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INTERVIEW PULLED APART BY HORSES ROB LEE DECEMBER 2013

HARD ROCK INTERVIEWS 2013 - PULLED APART BY HORSES' ROB LEE - DECEMBER 2013

 

PULLED APART BY HORSES' ROB LEE

TALKS TO THE ROCKPIT

ABOUT THE LATEST ALBUM AND TOURING DOWNUNDER

Apart from being one of the coolest band names ever, UK's Pulled apart by Horses are one of the most essential live bands of the moment - and they are headed downunder to show us why - be sure to catch them at SOUNDWAVE 2014... We caught up with Roc Lee at home in Leeds.


Mark: Hi, Rob, how are you? Thanks for taking the time to talk to us this afternoon. The name of the band is really cool, is there a story behind it?


Rob: Originally, it is a torture method where four horses would be strapped to each limb of the victim, and they’d be sent off in different directions! For us, it’s the idea of four things coming together and working together. It’s like each one of us is one of the horses, and the music is the horrible thing that happens at the end of it!!


Mark: That’s a good answer! It’s a great sound that you’ve got, and I worked backwards and heard the new album first, and then went back to the first one, and you can see the progression there. Was it a difficult album to make, or did it come naturally?


Rob: Well, yeah, I think it was in a way. I suppose when you make your first album, you’re not trying to achieve anything really, it’s just where you are at that time. The first album was just literally, a document of what we had at the time, but for the second album, you have time to think about it. The first album has definitely more immediacy to it, I would say, and the second one was us trying to grow up a bit!! But, we are actually currently working on the third one in the studio.


Mark: Great, I was going to ask you about that later, but, how far away are you from that? Will it be out by the time you get over here for Soundwave?


Rob: Yeah, hopefully the recording of it will all be done, but I don’t think it will be released till later on in the year, probably after Soundwave, maybe around August time, it’s always difficult to judge when it’s going to come out, it’s ready when it’s ready!


Mark: The big news for us, is of course the Soundwave tour, do you know if you’re playing any headline dates while you’re over here?


Rob: Yeah, I think we are doing some side shows, called Sidewave shows, where, there is obviously a lot of travelling to be done between each festival, so on the days when we go to different cities we are going to be doing some Sidewave shows, but, that’s not been confirmed yet, it will be really cool, we’re really looking forward to that.



 

 

Mark: We’ll look out for those, definitely. How did you get on the tour, did someone hear you and recommend you?


Rob: We were actually out in Australia a couple of years ago, and we did a couple of our own headline shows. We played in Melbourne and Sydney, and we played a festival called Golden Plains in Meredith, Victoria, so I guess people saw us at some of those, and were interested, and got back in touch again.


Mark: You are a band that are particularly known for their” off the hook”, and injury filled live shows, since you started off!!


Rob: Well, for the last year we’ve not really done any touring or anything, we’ve been concentrating on writing this new album, we’ve done a few one off shows, and so we’ve been really uninjured for the last year!! But, I think as soon as we get over to Australia, and we start having a good time, then things will kick in, and so the injuries will start coming fast and furious again!!


Mark: Yeah, I think we could be in for some good times!! You have a sound that makes it hard to put you in a genre, depending on which you read, from NME to Kerrang, they all have their own take on what you do. How do you describe yourselves, is it good old rock n roll??


Rob: I guess so, yes. We’ve never particularly fitted in to one genre, it’s weird, we’re not heavy enough, or metal enough for the metal guys, but, we’re too heavy to be an Indie band, it’s weird cause we don’t really fit in, but we really enjoy that, there’s no definite hole that we have to fit into! For us, all we ever wanted to do was make the kind of music that we want to hear, so we never really worried too much about it being a particular genre. In the band, the influences range at the heavy end from “Sugar”, and “Tool” was a big influence for us, but then at the other end there’s “Blur” and “Pulp” and a lot of the Indie stuff.

 

 

 

Mark: It’s quite interesting listening to you, because on the first album, there are a lot of quirky time signatures on there, but the second album seems to have gone a bit safer, and you’ve left out, what I thought was brilliant, the song titles, like “I Punched a Lion in the Throat”!! Where are you heading with the third album, will it be a combination of the two?


