We sat down for a pint with Pynch in Brixton to find out what makes their vision for guitar music truly exciting.

Born through a web of Facebook ads, shoe complements and brotherly bloodlines, Pynch press refresh on guitar music.

Words: Poppy | Photo: Scott Enock

Looking to start a band? Perhaps it’s time to invest in a pair of Nike Cortez trainers. It worked for Pynch so it might just work for you. Meeting through a web of Facebook ads, shoe complements and brotherly bloodlines, this 4-piece are a refreshing addition to the populated shores of guitar music – their lyrics are clear-spoken, witty and so relatable one can’t help but smile. With their videos and songs boasting a DIY ethos to the core, Pynch’s vision is truly exciting.

Releasing their song Karaoke earlier this month, the chugging strings and clear-cut words fit into the lineage of Pynch’s pre-existing releases, yet build on the band’s material through a dip into electronica and beyond. A few weeks ago, Hard of Hearing sat down with lead singer Spencer to find out how the band crafts such an enchanting sound, uses their nostalgia for musical means and most importantly, what tunes you’d find them belting out at their local.

Can you tell us a bit about Pynch? 

“James (keys) and I met at university and struck up a conversation when he saw my Forrest Gump Nike Cortez trainers. He asked me to join a band and I didn’t take him seriously at first. When I agreed, we posted an ad on Facebook where we met our drummer Juliana, and joined forces with my brother Scott who now plays bass. He’s a few years younger and a few inches taller.”

You released your latest single ‘Karaoke’ in August. How would you describe the evolution of your music from your very first release?

“We’ve incorporated more electronic elements. When we first started out, I considered myself more of a songwriter, but recently, I think I’m more of a producer because of how much home-recording we’ve done. Lyrically, I’ve always known what I want to say – I want to make songs that are personal to me, memorable to an audience and accompanied by exciting guitar solos.”

Your lyrics are romantic, heart-breaking, funny and relatable. Where do you draw inspiration from?

“I try to keep up with politics and I think that naturally makes its way into the music. I also love Stereolab, Yo La Tengo, LCD Soundsystem and Julian Casablancas. I like juxtaposing the funny with the heart-breaking, so I guess you could say it’s a fusion of my past love for emo music and my current tastes.”

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt about songwriting?

“Make your instrumentation intentional – try and think about what you want to evoke, let the production reflect that and have a rough final product in mind.”

What’s your first memory of music?

“Probably the ad breaks between TV shows on a Saturday morning when I was a kid. I remember Nickelback’s ‘How You Remind Me’ and The Smiths’s ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’ being played a lot, alongside my dad’s love of The Clash and classic indie stuff like that. My brother and I got guitars one Christmas and got dextrous playing a lot of Green Day, Blink 182 and heavy metal. I guess it was worth it!”

What is it about the DIY production process that works for your band?

“Not all our songs have been completely DIY. Our first song ‘Disco Lights’ was produced and released via Dan Carey and Speedy Wunderground so it was tricky at first to follow in his footsteps. Our latest single ‘Karaoke’ was also co-produced by Gordon Raphael (The Strokes, HINDS). Apart from that, I’ve found it difficult to work with other producers because I feel like their vision differs from the sound we’re trying to achieve as a band. Even if a song doesn’t sit right with me by 10%, I haven’t been able to release it.”

The world is at one’s fingertips with DIY production these days. How do you stop yourself from adding more effects?

“It’s difficult because you can always add one more delay or compress it slightly more. My friend Reuben once said ‘mixes are never finished, only abandoned’. ”

Do you think all musicians should learn how to produce their own music?

“Not necessarily, but if you bring in someone else and you have a gap in your musical knowledge, chances are they’ll fill that with their own vision and you might disagree. It’s important to know what song vibe you want to go for so you don’t do it a disservice by giving the song the wrong production.”

‘Karaoke’ has been described as a song about ‘love, communication and a trip to California.’ When I listen to this song, I think about a film montage where the protagonist is driving along a highway. What’s the scene in the Pynch movie where this song plays?

“It plays right after the film’s climax – the main character is in an emotional taxi ride home.”

The accompanying music video matches your fuzzy vocals with its lo-fi aesthetic. Was this intentional?

“Lo-fi is cheap and we like to tap into millennial nostalgia!”

What’s one millennial item you’re nostalgic about?

“Video tapes.”

And the ideal physical format for your songs to be released on?   

“Vinyl – it’s every musician’s dream. I’d love to release stuff on tape – whether or not you have a player, the tape itself becomes another artefact containing the music.”

The final unavoidable question. What’s your go to ‘Karaoke’ song?  

“I hate karaoke. I’ve been listening to a lot of Sufjan Stevens recently. That’s not very karaoke is it…”