Piresian Beach is the alterego of Zsófia Németh, an hungarian artist that is somewhere in between lo-fi, garage and psychedelia. She’s been active since 2010 and have played live a few times too. She has self-released everything she’s ever made and her latest album was Alle Falle, which was well-received by the underground blogs but also some bigger papers in Hungary. I took the time to interview her about the music she makes, her latest album Alle Falle, what influences her and much more. I’ve also reviewed her latest album over att Möllan.nu. Check this one out!
Could you tell me why you started up Piresian Beach in the first place? When did you first start making music? Where did you get that name from?
- I made my first song on the day I started to fool around with a guitar in the summer of 2010. And why did I have that guitar in my room, you might ask – because I was invited to play some simple chords in a band, so I borrowed a guitar to learn how to do this. Well, I didn’t make it into that band.
There’s no particular reason for the name, still the word Piresian refers to a fictitious nation that is hated by most Hungarians. So, this is what I found irresistibly funny in the ~3 minutes that I spent coming up with a name.
What would you say have inspired the sound of Piresian Beach? What do you normally listen to?
- Most of the time it has been the lack of equipment and the lack of experience…but seriously, I started making music under the influence of the Brian Jonestown Massacre and Spacemen 3. I normally listen to psychedelic bands, garage, garage punk, post punk and also some weird lo-fi stuff but I consume a lot of music in general, so many other things go down my throat.
Last year you did a collaboration song with Zombie Girlfriend called “Surfs Down!”, could you tell me more about it?
- This song was written solely by Benedek (Zombie girlfriend) and I just added some vocals to his demo
What would you say is the main difference between the first year of Piresian Beach and the later years, including Alle Falle?
- I don’t see a big difference apart from the fact that now it’s not only my friends who listen to my music
It seems like your covers tend to focus on women on the front. Why is this the focus? What have influenced these covers?
- Sure, music induced by weird estrogen should have a cover with weird women, no?
Who makes these covers, do you create them by yourself?
- My sister made the collage for Parttalan and a girl called Zita made the cover art for Fuck your mind, both of them are weird but too cool girls. And I made the rest of the covers.
What elements of lo-fi do you find the most likeable? Why have you chosen this sound scape? You don’t want it to sound overproduced, but raw and in-your-face?
- Lo-Fi songs could be very rich in (often accidental) atmospheric noises but it suffers a deficit in the details – I prefer the moody aspects of music. I’ve never been a good guitarist or singer and I think I gained some self-confidence by the fact that the crappy sound hides some of the flaws as well.. but basically I don’t really have a choice because I cannot invest too much money in my music.
How have you evolved musically since your first release Piresian Beach EP?
- Apart from some minor technical developments I’ve learnt to write music with a sober mind.
Why did you pick Eva Plaschke von der Osten to be on the cover of Alle Falle? Was she an inspirational character for you?
- I’m working with old postcards and photos in my working hours and that’s where I met this picture of her as Kundry – she’s a magnetic person even from a hundred years distance. I love the atmosphere of this picture of her and ever since I saw it I wanted to evoke the atmosphere of this puzzling expression on her face.
I reviewed your latest album Alle Falle and I thought it was good, I loved the neo-psychedelia and the fact that you sound somewhat like Siouxsie from Siouxsie and the Banshees. Would you agree on this part? Has she influenced you in any way?
- Haha, it’s your kind review that actually made me listen to Siouxsie’s songs, so the soonest it would have an impact on me would be the next release.
What would you say is the most difficult part about doing this solo and what are the strengths in it?
- This total freedom allows you to realize everything according to your will but if there’s no band mate pushing you, laziness can keep you from going, or whenever you’re stuck with a song, you have to wait until you find out the solution by yourself. I still prefer seeing the advantages, probably because I’ve never experienced being part of a well-functioning band.
How come that you haven’t chosen to sing in Hungarian? Why did you choose to sing in English?
- It’s much easier in English and writing lyrics is by no means a strength of mine, it’s just not so important to me. The lyrics are mainly to fit the rhythm and intonation of the music and I actually enjoy writing nonsensical lines performed as if it was dead serious but I still prefer not to spend too much time on this, especially because in the end no one can understand a single word in the big holy noise.
Do you ever think you’ll release anything where you’re singing in Hungarian?
- Maybe. Or I would invent the Piresian language one day.
What kind of equipment do you use when you record your stuff? It doesn’t really sound like it’s recorded in a studio?
- I have a guitar, a mic and a small amp connected to my computer – for a couple of songs on Alle Falle I borrowed the western guitar of Benedek from Zombie girlfriend. I would find it hard to record in a studio because I’m basically writing the songs while I’m recording them.
You’ve also been part of a mix tape called Tears On My Pillow: Part I with your song Where you gonna go. Could you tell me more about this?
- This is our common favorite song with my mother, it was originally recorded by an obscure one-hit garage rock band called Art Guy from the sixties. And then last year, I was asked if I could send a track for Tears on my pillow, so the song was made especially for this mixtape, with Benedek playing the rhythm guitar part.
Besides that mix tape you’ve also been featured on Stripster - A JackinthePocket.com mixtape with your song Lost - tell me more about it!