Rob: Yeah, I think so, definitely. I think with the second album that was a reaction to like the question you asked before, about the genre and who we were. I think also with the second album, we just thought; let’s just make a rock album, and that’s what we did. But, like you said, we did lose some of that quirkiness we had on the first album, but that’s because basically, we didn’t give a shit!! At that point we could just do whatever we wanted! I think we set that parameter with the second album i.e. let’s just make a rock album, and now I think, some of that’s going to come back in again.


Mark: I was just wondering if working with Gil Norton, made a difference to the sound as well.


Rob: Yeah, definitely, he became like a fifth member of the band when we were working with him. He didn’t really change our song writing or anything like that; he came up to Leeds for a couple of weeks and stayed with us and came to practises, and got to know the songs. There were just suggestions that he made like I think that would be better if that song were faster, or whatever, so he did have quite a big input with the sound of the new album.

Mark: I suppose it’s always great to work with people like that, to see how they work, when they have such a pedigree. So, aside from the new album in 2014, what are your other plans? More overseas tours, or stick to the UK?


Rob: Have you heard of a band called “Blood Red Shoes”?


Mark: Yeah, you’ve played with them before?


Rob: Yeah, they’re mates of ours; since we started we’ve done quite a few shows with them and gone out with them quite a lot, so we’ve become good mates. They were saying they wanted to go over to Europe, and do 4 weeks over there, which would be great, because we always love going over there. They have quite a big following over there, so I think it would be cool to go over there and have some good times!!

 

 

 

Mark: For people over here, if they wanted to get a taste of your music, we love, off the last album, “Bromance Aint Dead”, “V.E.N.O.M.” and one I particularly liked, “Everything Dipped in Gold” which I think is the last song on there. What do you enjoy playing live?


Rob: For me, “Everything Dipped in Gold” is my favourite song on that album. I think the way that album was set up, the first song V.E.N.O.M. again, I really like playing that song live, and it’s like the lead into the album, and it’s also got a flavour of the previous album, and “Everything Dipped in Gold” has a hint of where the third album’s going.

Mark: It’s funny you say that, because that’s exactly the feeling I got when I listened to it, it felt like it was the way forward, and if that’s the case it will be pretty special. “Wolf Hand” was also a great video; hopefully you had no injuries that day!!

Rob: No, they were all stunts and special effects!!

Mark: Going back to the beginning, what made you decide you wanted to be in a band? Was there a defining moment, or a particular piece of music that you heard?

Rob: That’s a really good question. Music has always been something that’s been there for me. When I was a kid my mum and dad were always playing stuff. Michael Jackson was always on, “Thriller” and “Bad”, but then when I was about ten years old, and this is really cheesy, but I’m from Sheffield originally, and Def Leppard, my parents would play that quite a lot, and I really got into that!

Mark: Don’t tell my wife, she’s from Leeds too and they’re one of her favourite bands!!

Rob: So, anyway that was the thing that got me running around the room, pretending my tennis racket was a guitar!! Then after that, my dad said, if you like that, listen to this, and he had all the original Led Zeppelin albums. I’m actually looking at it now, I have this record player that my dad had from being a kid, it was made in 1969, it’s made out of wood and it’s really cool! I remember being sat in front of it, playing the Led Zeppelin records, and just being really transfixed by it, I couldn’t tear myself away from it! Then, of course the real big revelation for me was when I heard Nirvana on the radio, and that was like something different altogether, they were a really huge influence.

Mark: We are running out of time, so just a quick couple of questions. If you could have been a fly on the wall for the creation of any piece of music or album, at any point in time, what would it have been for you, and why?

Rob: Maybe, “Innuendo” by Queen, I would have loved to have been there and seen that, it’s kind of tragic too, as Freddy Mercury was dying at that point, but it seemed like they had a really great time while they were making it, so I think that would have been really important to be part of that. Then, of course, pretty obvious, but “Nevermind” by Nirvana, that would have been amazing to see unfold.

Mark: Both would’ve been pretty cool! Finally, an easy one to end with, what is the meaning of life?

Rob: Monty Python is the meaning of life to me!

Mark: I’ll accept that one!! Thanks so much for talking to us today, Rob, it’s been a pleasure. I know I’m a bit behind the times, but yours is one of the best albums I’ve heard this year, can’t wait to hear the new one, and can’t wait to see you at Soundwave. Take care, mate, and speak to you soon.

Rob: Cheers mate, hope to see you too at Soundwave. Bye.

 

 

Rob Lee spoke to Mark Diggins December 2013

 

 

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