It's been 10 years, but The Big Pink are back with new album, The Love That's Ours. "This record symbolises so much, it's my flag on top of the summit," says bandleader Robbie Furze. "This is the soundtrack of my journey to get here. It was frightening, but beautiful at the same time, full of fun, but hand-in-hand full of terror and sadness. The outcome is that I'm incredibly proud of this work that came out of all of it. I think these may be the best songs that I've ever written, they're certainly the most honest."

The album was produced by Tony Hoffer and features contributions from Jamie T, Jamie Hince (The Kills), Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Ryn Weaver, Mary Charteris, and Ed Harcourt, and is full the kind of big, hooky, danceable rock songs the group are known for. Listen to the album below.

We asked Robbie to tell us a little more about the inspirations behind The Love That's Ours, which include reinvestigating the group's own music, as well as movies, J Dilla, his collaborators, and more. It's a thoughtful and forthright read -- check it out below.


Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now

One of my favourite movies of all time is Apocalypse Now. It's a masterpiece and I've probably watched it 100 times. I’ve also watched the making of documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse at least a 100 times -- that's epic for a super fan. The height of my obsession came when I read Joseph Conrad's book Heart of Darkness, which the whole movie was based on. It just solidifies the true meaning of all these great pieces of work. They all beautifully show one’s own struggle down this river of Discovery. Dealing with blind perseverance, saddled up right next to extreme self doubt, ending up standing on the edge of madness but in some way surviving and making it back. This album is my “Heart of Darkness," my “Apocalypse Now“. I’m Martin Sheen being pushed to the point of heart failure by Francis Ford Coppola. I’m Francis Ford Coppola remortgaging my house for the second time to pay to finish the recordings. I’m Martin Sheen as Cap. Benjamin L. Willard struggling my way down the river from South Vietnam into Cambodia on some mission I'm not sure why I'm even on. I’m also Marlon Brando as Colonel Walter E. Kurtz having gone mad and created my own existence, based on my rules, my ideas and my visions.

Being away from my home/family

This feels weird to add to my list of what inspired my record, but by alienating myself in this way it gave me a weird freedom to really explore what THE BIG PINK is, and what THE BIG PINK needed to say with this record. As hard as it was, I needed this separation.

J Dilla

I found J Dilla way too late in my life. He was a Genius. Throughout my songwriting history I’ve always been looking for new inspirations, especially with programming and production. From Public Enemy to Aphex Twin. From Trent Reznor to King Tubby. But when I found Dilla it was a wonderful marriage of pure hip hop with pure madness. Just super original and super exciting. Donuts is my favourite album, which I believe he finished in his hospital bed before he died. And “Nothing Like This” is my favourite track.

“A Brief History of Love”

I guess it looks a little arrogant to put my first record in the top 10 influences of my new record but I went back to A Brief History of Love and I really listened to it. I hadn’t done that in a while but I wanted to try and see what made that record so successful. There was a real confidence to the sound, a super real and unaffected approach to the songwriting. It’s irritating when your first album is in its original naivete, you just don’t really give a fuck on the first album and that comes through in the delivery. The real challenge then was to take this and craft better songs with better production but to regain the confidence and the spontaneity I had on the first record. I wanted The Love That's Ours to solidify THE BIG PINK sound and, with the mastermind Tony Hoffer, I feel we achieve this.

Einstürzende Neubauten, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Smokey Robinson

I went back into what artists truly influenced the sound of THE BIG PINK and here are definitely some that would appear in the Top 10. I remember reading an article on Jesus and Mary Chain and they describe their sound as and mix between The Crystals and Einstürzende Neubauten. I remember thinking we should start with the same and see where it takes us.

Ryn Weaver

Ryn is one the most talented humans on the planet. She is music personified. By the grace of god, we met by complete chance one night in Los Angeles. Maybe fate brought us together or maybe we had similar energies at that time. Two lost souls, on some undefined mission, just needing someone to talk it out with that just gets it. That’s what we did; we just talked it out and the songs followed. What she did with me was a miracle to watch. Mind-blowing melodies and lyrics just fell out of her. She is an incredible artist in her own right and has achieved incredible success. Her new record is going to change the dial. She’s Up there with J Dilla, a Genius!

Jamie Hince (The Kills)

So Jamie is my best friend in the world. We’ve been through a load together over the last decade and a half. Weirdly, we met backstage at Corona Capital in Mexico City, but had mutual friends. He has never left me. He has been there when I’ve doubted myself, my career, my life. He has literally dragged me over the finish line with this record. He has patiently listened through all of my demos and ideas that I would throw him on a daily basis. He would critique and help with even some of the most ridiculous ideas. He needs some sort of award! He wrote “Love Spins On Its Axis” with me and played on “I’m Not Away to Stay Away.” I love him, he's an incredible artist and I can’t wait for the new Kills record!!!!

Jamie T
This Jamie is also one of my big Loves. He is the most legitimate artist I’ve ever had the luck to encounter. Also one of the most prolific. I am a massive fan. I think out of everyone I’ve spoken about, Jamie T's music has influenced me the most. He’s punk rock. The new Clash. If Joe Strummer was alive he would fall over himself to write with Jamie. I’m so proud that he’s smashing it with his new record. He deserves it and way more! The song he helped me the most with and the song that I think is my favourite on the record is “I’m Not Away To Stay Away.” Every time I listen to it, I hear my two best friends singing and playing with me, and I could cry, and sometimes I do.

Rob (life) Browning

Rob was a glorious friend that unfortunately we lost. It happened just before Halloween 2019, we were still in Los Angeles. We had bonded over my years in LA and we were starting a reconstituted or regenerated vintage leather jacket brand. We were finding super cool old biker jackets and fixing them up, redoing the zips, changing the lining, the fit, the structure... it was gonna be so cool. Anyway the worst call that anyone can get happened. It came the morning after we’d been out together, we were supposed to meet that day. I had just started a track called “Lucky One” with an amazing musician called Ed Harcourt, but it was sitting unfinished. I was devastated by Rob's death, just crying over my computer and, again, Ryn Weaver came to the rescue. After explaining what had happened she drove over and we changed the meaning of “Lucky One” into a song about Rob. The chorus is “cause I’m the lucky one, drew a blank while we played with our roulette gun...” I mean how incredible is that line. She wrote this and the premise was we all party, sometimes get up to stupid shit, and Rob was just unlucky. It’s such a sad song. I still cry sometimes when I listen to it.

A Scottish folk song called “we’are no awa’ tae bide awa” (childhood song)

So there is this Scottish song called “We’are no awa’ tae bide awa,” my great aunts and uncles would sing it to me when i was a child in Scotland. It’s originally an old drinking song but has become the archetypal "farewell" song, played by pipers on the quayside when many a ship left port at war times. Soldiers would sing it to their sweethearts as they were leaving to fight for their country:

Oh we're no awa' tae bide awa'
We're no' awa' tae le'e ye,
We're no' awa' tae bide awa',
We'll aye come back an' see ye.

Translated :
Oh we are not away to stay away,
We are not away to leave you,
We are not away to stay away,
We will always come back and see you.

I felt like this sentiment was very apt to the record. I was away but not to stay away.

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