Turnpike Glow is a psychotropic pop band, who blends incredibly bright and colorful sounds with catchy indie pop. Their lead single of their latest Funke Pop EP, “Her Flaming Lips,” is a delightfully wonderful song with plenty of Flaming Lips references (eight, if I count correctly), if you fancy that. The music video is very, very inventive, and fits the song perfectly. Here’s a conversation with Sandro Schiena, the band’s lead singer and guitarist.
The name of your new EP (Funke Pop) is an Arrested Development reference, which was a thing many people picked up on, and you even did a list of the top 5 characters from the show. How much of the show influences your work on this EP or was the name just a clever title?
Sandro: Not sure how much a comedy can influence your music, but it definitely has an impact on your mood and your spirit. We tend not to take ourselves too seriously, so irony plays a big part within the band. Arrested Development references have filled our conversations numerous times.
Another question by the name of things, your amazing single “Her Flaming Lips” obviously references The Flaming Lips in the title, but how much does The Flaming Lips influence you? And what’s your favorite Lips’ album/why?
Sandro: First off, thank you. Flaming Lips have been pushing the envelope for so long, you just wonder how they do it. They never lost the urge, the drive, the enthusiasm for daring and trying new ideas. If there’s one band that embodies the word ‘inspirational’ it’s them. Going to be a bit obvious here and say my favourite album is The Soft Bulletin. Its dense, multi-layered sonic landscape and the mesmerizing melodies are too much beauty to bear in just one record.
What’s the idea or inspiration when creating songs and what were you going for on this EP that was different than before?
Sandro: We had a slightly different approach this time when it came to arranging the songs. We would first start with rhythmic sections and then add melodies and harmonies later on. It’s the opposite of how we usually proceed, as we tend to start off the process with a melody we love. And then work around it.
What are some of your other favorite shows and bands that influence you as a band or even as a person?
Sandro: When Giuseppe and me saw Broken Social Scene in Rome they had a huge impact on our lives. From that day onwards we knew all we wanted was to write songs and be in a band. Which is why it was a bit of a dream come true when we ended up working with their producer Dave Newfeld.
What’s next for Turnpike Glow? You’re being featured on many blogs and making a name for yourself quite well. Is a full album on the way?
Sandro: Right now we’re just overwhelmed and happy with all the good feedback our new EP has been getting. And yes we’re working on new material! Two new songs should debut live pretty soon.
You guys moved from Rome to London before this EP was released. Was the move from Rome to London purely for the sake of better location for your music career or was it a purely personal move?
Sandro: We were told by a friend that rents were cheaper in London. He’s not our friend anymore. Kidding aside, we moved to London because the arts scene has so much to offer and we just wanted to be sucked in.
What’s the story about “Her Flaming Lips”?
Sandro: The lyrics are packed with tweaked Flaming Lips song titles and references. It narrates the story of a girl happily stucked in a Flaming Lips shaped world. She has that rare feeling of being happy with what’s she’s got and not needing anything else, which is how a Flaming Lips record or live show makes us feel. It’s our little tribute to one of our main sources of inspiration.
Dylan: What are your current touring plans? Any chance you could come to the US anytime soon?
Sandro: Yes there are plans to fly over the US but our lips are sealed and our fingers are crossed.
Any last words/comments?
Sandro: Less is more.