Album Preview: "All Right", Pow Pow Family Band
Photographed by Rachel Cabitt
It's a quintessential New York City Summer evening. Passing by brownstones and swaying trees in the wake of a cool breeze, you'll find Pow Pow Family Band practicing in a day lit studio on the quiet streets of Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. An on and off project since 2011, lead singer Miles Robbins has now assembled a band of eclectic ambient sounds. With a mix of old and new, Pow Pow Family Band brings a sense of serenity in their new album "All Right", set to release on Modern Sky Entertainment in November. Below, listen to a preview of the band's forthcoming album while getting to know Miles.
POND: What was your first introduction to music?
Miles: When I was eleven I broke my right arm and my date to the 5th grade dance bailed on me for some other eleven year old. I had access to two fingers sticking out of the cast and realized that they were enough to play the bass guitar and start writing horrible songs.
POND: How has Pow Pow Family Band grown since first starting at Brown University?
Miles: The family is always growing and changing like a circus that kidnaps talented children. Also we bought a lot of fun new Japanese toys to make sounds with. Korg has been making good things lately.
POND: Over how long was "All Right" written. What are the stories and thoughts behind it.
Miles: It's been an off and on process for about five years. It's more or less a story about enjoying the finding of the Loch Ness Monster even though you'll probably misplace it somewhere in Scotland.
POND: Tell us more about the 16mm film above. What inspired it?
Miles: It's a 16mm news camera from the 70's called a Scoopic. It's very portable and fun to use. Iceland is beautiful, it totally makes sense that all the fairies decided to live there. It also used to be pretty cheap to travel there from the East Coast. I had been a couple times to camp around the Ring Road and always wanted to film it, so a few years ago I flew out with a couple friends to drive and take pictures.
POND: How do other artistic aspects of your life influence your music?
Miles: I think a visual component always makes for a more interesting product when participating in a musical experience. So at our shows we always try to include some kind of theatric psychedelic element. Also sometimes Bob Ross shows up and teaches the audience to paint.
POND: You're a strong advocate of gender fluidity and equality. How do you think the music industry, which is very much male dominated, can be more progressive?
Miles: I know nothing about the music industry or its patriarchal inner workings... I'm definitely not the person to talk to on how to fix that. What I do know is that It's a lot easier to feel comfortable and embrace your emotional truth when you're not feeling pressured, by external or internal forces, to look, dress, or act in a certain way. For me that means embracing the feminine side of my internal monologue when I write, and allowing that femininity to enter into the visual space of the live show.
On another note I do think it would be good if some of these radio pop songs weren't so misogynistic in their description of sexuality. Pop culture often sets the bar of morality. I think there should be more pop songs about the reciprocation of oral sex.