Catch Pushpin performing tracks from their debut EP at the Union on 23rd NovEd Willey

Please introduce yourselves

Hello reader, we’re Pushpin, an indie rock band, and we are made up of:

Arthur Robijns (History @ Christ’s) - guitar and vocals;

Adam Holmes (HSPS @ Christ’s) - keys and electronics;

Lucas Chebib (Philosophy @ Magdalene) - drums and miscellaneous objects;

Ed Willey (Chinese @ Catz) - bass and vocals.

Describe your music style in three words

Inform. Educate. Entertain.

What was the thought process behind your group's name?

Ed: We’ve probably spent more time on the name than on the music.

Lucas: There's a famous Mill misquote of Bentham: "pushpin is as good as poetry". The thought is that it's as absurd that this could be true of the pointless 18th century game, to which the philosopher was referring, as it is that it could be true of us. It's also a point of self-deprecating comparison in a way, in that nobody knows virtually anything about the game of pushpin now, and I envisage that the same will be true of us in much less than two centuries' time.

Tell us about being a band in Cambridge. What's it like juggling gigs/recording with your studies?

Ed: Apart from myself being in final year at Catz, the rest of the band has actually already graduated and, while we’re spread around the country at the minute, we have a bit of a soft spot for Cambridge, so expect to see us about! My experience of juggling gigs and recording with studies so far is that there is a rather large number of balls to keep up in the air, which is pretty exhilarating with upcoming finals taken into consideration. That and the prospect of needing to find a job to pay for this whole adventure makes the whole thing quite intimidating!

How do you think your Cambridge experience has shaped your music?

It has led us to adopt the mantra that being mediocre is not necessarily bad; rather, it is often the best you can hope to achieve.

What are your goals as a group for this academic year?

Primarily to find at least one person who likes our music.

Then, find more people who will tolerate it.

What's one piece of advice you would give to any Cambridge students wanting to start a band/solo career?

Unfortunately, we’re not great at reading so here are four pieces of advice:

Lucas: If you think you'd make a good civil servant because you are eminently capable of managing confrontation and doing what you're damned well told, but you didn't get on to the fast stream, you might have what it takes. A solo career awaits if your confrontation management does not, in fact, cut the mustard.

Ed: Get performing! The best way to improve as a musician, gain confidence, and actually improve your songs comes from being on stage and making decisions in the moment. It also helps with getting people personally engaged with you and your music which is getting more and more difficult owing to the dominance of Spotify and Apple Music.

Adam: Don’t.

Arthur: *not available for comment*


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Where can we find you? (your chance to plug any upcoming gigs/releases!)

We’re next playing in Cambridge at the Union on the 23rd November, and have a series of evenings lined up all over London during the Christmas break - follow our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pushpinband) and Instagram (@pushpin_band) for updates.

Our EP, Concrete & Amber, is out now on Soundcloud (https://soundcloud.com/pushpin_band) and we’ll be releasing new music soon. You can also find our videos on YouTube, at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC66Z6UE8PxpLon5_AC7GE1g.

We will be on Spotify, Apple Music and other major streaming services in the very near future, so keep an eye out!

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