A new album, a new label, and helping to usher in a new wave of British synthpop and rock, Tenek’s Geoff Pinckney invites ReGen‘s readers through the Smoke and Mirrors of the band’s sound.
An InterView with Geoff Pinckney of Tenek
By Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)
While Tenek has released several EPs and singles in the interim, Smoke and Mirrors seems to be Tenek’s first full-length album in five years.
First of all, what can you tell us about the band’s productivity during this time and how it culminated in the material on the new album?
Secondly, there seems to be a greater emphasis for many artists in the electro scene on EPs, singles, and similarly shorter releases; what are your thoughts on the viability of the album format – both in regards to how you, Tenek, approach them and the audience’s response?
Pinckney: We both prefer the album concept; it captures where the artist was creatively within a certain time period. Our audience shares that appreciation for the format and feels that having a physical product is better than a playlist on your computer – it’s a trophy!
EPs are a great way of keeping the interest of the public and are obviously a lot quicker to put together than an album, a great way of keeping the momentum going and filling five year gaps in between albums!
Smoke and Mirrors is your first album for Distortion Productions; tell us about how you came to associate with Mr. Semonik and his label and what motivated you to sign to his label?
What are your thoughts on where the record label (as it has traditionally been perceived and defined) has yet to develop in the music business?
Pinckney: It’s hard to say as yet. It’s still early days for us and Distortion, but I’m sure their enthusiasm and drive will take the label to a respectable level in the business.
Tenek’s music, while rooted in electro-pop, does seem to emphasize melody (particularly in the emotive vocals) and organic instruments and tones. What do you find to be the most challenging aspects in bridging the electronic and organic elements together – both in terms of composition/songwriting and production?
On that note, there are several guest musicians, including three bass guitarists. First of all, how did Michael Steer, Paul Jackson, and Sam Morrison come to be involved on this album?
Secondly, how did you find that their individual styles compared to each other’s to complement Tenek’s music (or in other words, why three different bassists instead of one)?
Are there plans to take the music of Smoke and Mirrors live, and if so, what sorts of challenges does the new material present?
Pinckney: We launched the album in November 2015 at the Garage in Islington, London. It was quite a change from our usual setup as we now had the inclusion of Steve Clark on drums. The onstage technology had to change to accommodate him, so the challenges are now more of a technical nature than actual performance. There’s a lot more going on these days onstage so it’s quite unnerving at times. You may not notice, but there’s at least one of the band members with his fingers crossed during the performance!
What’s next for Tenek?
Pinckney: We’re looking at releasing an EP at some point this year featuring exclusive material and there are other live shows in the pipeline. When the time is right we will reconvene in the studio to work on new material. I guess the new challenge for Tenek is to write an album within five years!
Photography by Simon Watson and John Newstead, edited by Cheri Freund – courtesy of Tenek