Interview Pure Love: ‘There’s No Mystery In Music Anymore’

Ex-Gallows frontman Frank Carter talks to Sarah Jamieson about his new project.

By the time you read this, Pure Love will have played their first ever live show. It’s then that the mystery surrounding the duo will have evaporated and the internet will have no doubt exploded with opinions and criticisms, stories and rumours. But as of right now – before we go to print, as this is typed – you’re all blissfully unaware of what’s to come.

“Everything is so accessible. Everything is out there from day one. Bands are so keen to give so much of themselves away. This was just us kind of being like, ‘F**k you.’ We wanted to keep the mystery as long as possible.”

And so, they did. From the moment that Frank Carter’s new project was unveiled, an inevitable buzz descended. Following the announcement of his departure, the ex-Gallows frontman unveiled the name of his new project to be Pure Love, and then, well, not much else.

Meeting through mutual friends after relocating to Brooklyn, Carter joined forces with Jim Carroll, the man behind hardcore greats The Hope Conspiracy and Suicide File. So, obviously you’d be excused for assuming Pure Love’s musical direction. Then again though, you know what they say about assuming…

Thus, we come to Pure Love’s primary revelation: “When we finally did both meet up and talk about it, we both realised that we didn’t really want to write heavy music anymore,” Frank states simply, the pieces beginning to fall into place. “It was a semi-conscious decision to not write heavy music. We both had a really clear vision of what we wanted to do. That first night, we got home and Jim sent me some tracks and I sent him lyrics back straight away. [It was] so instant, so fast. It’s been really freeing for me. It’s liberating.”

“We were trying to tell people that it’s not going to be a hardcore band,” begins Jim, who remains the quieter of the pair, but speaks with the surest of tones and the most wonderful Boston drawl. “There are some people still thinking that this is gonna be a heavy band, with everyone screaming and angry. I dunno.” You can almost hear him shrug. “They’ll find out soon enough.”

“I mean,” offers Carter, “some of the music that we’ve written is quite heavy, you know, in the sense that the music really stares down on you. Maybe it’s not quite as aggressive, but it’s definitely got a heavy weight to it.”

From the sounds of things, their new musical direction is entirely positive, with the duo constantly emphasising how much work they’ve already gotten done in just a matter of weeks: “Jimmy had some more songs and I suggested he send them over. As soon as he sent them, I could hear melodies there already. He had this amazing wealth of songs: it was like a f**king treasure trove, going through them. We haven’t really stopped. Even yesterday, we wrote two brand new songs in the studio, so it’s just been constantly evolving. We’re supposed to be cutting songs out…”

“We have way too many songs,” interjects Jim, “which is a good problem to have.”

Taking to a studio in Henley-upon- Thames, the pair have spent the last month writing, in preparation for the recording process that begins when they return to America, following their live debut in London this month.

“It’s been great,” he continues. “We’ve been living at this place for the past couple of weeks and we have another week to go. We get up every morning and go right into the studio which is in the adjacent room and it’s just been great.”

“We’ve written thirty songs in varying stages of completion,” adds Frank. “And now we’ve brought all that that here and we’re teaching them to everyone else.” The ‘everyone else’ just happening to be their drummer, bassist and keys player, alongside the one and only Gil Norton, who will be taking on production duties for their debut.

“He’s been fantastic so far. He’s really just pushed us to create great songs, and he totally understands what we want to do. That was why we went with Gil: from the first time we met him, he had notes on the songs and he had ideas of what he wanted to do with them and it just worked. Our ideas matched.”

But what exactly can we expect from their first album? What’s bore an influence on this new musical chapter of their lives? “I don’t think the scene [in Brooklyn] has had an influence, but, I think living there has definitely had an influence on what we’re doing. We met each other there, we were both removed from where we were from and it was a great experience; very liberating and freeing.”

And in terms of music? “It’s hard to say there’s an obvious influence. It’s just all the good music that we love. Growing up, the music that we listened to, there’s little bits and pieces in there, but it’s difficult to say.

“I don’t wanna say any names of bands because instantly people will latch on to that and are just gonna put us in a hole we don’t want to be in. To me, it’s just rock music. All we’re saying is that people should come to the show with an open mind: if they like it, they like it. If they don’t, they won’t come again.”

It must be incredible, we conclude, to begin a career without being put in a pigeon-hole: “Yeah, not yet!” Frank laughs. “Come the 15th of February, that’ll change.”

Pure Love made their live debut on 14th February at Bush Hall, London. Read our review here.

Taken from the March 2012 issue of DIY, available now. For more details click here.

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