Bernie Pink Want You to Feel Unhinged, in a Good Way

Bernie Pink
Bernie Pink
Photo by Nathan Kiergaard, courtesy of Bernie Pink
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We asked the band members of Bernie Pink to explain the stunning visuals of its new video, “Ahh Shit.” All four of them responded, but they left enough unanswered about the clip’s inspired bedlam to leave viewings open to interpretation. You can see it all for yourself here and now, thanks to the band’s exclusive Houston Press release of the video.

“I got to get my friends and I drunk, then take off our clothes,” said Taylor Gibson, Bernie Pink’s vocalist/guitarist/drummer, offering the simplest explanation of the video and one bound to attract some voyeuristic viewers.

The band’s been together full-time for nine months and loosely for closer to two years. They met through mutual friends and had a shared vision about music that ultimately resulted in Fiesta Elementary, the group's first release. The band celebrates the release and performs songs from the seven-track EP tomorrow night at D&W Lounge. Lagmind, Black Lodge, San Antonio’s Ballerino and Fiesta Elementary’s producer popeNQM are also playing the free show.

Gavin Hendershot, the band’s bassist, thinks the video has a specific intent and perfect result.

“To make people uncomfortable,” Hendershot says. “The actual process and watching makes me feel a bit unhinged. In a good way.”

The same could be said for the album, a tumultuous collection of songs that took either nine months or “my whole life” to write, depending on which member of the band you ask. It plays like a boulder rolling downhill, with opening track “Isolation” building momentum into the avalanche to follow. A single spin of the EP leaves listeners emotionally spent. Hendershot describes the album as “my childhood gone wrong,” which might explain some of its frenzy. On the other hand, vocalist/guitarist Stefan Ridding just says, “My bud, Jeremy’s, shirt,” when asked for thoughts on the songs. There’s plenty of mystery to unravel in its tracks. Martin Long, who sings, drums and guitars for the band, offers the most graspable take on the album by calling it “a cosmic slob of collaboration.”

The album was produced by popeNQM and engineered by Joseph Leffler, the band said. Recording bounced between Houston Community College’s Spring Branch studios, Notsuoh and popeNQM’s house. Lukas Wade designed the album art.

Any of the tracks could have worked in video form, but “Ahh Shit” is the longest track on the EP and “was chosen for the music video because it was the most accessible song, yet still representative of our sound,” the band noted. Ridding came up with the concept and wrote the script for the piece with Matthew Hardesty and Elliott Moon. Hardesty directed the film, which stars Ridding, Lukas Wade and Abriana Ferndandez.

“I think it displays how fragile relationships that are considered ‘normal’ to society can be imprisoning. It was a nice twist,” Long says.

The blood and violence of the piece definitely recall the conflict inherent in relationships of any kinds, or at least the ones that are passionate enough to care about. At least that’s one interpretation.

“Elliott, Matt and I wrote this with the intention of provoking an uncomfortable emotion ending with a serene feeling. Panic to calm,” Ridding said. "To also let go an illusion of control. Everything else is up to the viewer."

The energy in the audio tracks and the video should make music seekers extra-curious about the live show. If you miss Bernie Pink tomorrow at their EP release, you can catch them next on June 15 with Disfrutalo! and Dallas’s Monoculture at Satellite Bar.

“A lot of hard work went into this album and video,” the band says. “We really hope it takes people on emotional journeys, we hope it helps people find things about themselves that were hidden, but above all else we really hope people get brainwashed by the hidden subliminal messages we scatter through the EP.”

Bernie Pink's EP Release, 8 p.m. Saturday, April 29, at D&W Lounge, 911 Milby. With Ballerino, Black Lodge, Lagmind and popeNQM. Free.

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