What we’re really looking forward to in 2021 are new records from some of the best bands around right now. Here, Julia Mason talks to the punk four-piece, Slender Pins, whose new music you need to listen out for in 2021.
Being an independent musician was hard even before COVID-19 brought the world to a halt. With venues being shut down, tours cancelled, and releases postponed, the ongoing pandemic has shaken up the music industry as a whole, and independent artists are among those whose livelihoods are most threatened by the global crisis. Despite all this, 2020 has been a prosperous year for new music and artists have been finding increasingly inventive ways of getting themselves seen and heard. For once, I think we can all be grateful for social media for keeping us entertained through the dark times. There is hope for the new year, though it may take some time to return to normal, we do have new music to look forward to.
JM: What have you missed most in 2020?
Ash: I miss the human touch. I miss the alcohol spilling on your hand as you jostle at a gig. I miss licking people without needing to know where they’ve been.
Alex: Seeing gigs and *good* films at the cinema – all Tenet left me with was the profound wish that I could “invert” the two and a half hours I wasted watching it.
JM: Who are you inspired by musically?
Alex: I would say Bob Dylan, but how could I countenance listening to the music of somebody who heartlessly derives revenue from his work.
JM: What is your songwriting process?
Ash: Often, we begin with a title or a hate, and everything flows from there. Alex sometimes captures demos of ideas on his phone, and we whistle it to each other and see if it sticks. Then we present what we have to the others, and they make it better or worse. The hardest part of writing is never the music, always the lyrics, which is strange because English is our first language.
Alex: There is no process; we are entirely reliant on the chance firing of random neurons.
JM: If you could choose anywhere to gig where would it be?
Ash: The roof of Buckingham Palace during the Golden Jubilee, in order to push Brian May off.
Alex: Eurovision. Our music is how the UK will regain the glories of Lulu and Bucks Fizz.
Ed: British seaside towns: Scarborough, Hastings, Blackpool etc.
JM: If I took a look inside your fridge right now, what would I find?
Ash: In my fridge are the ingredients for Christmas dinner and half a packet of cherry tomatoes. Tier 4 has not found me with my trousers down – I was prepared for this next circle of Hell – but this Christmas it will just be me and a book about Mao.
Ed: Herring rollmops, tomato ketchup, some god awful vegan cheese, a turkey waiting for the big day.
Alex: I don’t know exactly what is in there, but not eggs, which are on the windowsill – I like to live dangerously.
JM: What are your immediate plans for 2021?
Ash: To create new music, to be vaccinated, to not write a song about coronavirus.
Alex: Forget 2020. Then, perhaps, release new music.
Ed: Get out of Tier 4, then try and persuade someone to help us release the best new-wave/indie rock EP the world will have heard in a good thirty years or so.
Slender Pins released 3 tracks in 2020: “Visions”, “Apprentice to Life” and “Rough”.
At the end of December, they released “There Must Be” available for free until the 12th day of Christmas. All Bandcamp donations go to the Windmill Brixton crowdfunder.
To hear more new music from Slender Pins, check out their Facebook page.
Please support your favourite independent artists by buying merch and music directly from them, and donate to your local venues that are at risk of closing down due to the pandemic.