“Everything we do now is geared towards making it feel like the biggest party on earth” – hmv.com talks to Prides
As they release their debut album The Way Back Up, we sat down with Scottish synth pop trio Prides to find out all about how it came together and why they want to host the biggest party on earth…
Your debut album The Way Back Up is finally out today (July 10th), you must be relieved it’s finally here?
Stuart (Brock, vocals/keyboards): “It’s one of those things we you get people saying to you ‘Oh wow, I’ve been waiting ages for the album’, well, let me tell you, I’ve been waiting longer! It’s been two years in the writing, so it’s about time! It’s going to be a good summer.”
Was it done in loads of short bursts? Or did you go away somewhere to make it?
Lewis (Gardiner, drums) “Bursts. A lot of them.”
Stuart: “The way we work is Lewis does everything in his kitchen, so we don’t need a lot of time in the studio. Whenever we have time we’ll work through batches of songs and whenever we have time off, we’re writing. I hear bands going on about demos, our demos are just tracks, we record them and then pick the best ones.”
Presumably that means you end up with a lot of songs…
Stuart: “Oh yeah. There was a lot to choose from, this feels a bit like a ‘Greatest Hits’ from those two years.”
Callum (Wiseman, guitars): “We probably had enough material for three albums, but we just said to each other ‘Let’s just make the best one from that’. It’s also nice to have more than you need isn’t it?
Were you never tempted to get outside help in?
Lewis: “We’ve written with other people before, so it’s not weird to have someone else in there with us, but we’ve got our routine down to a fine art now. Hopefully we’ll work with other people in the future.”
Can you hear how the kind of songs you’ve written have evolved over the two years?
Stuart: “Definitely. We’re a lot more focused now in how we work, we know what our sound is, you start with a tendency to try everything and see what sticks, but I feel like we really know what we’re doing now.”
Callum: “Even if we try and write a really slow song, it still comes out sounding like a Prides song, even if we tried to write like Nirvana, it’d still sound like us.”
How do you lyrics come about for you guys?
Stuart: “We’ll work on a track until we’re all happy with it and then I’ll take it, strip it right back to just the piano and work on the words. I don’t particularly show the others the words, but I’ll go in and do a first take and then we’ll sit down and talk about it. There’s not been too many times when they’ve told me I’m crap, so it’s not too soul destroying.”
What inspires you with your lyrics?
Stuart: “It’s definitely an album about love. Relationships beginning, relationships finishing, there’s a lot of self-doubt in there, challenges within the band, it’s my life over two years. I write entirely from personal experiences.”
Did you look to anyone for lyrical inspiration?
Stuart: “I remember listening to Frightened Rabbit and The Midnight Organ Fight, it’s such a brutally honest album, that I just think it must just be embarrassing to sing about. I didn’t want to go that far, but I wanted to make sure there’s a real honesty in all my words.”
Where did the title come from?
Stuart: “It’s one of the tracks on the album and it’s my favourite. It’s our most positive song, certainly lyrically, there’s a lot of heartache on the album, so having a positive one is nice for the title.”
Were there any other titles in contention?
Stuart: “Pretty much whatever our favourite song at the time was the title for a long time, eventually that was became The Way Back Up.”
Do you decide everything as a three? Is everything done democratically?
Lewis: “Yeah, Prides is a democracy, but we don’t disagree that much, occasionally one of us needs a little bit of convincing about something, but no one ever needs to be strong-armed. Also, there are three of us, so if you’re outnumbered, you have to do some heavy convincing.”
How much live stuff do you have planned for the months ahead?
Stuart: “We’re going to be really busy over the summer, lots of festivals then the plan is to do a full UK tour following that and then take it as far as we can. We want to play as much as we can. Playing live is huge for us, it’s changed how we write songs and everything we do now is geared towards making it feel like the biggest party on earth.”
Are you still looking to support bigger artists? Or will you focus on headlining?
Stuart: “You can never really plan for those kind of opportunities, but we’re always up for it. We’ve gone out with so many diverse artists, everyone from Foxes to Kiesza to Twenty One Pilots, we never know what we’ll get out of any tour. But we think our songs are open to everyone and any could get into them.”
Who would you most like to support?
Stuart: “I would love to go out with The Killers, that would be incredible. Haim, we’d love that.”
Lewis: “McBusted, just to see that show every night.”
If you had that much money, is that the kind of show you’d put on?
Stuart: “Oh yeah, we saw that tour and we all said ‘This is our show, but somebody else is playing it’, it was just incredible.”
Given how prolific you are with songwriting, have you made a start on album number two?
Stuart: “We’ve already talked about it, but we always catch up ourselves and say ‘Let’s just focus on this one’.”
Lewis: “If we carry on writing now, then the next one will just sound too much like this one. This is everything we want to do right now and we’ll want the next one to reflect exactly what we want to do when it comes, whenever that is.”
Prides’ debut album The Way Back Up is out now.