Since Bozeman isn’t exactly a booming metropolis, it is rare and exciting when awesome bands from out of town come to play. Mark every calendar for Monday, March 28 at 7 p.m. because there is going to be an all ages show at the Whistle Pig Korean featuring New York band American Pinup. They will be joined by Sleepless Elite and RATS, and — best of all — the cost is just a $5 suggested donation.
As they are currently on tour, the members of American Pinup are pretty busy, but luckily I had the pleasure of exchanging some emails with vocalist and guitarist Lauren West about their experience as a band. The band is made up of four people: West (the “Goddamn Lady,”), Tim Robbins (bass, “Uncle Timpskin,”) Rob Peralta (guitar, the “Cool Guy,”) and John Casale (drums the “Meat Man”). Robbins and West went to high school together and met through the Songwriters’ Club. Meanwhile, Peralta and Casale played in a different band together in high school and the four formed American Pinup in 2010 after finding each other through a “fortunately-worded Craigslist ad.”
American Pinup’s sound is most commonly described as indie rock. However, they don’t stick strictly to that criteria and strive to be a little more unique, playing whatever tickles their fancy. Elements of powerpop, punk, rockabilly, surf and folk are thrown into the mix to create their infectious, electrifying sound.
“Personally, I like to say if the ‘60s happened in the ‘90s, that’s kind of what our sound is like,” West said.
The group has been touring since 2012, traveling nationwide and also appearing at festivals such as Vans Warped Tour, The Fest and SXSW. They have released two EPs and two full-length albums so far, with plans to work hard on their next full-length record after they finish their current tour. Their last EP was self-released and they enjoyed having that control and freedom, but a full-length is a little more daunting and American Pinup might start looking for a label to back them up.
The musical inspiration for these albums comes from many different places, but West said that in her opinion, the best songs come out of real moments and reflect daily life.
“It’s one thing to really love the way a certain artist constructs riffs and melodies, but it’s another thing to take those technical bits of inspiration and weave [them] into the inspiration your own experiences offer,” West said.
When asked about her favorite aspect of being part of the band, West said one of her favorite aspects of being in the band was “writing songs, seeing them come to life and evolve, seeing how people react to them and hearing stories about how much the songs mean to them … that kind of thing is really artistically fulfilling.”
Of course, touring is a very close runner up: “It’s hard to beat traveling with your best friends, experiencing new things every day, and getting to do what you love every night.”
Although they have toured the country, American Pinup has never been to Bozeman, or anywhere in Montana before. Because of this, they aren’t sure what to expect but said that is all part of the fun and excitement of coming to a new city. I am convinced that this is a show nobody will want to miss, and you’ll probably find me cheering loudly in the front row.
“We’re definitely going to bring a big, crazy jolt of energy to your Monday night. We’re also using this tour to premiere some brand new material that we’re really stoked on so you’ll hear it first,” West said. “Show us what you got, Montana!”