- Lost is about an affair of mine which became sheer physics by the end. It’s not so sad, in fact. I don’t know how the song was selected for this mix but it was focusing on sexy stuff, so they were right.
I also noticed that most of your stuff is self-released, which is cool. Have any record-company offered you anything yet? Or are you still looking?
- No, and I haven’t really been looking for one – maybe I’m a bad example in ambitiousness but at the same time I see my limits as a musician, I mean who would care to release vinyl or promote someone who tends to follow her moment’s chaotic moods and who is not really playing live shows and is not likely to go on a tour these days. At the same time, I would be happy if an independent label would still want me.
Which one of your own albums are you most proud of? Which one is your favorite one?
- I’m proud of the first EP because I still don’t know how I was capable to record these songs without being able to play the guitar or sing. And I’m also very proud of the latest EP, Alle Falle – even though it is a more conscious release, it truly reflects the mood I was in while I was producing it, a pretty confused, solitary, self-analytic period for me. The last song, Drunk dawn rivers is an unintentional homage to panic attacks.
Was the album Fuck Your Mind also released on LP? Because you said something about your first LP-release some months ago on your Facebook?
- No, the word LP indicates simply that it’s a long play with more songs and a longer playtime.
It was well-received too, why do you think people liked it so much? You’ve gotten great reviews on it, so could you tell me anything about how you made the album?
- I’m glad you say this because I felt it too, that people liked it. There was no concept behind Fuck your mind, I just wanted to produce pretty good songs with the same methods and the usual minimalistic approach, mingling dark and bright noises, catchy themes and self-ironic attitudes.
I saw that it was released on tape too, but which format do you like the most?
- The tape was released mainly as a souvenir for the fans with all the songs I’ve produced so far, with a slight twist that each tape comes with different extra songs on it. I recorded and spray-painted them at home, each one on different cassettes. It was given out for free at the first time but these days I give them for free price – it’s just like when a homeless man comes to you asking for support.
Where have you played live up until now besides Bratislava? What did the audience think about your music?
- I’ve had a band playing live shows for about two months and we disbanded soon. Neither of us felt okay in this band and I also felt that I prefer writing songs by myself. Still, in this short time we played 3 shows around Slovakia and 3 in Budapest, it was a very new experience for me because I’ve never performed on stage before. In fact, some of these were not so terrible, haha.
These days I’m thinking about new shows but at the same time I feel that my songs are most effective in their recorded versions.
So, where is your dream to play? Where would you like to play your music the most?
- I would like to play in the park (the one that is not far from my apartment ) and there would be only animals and a bottle of wine. So, I will buy an acoustic guitar next time and do it this summer. Or I would gladly sing in a haunted church any time.
What subjects would you say set the tone for the lyrical content of your music? What subjects are you most passionate about?
- I’m passionate about quite old-fashioned things: love, hate, the transcendent, death, wisdom, sex etc.
You’ve also got your song Make you mine covered by Corona, could you tell me more about this? Did you like the end result?
- I made this cover song for a guy who I seriously fell for. He said that he would be crazy for a girl who likes this song, so I really wanted to gain his attention. He liked the result but finally I haven’t made him mine.
What newer bands and artists do you listen to on a regular basis? Care to recommend any band or artist that you like in particular?
- My recent favorite bands are Fungi girls, Nerve City., The Black Tambourines, White Fence, Ty Segall, Black Lips, Thee Oh Sees and The Spits. There are also some nice Hungarian acts, for example Broken Cups, whose first album is going to be killer.
If anyone is visiting you in Hungary that have never been there, where would you take them? Where do you usually hang out?
- In the streets, or in my favorite hidden pubs, or at the trashiest concerts. I appreciate quality beer and I’ve been investigating this issue quite thoroughly, I mean I even had a beer specialist blog back then.
What do you like to do when you’re not creating music or performing live?
Stay in bed or go to pubs and discuss the meaning of the universal existence. I also like to fantasize about life before 1914.
Are you going to release any new material besides Alle Falle this year and where are you playing live in the near future?
- Sure, I would like to release something this year but I haven’t yet found out what it’s going to be about. I always have finished songs on my hard disc and I want to use some of these in the future, but I find it hard, because the songs are messy and not necessarily compatible with each other.
What do you think is the most important thing to do if you want your music to get out to more listeners?
- I’m trying to find those people whom Piresian Beach could give much joy, you see. So far I showed my songs to the music blogs I personally adore, the ones with the open-mindedness and passion for obscure music and I’m open to anyone who’s interested in Piresian Beach but the rest shall be luck. Thank you for contacting me, by the way.
If we fast-forward the time for about five years, where do you think you’ll be by then musically and artistically?
- I have no idea what I’m going to do then. Maybe I will make a dream pop record for children, maybe I will compose my suicide note, either way is possible but I will definitely stop making music if I’m not enjoying it anymore.
What band or artist do you want me to interview next and what do you want to ask them?
- Nerve City. I haven’t read a proper interview with him but he is the most exciting one-man band I’ve ever known, so I hope you find him somehow.
Thank you for this interview! Do you have any last words?
- Please forgive me for my side projects.
Listen to her first self-titled EP over here:
You can also find her over here: