FROM: MANCHESTER | FOR FANS OF: OATHBREAKER | FACEBOOK | WORDS: AMY ALBINSON
Manchester-based post-rock/metal band Pijn have taken the idea of a collective to a whole new level with their debut album ‘Loss’, due out 26th October. As they sit in the dimly lit barn of Arctangent festival, beers in hand, the band discuss how they always wanted to get more people involved in their music.
“When the band started it was just me and Joe riffing about in a room” drummer Nick Watmough begins. “We posted on facebook asking if people wanted to play with us and if anyone played any weird instruments and that’s how we ended up with like violin players and saxophonists”. Taking this a step further for their upcoming release they publicly asked for fans’ own personal stories of loss to contribute to the record. “Not everyone can play an instrument but why shouldn’t those people be able to express themselves on the album” Nick explains. Throughout the record there is a textural bed of people talking about the saddest things that have ever happened to them, fused into achingly drawn out, effect laden melodies. “Everyone’s got a story,” bassist Luke Rees adds, “just some people have horrible stories”
Not everyone can play an instrument but why shouldn’t those people be able to express themselves? Everyone’s got a story…”
It’s something that definitely took its toll on the band and gave way to an intensely dark and intimate debut. “Some of the content was absolutely punishing, ” guitarist Joe Clayton admits. “I was getting most of the emails through and I would read it and talk back and it grinds you down. It was fucking hell, day after day, reading through the worst experiences people had. Like why on earth have we opened ourselves up to this?’. Whilst it may have been an emotional process there’s no consideration it may have been a mistake as the inclusion of these stories speaks to the cathartic nature of music. There’s an underlying hope that in discussing these experiences their fans will feel a weight lift from them.
Moving on to a lighter subject the band’s current collaborative project is a rapidly approaching one-off set with label-mates Conjurer. Its name, ‘Curse These Metal Hands’ deriving from Peep Show speaks to how last minute they feel this project came together.
“It was fucking hell, day after day, reading through the worst experiences people had.”
“It started with Alex from Holy Roar and James from Arctangent,” Joe explains. “We’ve been wanting to do some collaborative stuff and then it was like oh shit, okay, we have to figure out how to do it but luckily we had the most lovely boys in town to help us out”. With two sets to play it’s looking to be a tiring festival but they remain optimistic. “Last year was amazing,” Joe reminisces, “we played to so many people, and so many people who are in to the sort of weird shit that we do as well. It just doesn’t get any better than that really”.
With so much in store they’re a collective that seem to be rapidly picking up pace as a tour alongside Vennart is just around the corner. With the release of what is likely to be the saddest album of the year looming the next few years are certainly holding a lot of promise for the band.