PASCAL PINON – Interview

Morr Music kann sich schon einige tolle Entdeckungen auf die Fahne schreiben, doch manchmal muss man gar nicht lange suchen, man durchforstet einfach die Post und schaut ob etwas passendes dabei ist. So geschehen im Falle der beiden isländischen Schwestern Jófríður und Ásthildur, die gemeinsam als Pascal Pinon seit ihrem 14 Lebensjahr Musik machen und gerade dieser Tage via Morr ihr zweites Album ‘Twosomeness‘ veröffentlichten – das erste Highlight aus 2013! Und das nicht nur, weil Alex Somers, ansonsten Produzent von Sigur Rós oder Jónsi, das Album produzierte, sondern auch, weil die beiden Schwestern ihren Stil verfeinert und ihre Songs mehr durchdacht haben bzw. mittlerweile auch etwas erwachsener daher kommen. Grund genug einmal nachzuhaken: Pascal Pinon im Bedroomdisco Interview!

1.) Band facts

– Name: Pascal Pinon
– Band members: Jófríður & Ásthildur
– Founding year: 2009
– Residence: Reykjavík
– Current album: Twosomeness

2.) Questionnaire:

– At which point did you start making music? Had you been forced to play an instrument by your parents somehow or was it in your own interest? What was your motivation?

Our parents are both musicians so they greatly encouraged us to play music and payed for our tuition. i can’t remember a particular moment that we started making music but we were both very creative when we were kids and wrote stories and songs and made new lyrics when we didn’t know the original ones

– What musical influences do you have?
We get influnce from lots of different directions, my favorites are robert johnson, vashti bunyan, steve reich, stereolab and fleetwood mac

– At which point did you decide to form a band and how did you come up with the name Pascal Pinon, which meaning has it for you?
We were 14 years old and somehow the idea had been around for a while. when we found the right people the whole thing started rolling and all of a sudden we had this band pascal pinon. it means a lot to us because it is a project that we are lucky to be a part of and to see it grow and develop. it’s still interesting and fun to play in a band, to write songs and record and of course to share it with other people – that’s probably the best part.

– How would you describe your music?
It’s genuine, soft but still interesting, dreamy and atmospheric.

– How did you then proceed from making music at home to getting in contact with and releasing records through Morr Music?
Our mom was a fan of the label and suggested that we’d send them our music. she helped us create a package to send and then a few weeks later we got a very positive response from them.

– How do you normally work on songs? What are the steps/processes, what are the usual problems of finishing a song?
I usually just write something on my guitar, add a melody and lyrics and then bring it to ásthildur and we make the arrangement together. the hardest part is always writing the lyrics. i really want them to mean something without saying too much.

– In what situations do you write songs/lyrics/which themes inspire you to write songs?

I write lyrics when i feel like i have something to say or when there is an something in my stomach and my head that is really confusing and i need to sort it out. then i unfold it into poetry that often end up as lyrics.

– You sing in both English and Icelandic – how and in which point of the production/writing process do you decide in which language to sing, what reasons do you have to sing in English, what for singing in Iclandic? Do you feel more “safe” in one language?
I usually try out both languages and pick the one that feels best, and sometimes they just come easier in either language. it can be easier to write in english because you get so much inspiration from all the pop songs that you listen to that are in english, also it’s good to know that if your lyrics are in english then perhaps more people can understand it. it’s a bit hard to write in icelandic because there is a very strong tradition in poetry and a high standard, it’s easy to make it sound stupid. but when i feel comfortable with my lyrics in icelandic i will be very happy and proud.

– Could you tell us something about the production process of ‘Twosomeness’? How long did it take, where did it happen, what were the difficulties, how did you prepare for it? What was the best, what the worst moment? Most told anecdote?
The making of twosomeness was wonderful from beginning to end. it took one month, happened in jónsi and alex’s home studio, we prepared by bringing some 24 songs into the studio for us to choose from, after we had decided on a song to work on we stripped it completely down and found the core. then we rebuilt it, dived into the seams and gave it its own details and its own unique sound. the best part was when we made lunch and ate it on the balcony in the best weather in the world. the worst part was when alex decided to get a puppy to keep him from work.. but that wasn’t really bad after all

– Was the production process different to recording your debut record, if how?

It was, on our debut album we just recorded songs and arrangements exactly the way we had been playing them live in the months before. on twosomeness we didn’t think about live performance at all, but let our creativity go wild.

– For ‘Twosomeness’ you did work (at least we read this once) with Alex Somers – how did it come to this and which influence did he have to the sound of the record? How does he work?
Alex had seen us play live and mentioned it to thomas, who runs our label, that he would like to work with us. after hearing our demos for the new album thomas suggested that we tried working with alex and it was so amazing we decided to go for it, even though it meant waiting another year until we’d release anything.
i think he works differently with each artist but what i liked most about his work with us was how he always brought out the best in us and was always open to suggestions, even the most ridiculous ones

– ‘Somewhere’ is one of our favorite songs on the record – can you tell us what it is about, how it was done and if there is a story behind it?

Somewhere is about falling for someone that you know you will not see for a long time. it’s a very optimistic and miserable song at the same time. i wrote it a few months after all the emotional drama had passed, so it was somehow a statement, i was going to be sensible.

– If you compare ‘Twosomeness’ to your debut record – which progress do you see in your lyrics, the music and the production?
I hope it’s a step forward, it’s only 3 years between them but these years are very important. it’s so different being 14 and 17. on twosomeness we had more help from others and we had more songs to choose from so that probably made it stronger.

– You are still very young – do you also make plans for your life besides the music industry, how do they look like?
We are going to apply for university very soon since we graduate this spring. ásthildur is going to play the piano and i’m going to keep on writing. hopefully we will move abroad but if not now then perhaps next year.

– What do your parents and family think about your music career? Did they always try to support you, if how?
Of course, they support us and i think they are very proud. our father is a musician and he has helped us make all of this happen, without ever interfering with any artistic decisions. he has taught us what is normal in the industry and he has set a standard for us when it comes to touring and playing in places that are perhaps not very 14 year old friendly.

– You’re soon going to tour europe – how does a normal tour day look like for you, what do you like, what dislike about touring?
All our tours have been very adventurous and probably not like a normal tour. but it’s always a lot of traveling and packing and unpacking and searching for food. that’s a mission that is so underestimated.

– What are your next plans?
Finish school, find a new school, do something cool!

– What are you doing if your not making music?

Studying, watching movies, playing music (does that count?), reading

– What did you learn in 2012?
2012 was just a warmup for 2013. that’s going to be one crazy year

– Your Top 3 records of 2012? Why?
An awesome wave by alt-j, bloom by beach house and swing lo magellan by dirty projectors. these are all albums that i’ve had on repeat for weeks after i got them.

– Which song would fit to your actual situation?
New york counterpoint by steve reich

– Which song makes you dance independent of your situation?
The sun is down by yoko ono

– How would your “Bedroomdisco” look like?

like an aquarium

– Who did fill out this questionnaire?
Jófríður Ákadóttir

Pascal Pinon: Live from the little house of music from Inspired By Iceland on Vimeo.


Bedroomdisco-Gründer, Redaktions-Chef, Hans in allen Gassen, Golden Leaves Festival Booker, Sammler, Fanboy, Exil-Darmstädter Wahl-Hamburger & happy kid, stuck with the heart of a sad punk - spreading love for great music since '08!

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