Q&A: The Pinker Tones Head to Latin Alternative Music Conference with a New Album

Next year, it’ll be a decade since Barcelona DJ duo the Pinker Tones first introduced us to their danceable electronica beats. In preparation for this anniversary, Professor Manso and Mister Furia, as the pair is individually known, have challenged themselves with Modular (Nacional Records). We spoke to Mister Furia as he packed his bags for this week’s Latin Alternative Music Conference, which kicks off today. Here’s what he had to say:

Are you excited to perform in NYC on July 10 as part of Latin Alternative Music Conference?
We’re excited for many reasons. The main one being that we’ll play Central Park Summerstage, sharing the stage with Maldita Vecindad, which is a classic group from Mexico. I saw them here in Barcelona when I was 14 years old. The first time we played the LAMC we went to see Calle 13, when they made their debut in 2006 and after that show they became enormous. It’s a dream come true. We’ve always had great experiences with the New York audience because it’s so mixed. Different groups of people come together to enjoy something in common, which in this case is our music.

How would you describe your new album Modular?
is a bit of a rebirth for the Pinker Tones. Modular starts a new era. We’ve reinvented ourselves. We’ve changed the shape of the band and the sound very radically. We’ve gone back to the roots to where we came from. We’ve mixed an old-school four-piece band with electronic devices and electronic rock. We’re playing the stuff live now and it’ll be very different. 

What’s the inspiration for the song lyrics?
The main inspiration for this album has been thinking about what’s happened to us. Next year, we’ll be 10 years old. We started in 2001 and 2011 will be our first decade. We thought it’d be nice to start telling all these bizarre stories that have happened to us around the world and with different people. Basically the last years of our career have been very centered on the U.S. and Spain. We live somewhere between the Anglo Saxon and the Latino world. We wanted that to be part of the album because it’s part of our reality. Modular is a Spanish and English word. The album is bilingual because that’s our reality when we’re out there.

The song “Sampleame” is all for music sampling, do you think it’ll have a negative response from other musicians?
It puts the issue on the table. There’s been a lot of evasive talking about sampling and not sampling. It’s a reality. People in the 21st century are using samples to do new things. One of the things that the song says is that we’re all midgets on the shoulders of giants. We’re all part of a chain of creation, of art-making that has been going on for thousands of years. Copyright laws have to be revised. We just wanted to talk it through in a nice and open-minded way.