Laneway Interviews: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

By Lina Chan KobayashiEvents - 09 February 2012 1:06 PM

Laneway Interviews: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart will be here for Laneway Festival happening on 12 February.

With two albums, one self-titled and the other titled ‘Belong’, the band has been #9 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart.

inSing caught up with Kip Berman, vocalist and guitarist of the band with the long name and got him to tell us about the children’s story they named themselves after, making humourous remarks about the name while he’s at it.

Berman claims that playing on the big stage for the first time felt ‘weird’ and they’ve never played for a crowd of more than 50 people for the first two years! Unbelievable? Berman shares more interesting facts about the band in our interview.

The band’s name was inspired by an unpublished story, could you tell us more about that?

Had I known we were going to be a real band, I'd probably have chosen something shorter that fit better on t-shirts and posters. My apologies to whoever makes the posters for Laneway for being a designer's nightmare.

The story was something a friend of mine wrote, and the moral was that the adventures you have when you're young with your friends are more important than achieving worldly status. I think there isn't a truer moral for any band that spends most of their life in a van.

Also on inSing: Laneway full lineup & schedule

How did you guys come together to form the band?

Peggy, Alex and I were all friends and loved music a bit too much. I did't know if any of us could actually play music at the time we formed, but we didn't really let that get in the way. Kurt, who was my roommate, was the best of all of us and when he joined up on drums, things started to sound a lot better.

All bands start somewhere, so before hitting the big stage and touring abroad, where did you guys play?

 Our first show was at Peggy's birthday party, our second was at a basement club in New York called Cake Shop. For the first 2 years we never played to more than 50 people, with the exception of a surreal trip to Sweden and a spot at the Athens (USA) Popfest.

How does it feel to be part of Laneway Festival?

It's a huge honour, because so many of the other bands are artists that I really admire. Twin Shadow, Girls, Cults, Chairlift, Toro y Moi and a bunch more are bands that I'd pay to go see play music. Thankfully we get to see them every day for free in some incredibly exotic places!

Are there any crazy fan-related incidents in particular that you remember?

I think our fans are like us - intense and socially awkward. It's always more flattering than scary or weird. We're not so famous that we ever feel anything, but glad that someone cares a LOT about what we do.

Also on inSing: Interview with Twin Shadow

What is the first thing you’d do when you arrive in a new country/town for your tour?

That's a good question. Usually it's something very ordinary like seeing what kind of candy they have at the gas station on our way to the club. Our exposure to the diversity of the world is often reduced to discrepancies in snack food, but that's still a pretty good way of experiencing life.

Worst concert experience when you guys were the ones playing on stage?

I think having to go on at a festival after Foster The People had thousands of people in a lather singing along to "Pumped Up Kicks." Then we played a bunch of songs about incest, heroin and library sex.

Could you tell us something fans may not know about the band?

None of us have any tattoos. I don't know why.

Best feeling in the world?

I like it when people write me cards. There are plenty of times you feel like no one cares, but when people write you a card and say they like your music, it's really the best feeling.

Catch The Pains of Being Pure at Heart at Laneway festival on Feb 12.