THE PINDER BROTHERS
Speeding Cars
(One Step Records)

 

Back in early 2006, 21st century pop took a giant step forward when Moody Blues founder Mike Pinder produced Jupiter Falls—the first of two CDs by The Pinder Brothers. Bringing to life a renewed sonic vision of that world famous Pinder-esque progressive pop-rock vibe that their father was so renowned for in the original Moody Blues, the singing, song-writing dynamic duo team of Michael Lee Pinder and brother Matt Pinder join forces once again on their third official release—the 2012 CD release of Speeding Cars. While only 5 tracks, Speeding Cars is a tasty representation of the Pinder Brothers sound and these cuts are deep and well worth a listen. Track 1 on Speeding Cars, “The Last Days Of Summer” makes a fine opener, harking back to best prog-pop of Jupiter Falls and its follow-up 2008’s Ordinary Man—yet there’s also a touch of Crosby Stills & Nash here. Track 2, “Driving You Home” is a yearning love song with the sonic complexities and long and winding twists and turns of classic mid ‘80s McCartney. Track 3, “Hollywood La La” is among the finest tracks yet by the Pinder Brothers. Almost soundtrack like, Mike Lee Pinder’s lead vocal stakes out a spiritual tone as it deals with the subject of Hollywood stardom. Track 4, “Crash Down” is just that—a sonic roller coaster that makes you want to get up and play some air guitar. Filled with yet more classic Pinder Brothers melodies that cascade around the pop spectrum, the 5th and final track here, “Dark-Eyed Angel” is a memorable way to end this short but sweet sonic journey. A destination well worth visiting after Jupiter Falls and Ordinary Man, 2012’s Speeding Cars is just the ticket to bring the Pinder Brothers story up to date and into focus.

mwe3.com presents an interview with
Michael Lee Pinder


{mwe3.com spoke to Michael Lee Pinder in June 2012}


mwe3: Long time no speak! How’s Matt and your dad and mom? I’ve always maintained that your dad was the real greatness behind the Moody Blues and what do you think about us original fans who felt kind of left out of the Moody Blues story after your dad left the band?

MICHAEL LEE PINDER: Hi Robert, the whole family is doing great. People are drawn to innovation and what I find interesting is how listeners are rediscovering the sounds of the 60's. I think it is amazing to watch someone become aware of the innovation that happened back then. I guess that is the task, to recognize that innovation can happen in any decade. The original fans recognized that.

mwe3: The new Speeding Cars CD is excellent. Maybe your best tracks yet.

MLP: The album originated with the writing of Speeding Cars. What it interesting about that is that speeding cars became the song, “Last Days Of Summer” and the image in the song, image of the speeding cars became the concept of the album.

mwe3: Track 5, “Dark Eyed Angel” seems to be a more recent track here. There is an excellent Beatles style break in there. Who wrote the track and who’s playing what on that track?

MLP: I like to think of the concepts of music harmony that were developed in the years leading up to the arrival of the Beatles. There are passages in the “Dark-Eyed Angel” that remind me of where the last full length CD was going. By the time the bridge vocal starts the audience is in a different sonic space so to speak, and the breakdown you mentioned takes the listener back to chorus with a chimey guitar played by Tal Morris. We wanted to go with a clean rhythm guitar because we also sensed something reminiscent of a 60's thing happening in that song.

I am also playing guitar on “Dark-Eyed Angel”. Matt is playing the bass. The drums were played by Paul Revelli, who played on Ordinary Man. He is a great musician and a simply wonderful person to work with.

mwe3: What guitarists are you using on the 5 track CD? You and your dad have worked with some of the great guitarists of then and now. I’m thinking of Stef Burns who is brilliant. What’s Matt playing mostly these days?

MLP: Stef Burns has a lot of great input in the studio environment. He and Paul Revelli were involved in all the early tracking of the album. Essentially the band is the same and the music a continuation of the musical evolution that happened in Ordinary Man. Matt is still using his Alembic although he is always trying different basses. He likes to go for a variety of tones but usually records direct.

mwe3: Being that your dad invented progressive rock in my opinion and was one of the top 5 most important sonic pioneers in electronic music history, do you ever think about the weight it places on your ambitions and what do you think of musicians like the sons of the Beatles?

MLP: That is an interesting thought... I can see how it has an effect, especially in the field of acting with children of famous actors. In some cases it is interesting how actors change their last name.

mwe3: What about the Speeding Cars song “Hollywood La La”? I thought it was about a kind of a dramatic but bitter romance with a Hollywood starlet. It's just a fantastic, moving number. Who’s playing what on that track?

MLP: Scott Reams played a great piano part counter to my guitar. There are many orchestral moments in the song that Scott and I came up with together. Matt is laying down the bass track and Paul is on the drums. I like how the overdriven electric guitar fades out leaving the piano exposed at the end of the bridge. It is interesting the way the acoustic and electric elements of that song mix together.

mwe3: What was it like working with your dad Mike Pinder and Moody Blues producer Tony Clark on the 2008 Pinder Brothers Ordinary Man album? What were you planning to do with Ordinary Man as far as a new mix or remaster? What are your favorite tracks off of the OM album?

MLP: Keep an eye out for the remastered Ordinary Man. It was such a fun experience to work with Tony and see him and my dad in action. Tony was an integral part of the album and was an amazing producer to work with. He thought very orchestrally. He and I created the bed of strings in the song, “Waves Crash”. That is definitely one of my favorite moments. Tony was a great arranger and his work ethic in the studio was amazing. He gave me exceptional feedback while we were tracking the albums. One of the greatest things about him was how he kept Matt and I motivated and on track.

mwe3: “Driving You Home” is another excellent new track. How much of your music is drawn from your relationships?

MLP: Speaking generally, I think much of my songwriting is drawn from an idea and the other 50 percent comes from the actual relationship. Some songs can be 100 percent about the relationship and others 100 percent about the idea and each has its own merits. I think spending some time writing from experience and an equal amount of time writing out of a concept one has will help a writer develop.

mwe3: Do you like writing in the 3rd person ala Beatles “Eleanor Rigby”, “Rain”, “Piggies”... It's considered very Beatle-esque now. Writing that way and then your dad took it one step further with the origin of the Classic 7 albums from the Moodies.

MLP: Each one of those songs has become so influential to musicians all over the world. Around the globe, the Classic 7 live on into the present time.

Thanks to Michael Lee Pinder @ www.PinderBrothers.com

 

 
   
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