Pulled Apart By Horses have not only released their new single ‘High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive’ this week, but they’ve announced a whole heap of tour dates, too.
Not so long ago - but unfortunately just long enough that some of the questions are a little out of date (Muse, for example) - we had a chat with guitarist James Brown.
Hello Pulled Apart By Horses, how are you?
Very well today thank you very bloody much. Sun is shining and I’m waiting for a new guitar to arrive in the post!
You’re gonna be touring an awful lot in these upcoming months, with that Muse date and some headline shows, then on to some more with Foals. Is there less pressure playing with other people, or is it worse, trying to impress an audience largely not there for you?
I don’t think we’ve ever felt real pressure playing shows as were all about doing what we love in the sense of writing and gigging. Some times a crowd can be difficult but we seem to have a talent of being able to turn them around after a few songs. Its all about making an audience feel excited and welcomed. And if we are supporting a bigger band we try to do that. You can’t forget that you are the warm up band not the main event.
How did the Muse date come about? Have you met the guys before?
We’ve not met them yet no (and I hope it stays that way because I’ll turn into a slobbering wreck) and the show came about after Dom the drummer gave our album a spin and took a shine to us. We were honoured to be offered it and we really can’t wait to see what happens. It’s a new challenge for us and this is a good thing as it keeps everything exciting and fresh. You don’t want things to be too easy or you’ll lose interest. Just like a video game I guess (fuck, I always bring everything back to video games, even relationships).
What’s life like in the Pulled Apart By Horses van? Do you embrace the touring experience, or are you gagging to get into the next hotel?
Ha, ha. If only we could afford hotels! Travelodge is the word and who the fuck would want to be in one of them. I’d rather stay in the van and talk bull shit for 4 hours any day than sit in a Travelodge with soap that smells of bears eggs. It’s lovely being with the boys. Don’t get me wrong, a long tour can be quite hard but were all good friends so I guess were quite lucky as a band
Will you be trying out any new material on these dates? It’s been a while since you finished your debut LP, there must be some kicking around?
Well this is the thing at the moment. We are planning on writing a new album very soon and when you tour as much as we do you don’t get a day in the week to practice. We all have tons of new ideas but due to us not having one song writer we usually need to be together to create a song. We plan to take a trip away with our guitars before the end of the year and get creative!
Are you still enjoying promoting your debut, released back in June, or are you getting itchy feet to move on to new things?
Yes we are totally still enjoying it but you can definitely feel an itch. I think if you are quite creative as a whole band then you will all individually begin to strive for something new as opposed to just one songwriter feeling the urge. Due to our shows being quite erratic and spontaneous though it keep things still feeling exciting. As long as we don’t get side tracked with touring this year we’ll move on from the album and get our thinking hats on and pull out some new shiny guns next year.
What’s it like trying to promote an album out of Leeds? Would it have been easier doing it from London, do you think?
Some times I think about this and to be honest whats the strain in a train ride from Leeds to London? This year we’ve been up and down quite a lot but if you are in a band you travel right? So a 4 hour mega bus journey to go do some stuff for radio is nothing to me.
Going back a bit to your first single release through BSM, when you made a comic to go along with the 7’ - do you still get opportunities to be arts and craftsy, or is that something you’ve had to leave behind a bit now?
No its still indeed an integral part of PABH. The new single comes with a free sew on patch in each 7” and we’ve plans for more stuff for the third single as well. It’s a very important part of the band but it does take a lot out of us when you are busy on the road and you have deadlines for artwork. Rob and Tom both work really hard in this area and I think people appreciate and enjoy it.
Do you think there’ll be a few small ‘tester’ releases before your next LP, or will you be jumping straight in?
Well as I said before, we need to write it first! If we lock ourselves away and end up churning out 30 songs then we’ll certainly do something other than an LP. I’m especially trying to think of doing something quite exciting and different. Like a video game which if you finish you win a new song or treasure hunts for MP3 codes. I dunno. We’ll see!
Do you know where you’re likely to head next? Do you have m/any ideas?
I think due to our collective ADHD its all about the moment for us. So in this respect anything could happen. We’ve ditched many a song in the past and I think if we aim for something on a whole for the next album we could lose the whole point of what the band is about. Its not gona be the same as the debut though that’s for sure. Tom has a Status Quo track he’s just done and I’ve got one that sounds like Grange Hill. Anything could happen.
Getting other musicians to appear on your album seems to be quite en vogue at the moment. Good idea, or not something you guys go in for?
At one point we were gona do this for an EP we never released. I think if you do this for kudos you are a loser, but if you can invision vocals/instruments from an artist you admire and think will work then it’s a great idea. I don’t think its part of the song writing process really unless it’s a collaboration of course.
And finally: will you be taking a break from all this any time soon? A holiday, perhaps?
It doesn’t look like it from looking at our calendar online now. But were enjoying it and it’s the best feeling in the world. I’m not bothered about having a holiday. I just hope all the lovely people that have helped us, bought our music and been to our gigs don’t want a holiday from us.