Days of Abandon, the highly anticipated third record from New York’s The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, will be released on May 13th. Currently on their North American tour, the band will play Toronto’s The Horseshoe Tavern on April 26th with Fear of Men. Before the show, we were lucky enough to speak with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s singer and guitarist Kip Berman! Read the interview below as we discussed favourite lyrics, tattoos, touring with Fear of Men and Ablebody, and dealing with human experience.
AMBY: Hello The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, cheers for speaking with us today. How are you, and what’s the band been up to lately?
Kip: We’re well. We just came back from SXSW and a short tour with our friends Eternal Summers.
AMBY: Which three songs are the quintessential The Pains of Being Pure at Heart?
Kip: That’s hard to say, but if you listened to “This Love is Fucking Right!,” “Simple and Sure”, and “Contender” I think you’d get a pretty good sense of our music.
AMBY: Your third album Days of Abandon is set for release in May. What’s the significance behind the record’s title?
Kip: The title is partially inspired by a novel written by Elena Ferrante called “The Days of Abandonment.” But the word “abandon” has a lot broader semantic possibility. Unbridled freedom, loss, joy, or isolation. These are all feelings I experienced when writing and recording the record.
AMBY: What’s the story behind your new single Simple and Sure?
Kip: It’s a song of devotion. Sometimes people confuse complexity with depth. It’s about that.
AMBY: Simple and Sure still sounds light and fresh, but I read that the new album deals with darker subjects. When it comes to songwriting on this record, what was influencing or inspiring you at the time of its creation?
Kip: I think all our music deals with the variety of human experience. To write songs that are exclusively upbeat or exclusively pessimistic isn’t true to life – at least as know it.
AMBY: You soon embark on a full national tour, taking Fear Of Men and Ablebody with you. What are you most looking forward to regarding being on the road?
Kip: I’m glad we get to tour with two great bands, as both Fear of Men and Ablebody (Christoph and Anton) are people I really admire musically and as friends. As for tour, I really love the whole thing – just getting a chance to drive to a new city every day and play our music for people. I can’t imagine a better life than that.
AMBY: What was the first record you bought, and do you feel that album had an influence on your music?
Kip: Sir Mix-a-Lot “Baby Got Back.” And yes.
AMBY: Which The Pains of Being Pure at Heart lyric is your personal favourite?
Kip: “Art Smock,” “Masokissed,” and “Kelly” seemed to write themselves. That’s always a good sign.
AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about The Pains of Being Pure at Heart that nobody knows yet?
Kip: We don’t have any tattoos. Jennifer Egan speculates in “Waiting for The Goon Squad” that future generations will eschew body modification because they’ll see how stupid their parents look. I guess we’re ahead of the curve.
Thank you The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, for giving us your answers!
Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout