New York band Pains of Being Pure At Heart return this summer with new single 'Say No To Love,' which they describe as a ''perfect summertime single full of fuzz and feelings!"
If you didn't catch theirphenomenaly successful self-titled debut album (number 15 in NME's Top 50 Albums Of 2009, number 19 in Pitchfork's list, number 5 in Rough Trade's albums of the year) you must of been living in a cave! I caught up with the only female in the band, Peggy to talk friendship, teenage love and touring!
Hi Peggy, how's it going?
Good, good. Drinking rose champagne in Amsterdam. It doesn't get much better than that.
You have toured all over the world with your band (The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart), where
has your most memorable gig been?
I would have to say the Manchester gig at the Chorlton Irish Center. If I've ever been "high on life" it would have been at that show. It was a bunch of sweaty kids moshing to "Teenager in Love" and it just felt so surreal, like I was in a parallel universe, where people think wussy songs about love are actually kind of punk. Afterwards, we sold our merch out the back of our van in a big parking lot, and all these kids were hanging around. I just felt really happy to be contributing to such a quintessential teen moment, when your curfew's been half an hour extended and you're just enjoying the finer things in life, like sitting on the hood of a car and pretending to be bored.
You are the only girl in the band, do you enjoy being the only girl or sometimes do the boys
all get a bit much?!
Well, the guys in my band aren't super typical "dudes" so I think we get on pretty good. Honestly, I enjoy their senses of humor and gender differences aren't something that cross my mind that often. If they were like, leering at girls or doing really immature stuff, I don't know if I could deal with that. But thankfully, I think we're on the same level and treat each other with mutual respect. I really don't mind being the only girl at all, but that's not saying I wouldn't enjoy having another girl around to like, go shopping with sometimes.
What's the quality you most admire in a friend?
To me, reliability really means a lot. I'm not going to hound anyone or give ultimatums if someone doesn't want to hang out with me, so once someone exhibits any flakiness, I know to stop putting effort in. I also really value a person that I can appreciate on a jokey, fun, humor level as well as a serious level. I can't be funny and light-hearted all the time. When someone has a similar sense of cynicism, humor, and sarcasm, but I can also talk to them seriously about true life, misery, etc, that's when I know that they're special.
Do you remember the first tv show/movie/band that impacted your style and identity
That's tough to choose just one. I really worshipped Anna Chlumsky in the movie My Girl, and also Clarissa from Clarissa Explains it All. But maybe my first ever style inspiration was Claudia Kishi from the book series, The Babysitters Club. I had a weird complex about being Asian because I grew up in a city where there were literally none. I felt like no boy would ever like me, and that everyone probably thought I was weird-looking and gross. But Claudia was like, a really cool Asian, especially in a time when there weren't any on television or in movies. She was like the female antithesis to Long Duck Dong.
Kip says your new single is ''about a girl telling an emo boy to go grow a pair."!
I think "Say No to Love" has a message about independence, which I can relate to despite being partial to really pathetic love songs most of the time. It's the sort of message I want to send to someone who's in a codependent, or even just super pointless relationship. People are afraid of being alone, but just settling for anyone to complete you is really unhealthy to me. I think it's actually the most romantic thing ever to enjoy being alone until the right thing comes along, almost in a can't-help-myself sort of way.
If you could meet your teenage self, what would you say to her / him?
I'd say, "Man, I've really devolved ever since I left you. It's cool that you like, care about stuff."
- Do you have a guilty pleasure song right now?
I have too many to name, specifically from the '90s. But lately I've really been enjoying "In Too Deep" by Sum 41.