Pulled Apart By Horses have evolved yet again with their new album ‘The Haze’. We caught up with the guys ahead of their date at Thekla this March. The band will also be performing an intimate full on set at Rise which will be one to see.
Hey guys! So how did this new record come together?
Well the pieces of the new album started slowly coming together around 2015 when Tommy joined the band. We had a new line up, a new dynamic and felt like we had a clean palette as a band creatively. We played quite a few festivals and did some touring around 2015 but the majority of our time was spent jamming and experimenting with new ideas, new sounds with a refreshing, if a little daunting sometimes, freedom. Half of our time was spent locked up in our practice space, demoing and throwing ideas about and the other half was spent locking ourselves away for ten days in a remote little cottage in the middle of nowhere in Wales. Personally, I think it’s the most fun I’ve had writing and is probably the most productive we’ve ever been as a band. Rob (our bassist) has slowly been developing his recording skills which was also a big part of the writing sessions. We would track everything live but then re-work things as we sculpted new ideas. We kind of did our own pre-production really. When we went into the studio to record it with Ross Orton we all already had a pretty decent idea of what we were playing and how we wanted everything to feel.
What influences have impacted the band musically for the latest release?
I guess for me (and some of the other guys) there has been a lot of garage rock and psychedelia creeping in, new and old. I’ve been listening to loads of current bands all from the same sort of scene like Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, Uncle Acid, Fuzz, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Meatbodies but then older stuff like the ‘Back From The Grave’ garage rock compilations from the sixties and seventies, 13th Floor Elevators and quite a lot of The Beatles. Two big ones for all of us though were David Bowie & Iggy Pop. I’ve found myself over the past couple of years, creeping my way through all of their back catalogue’s and I think some of that stuff has subconsciously seeped into ‘The Haze’.
What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Has it changed over time since the band got together?
We don’t tend to set out what the themes or topics are for our songs. Each song sort of happens and blossoms on its own. I guess our earlier stuff tends to be a lot more intuitive, random and that probably echoes the way we played and wrote back then. I think with the new album, we’ve come full circle with that intuitiveness but the lyrics and ideas have got more weight to them. I’m not one for wanting to go into too much detail about what every song or lyric means as I think that should be open to interpretation. It’s up to the listener to fill in the gaps. Most of my lyrics are a scrambled combination of weird ideas I’ve had written down, phrases, themes that I’ve had written down or floating around in my head. When I come to write lyrics I tend to filter through all of that stuff and piece things together like some sort of weird puzzle.
How has your music evolved since you first began playing together?
I think as a band we’ve got tighter and our musicianship has slowly grown and evolved over time. When we first started out we could hardly play any of our instruments, chucked whatever pedals, amps, gear we had together and just went with it. I think from pushing ourselves and playing live so much with the first album it taught us how to really play together.
You’ve been active since 2008, a long time since signing to Transgressive Records. Has the band had to recreate itself in some capacity to accommodate change?
I think we’re always changing. Influences and tastes always move around and mutate. It’s all been an evolution. I think the worst thing would be to just stick to the same thing and regurgitate that again and again. There’s only a few bands that do that ‘one thing’ but do it well and can get away with it ACDC, The Rolling Stones and so on.
How has life treated the group on and off the road over the years?
I love touring. It’s a great opportunity to travel around and meet people from all over. It’s also an instant way to get a vibe for what people think of the band and our tunes. When we first started out it was pretty full on, we’d be juggling jobs but also trying to play as many gigs as possible. Around the first album we ended up playing more shows that there were days in the year. I think from diving in to it from early on we’ve learnt how to live on the road. It got pretty tough in parts as we’d get burnt out after doing so much. That’s when you need to step back and take a breather! I also think through excessive touring I have perfected the art of being able to sleep anywhere. We’ve spent a lot of time sleeping on people’s floors, living rooms and venues to master that. Now we have a bit more of a schedule to stick to, we tend to break things up a bit. Album touring, writing, practicing, festival periods (even though they’ve ended up turning into the majority of the year) and that helps you to get your head around things a bit more. In personal life we’re all pretty tight pals outside the band, things tend to spill over into each other. Obviously there are other personal things going on alongside the band all the time (weddings, family, work, busking, bar-mitzvahs, rock climbing, flash mob séances, cave dwelling) but we’re all good.
We’re super excited for the upcoming date in Bristol – the last show at The Fleece was a messy one? You looking forward to coming back?
We’re super excited to come back to Brizzle! We always have a blast there! I’m looking forward to playing the Thekla main room. That’s one we haven’t done before. We have played the smaller room upstairs once which was fun, a dude ended up part crowdsurfing / part ‘Spiderman-ing’ his way around the room using the beams in the ceiling. It was ace! The Thekla has always been good to us too and the Croft (RIP). It also means that we might get the chance to have a quick beer with our pals in Turbowolf while we’re down there!
As for the future of the band, what projects have you got in store?
At the moment we’re just sitting tight until the album is unleashed into the world. Then we do the UK & Euro tour and a bunch of festivals. I can’t wait! Other than that we have some other bits and bobs planned for the future but it’s all early days at the moment. I’m not going to give everything away!
Any departing words? Can we catch you on the festival circuit this year?
Erm….make sure you get your lug holes around our new album & get your butts down to one of our upcoming shows and festivals! So far we’ve confirmed, YNOT Festival, 2000 Trees, Festevolve in Liverpool, Handmade Festival in Liverpool and shit loads more but we can’t say at the moment!
Check out ‘The Big What If’ right here: