We see the pinecone, science tells us, in seasons of change. And over the last five years, The Pinecones--- the pop band formed in Halifax but now based in Toronto---have changed, too. They've got a new home, a new name (formerly Brent Randall & His Pinecones), and even a new band (it's on its third lineup---Randall and Toronto's Paul Linklater and Marshall Bureau).
So it's not a stretch to suggest The Pinecones are appropriately named. But don't tell that to Randall, 28, who grew up in Halifax and is the only remaining member of the original band.
"We talked about changing our name at one point, because it's a shitty name," he laughs. "It was either come up with a new band name and start fresh, or change it to The Pinecones...it just seemed easier."
So while change has marked the band's past, yearning for happy ease defines them. You can hear it in their brand of vintage psychedelia, which unapologetically pays homage to '60s-era Brit-pop right down to the lo-fi crack of slow-spinning vinyl. It's a labour of love, and catchy to boot. "It's what I like to do," says Randall. "It's what drives me, what excites me. We don't feel we should hide that."
Randall says the band only changed lineups because the other option was to split up. And though the musicians are different, the spirit is the same: "I don't have any delusions of making it big. I just want to record albums I'm happy with," he says.
So while The Pinecones' Thursday show at Gus' Pub is a kind of homecoming---Randall cut his teeth on "late shows and funny nights" at Gus' and the old Marquee---he's not nostalgic about where he's been. He only wants to be comfortable as he is, right now.
In St. John's last week, he ran into an uncle he hadn't seen since he was three years old. He told Randall he hadn't changed: "He commented, 'Last time I saw you, you were making up songs and singing all day.'
"So maybe that's just who I am. I don't know if I'll do it forever." A pause. "Or maybe I'll do it forever, I guess."
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