Burning Pools is a new project fronted by former Smashing Pumpkins bassist Ginger Pooley. Along with Kristopher Pooley (drums) and guitarist Max Bernstein, the trio is a rock act that’s starting to make waves with their empowering protest lyrics, sludgy guitar tones, and pop hooks.
Between them is a litany of work with legendary artists such as Gwen Stefani, Tom Morello, Siouxsie Sioux, Slash, Morrissey, Liz Phair, Scott Weiland, Tegan and Sara, and bands like Jane’s Addiction and Weezer.
The band recently released their debut single, “Bang Bang,” and I caught up with Ginger to talk about the track, as well as what the group has planed in terms of their upcoming EP release, and getting on the road.
Hi Ginger, thanks for speaking with me; how are you and the guys doing?
Thank you! We’re doing pretty good considering the world’s on fire, there’s a global pandemic, a circus of an election, and extreme racial disparity. Yikes! Maybe we’re doing just ok!
Hopefully, it will all soon be ok! Can you talk a little bit about the band’s origin story and how it all came together?
Yes! My husband Kris and I had a few heavy song ideas that we were mulling over for a year or two when finally we decided to flush them out into full songs and build a band around them. Our first call was to Max to see if he’d like to join on guitar. After he came on board the songs came to life and we wrote more and recorded together. The rest is history!
I’m assuming it must be advantageous being in a band with your husband, as you can feed off each other’s ideas when creating music. What’s it been like working with him?
Yeah, Kris and I get along pretty well when working together musically for other artists or projects. Working together on our own band has been a little different since we’re talking about creating together and not just doing what is needed for the good of another artist. It’s been a real learning curve on how to communicate abstract ideas but it’s been awesome for sure.
Is there any specific influence you’ve had while writing material, be it musically, environmentally, socially, or other?
I think the biggest influence we’ve had is the sociopolitical climate of the last few years. There are so many things going wrong it’s hard not to write about them.
You did mention something about this, but some artists will often have something they had written years ago that they might’ve been sitting on and haven’t done anything with it. Be it due to time constraints, or not being the right fit for their current project. Have there been any songs that you, Kris, or Max Might’ve been holding onto that will finally see the light of day now due to Burning Pools?
Definitely. The first few singles were written a while ago but we didn’t have time to release them due to other projects or work. The pandemic hit the touring world pretty hard, which is not good of course, but it did allow us the time to focus and release our music.
“Bang Bang,” has received a lot of well-deserved praise. It must be new a little nerve-racking when debuting the first song as a new band. Now that it is finally out there in the world, do you feel any relief, and have you been happy with the feedback thus far?
Yes, it’s such a relief to finally have it out in the world. We are very happy with the feedback. We’re really grateful for all of the support we’ve been getting. Up until now we’ve only been able to guess if it would be well received or not.
From music video shoots to tours, the pandemic seems to have brought a halt to many aspects of the music-making process. However, you guys seem to have made the best out of a bad situation, at a time when so many bands are getting discouraged. What has it been like starting a new band in quarantine, and what difficulties have you faced?
Since most of us work in the touring world, we know it’s definitely been a bad situation for so many people. We just tried to forge ahead and finish what we started with the music that we were working on. Quarantine gave us the time it took to concentrate on how we wanted to release our music and complete the EP that we started before the pandemic.
You will be releasing an EP in the not-too-distant future. Has the recording process for that begun? If so, what’s that been like?
Yes, we’re almost done with the EP. We have been recording at our homes, and while it’s been a bit more challenging being distanced, we’re still forging ahead and excited to finish.
Assuming that touring or local venues will not be reopening soon, how do you plan on promoting the EP?
We’ll just keep releasing singles and videos and hope that soon we’ll be able to play live again.
Many artists are now turning to live streaming to bring somewhat of a live experience, or rather, an interactive experience to their fans. Is this something that you guys might be open to?
We’re open to it though we want to stay as safe as possible. We’ll see!
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers and your new listeners?
Check out Bang Bang on Spotify! Thank you!