The Big Pink may be best known in America as the band who supplied the main sample for the Nicki Minaj song, "Girls Fall Like Dominoes," but their new album, "Future This," may be a chance for them to step outside the shadow of "Pink Friday." The latest release from the British band, which is centered around singer and guitarist Robbie Furze and synth and beats programmer Milo Cordell, is full of the characteristic huge chorus hooks that made Minaj first take notice -- and should soon make the rest of the world's ears perk up.
"I kind of love that pop that comes from all of the greatest bands -- The Beatles or the Stones or The Beastie Boys or Nirvana," says Cordell. "I think that's what we enjoy doing, writing hooks."
But Cordell says that this preference for combining out-there sounds with catchy pop may have worked for those groups, but it's definitely not a fail-safe formula.
When your 2009 song, "Dominos" became last year's "Girls Fall Like Dominoes" single, that must have been a great push to expose you to American audiences. How did the Nicki Minaj collaboration come about?
"Dominos" had been around in England, and it was kind of a hit in England. It bubbled away everywhere, and we got an e-mail where our manager said to us, "There's this guy, a producer called JR Rotem, who is writing a track for this female rapper and they're using 'Domi- nos' as the main sample," and we're like, "Cool." And we never really heard anything about it.
You didn't hear who it was?
Nothing. ... And then they sent it through literally just before her album dropped and it was Nicki Minaj and we were like, "F--!" It was around the time that Kanye had come out with "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" and all that, and we were super aware of Nicki Minaj and we thought that she was amazing.
That's funny. Have you met her?
No, she doesn't return our calls.
She just borrows your hooks?
She's welcome to do that anytime. We've actually borrowed one of her hooks. In "Dominos" now when we play it live, we sample a bit of "Super Bass" and we kind of flip it up a bit and sing "Dominos" on top.
You guys are not only bringing underground to pop, but you're also bringing more pop to the underground.
Which is a dangerous thing to do, I think, because it can leave you in a complete no-man's-land. The people who like pop think you're weird, and the people who like weird music think you're pop.
Finish this hypothetical snippet of conversation: "Oh, The Big Pink, yeah they're cool. They kind of sound like ... "
Ideally, it'd be a table of beautiful girls talking about us. [But as far as who we would want people to compare us to,] it's kind of like Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Beastie Boys and Chemical Brothers.