Holy Pinto Interview

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez

Holy Pinto are an English band that should be on everyone’s watch list. Combining indie songs with staunch rhythm sections and glittering guitar textures, the group is prepping to release their debut LP in 2016. The Alternative caught up with the duo to discuss their new LP, their favorite beer and their biggest influences to writing the new record.

Holy Pinto, welcome to The Alternative! How are you today?

Aymen: All good thank you! Making plans, finalizing some album release things, about to partake in this interview – that’s how we do.

So, there is a new Holy Pinto album coming soon, what should fans and listeners expect

Aymen: It’s around ten songs – some happy and lighthearted, some dark, moody and introspective. It captures us really well and we can’t wait to put it out. There’s a song, it’s actually the opener, called “Matches” – it’s probably one of my favourite songs we’ve ever done musically; it’s really fun.

Ryan: I like Aymen’s coy phrasing of ‘around ten songs’ as there may be a bonus track for those savvy enough to find it. We’re both big fans of full and complete albums, all of our favourite records are journeys from beginning to end. Although this is our first shot at a full length, I think we’ve instilled a bit of that ethos into it.

Will there be any heavier bits?

Aymen: Haha yeah! I can’t scream or do that awesome gutsy vocal thing, which is a constant source of sadness, but there are definitely some heavier, more alt-rock, attack-y tracks. Last year we put out a bunch of music that was quite twee and indie pop sounding – tracks like “Tooth” and stuff. We like cohesive releases so that kinda became our temporary identity and maybe right now people know us for that sort of stuff. There’s stuff on the album like a song called “Hospital Room,” there’s actually two parts, and it’s one of the things I’m really proud of lyrically. That’s a heavier and more punk track, a bit of organ on it, quite bouncy but definitely less indie pop. “Fairylights” has an aggressive, syncopated groove and some pretty dark moments. There’s actually quite a lot of dark vibes on the album. I like the dark songs, I hope they resonate with people.

Ryan: Yea, like Aymen said there are some heavier moments, certainly more so than our previous releases; and I think the record is all the better for it. Even in songs where you wouldn’t class the music as particularly heavy, you get lyrical content that’s heavy in it’s own sense. I think it’s got a good blend of everything.

Where were you guys looking for inspiration?

Aymen: I think one of my barometers in how an album should be – in terms of flow, dynamics and cohesion – is still Dog Problems by The Format, Nate Ruess’s old band. I don’t think our album came out anything like that necessarily, but that’s the blueprint engrained in my head. Shout out to Brandon from band Looming (I know you guys at The Alternative love that band) we share a love of that record and once stayed up together ’til 4am recording a cover of “The Compromise!” Haha. There’s a slow-burner on the album called “Flowers” which is probably the first song that’s been sparked off by inspiration from literature – I was reading “Love in The Time of Cholera” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez the week before we went into the studio. I never finished the book actually. I just started reading it and got inspired then wrote that song. Haven’t picked it up since. Ridiculous. It was beautiful though – I’ll dig it out and finish it soon.  

Ryan: Yea, Dog Problems is such a record. In terms of drumming I was listening to a ton of Manchester Orchestra around the time we tracked it and also I’m a big fan of the contrasting drumming style of Jason McGerr (Death Cab for Cutie) – I wouldn’t say there’s anything on our album that you could directly attribute to those two bands, but maybe the style of rhythm section meets somewhere in the middle of the two.

Recently Holy Pinto acquired the bassist from College, correct? 

Aymen: Haha I love this question! So right now we rope different musician friends to play bass with us live and the latest person we got along with us was indeed Isaac who fronts the band Cøllege. It was an awesome novelty We played 3 shows with him; it’s a loose thing, if we’re ever short on “Pinto Staff” and need a bassist for any one-off shows in the south coast of England, he may get the nod! He’s a really creative guy and we’re both huge fans of his band; if he was a permanent fixture then there’d probably be a slowing down of his own musical output, and then we’d have nothing to listen to in the car.  

Favorite album to come out recently?

Aymen: The Mountain Goats Beat the Champ and Erlend Oye’s Legao

Ryan: The Mountain Goats Beat the Champ, Microwave Stovall and Kendrick Lamar To Pimp a Butterfly

Favorite style of beer to have? 

Aymen: So, right off the bat – Ryan will say Heineken because he succumbs to their marketing. Actually he’ll probably say Asahi, of which he also succumbs to their marketing. I actually love trying new beers and haven’t really got a go-to. That’s actually one of the nice things about touring; friends taking you along to local craft beer places.  At home in Canterbury I usually get Oranjeboom; it’s brewed pretty locally and is a quite cheap yet delicious lager beer. 

Ryan: Heineken do sponsor all my favourite events and my girlfriend works for Asahi, so I’m obliged to put it down as my favourite beer. Although the Oranjeboom Aymen drinks is brewed in the very same room as the Asahi – I’ll have to take him to the Brewery after our album drops to celebrate.

What can we expect from Holy Pinto for the rest of the year? 

Aymen: We’ll be touring our arses off for the rest of the year! We’ll see all our old friends, play to a bunch of new people and generally promote the record! 

Ryan: Touring and reaching as many new ears as possible. A very exciting 2016 ahead!

Last words?

Aymen: We’ll be putting out some new music, singles and pre-orders for our debut album really soon! It’s going to be on vinyl and here’s a spoiler – we’re doing this cool pre-order option where if you buy both colours then we’ll write you guys a personalised 20 second acoustic song/jingle. I’m really stoked on us doing that for people, so really hoping we get a bunch of those orders through!