We got such a strong reaction to our streaming a song by The Big Pink, we felt it was our obligation to track ‘em down and bring them to your desktop. Milo Cordell and Robbie Furze are the London-based duo responsible for all the uproar. Milo runs the Merok label which has released records by Klaxons and Crystal Castles, yet makes music that we think far surpasses those highly touted groups. In February they won the Phillip Hall Radar award at the NME awards show for Best New Act. Combining great visuals with a brilliant nod to the great post-romantic bands (read OMD. Yeah, I know. Look it up…) of the 80′s. In my world, their most recent single, “Velvet” would be the song of the summer rather than whatever dreck No Doubt or Katy Perry will release. Milo took a break from recording their new album to answer a few questions…
TDOA: After hunting down as much of your music as I could find I was struck by the density of all of your songs. Can you talk about the songwriting process? How much of this is tweeked in the studio or do you come in with a pretty set arrangement?
MC: We write all of it in the studio , but things do tend to come alive once we play them live — things become more powerful after we play it live.
TDOA: Can you talk about what instruments you and Robbie play on record and how you make the transition to playing this music live?
MC: Robbie plays guitar and bass on the demos and I guess cause we can’t play drums that’s where the programming element comes into it. We create the huge walls noises by putting a synth through our pedal boards and recording it for about 20 minutes then listening back to it and find bits of drones that we like then looping them up and from there just building, building tracks and tracks of noise. Live we have a full band – 5 piece ..
TDOA: Velvet reminds me of early Orchestral Maneuver in the Dark. Did that era of music provide any influence on your music?
MC: No – I don’t know them really. Around the time we wrote ‘Velvet’ we were listening to a lot of Otis Redding and the Pumpkins are never to far from the top of the pile of vinyl next to record player
TDOA: How do you balance running Merok with the increasing demands on The Big Pink?
MC: Easy I have a great team around Merok now .. aka the merok wrecking crew
TDOA: What are your expectations for Glastonbury? The British press seems so polarized when reviewing bands; it’s love ya or hate ya?
MC: I know exactly what my expectations are for Glastonbury and (it) has nothing to do with the British press. It is and has been ever since I started going to Glasto about having as much fun as possible without frying your brain and walking around caked in mud chanting with the hare krishnas. Know your limits, but still push for your personal best .
TDOA: How important was winning the Phillip Hall Radar Award to you?
MC: I’m not sure how important it was personally to me, but I guess it’s been really good for the band.
TDOA: 4AD has such an amazing history. How did you come to be with the label? What kind of support are they giving you and with what limitations?
MC: They came to our first single launch party and brought TV on the Radio with them. They were the first label that we met that didn’t talk in corporate jargon and had open hearts and good record collections.
TDOA: Visuals seem to play a big role on your website, myspace, etc. Is this a product of either you or Robbie, or is it a collaboration with the label?
MC: I do all of that. It’s just stills and images from movies or the internet of bands, artists, films, etc that I like and I guess they translate visually what we do musically.
TDOA: I read a reference to you recording new music. When will we see a new record from you and can you tell us how it sounds versus the material we’ve already heard?
MC: We are at Electric Lady in NYC, now recording. In September, the album will drop hopefully.
TDOA: Any plans to play in the U.S. this year?
MC: I think we are playing NYC in mid-June.
For more information about The Big Pink, visit their website at: http://musicfromthebigpink.com
You can also purchase their music via ITunes.