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Santos, São Paulo, Brazil

Santos, São Paulo, Brazil
Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"PinPrick presents its alternative rock for the first time at Saloon Bar"

Alternative rock, lyrics about relationships and... bossa nova? PinPrick’s curious mix of styles can be sampled tonight at 10pm, at Saloon Bar in Santos [near São Paulo, Brazil]. The band is just starting out, having played its first gig in January, but it already has its very own, well-defined style.

“We kick off with a mix of rock and bossa nova; later on, we throw in a bit of jazz and even samba,” tells Dominic Gourd, an English boy born in Cambridge, UK, who came to Santos after getting married. He is the band’s singer-songwriter and guitarist.

The band will perform a repertoire that includes a mix of rock and bossa nova, plus a bit of jazz and samba

Gourd got to know PinPrick’s other members, Valfrid-Ly and Lucas Tagori [sic], through a community on Orkut [similar to Facebook]. Gourd tells how “pinprick” in English means to needle or provoke, and that that is the group’s aim. Although it is seeking a kind of “rock with a difference”, the lyrics deal with a universal theme: love, relationships that begin and end. All are in English, something which is readily accepted [by the Brazilian audience], according to the vocalist. “[The Brazilian] people like imported things, and are quite accustomed to English.”

PinPrick will be playing ten songs, and ending the gig with the band’s “anthem”, a song by the same name, which condenses to a maximum the band’s form of alternative rock.

[English translation - for original see] - Brazilian newspaper 'A Tribuna' ('Culture' section)

"Pinprick and their mix"

When Dominic Gourd learnt to play percussion instruments at his local samba school in the small town of Stroud in the west of England, he could never have imagined hearing a band mate describe him in such a way: “Musically, Dominic is the most Brazilian of the group.” The phrase, from bass player Valfrid-Ly, summarises the importance of the English boy – who has lived in Brazil for three years – to the “Brazilianness” in the music of Anglo-Brazilian group Pinprick, formed in 2006.

Born in the English town of about ten thousand inhabitants, Dominic moved to Santos [state of São Paulo, Brazil] a year after marrying a Brazilian girl he met in London. He already had an interest in Latin culture, however, having done a degree in Latin American Studies, including a period spent in Salvador. But settling in Brazil was what made him take up music again, returning to his guitar and compositions. “I had a lot of time on my hands to think,” he explains.

Something of that stage of adaptation is recorded in the song Hieroglyphic, which appears on the group’s debut EP, released in 2008. The lyrics reflect how Dominic felt in his new land: “I hear their voices and I see their lips move, but I can’t understand the words. / I try to read the signs – what are they trying to tell me?”

Today, well adapted and speaking very good Portuguese – it’s the accent that gives him away – Dominic says he doesn’t yet feel comfortable to sing or compose in Portuguese. His Brazilian influence comes through in the melodies that accompany his British English.

The mix began to take shape after Dominic met bass player Valfrid-Ly through a community on Orkut [similar to Facebook]. “I posted an ad looking for a bassist, and he was the only one to reply!” jokes Dominic.

Valfrid-Ly, who has played in pop-rock and metal bands, decided to embrace the project, as did drummer Lucas Tagore, another “metaller”, who joined the duo in 2007. The group’s first recording, the EP Pinprick, can be purchased from the members of the band, and the tracks are available on - Revista Ao Vivo magazine


Six-track debut EP released independently in Dec 2008. Tracks: Pinprick, Feel, Hieroglyphic, Again & Again, Who Needs Friends, Meant To Be.



Pinprick – a different take on alternative rock

Pinprick is an Anglo-Brazilian trio that fuses a variety of musical styles to create a unique sound. While its essence undoubtedly lies somewhere within the genre of “alternative rock”, the predominance of the classical guitar and the interweaving of different rhythms and styles – from rock to Brazilian and other rhythms – makes it a hard one to put a label on. These elements, combined with powerful vocal melodies and complex harmonies, make for an unsettling experience for the listener, so that where each song begins isn’t necessarily where it ends up…

How it all started
After eight years’ classical piano tuition, Dominic took to wearing dirty old raincoats, stopped washing his hair and started listening to The Cure. His subsequent passion for all things Latin American put a tropical swing in his stride and added subliminal new elements to his musical repertoire. His “emigration” to Brazil in 2006 brought a degree of order to his life, so that, after a five-year gap, he embarked on a prolific period of song-writing.

In May 2007, Dominic got together with Valfrid, and the two spent the following six months working on his songs.

Valfrid’s hard-rock appearance conceals a varied background and great musical versatility. A conservatory-trained classical guitarist, he played acoustic and electric guitar in his first bands, taking up the bass out of necessity (a local shortage of bass players), to discover he was actually rather good at it. When Lucas came on the scene in November 2007, he and Valfrid immediately formed a vital synergy.

From a long line of musicians, Lucas mastered the kick drum while still in the womb, and picked up the rest with ease. By far the youngest of the three, Lucas’s ample stage experience and musical maturity belies his 18 years. He has recently taken to experimenting with different percussive sounds, including hitting himself on the head to see what happens. He even drums in his sleep.

Debut EP
The band spent August to November 2008 in the recording studio in Santos, Brazil, recording and mixing its six-track debut EP, which saw a low-key preview release on 6 December.