Gimpleg had the pleasure of speaking with Powder Pink & Sweet. Together they discussed their name, their writing process, their influences, and so much more!
1 Hello and welcome to music shelf, how are you today?
I am well! Thank you!
2. What, exactly, is Powder Pink & Sweet? Where did the band name come from?
Powder Pink & Sweet is a kind of my solo project but also a band. The band name is a lyric from a Cure song- The Caterpillar
3. Powder Pink has songs titled Grey Day and Blue Sunshine. Is there something inherent in color that you like to use in your imagery?
I don’t have a specific word formula for songwriting- purely coincidental.
4. Your debut album just came out in November, what was it like writing the album?
The songs were all just what I had in my repertoire and decided to put them together in an album. I didn’t set out to write an album per se…I just compiled them together.
5. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
My taste is eclectic, but as far as the style of music I like to play and listen to the most is on the post punk and indie side of the spectrum. I was a teenager in the 80s so New Wave was my main genre – which encompassed goth, ska, post punk, dance music. Also the indie music of the 90’s so grunge, alternative, brit pop, etc. I also love classic rock, tiki and lounge, 60s and 80s ska, and have recently gotten into Miles Davis, Bill Evans and Dave Brubeck. I like the 50s and early 60s style of jazz. Radiohead is in heavy rotation right now as well. The Cure, The Beatles, Depeche Mode, Interpol, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus, Love & Rockets.. I also love classic 70s and 80s rock.
6. You started off as a solo artist before becoming a four piece band. How did you come together and how did that change your music?
I started off just trying to see if I could write songs by myself. And challenging myself to learn how to record and play all the instruments – except drums, but I am learning how to choose drum beats and what style of beat a song should have. I then thought i would like to play live again, but not alone. My friend and former bandmate, Sarah from several of my past bands joined me on drums and another friend, Kim (who was the original bassist in The Distillers among other cool punk bands) helped us out on bass for a bit. Kim moved out of town and we ran ads for a guitarist and bassist and found Carl, with whom we hit it off immediately. He is a real guitarist and adds that extra guitar expertise to the music. Our friend Steph then joined us on bass. We had that line up until halfway through the pandemic lockdown and then Sarah and Steph had other obligations. We found Hannah through my voice teacher and she is amazing. Geoffrey has been playing drums with us for almost a year now.
7. You had a concert back in January and shared a video of a large group slow dance while you played. To me that seems like something that only happens in movies. What was it like being on stage while everyone started slow dancing?
Haha, that was fun! Surprising…but we play a cover of Apocalypse by Cigarettes After Sex and they all seemed to know and like that song. That was a great night- everyone seemed to have a great time and enjoy the eclectic band lineup.
8. Speaking of that concert back in January, you also have a couple shows coming up. Where are they and how can people get tickets?
We just played back to back shows last week, which were great fun. We have a couple more on the books coming up- April 13th at The Knitting Factory in North Hollywood and May 13th at Permanent Records Roadhouse so far. I have posted links to the events on our website www.powderpinkandsweet.com or on our Linktree in our Instagram and Facebook page. We also are hoping to play some more shows in the summer.
9. Your voice has a special ethereal quality to it that seems to carry the music more than any of the words or lyrics that you sing. Is that your natural singing voice? What kind of vocal training and vocal warm-ups do you do before performing?
Thank you. I have a soprano singing (and speaking voice). I don’t think I am a very good singer yet…but I think my voice suits the more dreamy styles of music. I am not a belter. I started singing late in life…I took lessons and then went back to college to get my degree in my 30’s and was a music major, and voice was my instrument. We sang classical and choral in school and I loved it. I really enjoy singing and I enjoy trying to make my voice sound “pretty”. I take lessons here and there, mostly when I need to overcome issues. I do need to practice more though…with all my instruments, haha! I have some warmups from a few voice teachers that I do frequently.
10. Do you have a personal favorite song of your own that has a special meaning to you that is your favorite to play or sing?
Not really- the songs are like my kids- I don’t have any favorites! They all have special things about them that I love.
11. I’m sure your song writing process has changed a lot since this started as a solo project before becoming a full band. What’s the difference in your writing between when you starred and now?
It’s actually not too different; I think the main thing is that Carl contributes his guitar lines so he adds another sound and expertise that I can’t play or wouldn’t have “heard”.
12. Your vinyl has a beautiful powder pink color. Whose idea was that and where can people get their own?
Thank you. It was my idea- but I actually looked at a lot of different colors. Once the artwork came together, the pink with the purple marble made sense aesthetically.
The vinyl is available on our Bandcamp site https://powderpinkandsweet.bandcamp.com/album/little-storiesor at our shows.
13. And lastly, where can people follow you, stream your music, and find out more information about Powder Pink and Sweet?
I am most current and active on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/powderpinkmusic/or Facebook. We have a website also: www.powderpinkandsweet.com.
We are also on all the online streaming and digital platforms- Spotify, Bandcamp, Apple, Amazon, etc.