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The Pinker Tones: "Catalan avant-garde artists have always had to migrate to be appreciated"

The Catalan band The Pinker Tones has reached star status and is topping the charts throughout the Americas. CNA sat down with them for a look into their recent success.


05 July 2010 05:52 PM


ACN / Pau Cortina / Sarah Garrahan

Barcelona (CNA).- The native Catalan band \u2018The Pinker Tones\u2019, once a hometown favourite, are now filling up venues throughout the world. They are scheduled to play with The Black Eyed Peas this Saturday in Cornellà, and The Pinker Tones band members Mister Furia and Professor Manso are topping the charts throughout the Americas. The band has recently caught the attention of many when they gave away 50,000 copies of their new album entitled \u2018Modular\u2019. In an interview with CNA, Mister Furia explains this action as well as the band\u2019s recent success; they will play NYC\u2019s Central Park next week.

Mixing styles, collaborating with commercial brands, composing songs for Hollywood series and films and now giving away 50,000 copies of your new album\u2026What are you guys getting at?

Our way of work has always come from our previous experiences in the industry, which haven\u2019t always been completely satisfactory. Now with our new manager, Mark David, we have launched \u2018Pinkerland Records\u2019, an English sub-label that allows us to control artistic questions while maintaining our independence in this globalised world.

How would you explain that you have received greater success abroad than in Spain?
There is constant development in Catalan art that is historically repeated. Catalan avant-garde artists have always had to migrate to be appreciated. We like to think that there are thousands of ways to initiate a career and that there are still many roads left for us. And that doesn\u2019t worry us. We have spent much more time and energy outside of our home and this has a tendency to invert itself. An example of that is you and I right now.

America might be the place where you have had the most success.
Yes, in America we are a crossover group, a mix between Latin and Anglo-Saxon styles. Lately we have been experiencing something difficult over there, which is uniting the public of Hispanic, Black, and White origins.

Did you ever imagine becoming so popular?
What we hadn\u2019t imagined is our recent step, from an alternative Latino music classification \u2013 with Manu Chao, Molotov, etc. \u2013 to simply Latino \u2013 Luis Miguel, Shakira, etc. Furthermore, being among the top 20 Latino rankings in the entire world. The truth is that we don\u2019t know what will happen when we unveil our new tour there. Our first big test will be on the 10th of July, in Central Park in New York. The showcase will represent this year what the band \u2018Calle 13\u2019 did 4 years ago. This day they became superstars. When they stepped down from the stage, everybody wanted to hire them. We were thinking, \u201Cone day we will play here\u2026\u201D. And it seems this day has arrived.

How would you describe the production of your music to someone who isn\u2019t familiar with the electronic scene?
People have a preconception that electronic music is something that DJs do in some parallel universe. This misconception is not good. There are so many varieties of style and ways of doing things in our world, which in our case, revolve around pop-rock. Yes, many of our songs have an electronic base: there are samplers, synthesizers, and drum machines. But it\u2019s not just the tools. We are musicians and composers. In the new album, we have composed a large part of it with acoustic guitar and piano.

You have changed studios five times, spaces which you continuously baptise as \u2018Pinkerland\u2019. What are you hiding? Why so nomadic?
Pinkerland is a mental state. It\u2019s like an imaginary country, our own world of creation, a journey between us. It\u2019s a space where we can always return to, where we produce albums, a likeable place. Like you said, we are nomadic. In this spirit we make every album in a different space. Maybe we are slightly vampiric, because we have never repeated a studio for any Pinkerland disc. We are actually looking for a \u2018Pinkerland 5\u2019 right now.

You just played the Sónar Festival, and it was not your first time. Would you consider it one of the few Catalan platforms that has given you support?
I think the spirit of Sónar is very similar to that of The Pinker Tones. Both the level of the festival and its performers represent a state panorama, especially in the Barcelona and Catalan music scenes. Sónar maintains a completely independent spirit as well as cordial relationships with its sponsors. On the margin of this, there is also a personal relationship.


  • Mister Furia and Professor Manso of The Pinker Tones

  • The cover of The Pinker Tones new album 'Modular'

  • Mister Furia and Professor Manso of The Pinker Tones
  • The cover of The Pinker Tones new album 'Modular'
A music video of The Pinker Tones