The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
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   The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart (2009)

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
 01. Contender
02. Come Saturday
03. Young Adult Friction
04. This Love Is Fucking Right!
05. The Tenure Itch
06. Stay Alive
07. Everything with You
08. A Teenager in Love
09. Hey Paul
10. Gentle Sons

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart are an american indie pop band from New York. Composed of Kip Berman (vocals, guitar), Peggy Wang (vocals, keys), Alex Naidus (bass) and Kurt Feldman (drums). Their first album was a self-released EP which came out in 2007 through the Painbow label. Their debut self-titled full length album was released on February 3, 2009 via Slumberland Records and peaked at #9 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. The band name comes from an unpublished children's story of the same title that a friend of singer Kip Berman wrote. On September 22, 2009, they released "Higher Than the Stars", their second EP.

Interview with Kip Berman singer and guitarist of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart :

Kip Berman

S: When and how was The Pains of Being Pure At Heart born? 

K: We were all friends in New York and enjoyed hanging out, going to shows and the same sort of music. So playing music together seemed a natural outgrowth of that-- we certainly weren't superb musicians (aside from Kurt) at first. Our first show was at Peggy's birthday party. We played about 5 songs in 10 minutes-- it was a lot of fun.

: How and when did all begin with music? 

K: I'm not sure-- I've sort of been playing the guitar since I was about 13 or 14. At that time, my friends and I would just try to figure out Nirvana songs in the basement.

S: What are the positive and negative sides of being a musician in USA? 

K: There aren't really any negatives-- playing music in America is a lot of fun, and there are lots of places to play and other bands to play with.
S: Do you feel anxious before a show?

K: Mostly just excited.

S: What musicians or artists had an influence in your life and in your work?

K: Too many to mention. I really love Leonard Cohen, the more straightforward side of John Cale and David Bowie as far as older artists go. As for indie bands, The Pastels, Rocketship, Black Tambourine, My Favorite, Hefner and a lot of noisy 80s and 90s American indie and British pop. Pavement, Yo La Tengo, Guided By Voices, Suede and Pulp were all pretty important to me growing up, but so were a lot of American post-hardcore/emo bands like The Promise Ring, Braid, Get Up Kids and that sort of thing. Local punk/hardcore shows were my first exposure to independent/DIY music.

SDo you remember what was the first CD you bought?

K: "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-Lot cd single.

Sir Mix-a-Lot - Baby Got Back    

S: Do you think the emotion is different between a song in English and in another language?

K: I really don't know. I'm sure everyone believes their native language is the most sublime, so I would hate to be presumptuous. That being said, English is the primary language for the kind of pop music we play-- not that it's necessarily the best, but many guitar bands from Sweden, France and Japan take great pains to sing in English. Sometimes the results of non-native English speakers singing in English can be pretty cool, as it approaches the language and phrasing a bit differently. Phoenix can make the most mundane things sound exotic and sexy-- Funky Squaredance!

S: How could you define the music of The Pains of Being Pure At Heart?

K: Loud and wussy.

S: Do you agree with Victor Hugo who said :"Melancholy is the pleasure of being sad"?

K: Is Victor in a band that sounds like The Smiths?

S: When you write a song you follow your heart, your brain or your hand?

K: Heart!

S: What is your favourite song of The Pains of Being Pure At Heart and why?

K: Its really hard to answer that-- I think "Everything With You" is special, as it expresses genuine feeling in very few words.
S: As musician, what is your feeling about Internet?

K: It's great. I'm into it!
S: "Have you done all the things that wouldn’t make your parents proud" or are you a "gentle son"?

K: My family is always very nice to me, even if there were many times when they were worried about what I would do with my life. Working in a call center, playing in a band no one cared about and having an unwavering faith that things would be ok wasn't always the thing that would put my grandparents at ease. But I'm so glad they have lived long enough to see me do something with my life that is recognized as worthwhile. They've even came to a Pains show. In fact, my Grandma is probably our biggest fan-- My grandpa says she listens to The Pains in the car every day, though she chides me about my use of a certain word that starts with F. I try to explain to her that it's funny, but maybe she's right. As she googles our band name a lot, I always have to make sure not to say obscene things in interviews like this.
Grandma, if you're reading this: those ginger bread cookies you sent were delicious. I shared them with my roommates Patrick and Kurt, and they both wanted to say thanks too!

S: Can you describe what is a typical The Pains of Being Pure At Heart's day?

K: My girlfriend recently got me an electric omelet maker. We don't have gas at "House of Pains" (The apartment that Kurt and I share) so this is my first time getting to cook eggs in a really long time. So... I make a lot of omelets and even though I don't really know how to make omelets-- the device is sort of magic and they come out well almost every time.

S: What are your hobbies aside music?

K: Omelet Making, video games, dog petting...

S: Are you venturesome person?

K: Well I do like The Ventures, some.

S: Where would you like to play in the future, is there a place in the world you would love to visit?

K: I would like to play for The Queen, but I think you only get to do that if you're English. I'm not sure if ripping off The Smiths and My Bloody Valentine a lot gets you honorary citizenship (or maybe honorary lawsuits).

S: Are there any things, which you are afraid of? Do you have any fears?

K: Where do I begin! Let's see, scary movies, roller coasters, teen pregnancy, airplanes, the end of the world, operating cash registers, milk going sour...

S: What is the best moment and best place to listen to your music?

K: I always think I'd like for us to be the band that me and my friends would listen to while driving around at night when we were 17 and didn't have anything to do or anywhere to go.

S: As our website is related with Manic Street Preachers maybe can you say some words about them?

K: I love Glam Rock, and I am glad that they do too. It was really flattering to hear that Nicky had rated us one of his favorites last year-- that was really sweet, so we definitely want to say "thanks" to him for that!

S: I know it’s a difficult question, but if you would have to keep just one album from your CD collection what album would it be?

K: Suede - Dog Man Star

Suede - Dog Man Star
S: What was the last song you listened to before the interview? And, if you know, which one will be the next?

K: Last night I fell asleep to Lexicon of Love by ABC. Before that my friend Danny from Zaza came over and we listened to Titus Andronicus The Monitor and Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream - both had the feeling of classic! As for today, I'm listening to this Cold Waves and Minimal Synth Vol. 1 comp from Angular Records (not to be confused with the Stones Throw one that also just came out recently, or the REALLY excellent Lost Tapes and Found Tapes comps from Minimal Wave Records. I don't know a lot about that kind of music, but I really appreciate the comps, as it's helped me learn new stuff. I remember when Indiepop used to have so many good compilations, and it was the best way to discover bands. That "Casablanca" compilation on Elefant Records alone introduced me to so many of my favorites, like My Favorite, Stereo Total and Brian. Oh, I also meant to give The Dum Dum Girls album another spin today, so I'll probably do that too.

S: Can you tell us the name of one French song, or singer, or band?

K: I can name several. I really love Francoise Hardy, Serge Gainsbourg, Moderne, Ruth, Air and Phoenix. 

S: And say something in French?

K: Merci.

S: What are your plans for the nearest future?

K: A cup of coffee.

SAnd finally, what’s the most important thing in life for you?

K: My mom.

MANY thanks to Kip and The Pains of Being Pure At Heart for the interview!

More informations about The Pains of Being Pure At Heart:

- on their site:

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