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Patrick Clarke , March 10th, 2017 11:08

Listen to the premiere of new track 'All Hail' and read an interview with the Manchester fivesome's Lois McDonald below

As Manchester's PINS, already two albums deep into their career, prepare for the release of new EP Bad Thing on March 24, they're a band buoyed by a force of real momentum.

The new record, from which the irresistible 'All Hail' premieres exclusively with The Quietus below, was recorded in isolation in the Scottish borders, and boasts a contribution from the one and only Iggy Pop, who lends his inimitable vocals to 'Aggrophobe', the lead single.

Elsewhere the record boasts a supreme, dreamlike cover of Joy Division's 'Dead Souls', on what stands as some of the group's strongest work to date, and a promising benchmark for what's to come.

Below, the band's guitarist Lois McDonald speaks to tQ about the story behind the sterling new EP, with 'All Hail' streaming via Spotify below.

PINS undergo an extensive live tour across the UK and Europe throughout March and April, with all the dates at the end of this article. They also support Maximo Park across the country in May.

You recorded in the Scottish Borders, how did that landscape influence the recording process, and the sound of the EP?

Lois McDonald: We went to a little house out in the middle of nowhere there, and gave ourselves a few weeks to work on it. We were doing a bit of writing too but it was nice to have a bit more time to put into the recording of the songs. Usually we work really really quickly, recording live and adding a few extras where it’s needed. With this EP we were able to record a layer at a time and construct the direction of the songs at each step. 'Aggrophobe' is actually made up of lots of recorded loops rearranged to fit the vocal story. We had only planned to be writing and demoing when we went, but we got really into it and were really happy with how it sounded so decided to release a selection of what we did there.

How do you think it measures up compared to your previous work? Does it feel like a progression?

LM: I think its progressing to sound a little different, but it’s a totally natural part of us all playing together for a few years – that you want to see what other sounds you can make. We used more synths and electronic drums, but we’re still a guitar band and enjoying spending weeks messing around with every guitar pedal we could get our hands on. I think we took about 50.

How did the collaboration with Iggy Pop come about? And how was he to work with?

LM: After we’d recorded 'Aggrophobe', we were really happy with how it sounded and thought as it was spoken it could be interesting to have another vocal on it, something a bit deeper. Iggy was top of the list for everyone, we always listen to his albums when we’re touring and had just seen him play at SXSW earlier in the year. So we started trying to find a way to get in touch with him, and Faith [Vern, vocals and guitar] composed a letter for him, and he said yes. We received his vocals when we were on tour, and it was a very exciting day. Even though our first listen was on a phone.

Who else would be your dream musical guest?

LM: There are some really amazing musicians we’d love to work with, we’ll have to get Faith to write some more letters... Patti Smith would be amazing. Kyoko [Swan, keys and guitar] loves Morrissey and personally, Brian Eno.

'Dead Souls' is an interesting choice of cover, why choose that song in particular?

LM: Faith had suggested to try it as part of the EP, because the lyrics fit with the ideas of dreams and nightmares that we were thinking of when we put the other songs together. We try out covers every now and then, some of them don’t work and some of them, like this one, come really easy. We might even play it on tour.

PINS Tour Dates


29 - De Kreun, Kortrijk
30 - TBC, Rotterdam
31 - Lido, Berlin


01 - Molotow, Hamburg
03 - Freak Out Club, Bologna
04 - Rote Fabrik, Zurich
05 - Le Romandie, Lausanne
06 - Le Sonic, Lyon
07 - L'Espace B, Paris
08 - Insert Name Festival, Liege
09 - La Malterie, Lille
10 - The Moon Club, Cardiff
11 - Rialto, Brighton
12 - The Bullington, Oxford
13 - The Arts Centre, Norwich
14 - Broadcast, Glasgow
15 - Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh
16 - Beat Generator, Dundee
17 - Cluny 2, Newcastle
18 - Headrow House, Leeds
19 - Moth Club, London
20 - Esquires, Bedford
21 - The Cookie, Leicester
22 - White Hotel, Manchester
30 - FestEVOL Gardens, Liverpool

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