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Interview: Pulled Apart By Horses


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“We’ve done photo shoots in toilets but never an interview in one,” laughs Pulled Apart By Horses’ heavily tattooed drummer Lee Vincent.

Pulled Apart By HorsesA first time for everything it seems and as we stand in this cramped backstage toilet with Lee and bass player Robert Lee, PABH’s energetic frontman Tom Hudson emerges after doing his business in the cubicle opposite.

The band play their third and final night of Dot to Dot leg tonight and despite feeling fatigued from playing Bristol and Nottingham the last two nights, the band are in high spirits. “Dot to Dot’s been great. It’s been amazing,” Lee reflects.

“We haven’t been playing live loads this year so to do these shows has been incredible. Manchester’s been good.” Has it been weird getting back into the live scene? Tom replies: "After two days, it felt like we’d been on tour for two weeks and it felt like we’d lost our minds. It got weird. We need to get back into it.”

Rob adds: “It feels like we’ve been on tour for a month, so we’re like WTF?” Anyone who’s witnessed Pulled Apart By Horses’ live can tell you their shows are nothing short of thrilling, and having seen them myself headlining Live at Leeds a year ago, it’s safe to say that they are currently one of the country’s most exciting live acts.

Originating from Leeds, the band is always anxious to play their home town. Rob tells us: “Leeds is always nerve-racking and we’re like, ‘Don’t fuck up.’ Live at Leeds was a really good gig actually.”

The band filled up the introducing stage at Reading and Leeds Festival many years ago and this year sees them upgraded to the festival’s main stage. “Even the introducing stage blew our minds,” Tom remembers. ”Looking back at it now, it’s such a small stage and it’s such a great platform for new bands."

DJ Huw Stephen’s counts himself as a fan and part of their growing success is due to increased BBC Radio One airplay. To this day, the band is still pleasantly surprised by such mainstream attention, “It’s still really surprising. We don’t understand how we managed to do it,” a bemused Tom explains. “It’s always funny to hear one of our tracks played after Katy Perry.”

Lee adds: “It’s a testament to Radio One too because they’re pushing the boundaries of what’s acceptable. I think we’re definitely the heaviest band on Radio One.”

PABH then, are always keen to find out what their critics thing of them. ““We’re always checking reviews. We want to know how people take your music. At the same time, you take everything with a pinch of salt. We like it when we get shit reviews because we find it amusing and we sometimes tweet it out. People ask why and we say that it’s just amusing,” explains Tom.

Thankfully for the band, both their albums have received overwhelmingly positive press. Lee says: “You’ve got to remember it’s someone’s opinion. We were lucky with both albums that they were both well received. If it was all bad reviews, it’d be quite worrying.”

As a result of all this positive press, the band has seen an increase in their live shows. Tom elaborates: “We’ve done our fair share of gigs playing to five or six people in the middle of nowhere. It’s nice to see the hard work paying off. The crowds are getting more diverse which is weird. There’s usually 14 year old kids who are really excited or old dads wearing metal t shirts. There’s a weird mix of everyone now. “ 

We unsurprisingly chat about the death of guitar music on mainstream radio and the band believes there’s still plenty of life there despite what others believe, “That really does annoy us. We’re determined to keep it going,” Rob replies.

“It’s quite a vague term. Guitar music would probably be quite boring if it was a guitar on its own. It was kind of handy as the album came out around the time they were saying that guitar music had died. We were giving it all saying that Pulled Apart By Horses have come to save guitar music.”

You may remember the Enemy’s Tom Clarke proudly proclaiming a similar statement and how his band would eventually save guitar music. “That’s fucking bullshit,” Lee says venomously.  

“To me, that’s [The Enemy’s music] just quite inspirational, generic, characterless music. I’m not being an arsehole.” Is it a case of him trying to be like Liam Gallagher? “Oasis had good songs and at least they did something important. Like it or not, they changed the landscape.”

 Rob adds: “There’s nothing wrong with bands making arrogant statements but you need to back it up.” So will Pulled Apart By Horses ever support the Enemy? “I don’t think we’re anxious to play an Enemy support tour although that’d be interesting,” Tom laughingly replies.

Unlike the Enemy, Pulled Apart By Horses continue to push themselves which is evident from working with acclaimed producer Gil Norton (Foo Fighters, Pixies) on their last album Tough Love. Tom explains: “If we kept regurgitating the stuff we’ve done, there’d be no point in carrying on. Gil’s the sort of person that pushes people really hard but in a gentle way. Not in a forcible way. He gave us more confidence. We played through some of the songs in pre-production and go for a drink. It was more important for him to get to know us.”

Lee adds: “You have to be on the same page. Especially with our album, we had to do it in two weeks. Everyday had to be a full day. Gil’s been fired from a few jobs but he became a part of the band and the process. You end up trusting in him.”

The conversation soon closes with a question about what the future holds for Pulled Apart By Horses. Lee explains: “We’ve done our two album deal with Transgressive Records but there’s a good chance we could go back with them. They’re a great label.”

Tom adds: “We’ve just started knocking ideas for new songs around though. We want to do it now before we get a label going.”

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