Portland’s most prolific drummer chats with us about his latest project, BOINK, and unveils the band’s impressive new single.
Papi Fimbres is one of Portland’s most industrious musicians, drumming with scene darlings Máscaras, Sávila and Orquestra Pacifico Tropical amid a number of smaller projects and one-off gigs.
“Squeeze” is the new single from Fimbres’ latest project of note, BOINK (stream it below). The band is uncharacteristically dark territory for the musician; it’s also something of a Portland music supergroup, featuring Noelle Magia and Paul Billy Sobiech of Havania Whaal, Shana Lindbeck of Bitch’n, and Michael Eff and Rebecca Rasmussen of The Wild Body.
BOINK’s debut LP, “Something Colorful For Sure,” which is being released on Nadine Records, the label owned by Mandy Morgan of Portland weirdo heavy music vets Nasalrod, is an unrelenting cannonade of discordant, technical noise rock that evokes everything from krautrock to classic hardcore.
These abrasive leanings are counterbalanced by the presence of marimba, which is performed by Lindbeck. The instrument’s hollow timbre is perhaps the last thing you’d expect to hear against a wall of frantic drums and cacophonous electric guitars, but somehow, the band makes it work.
Ahead of “Something Colorful For Sure”’s release, we spoke with Fimbres about his band’s unconventional instrumentation, the Portland music scene’s relationship with heavy music and more.
Q. BOINK sounds a lot darker than any other project you’re currently involved with. What are some of the things that informed Something Colorful For Sure’s aesthetic?
A. Yeah, this band can definitely get dark. That’s in part to Noelle’s vocals and our writing process, which is us smoking a ton of weed and recording loud jams on our phones.
Q. Is there any significance to the album title?
A. The album title came to us when we were trying to describe a track of ours to a homie, hilariously enough.
Q. There have been a lot of pieces written on you that focus on your productivity — you always seem to be playing in at least five bands, and I feel like you also lend credibility to any new project you join. One thing that maybe doesn’t get stressed enough is your versatility as a drummer. Is it ever difficult or disorienting playing in several bands that are pretty different from one another, or is this something you’re used to compartmentalizing?
A. I actually really emphasize not trying to sound the same from one band to another, and that forces me to learn new rhythms and techniques. I also choose carefully who I start a band with, chemistry-wise, and I always learn new ways of playing music with them.
Q. The marimba adds a really interesting, almost gentle quality to what is otherwise a pretty abrasive album. Is there any precedent for the use of marimba in a punk band, or do you feel like this is a BOINK signature?
A. When I was thinking about the band before we all got together, I was listening to a lot of Liquid Liquid and heard how melodic a marimba can be against abrasive sounds. I really love the juxtaposition of punk and an organic sound such as the marimba. My wife, Shana, plays it and this is her first time ever playing that instrument so it was really fun seeing her learn and figure that out, and apparently, all the homies love that part [of Boink] the most!
Q. For many years, it seemed like the heavy music scene in Portland was pretty disconnected from what was happening at the city’s mid-size venues like Doug Fir and Mississippi Studios. But now, the music scene generally seems more receptive to weirder, heavier types of music. Why do you think that is?
A. I feel like larger venues were probably noticing empty Monday-through-Wednesday spots in their calendars, and all across the city, smaller venues, such as Blackwater, Habesh, and Turn Turn Turn!, were packed largely in part to no overhead at these spots. And who were playing these shows? Loud-ass bands and weirdo bands, which I love. These small venues are a great place for newish bands to try out their wildest dreams and aspirations.
BOINK celebrate their record release for “Something Colorful For Sure” at Bunk Bar in Portland on Dec. 1 along with Nasalrod and Seamoss.