Pinata Vandals were formed by Hermann Newman in 2012 as a collaborative music project between friends. Newman brought together musicians from different parts of England, inviting them to record and contribute to his own original material. Their first album ‘Birthday Cake’ features an 8 piece band fronted by vocalist Thelma Deaf and includes a line up of Guitar, Bass, Drums, Synthesizers, Woodwind, Violin and Vocals. Newman’s aim was to create a band that could experiment in a wide variety of musical genres and the band’s sound is characterised by a disjointed concoction of Rock, Electronica, Dub Reggae, Salsa, Funk, Jazz and Experimental Noise.
Pinata Vandals are influenced by artists such as David Bowie, Queens of the Stone Age and The Mars Volta as well as the film scores of composers such as Bernard Hermann and Ennio Morricone. Their music incorporates a Retro Futurism inspired by old B-Movie and Sci-Fi soundtracks and their sound embraces randomness, fragmentation, improvisation and the aesthetic qualities of processed sound.
The Recording Process has played an important role in shaping the Band’s sound. Most of the parts for ‘Birthday Cake’ were recorded with musicians playing in isolation along to instrumental sections of songs that were later worked into more recognizable song structures. It was during the final mixing process that individual performances were pieced together in a form of ‘cut and paste’ song writing influenced by the working methods of artists such as Can (early pioneers of tape editing and looping) and King Tubby (who is often cited as the inventor of the concept of the ‘remix’). The fact that Pinata Vandals rarely recorded in the same room together during the making of ‘Birthday Cake’ has contributed greatly to their disorientating and fragmentary sound.