The Pinx describe themselves as Southern-tempered psychedelic rock n’ roll and are bringing honest guitar heavy rock n’ roll to your eardrums. The band’s frontman, Adam McIntyre gives us the low down on their self titled fourth album.
If you want to picture it, it’s Cayce (pronounced “K. C.”) on drums at the far end of the room. Chuck is on bass to my right and Chance is on guitar to my left. We are all facing each other, and I can see Tom Tapley and engineer Miles Landrum through the window into the control room where the mixing board is. We play the songs more or less as you hear them on the record – and I’m even doing a live vocal with the band. I won’t pretend that we used that as anything other than a guide, but it helped the songs to just be natural in the moment. We had been rehearsing these songs for a few months after spending a year writing and doing demos of them.
This one sounded huge in the room where we were playing and even bigger when we went in the control room to listen back. The point of this one was hard rock, desert-flavored, with big dumb lyrics, big dumb guitars, cowbell, and nothing but fun. Sounds good in my car.
You’re Not The One:
This one is about being with someone I shouldn’t have been with. If the song feels fun, but like there may be some pretty dark consequences implied further into the relationship, you’re right. Bill Kelliher of Mastodon showed up as I was adding a guitar to this one, and he really liked the song and wanted to get involved. He’s actually setting my amp and pedal tone for that take, and it’s kind of my main guitar on that one. I believe I used the studio’s Gibson ES-335 instead of my Les Paul; the 335 just sounded bigger. I love the outro.
Break Your Heart
I was really proud of the guys’ performance as we tracked this, and I wanted to make sure that the lead vocal I put on it had a lot of character. This song is about living with depression, the way you sometimes just have to accept when it’s got you and keep on hitting life as hard as you can anyway. It’s okay if life breaks your heart. What’s not okay is going numb to it. That’s dangerous territory. I’d had covid a few months before we recorded this album and this vocal take just about killed me because I was still having so much trouble getting enough air. I was having a lot of headaches from not getting enough oxygen and just kept kicking as much ass as I could while I could.
Chance brought in this instrumental and we talked about how the feel of it was kind of a wistful goodbye. I wanted to use the listener’s sensory memories to help me put them in a certain situation, where the sun is shining, and everything is beautiful, but it’s a day we will later remember as the day we should have said or done something to save the relationship. Chance’s chord changes asked for no less than the best I could do, and I worked hard on these lyrics. Our engineer, Miles Landrum actually gets a vocal solo over the top of my solo (on my Les Paul that time), I told him to “go for it” and considering he was the best singer in the studio, I felt that featuring him in such a peak moment on the album would add this beautiful flame it otherwise wouldn’t have had.
I wanted to evoke my friend and mentor Wayne Kramer on this one. He asked me to cobble together new song ideas inspired by MC5 songs/vibes. This song is ultimately the first song to come out of that assignment. We are all taking in what’s around us using the lens of our previous experiences, rather than being truly present. Usually that’s okay but sometimes we “other” people faster and faster. We should have a little more empathy and remember that all of us are really blindfolded by our experience, our hands feeling around in the darkness.
This song is a grab bag of words that crossed my path during lockdown. Part of the goal of music is to get people moving, and this song has been getting people moving at shows. I like it when our audience is dancing. They’re not thinking about anything other than having a great time.
Never Get Over Me:
A long while ago I had difficulty with an ex who struggled to let go of the relationship. Throughout that, I was always really rooting for her to get better (she later did; all good now). This song is written from the point of view of that closure not yet having happened. This is also my favorite slide guitar solo I’ve done, kind of an homage to Jellyfish.
Drive All Night:
Chance brought this in as a very Robin Trower-inspired instrumental. My lyrics are about a doomed relationship. There would be moments where I knew that, if I would go home to our apartment, I’d be met with anger and disillusionment, with no ability to talk it through. I just wanted to avoid her until she had a chance to fall asleep. This song feels like those nights to me.
Just a big riff rocker about rebelling against Nashville and moving to Atlanta. Brent Hinds of Mastodon plays the super wild and weird third guitar solo that sees us through to the end. Roger Manning Jr of Imperial Drag, Jellyfish, Lickerish Quartet and Beck’s band plays keys on this and several others and he just nails it.
Is That What You Want:
This feels the most true to the band in terms of personality; it’s right in the bullseye of who we are. Chance and I had been jamming on these song pieces he brought in for a while before I figured out some lyrics for it. That’s just about as hooky a lyric as I can write.
Dust To Diamonds:
This is probably the oldest song to appear on the record; it didn’t feel right when we were doing the Sisters & Brothers record. One thing I wanted to do was give it a vocal approach that wasn’t just me yelling at the lyrics of this song. I went with a Jeff Tweedy kind of approach. Chance came up with the song after his father died. My dad died a long time ago, but I felt like I could do justice to his music and eventually what I got was pretty existential musings on how we come from and go back to one, and in between our nature changes a few times. Beth Moore does a great job on keys on this.
I wanted to capture a New Orleans funk vibe on a spooky song. Dash Smith added horns, Roger Manning added some funky keys, and the band just laid down a pretty no-nonsense funk groove. The lyrics are about a murder in the French Quarter and a somewhat willing sacrifice.
I combined a boogie in the vein of Freddy King’s “Boogie Funk” and a rocker like Freddy’s “Going Down”. The band were wild and reckless tracking this one, no click track allowed. This is how we really sound with very little studio magic at all. The guitar solos, mine and then Chance’s, are both live with the band. I love how the train almost comes off the tracks on this one.
I had a little help from Hans Rotenberry of The Shazam on this one. It’s about my chronic migraines. The middle section is supposed to be chaotic and disturbing to help evoke the migraine state of mind.
Chance wrote the musical parts of this, and I wrote the lyrics based on quotes by our congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis to reverently mark his passing. I was thinking Motorpsycho for the vocal delivery. I feel like this song really drives home how hard we worked on this album and what it felt like to be in the studio. We all felt a sense of wonder, everything was so colourful and came together so beautifully. Chance really put together a beautiful epic rock song here, and it’s the perfect song to finish the album.
Check out the band’s track, Break Your Heart, below:
Purchase the album here
Read our interview with Adam McIntyre here