I showed my feelings towards this band already a couple of weeks ago, when I wrote a bit about the new album. No need to add a lot to that from my side: Pants Yell! are fantastic. Let's hear what the band's frontman Andrew Churchman has to say instead.
Hello Andrew! Can you please give us a short history of the band so far? How did the three of you meet, and why did you decide to start making music together?
I began writing songs under the name Pants Yell in 2001 while a senior in high school. In 2003 Sterling and I, along with our first drummer Carly, began playing as a proper band. We all met at art school. We started playing music together because Carly was the only drummer I knew. Sterling saw our first show and wanted to be a part of the group so he joined as a keyboard player but soon took up the bass. In 2006 Casey joined the band as our new drummer.
New album Received Pronunciation is out this month on the legendary Slumberland Records. On their website the label calls itself your ‘spiritual home’. Do you feel that way too? How did you end up releasing this album on Slumberland?
Yes, we do feel that Slumberland Records is our spiritual home. They have been one of my favorite record label since I was a teenager and we've been hugely influenced by the bands they've put out. I think we're a perfect fit for the label.
Is it true that Received Pronunciation will be the final Pants Yell! album? If so, why?
Yes, this will be our final album. I want to end the band on a high note and not drag on. This is our fourth album - that's a good number for an indie-pop band.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the album? I notice you’re still an impressive and subtle storyteller. I also notice the horns and strings that coloured the previous album have gone. How did the songs and sound for this album come about? And how did you choose the title?
I wanted this album to be sparse and a little rawer. I wanted it to sound like us playing in a live in a living room, but with a coupel of extra guitar players. I was very influenced by the Sea and Cake album The Biz. It just sounds like a bunch of dudes playing music in a basement. The album title comes from Jessica of the Would-Be-Goods accent.
Your last album was called Alison Statton. On your myspace there’s a little video message from Alison Statton herself. How did that happen? Did you ever consider asking her for recording a song together? I’m sure it’d sound rather great!
You know what, I never thought of approaching her to record a song together - that's a great idea!
That video was taken by some friends of ours in Paris who went to a Young Marble Giants gig and had her tape that message. They posted it on the internet to surprise us. It was a big surprise.
Apart from the already mentioned Alison Statton and her Young Marble Giants, what kind of music did you grow up with? Do you remember what music did make you want to be in a band yourselves?
I grew up listening to Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Polvo - lots of indierock. I started getting into indie-pop when I began high school - Belle & Sebastian, Aislers Set, Felt. Nirvana was the band that made me want to be in a band myself. Kurt Cobain made me want to start playing guitar. I got my first guitar when I was 10 years old and the first song I learned how to play was Smells Like Teen Spirit.
Pants Yell!’s own music stands out for being so… elegant? Ooh, that sounds a bit boring, doesn’t it? That’s not at all what I mean though. ‘Subtle’ might be a better word. It seems like you deliberately hold back in your way of singing and playing to draw attention to the flow of the words and melody. Are you never tempted to be more raucous?
Yes, we get much more raucous live. I think it's a nice dynamic to have the album and the live show be two different things.
Sorry, but I need to ask: what’s the story behind the name Pants Yell!?
There is no story - I just liked how the two words looked together. I've always been a fan of band names that start with P.
What’s coming up for Pants Yell! in the coming year? Can we hope for a European tour?
Well, we've announced that this is going to be our final record so we will be disbanding in the spring, but we will be playing plenty of shows before that time and will more than likely have a 7" single being released in the spring as well.
Let's hope the end of Pants Yell! won't be the end of you making music. I'm looking forward to hearing about your next project in the future. Thanks Andrew!
Pants Yell! myspace
Download (right click, save as)
1. Pants Yell! - Cold hands
2. Pants Yell! - Kids are the same
3. Pants Yell! - Magenta and green