Ariel Pink Discusses the Bold and Popcentric 'pom pom,' Addresses Recent Madonna Controversy

Ariel Pink Discusses the Bold and Popcentric 'pom pom,' Addresses Recent Madonna Controversy
On November 18, Ariel Pink will finally drop his epic new record, pom pom, care of 4AD. Pink's latest is a bold carnival of an album, all effervescent synth explosions, hooky melodies and nonsensical lyrics, and one that he says he's "always wanted to make." That being said, it took a while to get there.

"Maybe it's just the slow process of getting to a place where I was capable of doing it," he tells Exclaim! from his native Los Angeles. "I didn't make any conscious decision, I just sort of did it the way I normally did it, just writing songs. None of it was scavenged from old recordings. There are elements that might be familiar to other people who are very familiar with my stuff, but it's — if there's something that works that's been done before in some permutation... I might bring back a theme of sorts, but I can't really say how much of it is old and how much is new. It's just stuff that I have [mentally] accumulated, essentially."

With the album's release date approaching, Pink excited fans and stoked controversy when he recently told Australia's FasterLouder that he was called in to help write Madonna's forthcoming album. "She can't just have her Avicii, her producers or whatever, come up with a new techno jam for her to gyrate to and pretend that she's 20 years old," Pink said in the interview. "They actually need songs. I'm partly responsible for that return-to-values thing."

The quote drew attention from media and ire from Grimes, who tweeted:

In conversation now, he's quick to deny that he ever said anything about Madonna, denouncing the media and seemingly, by extension, the written word in general.

"I didn't say it, for one thing, yet here you have a situation where someone read something somebody said. The transcription is taken out of context. They read it; they didn't hear it from my mouth. That has a very neutralizing effect on a person, where reading has a lot of weird extra effects that we don't really acknowledge, that tend to cloud judgment and bias in terms of communication and speaking just one on one. Even this cell phone is reducing the real life of me as I'm talking to you right now."

He blames the proliferation of the story on the media. "Every aim and every purpose of the media is almost their sugar high from getting clicks and writing a persuasive and engaging reportage. Of course, there's no real [overseeing] the facts in these cases, because it's all sort of hearsay, and of course people just don't want to miss out on the moment."

Following the album's forthcoming release, Pink plans to hit the road on a North American tour in February. Asked whether he has any album plans after that, he expresses uncertainty.

"I don't know when... I never get that far ahead. There's no operetta or whatever. I can't really sustain a theme for very long. It lasts about a song and then that's it. You just collect a bunch of songs and throw 'em together so that they last under 74 minutes or whatever you can fit on a CD, put some song titles on there, put a cover and slap a title on top of it, and that's a record."

His pom pom is out November 18. See Ariel Pink's planned tour dates below.

Tour dates:

11/17 London, UK - Scala
11/28 Los Angeles, CA - Regent Theatre
01/24 Melbourne, Australia - Sugar Mountain Festival
02/07 San Francisco, CA - Bimbo's 365 Club
02/09 Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theatre
02/10 Seattle, WA - Neumo's
02/11 Vancouver, BC - Rickshaw Theatre
02/13 Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
02/14 Denver, CO - Bluebird Theatre
02/16 Minneapolis, MN - First Line Music Cafe
02/17 Chicago, IL - Thalla Hall
02/18 Pontiac, MI - The Crofoot Ballroom
02/19 Toronto, ON - Phoenix Concert Theatre
02/20 Montreal, QC - Le National
02/21 Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
02/23 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
02/24 Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
02/25 New York, NY - Terminal 5