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After finding initial success with the electronic duo Ghost Beach, NYC-based musician Eric “Doc” Mendelsohn has been embracing his funkier tendencies with a world-weary sense of irony with his Pink Flamingo Rhythm Revue project. With a debut, self-titled EP on the way, PFFR recently released a new single, “On A Night Like This,” which plays with the tension lines of expectation versus reality amidst whirring, pillowy grooves and shimmering atmopherics.
To go along with a stream of “On A Night Like This,” we sent Mendelsohn some interview questions. Check it all out below and be sure to look for the Pink Flamingo Rhytym Revue EP out January 5th via YouTooCanWoo.
Hi, Pink Flamingo Rhythm Revue! Congrats on your new EP. Can you tell us a little more on who you are and how you first got into making music?
I’ve been making music since I started guitar lessons at 7 years old. All I really wanted to do was learn to play Beatles and Jimi Hendrix songs. By 12, I was playing in basement bands with friends covering Metallica and Black Sabbath. I got more seriously into songwriting in high school. I went to college for music but ended up dropping out to tour, write, and record music. I’ve been doing the same ever since.
What’s your songwriting process like? Who are some of your biggest influences?
I get truly inspired by collaborating with other passionate musicians, but when I work alone it’s usually the idea of a characters fault, short-coming, or tragic flaw that propels me to work on music to tell that story. I also like idealizing in songs, like talking about how something is so great or so perfect that it can’t last or it will have a fall from grace. There are so many favorites but the big ones are definitely Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Prince, Chaka Khan, The Beatles, and The Beach Boys.
What’s “On A Night Like This” about? How did it come to be?
“On A Night Like This” is about surrendering to something that you need, even when it doesn’t look like (or happen) the way you envisioned it.
I came up with the basic track and melody one day at home and I was thinking it would be a song about overcoming something. My working title was “Rise Over It.” I brought it to a songwriter friend of mine named Toby Lightman and we ended up changing the concept to the current one, which I found to be a little more personal and unique. I then worked on the final production and mixing with my longtime friend, Dave Weingarten, which really helped it come into its own.
PFFR “explores themes of vice, ego and heartbreak through tragic characters who can't help but get in their own way.” How did you arrive at that concept?
The concepts behind PFRR were influenced by the area I grew up in and the people who live there. Some of whom go through their lives never really leaving town, dating within the same circles, hanging with the same people etc. I had this idea and asked myself, “What if all these people lived this same existence but in a town like Reno, NV?” or something like that. The idea of being the weird cousin of Vegas would probably have an interesting effect on the people who live there, kind of like the looming presence of New York when you grow up in a northern New Jersey suburb. It creates a defensive narrative. This is all stuff that i like to draw from.
Any new New York-based artists/venues/purveyors of the arts you could turn our readers onto
I realized that I’ve kind of been in my own world the past year working on music. That being said I really love the music that my friends are making, many of whom i have the privilege to perform with such as French Horn Rebellion, Gibbz, Violet Sands, Prom, I also loved Emily Kings record from last year.
Where can we follow you and where can our readers catch you live next?