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Interview: Pure Love


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Last year saw the rise of Frank Carter's latest venture with his latest band, Pure Love. In 2013, they are set to be one of the biggest breakthrough acts with their debut album, Anthems.


Samantha Booth talks to the ex-Gallows front-man and his bandmate, Jim Carroll about what this year brings, diamond masks and the fall of HMV.

This tour has 17 dates, this being fourth one in Manchester. Which venue and city are you most excited to play?

Frank Carter: Oh fuck, tonight actually in Manchester. At the minute, I’m excited to play the next show and a lot of these shows I’ve never played these venues before and when we got to Deaf, we realised it was fucking awesome. It’s an amazing venue.

Jim Carroll: There’s only a couple of venues on this tour that I’ve played before so I’m really excited for all of the dates to explore.

How did you guys meet then?

FC: We met years ago on tour and we didn’t really remember it. Then we met again when I was looking to start a new band in New York and it happened Jimmy was looking too. So we got in touch through Jimmy’s old room mate and then I was gonna start a band with him and it really materialise and I think Jimmy and I were the most pro active people at the time, so we decided to do it. And then finally we got it together and it was the 11th February 2011 I think that we sat down and started writing it. Jimmy sent me 12 songs and one of the songs I sat down and wrote the lyrics too and recorded it and sent it back to him. And that was it and that’s how we still write today. Usually just on our iPhones.

So how did you come up with the name of the band?

JC: It came from a song title from a band called Mahavishnu Orchestra. They are like a 70s jazz fusion band and we had like two weeks of text conversation back and forth with yes and no replies.

FC: We just stopped talking it was just names.

JC: And one day, the song just came up on my iPod and I text Frank with the name and we just decided on it.

FC: I was busy making logos before I even replied yes. So it was like, “yeah by the way, good one.” I could have just ordered the logos online but instead I just made loads of paper ones.

Were you impressed with the turnout of the gigs before the album even came out last year?

FC: Yeah definitely, it was so overwhelming for people to have that much interest in what we were doing. It was great.

How did you come up with the video for Beach of Diamonds?

FC: We wanted to do a homage to the film ‘Sexy Beast’, because we love that film and it was on in the studio when we were recording and also we wanted to go to Spain. We had had enough of being in the studio and recording videos of us playing so we though that if we go to Spain it worked out pretty good.

When we got there, we had a day in the villa because everyone was late arriving so we just chilled out. We worked for 24 hours straight recording the video. We worked from 12pm-4am then got up at 5am and filmed at 7pm and got on a plane at 9pm. We didn’t get to keep the masks though.

What influences on the new album? There’s obviously the influence of love, but is there anything else as deep too?

FC: Is there anything deeper than love? I don’t think so. From a lyric perspective, it’s all about the mysteries in life that you want to solve as a human being. You try and get them but you can’t. It’s about trying to find answers. And musically, it’s just perfect as an example of where we were and we wanted to makes rock ‘n’ roll music.

You say in Bury my Bones that ‘you’re so tired of singing about hate’, is that coming across now in writing different songs?

FC: It’s just the way it is. It’s a line in the song that has been championed as being what I am about when actually there is a bunch of songs on the album about negative things and it’s a line that people seem to cling on to. But at the end of the day, the album is about the same things I’ve always written about and I will continue to write about them and it just happens to fit. The song is very much about what was going at the time, but it’s not a mission statement. It’s just a song about loving music and hating it sometimes. It’s about frustrated with your job and trying to make it work for you.

Your passion on stage is phenomenal when you were in the Gallows and it’s obvious now too you’ve found someone with just as much passion as you. Do you think that still comes across on stage?

FC: I think it comes across better. A lot of the time in past, I was just really fucking angry but we don’t talk about that. And now I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and it’s an exciting time for both of us. We play the same that we’ve always played with passion and we do what we do. People say “how can you bring the same passion from hardcore in to this?” But I never got that passion from hardcore, it was just in my fucking heart. So it’s just there. You have either got it or you don’t. It’s always going to be same.

You’ve given away a lot of your singles free in the past but do you HMV administration is going to affect the band?

FC: It’s definitely going to affect music.

JC: Luckily, we can scan all of our CD’s and that balances it out somewhat but over here it’s different than the US as HMV is like the one big retailer, so when that goes away it’s kind of tough. In Hemel, (Frank’s hometown), there’s no other retailer apart from HMV.

FC: Even in London, they are hard to find. There’s Rough Trade and Banquet in Kingston but it’s hard to find record shops and hard to keep them open. It’s because nobody buys it, everyone just downloads it which is weird. Illegally downloading music is just a strange phenomena and it will affect music definitely. A lot of those labels that don’t press a couple of thousand CD’s for an artist now but they would have before to start a small band off. But they won’t do that now because they have nowhere to sell them so they’ll just put it on iTunes. We are really lucky because we tour our arses off so we can sell it on the road and those sales really count. It’s different when you can buy it from the band when you purchase it and you’ve seen the show. You’re more likely to buy it then because you’ve seen them give their everything on stage so then I hope that’s why they will but the album.

Do you think this will be the rise of the gig in someways then?

FC: The gigs are never gonna fucking die. I think it’s stronger than ever at the minute.

JC: It’s hard for people who just want to put out music because you now have to tour to get to a certain point. I think there’s a lot of people that make music, because it’s what they do, but they can’t necessarily tour and it’s going to make it that much more difficult.

FC: HMV may have oversold itself. They were nationwide like, so I think that there’s a lot of elements there that supermarkets might take on. They may take on a wider variety of music instead of chart music. You never know because I’m sure at some point someone will at least attempt to fill that void. There will be demand for it. It just depends on who does that and at the minute we are doing that by selling CD’s on the road. But that’s a limitation because we can only sell them on tour or on the webstore. A lot of people don’t want to buy music; we streamed the album for free on Noisey a few days before. I’d rather have it streaming on there forever than people fucking downloading it illegally, but what can you do?

Pure Love's debut album, Anthems, is out now. 

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