“This album is a lot more poetic without trying to be poetic…” - hmv.com talks to Pulled Apart By Horses
Yorkshire firebrand foursome Pulled Apart By Horses return today with a brand new album The Haze (which you can preview and purchase on the right-hand side of the page) and we sat down to find out all about making it, how their new drummer is bedding in and why they’ll never turn into Mumford & Sons...
When did you start work on the album?
Rob (Lee, bass): “There are always ideas bubbling away with us, so it wasn’t long after Blood came out. It was actually after Lee (Vincent, the band’s former drummer) left that we started on new ones.”
James (Brown, guitar): “Right after Tommy joined the band. In our first couple of practises, we started jamming out new stuff, it was pretty much straightaway. That’s why it feels weird to be sat here talking about our new drummer because it’s been two years now, but I guess to a lot of people he is our new drummer, even though…”
Tommy (Davidson, drums): “It feels like I’ve been here for a lifetime!”
How has it been with a new drummer recording this album? You’d been with Lee for seven years so it must be a big change?
Rob: “It’s given us a new lease of life and a real shot arm in the life. It made everything feel fresh and like we were when the band was starting, it’s been great.”
James: “It’s actually been pretty seamless. We’ve been friends for years so it wasn’t like we had to audition people. We just moved our stuff into his practise space.”
How did you want this album to move on from what you’d done before?
Rob: “Weirdly, it was more looking back to our first album, there’s a freedom to that first album where you can see that we’re not thinking too much and I think we wanted that attitude back.”
You worked on the album with Ross Orton, why did you decide to work with him?
Tom Hudson (vocals, guitars): “Wet Nuns recommended him to us, they’d worked with him and told him that he’d get on really well with us. So we reached out to him and went to see him in his local.”
Rob: “It was love at first pint.”
Tommy: “We’d loved what he’d done with Drenge and Arctic Monkeys and we thought he’d be a good fit for us.”
What was he like? Was he a disciplinarian or more laid-back?
James: “He was sometimes one and sometimes the other, depending on how we were behaving.”
Rob: “He was great, sometimes he’d be really chilled, but sometimes he’d be right on top of us, then there were times when it was like talking to someone from outer space. He always kept us on our toes…”
What kind of album do you think this is lyrically?
Tom: “The lyrics for this one are a lot more stream of consciousness. The way I write is I’m always jotting down bits and pieces and there’s very little filter. This album is a lot more poetic without trying to be poetic if that makes sense.”
When did you settle on the title?
Tom: “We really loved that track and we wanted it to open the album and then after living with it for a bit longer we decided it summed up the album really well so we went with it.”
At the end of your last album cycle, you left your label and management, was it scary recording and writing with no plan in place?
James: “It was actually really freeing. It was like when we were a band for the first time, we were just writing songs for ourselves without any pressure, just trying to have fun and not meet anybody’s expectations.”
You now have a label and new management, how did you decide what you wanted for those new relationships? Were you looking for different things?
Rob: “At this stage, it’s more what we don’t want to do. Our new deal isn’t a traditional one, we’re not in thrall to a label, we’ve got a lot more control over what we do.”
Did you ever consider doing things yourself?
James: “Things change so fast in this industry that you need someone who’s got an eye on everything. When you’re away writing that’s what you need to focus on, you can’t keep your eyes glued to what’s working in music because it changes so often.”
Tom: “You can’t make music by committee or worry too much about the business side of things. Otherwise, you’ll end up sounding like Mumford & Sons.”
James: “You’d be really rich, though.”
Finally, you’ve got four records now, how is your live set coming together? You can’t play everything…
James: “It’s been really tough to whittle it down. We want to play a lot of the new stuff, but we need to keep the crowd favourites in there.”
Rob: “There’ll be quite a lot of the first album too, so maybe half new stuff and half older songs.”