Interview Pulled Apart By Horses: ‘We Didn’t Know What ‘Tough Love’ Was Gonna Turn Out Like’

If there was any band that pushed the boundaries of loud music in the mainstream market of 2012, it was Pulled Apart By Horses.

Photo Credit: Sam Bond

If there was any band that pushed the boundaries of loud music in the mainstream market of 2012, it was Pulled Apart By Horses. Becoming Radio 1 darlings almost as soon as their first single landed in their laps, it was with their second album ‘Tough Love’ that the band really solidified their identity as Leeds’ most raucous, loud ‘uns.

When it came to making ‘Tough Love’, as it’s your second full-length, did you approach it any differently?
Well, with the first album, we had most of the songs as we’d play as a set for ages - pretty much since the band first started. The first album was more about grabbing every song that we had and putting them together in an album, really. ‘Tough Love’ was completely different, the way we worked with that, because we just had a blank canvas and didn’t necessarily know what it was gonna turn out like. The main fun of it was writing the whole, and so it all sounds a bit more coherent, together and it has more themes that run through it. It all sounds a lot more together. Plus, we learned how to play our instruments a little bit better! A little bit better.

You mentioned that the record itself is more coherent sonically, but do you think the aforementioned themes work in a more coherent manner too?
Yeah, it just feels like it was all written in the same space, and we’re all in the same mindset on the album. I think you can pick any song from the album and it still feels a part of everything; a part of a whole. I still love the first album, but it’s a bit more scrappy and here, there and everything, which is cool. But, it was nice to have something a bit more solid. It was nice to have something a bit more muscular, for the second one. We just beefed it up with it!

Did you have specific intentions when it came to the songs themselves?
I think we obviously wanted to write the best thing we ever could, but it was about the new writing experience. We didn’t really predict of the success we had with it, and that was the most exciting part. We didn’t know what to expect. We were working with Gil Norton - he’s an absolute legged - and I think that in itself was a nerve-wracking but really, he managed to squeeze out an extra something with us. We ended up doing pre-production before the album, so we had written the songs and met up with Gil for a week, and he came up to Leeds, as he wanted to step on our home turf, and it was just in a little practice room re-writing the songs. He was almost like the fifth member.

So, how did everything pan out for you, from the release of ‘Tough Love’ onwards?
Well, to be honest really, we couldn’t have wished for anything more. Even from the first single - which was V.E.N.O.M. - from there on, it just grew and grew really. I think we were pretty pleasantly surprised with how it was received.

There’s always that myth that the second album is the most difficult; do you think you came up against that?
I don’t think so; I didn’t really find it that difficult. It was more exciting! I think, to be honest, the time that we’ve got now - because we’ve just started writing bits for new songs again - I think the third album’s the ‘difficult’ one. You’ve got the first album that you need to tour, so you want it to be what you are up until that point, but then, the second album is when you’ve had time to stew over stuff and think about what you want to do next. But, it doesn’t need to be a million miles away [from your first]. It can be more like a progression. So, I think the third album’s the scariest really, so we’ll wait and see what happens!

Pulled Apart By Horses’ album ‘Tough Love’ is number 43 on DIY’s Albums Of 2012 list. Find out more here.

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