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INTERVIEW: The Gin Pennies

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Film Noir”?

ERIC – This one is a great song that Randy brought in we immediately new what to do with it. It’s a dark, dusty tale that you’d see in an old movie and that exactly what we wanted for the video. Our director Adam Battaglia really nailed and we couldn’t be happier.

RANDY-It’s the first track from our self-titled album.  We like it because it tells a story while setting a mood, and hopefully takes people back to the 1940’s.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

RANDY- Not an event really, it was just a love of the film noir genre in general.

How was the filming experience?  

Eric – The video was all our director Adam Battaglia. He and I talk over the concept a few times; the record player, who we wanted our damsel to be, how we wanted to introduce the gun. The rest was all him. We borrowed the vintage Califone record player from Charlie Faye (Charlie Faye & The Fayettes) and Adam shot the video in 1 day.

How was the recording and writing process?

ERIC – For the recording, Randy brought the song in fully formed on the day of the session.  We bounced a few ideas around and it didn’t take long.  It’s a good thing too because time was short, we tracked 16 songs in 2 days.

RANDY – I initially wrote the song for another album I produced, “Stories” by Christopher Hawley.  We did the entire track but in a completely different style.  More roots rock with a little Beatles thrown in there.  Something about that recording didn’t quite gel so it didn’t make the album.  Later though, when I was putting together songs for The Gin Pennies I remembered that one.  As soon as this band played it in that style I was very glad things worked out like they did.  The first time Shanelle sang it, it was like she’d been singing that tune for years.  It was great.

How has LA influence your writing?  

RANDY – Because I live in LA I have a lot less options for consuming gluten, and I think most of my songs are really about how I long for more gluten.  If you play them backwards you’ll get what I’m saying.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

RANDY – I have been writing quite a bit of new material, and it’s been interesting.  We are moving towards a more roots-oriented style but still maintaining the core of our sound.  You might hear a bit more blues and bluegrass influence on the next album.

For our first album we ended up recording I believe 16 or 17 songs total.  Those have been mixed and mastered along with the album itself, so we may release those somewhere down the road.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?  

ERIC – We went into the studio with a full band and a camera crew a few weeks ago and we can’t wait to release the new videos. Right now the sessions are called The Gin Pennies-Live At The Compound and will feature 3 live originals and 2 covers.

Would you be digging more into the 1920s on this record? 

RANDY – I think what interests me now is pulling from a few different eras and styles and seeing what works.  I would love to see what the 40’s and the 80’s sound like together!
Any plans to hit the road?  RANDY- Upright basses are ridiculous instruments, way larger than they need to be.  So probably not, no.

What else is happening next in The Gin Pennies’ world?  

ERIC – We’re excited to get these new live videos out to the world!  Shanelle sounds better than ever and they were all record and filmed live at this cool studio in Long Beach.  Our throwback to the 20’s version of Get Lucky was just released this week!

RANDY – Writing, recording, and playing around Los Angeles.  Also several members of the band have been really exploring the boundaries of what’s possible with a fedora.  That may be our legacy.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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