Now that their debut album ‘When Friends Die In Accidents‘ has been released, Sydney duo Pinch Hitter area gearing up to some touring in November to launch the album. If you are yet to give it a listen, head on over to Bandcamp [Here] where you can also sort out a copy digitally, on CD or Vinyl. The album is released through Microphone and Loudspeaker. We recently caught up with Nick from the band to answer our On The Record questions telling us a little more about the release. Expand this post to take a read of his answers and see the tour dates.
Listen while you read!
Tell us about the release title.
‘When Friends Die In Accidents’ is named after our song of the same name. The song details a hypothetical situation in which we lose a close friend. Neither Dave nor I have gone through the experience of losing someone close to us and we realize it’s only a matter of time before we do. The song is a pre-emptive stirring of the grieving process for every friend we’ve ever had who we’ll one day lose. It’s in 4 parts and drifts in and out throughout the record.
Tell us about the artwork.
The artwork was created by our good mate Max Stern (Signals Midwest/Meridian) who we had the pleasure of touring with earlier in the year. It also features our logo which was crafted by the amazingly talented and ever prolific Annie Walter. The insert features a photo of our very first show and the cover just might feature a younger (and infinitely cooler) Chris Cowburn of The Smith Street Band in what can only be described as the finest example of what being awesome means.
What format/s will it be released on and how will it be packaged?
12 inch Vinyl, 6 panel eco wallet CD, and digital.
Who will it be released through, and when?
October 17th through Microphone and Loudspeaker (mic-loud.com) and distributed through MGM.
Tell us about the studio and why you chose to record there?
I used to share a small studio in Coogee with my good friend and long time collaborator, Dylan Adams. The whole album was recorded and mixed there. As we weren’t paying by the hour, we had all the time in the world to get it done. This was both a blessing and a curse.
Tell us about the producer / engineer and why you chose to record with them?
I produced the record under the watchful eye of Dylan Adams who recorded the drums and strings and ended up mixing it. Him and I have collaborated for a long time. He’s worked on and produced a huge variety of music these last few years (DMA’S, Sticky Fingers, Lo!, Milhouse) and I think it was important to work with someone like that; someone who works well across a whole range of genres.
Did you go into the writing process with a clear direction in mind?
Not really. The songs themselves were more or less finished by the time we hit record. The big challenge was taking songs written for 2 banjos and turning them into full band arrangements. We had all the songs demoed and whilst on one of our many drives to Melbourne, we listened to them over and over while throwing all sorts of ideas around. We really wanted to challenge ourselves and make the kind of record we’ve never made before.
Were you listening to anything in particular during the writing / recording process that influenced the songs at all?
Bands like American Football have had a huge influence on both of us for a long time. Our original idea for the band was to play that sort of twinkly, mathy guitar driven music but play it on banjos instead of guitars. Other bands such as Charge Group and The Dirty Three were also getting a lot of time on our stereos during the recording.
Were there any albums you were referencing to aim for a certain type of sound production wise?
Not really. This made it difficult because there’s really no other banjo music out there that we’re directly influenced by. The banjo has a very unique sound and it was a big challenge to bring that into a genre/stye where there were no examples of what to sound like.
How long did you spend in the studio recording?
It was recorded over a 6 month period. It was my first time recording/producing a record so there was a lot of learning for me to do as we went along. We were also just squeezing sessions in between our day jobs, studies and tours. There were also some setbacks including me losing my voice and Dave requiring surgery on his wrist.
Tell us a little about the recording process the band used?
We demoed all the songs with banjos and vocals only. We’d then write all the other arrangements and play around with all sorts of ideas along the way. Given that we were in our own studio, we had a lot of time to try things out.
Was this any different to previous processes you have used?
Definitely. Dave and I have spent most of our time playing in louder, guitar driven punk rock bands where recording would mean going into a studio for a set amount of time and smashing it out in quick succession. This was the exact opposite of that. There’s a whole range of instruments on there (strings, flutes, organs, typewriters and tape machines)
Any guests involved? if so, who.. and what did they do?
Yep. Matt Blackman from Charge Group, Donnie Dureau from Blueline Medic, Thom Elder from Milhouse, Jen Buxton from Newcastle and Jai Courtney from Die Hard/Terminator all had a sing at some point. We really were spoilt for talent.
Any particular equipment outside your usual live gear used in the process?
Indeed. When we play live, it’s just 2 banjos and vocals. The recording had drums, bass, organ, piano, flutes, strings, typewriters, tape players and all sorts of percussion.
Any memorable studio moments?
Recording gang vocals at the Reverence Hotel on the last day of the 2013 Poison City Weekender was a pretty memorable experience.
What track/s are you most looking forward to playing live?
“All Of A Sudden”
How would you compare the final product to previous releases?
Worlds apart. Our only other release is 3 track demo recorded in a couple of hours with nothing more than 2 banjos and vocals.
Anything else you want to say or about the release?
Come and watch us live! We’re hitting the road in the November.
PINCH HITTER – ‘When Friends Die In Accidents‘
Available now through Microphone and Loudspeaker.
Get it digitally, on CD or Vinyl through Bandcamp [Here].