(Left: Eva Chambers; Center: Anastasia Sanchez; Right: Isabelle Fields) Photo By Erina Uemura
I drove to Silverlake to meet up with Pinky Pinky at some hipster coffee shop. I walk past the drummer and vocalist Anastasia Sanchez — who was sitting on a bench outside. She looks like she belongs somewhere other than a rock band. However, this isn’t a cliché band who conforms to any image. Bassist Eva Chambers and guitarist Isabelle Fields drive by later in a light-blue Mini Cooper. Unable to get a seat inside the coffee shop, I interview Pinky Pinky outside while they sit on a bench. It feels like 90 degrees, but luckily there’s an empty shaded bench nearby. A water bottle — which the guitarist Fields says looks like piss and probably is — sits cooking in the sun in front of us. Sanchez suggests someone should check if it’s iced tea. While I stand and ask them questions, they eat their sandwiches. This is rock n’ roll.
Fields and Chambers tell me that they all met during middle school. Chambers began playing music with Fields after she posted on Instagram that she wanted to start a band. Fields and Chambers started playing on violin when they were kids. However, curiosity took them to the electric guitars and bass — two of the three basic food groups for rock music. Sanchez was influenced by her father and would teach herself how to play drums. Eventually, after years of playing together, their hard work paid off. They got to play at Cal Jam in 2017. A representative of Dave Grohl — yes, the old dude from Nirvana and the Foo Fighters — called them up to play in the desert. This makes Pinky Pinky the next Queens of the Stone Age and hopefully Grohl jumps in on a least one of their albums as a drummer.
This ambition to rock was seeded early. They were all exposed to an eclectic range of music very young. “My Dad was into artists like Anthrax, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest really heavy rock and metal. He got me really into Sabbath when I was little,” says Sanchez. Chambers was inspired by David Bowie and The Beatles. Pinky Pinky’s sound– hard-edged metal mixed with a soft touch of mellow rock — is definitely inspired by a wide range of bands and varies from song to song. It’s a hodgepodge of whatever they want. They don’t like sticking to one sort of sound. They’re adamant that they rather do what they want and are averse to labels. They don’t want to be a feminist band or girl band, they just want to be a rock n’ roll band and that’s it.
“It used to really bother us, we are just so used to it,” says Sanchez about being stereotyped as a female band. “Any girl band is considered feminist rock,” adds Fields. “It kind of gets annoying. If people want equality for everyone, they wouldn’t call it a girl band. It’s kind of ironic, that we are considered girl bands even though it has nothing to with the actual music.”
Chambers is quiet, the other two bandmates dominate the conversation. However, she talks about her musical past and how they met in-between the empty spaces. “I was in a band with my sisters when I was in second grade. We didn’t really write that many songs though,” Chambers says. “We covered a lot of Bowie and the Beatles.” This made her want to join a band. By circumstance, she saw Fields’ Instagram post that she was trying to make a band and messaged her. They’ve been playing music ever since.
Anastasia was the last to join the group. Chambers and Fields first met her in high school. “They needed a drummer and that’s when I stepped in and that’s when it all went to shit,” chuckles Sanchez. They’ve gone through different versions of this band but Pinky Pinky was the version that stuck. They were originally a crew of four but they decided to be a three-piece.
Yes, they had a lead singer before Anastasia took over vocals. However, it didn’t work out with their lead singer, so Sanchez took over and wrote the songs from then on — she had been writing creatively since middle school so it came naturally to her. They had a well-oiled machine that interlocked at the right places. And at the beginning of 2016, they finally put it together a live album. A friend of producer-artist Hanni El Khatib saw them perform live and became a fan. He introduced them to Khatib and Jonny Bell (owner of Jazzcats Recording Studio). They both liked their sound and offered to co-produce their first record — their first self-titled EP.
They wanted to do an album straight away but they were convinced to do another EP again instead. For the second record, they decided against live recording opting for more tracking and production. “We were going for a specific sound when we first started out,” Sanchez says. “But now we’re doing whatever we want.” They realized that a song that is complete can change on the fly, so they now just go with it. They are now currently working on their first debut album at Jazzcats. However, they’re mute to say at what direction it’s going and how it will sound like.
They’ve been playing live shows for two years as Pinky Pinky. The first show they ever did was at the MOCA for a teen art event. Their first time was rough. Sanchez freaked out from nerves and made herself sick. They were playing for the very first time to a crowd that was basically their peers. However, that’s in the distant past now. They’re now seasoned pros with a strict regimen. “We practice and then go on YouTube for 45 minutes and then we are like ‘oh shit, we play in 5 minutes,’” says Sanchez.
A car drives by and some random guys yell out “nice shoes” (the piss bottle remains sitting silently on the street unharmed by the car ) as we wrap up the rock n’ roll bench interview. “I think they’re talking about my shoes,” says Fields, as she looks down at her Nikes.
Pinky Pinky will perform Friday, July 27, at the Hurley Flagship Store at Pacific City Center in Huntington Beach, CA
I like to stare at my computer. Occasionally I type words to pass the time. Those words are usually about music.