The G-Man interview: Sea Pinks

"Having another guitarist is like having a human multi -FX, with a fringe"

Belfast wave-rockers Sea Pinks finally make their Cork bow this weekend with a Saturday evening show planned for Corcadorca's theatre-cum-gig-venue, the Triskel-located Theatre Development Centre (TDC). The fuzzy retro-pop vision of Girls Names' Neil Brogan will illuminate the cavernous-yet-cosy auditorium  as the northern drummer introduces Leeside to live versions of tracks taken from last year's Freak Waves not to mention songs from the "side project"'s ever-expanding discography. Opening for Brogan et al is the all-consuming Une Pipe, who leave me waiting patiently for their soon-to-be-released EP. Before that, I had a quick chin-wag with Neil himself before he makes his d├ębut down south.

The G-Man: Where are you, what are you up to and how’s life treating you at the moment?
Neil Brogan: I'm in Belfast where it's actually sunny right now which is weird. I'm wearing shorts so it's obviously gone to my head.

When recording Freak Waves was there a particular part of the record that took you time to get perfect that may pass over innocent listeners heads but meant a lot to you?
Once I got going it all came together pretty quickly but there was quite a bit of messing about before that, there always is. There's a lot of trial and error with the way I record, I'm always learning so that kind of goes with it.

For the gear-heads, what’s keeping your pedal-board occupied these days?
Ha! My pedal board is pretty non-existent actually, for shows anyway. I mostly let Phil worry about that kind of thing. Having another guitarist is kind of like having a human multi FX, with a fringe. I tend to just put the reverb up to about 7 on my amp and that's it. I have a cheapo fuzz pedal I use occasionally also. Having said that I've been tinkering with a Line 6 M5 lately so it's getting a little more adventurous.

What happened that prevented you from playing this year’s South X Southwest?
There was just some funding hassles basically, it costs a lot of money to go there and they don't pay you so you need to get funding from somewhere, it became tricky because there was a separate issue with going a on a visa waiver which could have undermined the funding. All very boring reasons.

Besides that little set-back, how have Sea Pinks been received in the U.S. and internationally?
There are a few people in the States who know about it and are always very supportive. I've sold records in Japan, Europe, South America, Australia too so I guess there are some people there who are into it.

Freak waves, jetties and sea pinks - from whence does all this oceanic imagery come from?
It's just part of the loose concept I have for this band I guess. I grew up by the sea also so that might be part of it too.

I am looking forward to seeing you in Cork. What kind of feelings do you have before a tour begins? Do you have any pre-gig rituals?
Well this is just two shows so it's pretty easy really, I'm really looking forward to both of them. Dublin is always great for us and we've never been to Cork so I'm excited to go there. No pre-gig rituals I can think of for this band, maybe we should start one. If I had a floatation tank I'd get in that for an hour before maybe. Fuck shit up.

Sea Pinks also play The Annex at Applerock Studios (Dublin) on Friday, 7th June

For more on Sea Pinks visit:

- Sea Pinks play Triskel TDC this Saturday, 8th June
- Tickets are €6 (€5 concession) with doors at 9.30pm

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