Described as LA’s prodigal songwriting son, Ariel Pink is known as much for the community he creates as for the unique language he crafts through music. We caught up with him to talk about his new record, where in LA he would save from fire and which of his songs was about his cat. And of course he put together a weekend playlist too!
Let’s start with the music you love? I hear you’re a big fan of The Cure?
The Cure? Well, that song The Love Cats is great, is that a good answer?
Haha, OK, moving on, I know you’re also a huge Todd Rundgren fan, what do you like about him?
That’s interesting, I really do like him lot – he’s fabulous. I think he’s a prolific artist, he seems to be always working. I have never met him, but to me he’s a more soulful Frank Zappa. There’s a lot of aspects to his work, his new stuff is amazing.
Can you tell us a little more about your new record? How did you come across the story of Bobby Jameson?
So I have a friend, Giddle, who’s one of these pink girls – she loves pink and green – like a watermelon. So she told me about him after he died and pointed me to his website and blog and I got fully engrossed and read it all.
Did you construct a timeline of his narrative for the record or is this your personal response?
It’s not really like that, the song with his name doesn’t even have any words, It has Jameson in one section. I decided the album would be called that arbitrarily. it’s not a concept record per se. I can’t write a concept record or theme, I just write songs.
You’re fairly prolific though, are you someone that is constantly creating?
No, I’d say I actively don’t make music. I carve out time for it when I do it, I don’t just sit around making music.
What’s the fascination with Pink?
There is none! I have an aversion to Pink, it was my last name and then it brings out the worst in everyone. It’s just a name, it’s not the colour. People who are into that colour, they like Barbie, Pee Wee Herman and GG Allin.
Where would you save in LA if it was on fire?
La Brea Tar pits? I don’t know… San Bernardino mountains, Griffith Park. The ocean.
What do you never get asked that you like to talk about?
I’m interested in everything. I love astronomy and science, politics, anything that is going on in the world. Anything you can bullshit about.
Do you have any pets?
No, I hate pets. I like humans as pets, I take them in, mend their wounds then set them free. I’ve had a cat before, I had Jewels – Jewels lost his Jewels – that was a song I wrote about my cat. A friend of mine named her cat Ariel though.
Ariel Pink’s new album ‘Dedicated to Bobby Jameson’ is out on the 15th of September on Mexican Summer