Music Radar: Interview with Piney Gir

Untapped interviews Piney Gir about her upcoming U.S. album release and show at Pete's Candy Store as part of the CMJ Music Festival.

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Piney Gir is touring throughout the U.S. this Fall to promote the U.S. release of her 5th studio album, Geronimo!  Piney launched her solo career in 2004 and has been showcasing her indie pop, ’60s Rock infused melodies here in the U.S. and across the pond in the U.K., where she calls London home.  Untapped  Cities caught up with the singer to discuss her album and the upcoming show at Pete’s Candy Store  in Williamsburg on October 20th as part of the CMJ Music Marathon.

Untapped Cities: What can fans expect at your show on October 20th  at Pete’s Candy Store?
Piney Gir: Well we are going to do our best to rock the candy store. I mean, I don’t know what that space is like, but I like the sound of it. So we are going to try and you know, blow all of the licorice off the shelves with our guitar stylings.

Have you ever performed in NYC at any other venue?
I’ve played at Pianos on Ludlow and the Living Room. Then I played at the Lit Lounge a few years ago, but I haven’t played over here for probably about 3 years. I’m really looking forward to it.

Have you ever played with the other artists in the Highline Records Showcase before?
Yes, I toured with Correatown around the U.K. She’s awesome — it’s that pretty new-gaze kind of stuff. She’s got a gorgeous voice. I’m looking forward to that. Sweet Lights is really good. Oly Ralfe  is someone that I have played with a lot in the U.K., and I have sung on his album. So that’s cool. He is sort of a late addition to the showcase. I am looking forward to sharing a bill with those fine people. It’s going to be good fun.

I know your album has been released in the UK for some time but congratulations on your soon to be U.S. release of Geronimo!. What differences can fans notice in the sound of Geronimo! as  compared to your last album?
My last album was with a band that I formed called the Piney Gir Country Roadshow. It is sort of country sounding. The last album Jesus Wept was real twangy and quite rocky. I compare it to that more So-Cal Neil Young kind of country rock versus straight hicksville country. I kind of progressed to a more warm analogue 60s sound on Geronimo!. I tried to keep it fresh with some different ways of working in the studio. I hope I achieved it. I feel proud of what I did. So hopefully people will like it. I am excited for it to come out to see how it is received.

Which track is the most personal for you on this album? I’m thinking it might be “Stay Sweet” — since it’s speaking to a long ago love?
It is a bit of a story of lost love and I guess everyone can relate to that. If you can’t relate to that then I guess you are really lucky. They all are really personal and come from a genuine place in my heart. That one kind of taps into a melancholy longing that I think everyone has felt. It is kind of hard to wear your heart on your sleeve like that. But I think it is important if you are a songwriter to be sincere with your voice. That’s what I try to do.

You’re going to be travelling out to California towards the end of this year to perform in L.A. and San Francisco. What are you looking forward to most during your West Coast travels?
We are doing a few shows en route to California in Philly, D.C., Chicago and places like that. So that will be kind of fun never having played outside of New York, L.A. and Austin. Then we are going to do in L.A. – The Bootleg Theater and Farmer’s Market. I have never played at those venues. I have played a few times in L.A. but never there. I can’t imagine what playing a farmer’s market is going to be like. So I will let you know.

As you’re still currently based in London, do you have any plans to maybe relocate Stateside since you grew up out here?
I’ve been in London 14 years now. Yet I have to stay, having spent some time in L.A. recording Geronimo! and then going back to do promos; I’ve really enjoyed being warm. London is great but it is not warm, even the summer is not warm. So I am kind of like, I  wouldn’t  mind being able to wear a sundress and some flip-flops now and then. L.A. is starting to appeal to me. It is kind of a crazy city, so I don’t know how long I would last out there. But I like the idea of a year or two in a sunny warm place like L.A., or Joshua Tree or San Diego or some place like that. At the moment it makes sense to stay in London.

Can you pinpoint how London has impacted your musical style?
Definitely. I kind of have a strange background in that I  wasn’t  exposed to Rock n’ Roll music until I was a teenager. I  didn’t  even really have an American Rock tradition to grow up with — it was all Christian and Classical music. So at 15 I discovered Guns N’ Roses  and Rock n’ Roll and that is quite an American brand of Rock n’ Roll. Then I got into the classics — the Beatles and the Stones — they’re English. So that anglophile seed was planted in me thanks to Rock n’ Roll. When I graduated Uni, I thought, screw it I’m going to move to London. I actually had done classical music up until that point. I had never been in a band. That was all new. That was all London. That scene nurtured me and took me in. I learned a lot from it. I think it has been a huge part of my formation as a solo artist. I will always love that city. It does feel like home. Good ol’ London.

Currently you are working on your next album. Do you know when fans can expect the release of the new album?
I am hoping it will come out next year. I am going to record it probably in January or February — early next year. It just depends on record companies who need lead time and all of that stuff. It kind of depends more on that than on me. I will probably have it done and dusted by March.

How has the writing process for the upcoming album been different than your experience writing Geronimo!?
I have to say that I am very lucky and whenever I say this out loud I worry I am jinxing myself. I’m very lucky that writing is never a problem for me. It happens very organically. Usually when I am not ready for it — if I am on the bus or I have to get somewhere — I usually have to stop to write something down, they  more so  come as passing melodies. They seem to just pop into my head and I have to sing them into my phone before I forget them. That has been kind of the same process that I have always had. When I try to write, that is when my brain goes “Nuh-huh you don’t get to say when this happens”. I can’t control it.

Untapped Cities will also be doing a review of the October 20th show at Pete’s Candy Store, so stay tuned for that article. Follow Piney Gir on her U.S. tour this Fall and keep up with her on  Facebook,  Twitter  and  Youtube. Check out her  official website  as well.


 folk music, highline records, pete’s candy store, piney gir

One Response
  1. A honest observation Reply

    This is just walls and walls of absolute crap. Lab Art and Alec Monopoly – setting the Los Angeles art scene back a good 20 years with more cliche ” street art.” Here’s a tip, get a solid roster, artists that can paint and draw and focus on restoring the scene that existed prior to Mr. Brainwash. Honestly, how much clip art and recycled, non original pop cultural icons with splatter paint does the public need to see before they realize it’s not a Warhol, its certainly not even close to as good as “pop” ( when pop art actually happened ) and it’s insulting. We get it, it’s shallow, its hack work – and you want us to believe it could be “so much more” – let me tell you, it isn’t.

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