Premiere: Pagiins, “Open Up Your Mind”

Party it up with Arkansas' heros, Pagiins, as they let you into their home for the "Open Up Your Mind" video from Kyle Hale. No sooner will you have walked through the front door when you are greeted by frontman Leif Hinshaw, or the tambourine shakes from drummer Robert Bishop, bass thumps from Chris Wood, Aaron Smith greeting you as he shreds away, and home brewed percussion clutch from Damon Tillotson. Here you are privy to a house party performance where Pagiins free themselves from the confines mental convention, as well as the stage, as they mingle about from the living room's television tube lights to jamming away while laying out on the floor.

Leif leads the band along in the encouragement to leave behind your binds and "open up your eyes". The POV shot perspective video takes you through their narrow hallways, carpeted stair cases, through french doors, kitchens, closets and dim lit bedrooms. In the their mind opening invitation, Pagiins' bridge the DIY art of performance as active participants in their own house show. From the clutter of posters, dishes, gear and appliances galore; the band makes use of everything, including the kitchen sink as part of their spirited assemblage of clamoring noise making contributions. Pagiins' jovial punk rock from the new age of enlightenment will wet your whistle while we await the forthcoming 20 Sided Records dual EPs Good Things Take Time and Bad Things Don't available October 8.

Leif Hinshaw entertained some of our questions as we traced their rock and roll wagon trail sounds from Arkansas to California, and back again.

How did Pagiins come together as a band?

Pagiins came together as a one time thing. It was meant to be a studio band that put out one EP (old material Leif and Robert had been sitting on). After the EP got featured on Obscure Sound and Paste we decided to stick with it and within a few months we were recording another EP.

The South seems to be leaning toward the Western garage scenes these days while nurturing their own. What do you feel the Arkansas by California connection is for you guys?

I feel like Arkansas has a lot of things to offer the outdoorsy people but in terms of music its really trying to find its own voice. Most cities in Arkansas I've been to usually have the same dominating scenes; country, cover bands, and bluegrass/folky stuff. They are the ones that usually book the bigger venues because they cater to the wider audience. But underneath all that there is this resurgence into DIY rock and roll. The scene is always small and always filled with musicians that are going to try twice as hard because they are going against the grain in a sense. I think we all look up to the California scene because it shows us that if a garage rock scene is nurtured it could get bigger and bigger. A lot of musicians out there seem to have dived into late 1960's deep cuts as references for their sound and I think that has definitely brought that style back to forefront.

What is happening in Arkansas's underground scenes these days?

Right now we have a few cities working together to bring interesting artists through the state. In Hot Springs we have a festival called Valley of the Vapors that's held in March and it really focuses on a wide range of talented bands from the SXSW and CMJ circuits. In Little Rock we have quite a few great venues that are able to bring in bigger acts into town as well as a really fun house show circuit that surprisingly gets some big names on board. Here in Fayetteville we a have good number of bands due to the amount of bored college kids. The best thing is that all the bands work together and push each other to keep making new tunes. Its all a friendly competition that we are glad to be a part of.

How did "Open Up Your Mind" become translated by Kyle Hale into a house party, jam fest scenario?

Honestly, I don't know if anything was planned as much we just payed our friend fifty bucks to shoot a video in two hours.

Tell us everything we need to know about the Good Things Take Time, Bad Things Don't EP.

Good Things took about a year and half to be totally completed (from initial song writing to recording) while Bad Things Don't took a few months and was written as we went. We wanted people to realize that time had an important role in title of each EP. We also wanted people to realize we aren't taking it too seriously.
We gave them those titles because they played kinda off each other as well. One was poppy and up beat and the other a bit more rock n roll. So you had a colorful one and a black one. The EPs were really a chance to explore our own sound as well as pay homage to bands we idealized. The Pixies, Pavement, Rolling Stones, Black Lips, and The Doors all have a direct influence on the EPs sounds. The plan was to showcase two different styles (in a sense) and then try to fuse that sound together on a full length eventually. We really have a soft spot for pop but playing fast rock n roll is so much more fun.

Why is it that Good Things Take Time and Bad Things Don't? Why do you all figure that is?

It's all about paying your dues, I guess. If you want a good job you have to put a lot of time into school (which didn't really work out for us). If you want the instant gratification of a drunken one-night stand than there are experiences like that as well (but that probably wont work out for you the next day). All of us had been in short-lived bands previously and we had no intentions of Pagiins going anywhere fast. In fact, the band quit the day we got our recordings for Good Things Take Time. But somehow it's snowballed into what it is today and we're pumping out the type of music we want to make faster than ever before.

Pagiins' double header Good Things Take Time and Bad Things Don't EP will be available October 7 from 20 Sided Records.