Interview: Pintandwefall Unmasked
by Brian Willett
This band was supposed to break up after their first gig. But the gig at a high school party in early 2006 was a blast! Who would have thought that these mysterious masked girls could achieve so much in such a short period of time?
In America, the last few all-female acts to captivate a significant portion of the nation and see significant success in terms of record sales have had one thing in common. Destiny’s Child, TLC, Spice Girls, Pussycat Dolls and their ilk drew the attention of critics and fans mainly because of their femininity. These groups offered a foil to the boy bands of the day, and it was more of a girl power vibe reverberating among teeny boppers, rather than creative and high-quality music, that really fueled their popularity.
But what if an all-female band wants to be taken seriously as a group of musicians, rather than a group of girls? What if they want to be known for their music, rather than their looks? This is where Pintandwefall enters. This energetic, all-female outfit from Finland does have a marked lack of testosterone, but the group’s music indicates that gender doesn’t have to be their defining characteristic. Just one listen to Pintandwefall will turn one’s expectations of girl bands upside-down; this talented group doesn’t offer sugar-coated pop songs designed for the iPods of 13-year-olds.
Pintandwefall sounds more like The White Stripes than the Spice Girls, with a gritty, garage-rock edge and a lack of pretentiousness and over-produced pop. Songs such as the bass-heavy “Jail” may very well bounce their way into the heads of listeners with little hope of escape, but there’s nothing annoying about it. Pintandwefall has a distinct sound that seems destined to stick around, not fade like fall fashions and “in” bands.
The band’s live shows bring boundless energy and masked mystery – an unforgettable performance for sure. After seeing how far the Finnish foursome has come, it’s unbelievable that Pintandwefall originally formed with the intention of breaking up after their first gig at a high school party. But from the infectious beat of “Zombie” to the grungy “Okto,” it’s clear that such an early departure would have robbed the music world of a diamond in the rough.
Daniel: Tell us about yourself, how did all of you meet, where are you girls from and what have you been up to?
Pintandwefall: We met in upper secondary school, we were school mates in Vaskivuoren lukio. We’re mostly from Helsinki nearby. After upper secondary school Dumb has studied millinery and now she is in art school. Crazy studies now clothing, Cute millinery as well and Tough is in Helsinki university studying to be a teacher.
Daniel: What’s behind the band name Pintandwefall? How come the album is titled Hong Kong Baby?
Pintandwefall: Actually our friend, Juho Eklund, has invented the name before the band even existed. It’s twisted from a stupid joke about bad tolerance of alcohol. The joke was bad enough to found a band called Pintandwefall. And the title is true in some situations. The album name Hong Kong, Baby means nothing but just some feeling and sounds on the album. Since our first demo we have added “baby” to the end of every title.
Daniel: Which one of you writes the lyrics, or is it a band collaboration?
Pintandwefall: We all write lyrics and compose songs!
Daniel: I noticed you girls play the drums, guitar yourself – can all of you play instruments? If so, who and which ones!
Pintandwefall: We started from a blank table. Everyone had to grab an instrument they couldn’t play and had never played before. We’ve learned to play our instruments together and yes, we’ve all done some progress. Thou all of us had some past as musicians as playing some other instruments.
Tough Pint plays the drums, Cute Pint plays the percussion, Crazy Pint plays the bass and Dumb Pint plays the guitar. And sometimes we change our instruments (as in Sad Song from our album Hong Kong, Baby). AND we all sing ofcourse!
Daniel: Where did the mask thing begin? Who brought the creative idea to the table? And do you perform with the mask as well?
Pintandwefall: The looks has always played a big part in our performances! On our first gig we wore big sunglasses because we wanted to look cool. Then few months later just before a gig we stopped by a masquerade shop and saw thease black zorro masks. No idea who said it first but together we wanted to test masks on that night’s gig. Later our friends said that it looked stupid. So ofcourse we wanted to keep the masks and continue playing gigs wearing them. And Dumb has developed later different kinds of masks to variate our look on stage.
Daniel: I heard that Pintandwefall was supposed to break up after it’s first gig. What was that story all about?
Pintandwefall: Yes! The whole idea was to start a band just for one show. Dumb wanted to do something new on her last school year so she asked Tough, Crazy and Cute to start this punk band with her and it was going to be called Pintandwefall. We learned to play the instruments in few weeks and made two songs that lasted three minutes all together. The band was never supposed to go further than our schools band marathon but the judges in there gave us more gigs so we had to make more songs. Then the band was nomore a joke. We started seriously working on it.
Daniel: Where do you draw your inspiration from, who are your greatest musical inspirations and influences?
Pintandwefall: Inspirations come from everyday life: heart aches, Argentinean messenger friends, discussing birds, friends and sea life. We can’t name it! It just comes. Or whatever rhymes. We all have so different musical influences that we can’t name any particular. Sound of music! Haha.
Daniel: What is your favorite thing about being in the music industry.
Pintandwefall: Meeting people who have the same interests is always fabulous! Getting free cds! Seeing great gigs and being onstage of course! To hear own music on radio.
Daniel: What are the hopes for 2010?
Pintandwefall: Making new album.