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IMG_2911story / Louie Diaz
photos / Andrew White

When I receive the assignment from LADYGUNN to interview London-based band The Big Pink, I immediately say yes as if I’ve just won something and it was mine for the taking. I open my laptop and go to my good old reliable friend Google to get the latest 411 on the band.
YouTube is my first link of choice so I can put a face and, hopefully, a cool music video to the group. Luckily I do just that: “Hightimes” is their most recent video posted and as soon as I listen to the first thirty seconds of the song, I get chills on my arms. It’s one of those  songs that puts you in a melancholy mood. That was my experience. The track is not only amazing, but I remember hearing it vaguely somewhere —Urban Outfitters while I was shopping and  too lazy to Shazaam to see who the artist was.  Fortunately, our worlds collided anyway, and I now had the opportunity to meet and interview the band.
Consisting of members Robbie Furze , Mary Charteris, Free Hallas, and Jesse Russell, the band is getting a lot of  buzz on their latest single, as well as headlining a North American tour. We schedule to meet at the Ludlow Hotel. After meeting with the photographer and grabbing a drink, fifteen minutes Furze arrives frazzled, as if he just woke up from playing a show and a night of debauchery. This is  basically his excuse and the reason why Mary isn’t available for the interview. He apologizes, but let’s just say I could have guessed that with no explanation needed. However, one thing I admire is honesty: I love people that don’t BS and own their shit. We sit down and get to talking.
Tell me about your new EP and inspiration for Empire Underground.
It was a while since the second album, and I was writing a lot. It’s short of a condensed record of the first two albums. “Hightimes” is a perfect example of what inspired me. It was all about walking away and learning a lot and doing it better the next time.
How did Mary get involved with The Big Pink?
I met her years ago in NYC when I was recording my first record. I always had girl singers on my tracks and I needed someone to sing on a track. While mixing I noticed her tone of her voice fits the lower end of my voice. And weirdly she’s amazing at coming up with her own melodies and harmonies, she’s a real talent and picked up singing naturally.
What’s the biggest difference between playing in London as opposed to the North America?
Here in the states people are so enthusiastic about live performances and they stick with their bands. There’s a bit of a fast-food culture in London, kids kind of go through bands real quickly. Bands come and go quickly. Luckily we were one of the bands to solidify the name with people all around the world. Nowadays bands are on the front cover of a magazine and in two weeks time no one remembers them. You come out here and fans are excited and we put out a song the first time in three years and we’re headlining a tour.
Since taking a break in 2011 what are some challenges that you’re facing coming back and headlining a tour?
I mean, I love to tour. I like the studio, but I really did get sick of the studio. I’ve been touring since I was 11, so it was easy to just get back in the groove. You forget how tiring it really is.
Discuss “Hightimes” and the video concept.
When discussing the EP and the record, I didn’t have big expectations. But the song did much better than we thought and it was a hit on blogs, Soundcloud and Spotify. So when discussing the video we were thinking of doing GIF’s and graphics moving and it just came about.
How did the new single “Beautiful Criminal” come about?
It’s a bit of a different song for us. It was one of the last songs we wrote. It’s also the first time having a duet between Mary and I. I think it’s a pretty personal song, it’s a love song. It’s an idea of having a partner in crime and being on a journey with someone and to exist and succeed with whatever the world throws at you.
What’s can fans expect next for The Big Pink?
We’re working on a new album and we will finish up when I’m back in LA. I’m living in LA at the moment. The album is expected to be released in October of this year.

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