Pink Mountaintops is a rotating cast of Vancouver rockers, making sweaty music that celebrates a lot of sex. Their live show and songs like “Erected” and “Bad Boogie Ballin'” teeter on the fine line between ridiculous parody and a simple good time. Frontman Stephen McBean (also of Jerk with a Bomb and Black Mountain) talked with me about sexual vocabulary and all this raunchy music.
“Pink Mountaintops” is something of a coup in terminology. What are some of your favorite euphemisms for sex parts and acts? Which are your most despised? Do these differ for songwriting versus everyday use?
Iíve had an eternal fondness for the word “fuck” as well as the term “fucking” in all their uses and forms. Itís just a very nice sounding word and that has many implications and subtleties. It can be both dirty and sensual in the same sentence. I donít like the words hump, snatch, beaver, or dong. Bad Boogie Humpiní and May I Please Eat Your Beaver make for bad song titles so I simply chose from the words I was already accustomed to saying.
What impact has crafting and performing pervy songs had on your everyday vocabulary? Did writing and recording the whole album in a month have any impact on you?
The impact was that it was quick enough that I didnít get bored or re-evaluate the initial concept, which if left longer mightíve ended up seeming atrociously vain and self indulgent. Which of course it was.
Your web presences list this project as inspired while mixing sunrise, highways, Pink Floyd, and trucker speed How would you describe the idea behind this band?
Just that it remains spontaneous and fun and there are no tiny cymbals or 7-string guitars.
Which songs came first? Did the album concept change as it was made, or did it stay pretty true to the original idea?
I believe the first Pink Mountaintops song was I (fuck) Mountains. Then songs like Bad Boogie Ballin', which were written before, reinvented themselves in order to take part in the spirit.
Are there plans for another album? Have you written any new songs?
There will be another album by next fall. It wonít be about sex but it will continue the tradition of celebrating the human existence to the rhythm of many bongos.
How much did you learn about sex, bodies and relationships? from rock songs? Any favorite tips from the world of music?
Music and sex go hand in hand. I believe peopleís sex lives would be drastically different if everyone made love in utter silence. Though itís true that nothing beats the sound of natural human rhythm except maybe fucking to Slayerís Reign In Blood.
On paper, the idea of dirty guitar rock songs about male fantasies and balling have the potential to be decidedly sexist, but I find all the lyrics to be pretty positive, just fun and horny. This might sound like a ridiculous question to ask the creators of “Sweet 69” and “I (fuck) mountains,” but did you make any special effort to be politically progressive?
If it had came out any other way it wouldíve been a waste of time though I really made no effort to steer its direction towards any sort of progressive thought. Shock value is a useless sport as far as Iím concerned. Only a completely boring individual living in a cultural vacuum could find this record offensive.
How are audience reactions to Pink Mountaintops different than for your other bands? How is playing in this band different for you? What can audiences expect on your tour?
Thereís usually a lot more sweat and smiling faces.
What are some of your favorite moments of sex in music?
1. The way Missy Elliot uses the word trunk.
2. Hearing Paradise By The Dashboard Light when I was 8 or 9 years old.
3. Figuring out years later what Ace Frehly really meant when he sang Rocket Ride.
There are a lot of people involved with this band. Who is going on tour?
The Pink Mountaintops cast includes Amber Webber, Lyndsay Sung, Matt Camirand, Corey Ganges, Brad MacKinnon, Joshua Wells, Keith Parry, Steve Balogh, Keegan Saunders, Christoph Hoffmeister, and myself, Stephen McBean.
Any or all of these fine people can be spotted at any given time on a Pink Mountaintop stage.