Ann Arbor, MI’s Pity Sex are a force driven by intimate personal ordeals. Each of their songs reads as a visceral account of a tumultuous episode in a person’s life, laced with too-close-to-home minutiae. Over a handful of records and a ferocious touring regime, Pity Sex deliver these cathartic accounts awash in emphatic, melodic noise and propelled by raucous bass and percussion. I sat down with vocalist/guitarist Brennan Greaves at their final UK tour date at the Louisiana, Bristol to chat about the band’s latent success in the indie rock underground.
How do you tend to handle the songwriting process when you come together as a band?
It’s very collaborative musically. Getting together at the spot, showing each other ideas and sometimes just messing around until we hear something that catches our attention. We all know when a song is working and when it isn’t.
Have you tried to make a conscious change in your sound over the course of the band’s lifetime? Like, between the demo and Feast of Love there’s definitely a kind of darker tone that you adopt in terms of the moods of the songs.
Conscious? No. Every time we come together to write for a new release we’re in completely different places in our lives, which reflects in the music we write. I think it’s more learning to trust our instincts and find solace in the fact that as long as we’re genuine about our output, it will be progressive.
What kind of stuff are you listening to right now while you’re on the road?
Spotify just cancelled my account due to non-payment, so it’s mostly been BBC radio and whatever our fill in bassist has on his phone. A lot of top 40 pop and RnB.
You’ve just dropped a couple of tracks from a new project with Sean called Senpai. What was the impetus for launching this project?
Four Ann Arbor buds who have a long musical history together and wanted to try something new. Chris, formerly of the band Brave Bird, started writing some amazing songs and asked if Sean, Jorma, and I would help flesh things out. We’re very excited to see where this band can go.
You’ve done splits with Brave Bird and Adventures, any plans for any future split records or collaborations with other artists?
No plans right now but there’s plenty of bands/artists I would love to work collaboratively with in the future.
Do you think indie rock is oversaturated as a genre? Do you stand with the criticism that it suffers from too many rehashes of late ’80s and ’90s bands?
Honestly it’s a really exciting time for independent music right now. I look around at my peers and I see them doing amazing things completely on their own terms. The real criticism should be on music media writing in a narrow and reductive way. Instead of focusing on how bands are creatively blending their influences with what it means to be a musician in this day and age, they throw a bucket full of weak legacy act comparisons at the page, pat themselves on the back, and call it a day.
Pity Sex’s Feast Of Love is out now on Run For Cover Records.