Unless you’ve actively boycotted music for the past 5 years, you’ll no doubt already be familiar with the mighty Pulled Apart By Horses. The four-piece from Leeds have toured relentlessly since their early single releases, managed to crowbar their way into mainstream culture via tracks like High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive and are now firmly back on the road in support of their second record Tough Love. (Produced by Gil Norton and out via Transgressive)
We caught up with guitarist James for a quick virtual chat ahead of their sold out show in Norwich last night:
So, you're now 8 days into your current tour - are you happy with how the shows have been?
It’s going really well. Even better than expected to be honest! Everyone seems so up for it and people are reacting really well to the new songs. It’s just really refreshing for us to be back on the road!
You're on tour with The Computers, another band we had in for a session here at amazing - how are they as tour buddies? You knew them before this tour, is it best to have your mates on the road or is it more of a distraction...?
(PABH and The Computers were thrown out of a bar in Birmingham a couple of nights ago for doing Queen duets on their piano…)
Ha the Queen duet was fucking awesome! It’s great having them along, we know them from previous touring and they are all dead keen at what they do. Such a great bunch. I think it’s always better to have people along that you get on with. Although we are all pretty ropey after partying with them last night. We'll man up tonight by eating truck loads of nandos.
With regards to the new album - Tough Love - were you excited at the prospect of working with Gil Norton? It's pretty hard not to be a fan of the albums he's produced - Foo Fighters/Pixies/Distillers/Jimmy Eat World - did you seek him out for this record? How did it come about?
It really was an amazing thing for us. The prospect of meeting him and talking about our music blew our minds into tiny pieces. It came about when we were watching the Foo Fighters film Back and Forth when they talk about recording with him, we looked at each other and said "It would be wicked to work with Gil" so we added him to the list and the next thing we knew his management emailed and he wanted to do it. Dream come true for us!
Can you tell us a bit about the process of recording this time around, and how it differs from that of your debut LP? Gil is famed for being pretty particular when it comes to drums - I imagine being at his studio, with all of that gear, was akin to being kids in a sweet shop no?
Yeah, we knew he was stickler for the rhythm section from day one and Lee (drummer) totally upped his game. We prepared for the worst but we all clicked and got on. It was different for us working in a larger studio and having more time to play around with. He made us play live with Lee and then focused on the drums and then we went back to all the guitars and vocals last. He did end up mixing some of the live stuff and parts together which gives it a raw blend I think.
Can you tell us a bit about the journey as a band from your first show at The Packhorse, (in Leeds) to the Big Scary Monsters single, to putting out the Tour Traxx EP and the Dance To The Radio splits etc, all the way to being picked up by Transgressive and touring pretty solidly - how important were those early releases?
We slogged it out for about 6 months then we got offered a single deal with Big Scary Monsters who we pestered for quite a while. After that we did some pretty sweet gigs down south and around London with Kong, Future of the Left and Blood Red Shoes then Too Pure picked up on us and offered us a single deal. Then just after this we did a split with Holy Roar with a Leeds' band called Holy State. At this point we met the guys from Transgressive who came to all of our shows in London, we pretty much became friends first then they pulled out a contract and now we're two albums down the line with them.
There are a lot of artists and bands on amazingtunes.com who ask about the importance of having a record deal - what advice would you give to those just starting out, or perhaps those who are frustrated by their lack of visible progress?
Play live shows until your fingers and hands bleed. That’s how you'll get better, how you'll be seen and where you'll meet people who can help you. It’s all about slogging gigs when you start out.
What are your plans for when the tour is over - do you have any festivals lined up? Or are you looking forward to having some time off?
Yes we have quite a lot of festivals in the bag this year, which is a very exciting prospect! We can’t really talk about them 'til they are announced though! Time off? What’s time off?
Are there any bands you've seen/heard who we should look out for? Who are you all listening to at the minute?
You should totally check out Blacklisters from Leeds. Loud and raw. Very underground punk sounding. If you can get to one of their shows you'll be mighty impressed. And obviously The Computers. Been listening to them every night innit ;)
Check out more from the band at Transgressive's amazingtunes.com profile.