NEEDLES//PINS is a three-piece, ‘70s-influenced punk band out of Vancouver. Adam Ess (guitar/lead vocals), Macey Bee (drums) and Tony X (bass) make up the powerful sounds that are influencing the style of music coming out of the West Coast. Alberta will be lucky enough to be rocked by the sounds of NEEDLES//PINS this month. The trio is excited to get out and play some shows after finishing the recording of their second LP in January.
I had the pleasure of talking with Tony X about the band’s experiences over the past few years and what is to come for the trio. “The band name wasn’t some meaningful call back- it was just something that we all agreed on,” he explains. “Needles//Pins” was a reference to a song by the ‘60s band The Searches, which was later covered by The Ramones, one of the multiple bands that has influenced the way this trio makes music.
For the group to write and create multiple hook-dense songs, it takes a fair amount of creativity to make sure each song has its own sound, while carrying the familiar style of the pop punk trio. The song writing process that produces the garage punk sounds of NEEDLES//PINS is varied. “Sometimes it takes longer and we rework songs a few times, but other times it comes together quickly and everything just seems to work out,” says X. This method allows the trio to keep their stripped-down sound, while making sure to project their power pop signature.
“Being a band in Vancouver is great. People are really in to going to shows, so it is encouraging. It’s cool to know that when you play a show people will turn out,” he says. When asked about the group’s favourite place to play, X reveals that he and Ess aren’t Vancouver originals and actually met out East where they grew up together. As X says, they have a lot of fun every time they return to Ontario: “We always have a lot of fun playing out east. I grew up there with Adam, so we always have great shows out there”.
NEEDLES//PINS has been gathering more and more attention over the past year, and when asked about the effects of this on the trio, bassist X responds modestly. “It feels good to know that people are coming out to see our shows and give us their support. It doesn’t really affect us other than the fact that it is encouraging.” The band’s growing popularity has resulted in the opportunity for the trio to tour through Europe in May with Sonic Avenues, a pop punk band from Montreal.
The trio just finished recording their second LP in January and will be released soon. X speaks to the difference in process between recording 12:34 and their latest LP: “I think we were more professional this time. It felt like we were all prepared to work hard. We had a better understanding this time.”
The group worked with Mammoth Cave and La-Ti-Da Records to produce their first LP and went with The Noise Floor Recording Studio for their latest LP, mentioning that “Macey could bring her dogs, which was a pretty big bonus.” The trio is also releasing at least one 7” with La-Ti-Da Records, which will be available this month.
You can catch NEEDLES//PINS on February 12 at 9 p.m. with The Mandates and Hag Face at Commonwealth Bar & Stage.
By Brittany Lahure
Photo: Tara Dwelsdorf