PINKO is a three-piece band from San Antonio, TX. They have been playing as a band since 2015 when guitarist/vocalist Guillermo Mendez was looking for a new drummer to fill-in with his previous outfit Sohns. However, a chance audition with drummer Ethan Campa led to an altogether different sort of band coming together instead.
“Pinko came together by accident. I’d been writing guitar riffs on the low.” Upon Campa practicing with Mendez on this new style, “It went fast after that.” Bassist Jared Flores was brought in, who was in 7 other bands at the time, and the band got to work under the name PINKO.
The group quickly recorded a self-titled EP, which was soon followed by a 12” split EP with Bummer from Kansas City. The band did three tours over the next 18 months before Campa left the group in 2017, right on the cusp of beginning another tour. Fortune smiled on the band though as they lucked out with finding drummer Luke Mitchell just in time to do an East Coast/Canada tour and it’s been a positive relationship since.
Under this new lineup PINKO recorded two more quick splits- one with New Primals and another with Exhalants, with whom they toured with in 2018. During this time period they also began writing what would become their debut full-length LP, “You & You”.
The writing came together in stages, as Mendez spent the last year bouncing between San Antonio and various other cities for work-related travel.
“Once I came home we tidied up the bulk of the record, finished the last few songs in August of 2019, and practiced very often for 3 hours at a time. We wanted to be prepared to record by September, with Chris Common, at Brainville in El Paso. The 4 days we spent there were super empowering. Chris was pushing us, despite coming in well rehearsed, to the point he said it was refreshing to have us come in so tight that we can actually have fun.”
PINKO have tightened up their sound since beginning, but always maintained a chaotic, noisy, and wild presence.
“A few of our influences are Drive Like Jehu, Unwound, and Brainiac. I’d say the original intent was always to play loud angular noisy stuff, with ghosts of hooks coming out once in a while. We weren’t sure if people would like it so we just settled on playing and seeing what panned out”, says Mendez. Add to that a healthy dose of Fugazi-ish vocals and a deafening live sound PINKO certainly have created noise worth checking out. “We made ourselves sick making this record, but we’re really proud to put this on wax with the help of Hex Records and play these finished songs live.”
“You & You” will be released on LP, CD, and digital on Dec. 13th featuring 8 tracks from the Texas trio. Look for them touring on the record after the New Year as well.