One wintery day in 2009, Ivan was headed off to O’Hare airport to jump on a plane to visit family for Christmas; right before he took off, he said something along the lines of “why don’t we start up a band as a duo? Things will be easier if we just start something on our own without relying on other musicians to be on the same page as us.” We came to this realization that the two of us alone could create a band we were passionate about. So when we started it up in early 2010, we didn’t really know what direction it was going to go in musically. We only knew that our songwriting styles and our voices worked well together; the combination of those two elements would be enough to build the structure of this band…so with an acoustic guitar, a drum set, and our voices, we started Pinto and the Bean.
As song ideas were born, we felt like getting a bit more experimental with what we were doing; Paul thought it would be interesting to take his acoustic guitar and morph it into something different by running it through an effects pedalboard; so he started shopping for guitar pedals – Ivan thought about turning his drums into an acoustic/electric hybrid set so he purchased an 80’s Simmons electronic drum kit (one of the first electronic drum kits ever made). We bought a microKORG (you’ve probably seen a band or two or a million use this because it’s an incredibly badass little toy). Plenty of other musical contraptions were also purchased along the way. So, to make a long story short – some weird sounds/effects started creeping their way into an otherwise raw/acoustic band. We eventually started playing shows with these new toys and sounds; later we recorded the songs for our album ‘The Waiting Place’.
One of the songs on our album is a ballad called “Wake Up” and it happens to be a favorite among many of our fans. If you don’t know the song, you can download it for free by signing up on our mailing list in the upper right hand corner of this screen. We recently noticed one of the top search terms for our web site is “Pinto and the Bean Wake Up Lyrics”…which is interesting because we didn’t realize people were searching for our lyrics (Did you know all our lyrics are hand written in crayon? You can find them on the music page of our web site). “Wake Up” was actually the first song we wrote together; we hadn’t really decided to officially start a band yet but we were experimenting with songwriting anyway. Ivan had a vocal melody idea and chord structure and he had a general vision of what he’d like the lyrics to convey. So we worked on writing the song. Now, you may know ‘Wake Up’ from our album, but did you know there’s a version we recorded with Ivan playing percussion on a garbage can lid? There’s some piano in it and other odd instruments as well; when we listen to our album version next to the original recording, they are so completely different – almost like two different bands. Head on over to the secret page of this site to take a listen to the original recording. We just posted it and we’d love to know what you think. Anyway, do we talk too much? We’ll stop rambling now. Talk to you soon 🙂