PINKY PINKY: SO DRASTIC, BUT SO COOL
photography by debi del grande
None of the members of L.A.’s Pinky Pinky take themselves the least bit seriously, and their music reflects that—at the heart of their punchy, timeless rock n’ roll sound is a sly sense of humor that’s like catching a private wink from across a crowded room. The band’s newest Hot Tears EP captures the band at their most musically mature point yet, but it’s still just as down to earth and fun as the members themselves. L.A. RECORD asked drummer and singer Anastasia Sanchez, bassist Eva Chambers, and guitarist Isabelle Fields about why they’re not a girl group, how they find humor in everything, and the heartbreak of a drag queen missed connection. They play an early show at the Echo on Sat., June 16. This interview by Julia Gibson.
I just watched the video for ‘Margaret.’ The aesthetic was spot-on—as someone who bought and wore Limited Too bandanas and butterfly clips I was like, ‘This is so right.’
Anastasia Sanchez (drums/vocals): The video was the director’s idea initially for another band. We were talking, and she was like ‘I’m doing this crazy video’ and then the next day she called me and was like ‘The band dropped out … will Pinky Pinky do it?’ I was like, ‘Hell yeah we will!’ We collaborated with her because none of our songs fit a 2000s teen bedroom vibe. We were like, ‘What song could we do?’ Then we realized ‘Margaret’ would be funny because of the twist we put on it—we added that darker aspect.
What is ‘Margaret’ actually about?
Anastasia Sanchez: I wrote is as a joke about a single mom who is really depressed and reverts to wine and pills as her comfort. You know—she’s one of those wine moms. But basically, she’s just having a fantasy about … well, it could be about bestiality, about having sex with her cat. But it could also be about her sexual fantasy about another woman.
Eva Chambers (bass): Shooting it was very fun. All we had to do was be our obnoxious selves—just laugh and jump around. We definitely tried to overact and make it funny and fun. A lot of people responded well to that, and a lot of people also didn’t get that it was humorous. They were like, ‘It’s good, but it’s really dark.’
Why did you decide to start a band in the first place? Not everyone in 8th grade does that.
Eva Chambers: Why DID we decide to start a band?
Isabelle Fields (guitar): I made an Instagram post in 7th or 8th grade, being like, ‘Any bassists and drummers want to be in a band?’ I wanted to start playing music. So many people in L.A. are in bands—I feel like that’s a common thing.
Anastasia Sanchez: I did play drums throughout my youth, and I wanted to continue that. I wanted to pick up the drums and have something fun to do after school. It’s fun to have a hobby, it’s fun to have something to be excited about.
Isabelle Fields: And an excuse to be with your friends all the time.
Eva Chambers: I also had a band with my sisters, which deteriorated as we grew up. I really wanted to play bass for some reason. It was a good excuse to learn—bass is a boring instrument to play by yourself. It’s more fun to jam. That’s how we all learned—we learned a lot together.
Did you start out as a rock band?
Eva Chambers: When Isabelle and I started playing together, we wanted to be a punk band. That’s as far as our brains went—really simple stuff.
Anastasia Sanchez: And then when I joined the band … didn’t you guys want to be more psychedelic?
Eva Chambers: It became more poppy. It went from being punk to psychedelic to blues rock to … I don’t know what we are now.
Isabelle Fields: We’re a little taste of everything.
Anastasia Sanchez: The phases of our music went with the phases we went through in high school. I got really into Cream.
Eva Chambers: And Rory Gallagher and Taste. I really liked blues because I really liked rock ‘n’ roll, and I wanted to get to the base of that. I feel like a lot of teenagers are trying to emulate a certain kind of genre, and it’s so specific—but it’s easier and more fun to play when you can play whatever you want to and you don’t have to label it.
Anastasia Sanchez: We created a whole different sound. We experiment a lot with it too.
Do people ever hear your music or see you play and assume you listen to someone that you really don’t? Or maybe that you’re influenced by someone that you haven’t gotten into?
Eva Chambers: We’ll be compared to bands that we’re like, ‘Oh we didn’t know we sounded like that,’ but I’ve never been taken aback by anything.
Anastasia Sanchez: We never get compared to bands we don’t like though. One time someone told me that I sound a lot like Kate Bush.
That’s a good compliment.
Isabelle Fields: We’ve been compared to Sleater-Kinney a lot. It’s because they’re an all-girl band.
Your music shows that you’ve grown together. You move from a straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll sound to some 60s girl-group vibes on ‘Hot Tears,’ and your new EP sounds like a departure from your self-titled EP.
Anastasia Sanchez: We’re just experimenting more—we’re being looser and realizing that we don’t have to label ourselves with any genre. The whole girl-group aspect … we’re not aiming for that. We’re just girls who make music and I don’t think it should be labeled that way.
Isabelle Fields: We’ve grown a lot as musicians since the last EP. That was recorded when we were 16 and 17, and now this is 17 and 18. We’ve grown a lot more and can pick up things differently now—more than we could in high school. So I think we have grown a lot and that shows.
How do you think your creative process works now? Is it different?
Anastasia Sanchez: It’s a very different process every single time. Usually I’ll write the melody and lyrics, and Isabelle and Eva will throw down the riff, and Eva will be like, ‘Look, I did this on piano—let’s try this.’
Eva Chambers: I honestly can’t even say what it is. Last week we wrote a song really fast … in like one practice. Other times we’re writing for over a year and still can’t finish. It always changes so much.
Anastasia Sanchez: A lot of our songs too … we write as a joke at first. Someone’s strumming the guitar and someone else is singing something stupid over it and then we’re like, ‘Wait … we could make that a song.’
So one of the lyrics from ‘Margaret’ came from a dream. Where else do you get inspiration?
Eva Chambers: Where don’t we get inspiration?
Isabelle Fields: We literally get inspiration from anything, from anywhere. We could look at a poster and be inspired. That sounds cheesy, but we think everything is really funny, and that inspires us.
Eva Chambers: We have the sense of humor of 10-year-old boys. We’re just excited about everything.
Anastasia Sanchez: We don’t take ourselves super seriously. What we’re doing … it’s not crazy serious. We didn’t go into this band thinking, ‘OK, we’re going to make records and do this and this.’ We did it for fun, and we’re still trying to stick to that mentality as much as possible.
Isabelle Fields: Right now, it seems like people are trying really hard to fit into a certain genre, and it just comes off really … not arrogant … but a little bit. Why can’t we just have fun and make the music we want to make and write songs about what we want to talk about?
Is there anything that you as a band hate writing about but can’t not write about? Or maybe something you really want to write about but haven’t found a way to do so yet?