This is a big day for The Economix. This interview marks the first bit of “exclusive content” I’ve ever put out there and my first foray into examining the artists behind the music I love. My guest today is PINES, an electronic music duo out of Adelaide, Australia. I initially featured PINES on my playlist Dusk and was surprised to get a notification a couple of days later that they had commented on the set. The words “Hey Seamus, loving the playlist – cheers!” were the first recognition that this website had gotten from an artist, and with some encouragement from friends I decided to contact PINES and ask for an interview. They were very friendly and open to the idea, even admitting that this would be their first interview as well. We kept in contact and below you can see the result of our conversations. I’ve embedded their two songs into the text of the interview so that you can hear for yourself why I decided to contact them. This is a great band and I’m really looking forward to hearing their future projects. Enjoy the interview and check out PINES on their Soundcloud, Facebook, and Twitter. If you like them, make sure to share this interview using the buttons below the text.
Let’s start off with the basics – what are your names and where are you from?
PINES is Adam Dormand and James Kenneally – we’re both from Adelaide, Australia
How did you guys meet and what prompted you to start making music together?
We’ve known each other for a number of years having met through some mutual friends. We both love music and have very similar tastes when it comes to our favourite artists.
What is your approach to making music together? What are some things that guide the inspirational and creative processes?
The inspiration for our tracks comes from a number of places. Listening to other artists across a whole range of genres and generations is definitely one of the main sources. New samples and sounds that we come across is definitely another big one. We’re actually both relatively new to the music making process in general so we also find a huge amount of inspiration just through learning new techniques and trying new plugins, synths, effects etc. The creative process can be both exciting and frustrating though – there’s moments when you’re creating something and you’re really feeling it until you wake up the next day to discover it wasn’t as good as you thought. On the flipside though for every new track we work on there’s the chance to write something better than the last.
Following up on that thought: With electronic bands, some of the traditional band “roles” are blurred or simply don’t exist. For example, you guys don’t have a lead guitar, drummer, or lead vocalist. Do you each play a distinct role in the band, or is it a free-for-all?
Since we started working together we’ve found that we have a very similar vision with the overall PINES sound and are very much on the same page with a lot of what we’re working on. Despite being very aligned in our thinking, we both bring different musical experience and knowledge to the table. We’ll both often start writing the tracks independently but by the time we’re arranging and mixing all decisions are made together. We’re currently working on putting together our live show as well.
On your Soundcloud you simply tag your first original track “All You Need” as “#Electronic.” Many new electronic artists on Soundcloud are adopting the terms “future-pop” or “melodic house” to describe their music. Have you ever tried to define your “genre?” If so, what do you call it? I must admit I labeled you as “future-pop” in one of my blog posts about you.
To be honest no we haven’t really defined ourselves within any of today’s genres and sub-genres. Our sound definitely spans a few of the more recent sub-genres but our goal is to write songs that people want to move to and also connect with emotionally.
For such a new band your production quality is very high. What steps do you take to ensure that your songs sound as good as they do?
In short – ridiculous amounts of time! It’s a funny one as often it will only take a couple of hours to come up with the majority of a track only to spend the next few months tweaking the sounds, the arrangement, the mix etc. We’re obsessive over the quality of both the production and the song as a whole. As we work on new material we’ll generally do some early mix-downs to listen to and think of ways to improve the track. With All You Need, we went up to Sydney to mix with Simon Todkill at Studios 301 to help us put the final polish on the track.
If you could choose any artist to work with on a project, who would it be?
Adam: My list is endless as there are so many people I’d love to learn from and work with. My dream shortlist would be The Avalanches, Damon Albarn (Blur / Gorillaz), Bonobo, Pretty Lights and Fishing.
James: Similarly to Adam I have a pretty long and diverse list but I suppose in my dream scenario I would love to work with any of Mike Skinner (The Streets), Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys), Miike Snow, Flume or ODESZA.
What do you guys like to do besides produce music?
We’re both mad Adelaide Crows fans (Australian Rules Football) and also do a bit of travel where possible.
What’s next for PINES?
We’ve got some new tracks almost ready to go which we’re currently working out the release plans for along with the developing of our live show. In March next year we’ll be playing on Sea’N’Beats – a cruise festival in Brisbane which we can’t wait for – the calibre of talent on board is pretty awesome (Alison Wonderland, Hayden James, Slumberjack, Paces) so that should be a lot of fun.
Thanks again for taking the time to do this, guys. It was awesome to have you as my first interview.
No worries at all, our pleasure and thanks for the support.