Pixel Grip creates some of the most infectious synth-pop to come out of Chicago in quite awhile. We were lucky enough to get them to take a bit to answer a few of our questions about their new record Heavy Handed, their eclectic influences, and the challenges of marketing in the age of social media.
You can catch them next on June 15th at Cole’s Bar for a FREE show with Ganser.
Chicago Crowd Surfer
RL: Rita Lukea of Pixel Grip
For those who are unfamiliar with Pixel Grip, could you lay out a brief backstory of the band?
RL: “Three delinquents from the suburbs moved to the city to make gay club music,” could work.
Pixel Grip's sound is steeped in industrial beats and synth-pop hooks- what are a few influences that have helped shape the band’s style?
RL: David Byrne, David bowie, Damon Albarn, Little Dragon, Daft Punk. We love greats songs with movement and energy. We love chicago house and french electronica.
Do all of you share songwriting? How collaborative is the process of producing these imaginative tunes?
RL: We all write independently and bring our best ideas together and then riff and move the song forward using our improvisational skills. Each song has a different story, but I think that’s what makes the album so eclectic.
You put out Heavy Handed with local label Feeltrip Records. How did that relationship start?
RL: Diana Bowden and David Beltran a.k.a. DJ Hiii and Starrrfox, a.k.a. no requests, a.k.a. Feeltrip Records sniffed us out, man. Those two love house music and everything electronic, and they were cruising to sign a band with synths in Chicago and found us. They are badass! Go check out their new record store in Avondale called No Requests!
Chicago's music scene is steeped in talent, much of which goes overlooked. Who are your favorite local acts you think are being overlooked at the moment?
RL: There’s no way I could speak to that, but I will say that social media has gotten so entangled in our lives and in this industry, (that) the people who choose to focus solely on the music and less time online get way overlooked. I do think that a medium like Instagram can be an art form just as much as music can be, but if you are a musician, (not a model,) social media can feel like a fucking chore. I think a lot of artists in Chicago feel that way.
What's your favorite local venue to play or see or show?
RL: Sleeping Village, hands down.