Can a rock band become famous for all the wrong reasons? Singer Robbie Furze — having watched the meteoric overseas rise of The Big Pink, his ethereal 4AD-inked electronic duo with Milo Cordell — thinks so. He’s not sure if fans fully appreciated the gravity of the 2009 debut “A Brief History of Love,” so for the new Paul Epworth-produced sophomore disc, “Future This” — and singles such as “Stay Gold” — he says, “We wanted the record to be more precise, just bullet points, no veering off on tangents.” The band premieres the songs in San Francisco on Sunday.
Initially, it seemed like you guys were known more for being hard-partying London scenesters than serious musicians, right? Yeah. And I don’t know what happened, really. The Big Pink came about from me and Milo just hanging out. We’d go to raves and gigs and be up all night, and then we would always talk about music, until one day we decided to just get in the studio and do something together. So it was born from that, just wanting to start a gang or a club. So there was a buzz about us, early on, and it worked for us and against us. For some reason, the press just picked up on me and Milo as people, and the reviews would be more about where we lived or who we hung out with. They wanted to make us into these notorious characters.
Why was the press so inquisitive? That was the weird thing. Due to Milo doing his label Merok, they knew him as this cool impresario who hung out in East London. And they think Merok is this massive company, but he does 7-inch singles out of his bedroom! He put out the first Klaxons single and the first Crystal Castles single, but the label is very small. We party like everyone else parties — it is supposed to be about sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll, and everyone is doing it. So I don’t know why people came down on us for just enjoying ourselves.
How did you fight back for “Future This”? We upped our game a lot. I took a lot of singing lessons and I started studying my guitar playing again. We changed drummers to this amazing new one, Vicky Jean Smith, and we’ve got this great organic electronic act now. And we really wanted to make just an odd pop record, and I looked to bands like Tears For Fears and the Eurythmics, who were so weird and wonderful, yet they were also in the public eye. And on the radio. — Tom Lanham
IF YOU GO
The Big Pink
Where: Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Sunday
Contact: (415) 885-0750, www.gamhtickets.com