (Shoot You and Eleventh Hour) so we did it ourselves on casette – because we could afford it. We enjoyed doing it, and we wanted to help out other bands we like, so we started to release other bands too.
F: Having a label was a childish dream I had, then, before I knew it, we had this very small but fully functioning thing happening. Initially it was a control thing, we had a very DIY ethic, and to some extent we still do. Letting people into something you have created is daunting, it’s a trust issue but I think now we are getting better at letting people help us.
L: I’ve always listened to vinyl, and it’s great it’s becoming more popular again. I probably listen to most music digitally,but I like having a nicely put together record of my favourite stuff. For our release we got to re-record our first singles (Shoot You and Eleventh Hour) to tape, and mixed completely analogue which was a really interesting process. Supporting indie shops of any kind is important.
F: We didn’t do anything for Haus of Pins for Record Store Day, we’ve only put casettes out at this point. Our heart shaped vinyl was released through Bella Union because they always deal in vinyl. For us as musicians it’s a trip being able to play our music spinning on a record player, way more exciting than pressing play on iTunes or whatever.
R: Girls Like Us is a great debut record, how was entering the studio and transforming your incredibly lively tracks into an actual recorded album?
L: It was our first real experience in that environment, we recorded live to tape, and we recorded it all in 4 days and mixed it in 3. So it was fairly lively still.
F: I think we did good! It was our first shot at it, it was our first time in a high end studio. It was recorded and mixed in a very short space of time so we had to make snap decisions all over the show. We like that though, like a Fall or Modern Lovers approach.
R: You’ll be playing a co-headline show with Dum Dum Girls at the start of May, how does it feel to be sharing the top spot with such an incredible band?
F: We can’t wait! It’s in Manchester too and I love home shows.
R: Are there any plans as yet to start working on the follow up to Girls Like Us?
F: Of course! We’re always demo-ing.
L: Oh yeah! We’re always writing, not everything makes the cut though so we try and write as much as possible and then we can pick our favourites to work on further.
R: Your live shows are brilliantly energetic, is performing live the best part of being in a band?
L: It’s ALL the best bit!
F: If it’s a good show then it’s like entering a pure stream of consciousness, there is nothing quite like it.
R: Haus of Pins is home to some amazing bands, are there any that people should get particularly excited about in the coming year?
F: Our friends September Girls and Abjects are both doing really well, it’s sweet to have been a small part of it. We’re working on the next release but it’s all hush hush for the moment.
Pins will be playing at Liverpool’s Sound City festival, as well as their joint headline gig with Dum Dum Girls on May 3rd at The Roadhouse, Manchester
Words: Rachael Scarsbrook