BOOTS AND MUSIC
The Dr. Martens #Standforsomething tour
Pulled Apart By Horses share their personal journey as they headline the first ever Dr. Martens #STANDFORSOMETHING Tour in Europe, a series of events we introduced to you recently. Watch as the film captures the raw energy of the band’s performances in five cities, five countries and the 5000 kilometres covered in just seven days. We also had a quick chat with Bass guitarist Robert Lee about this'n'that when they played in Hamburg, which you can check out below.
How about a little band history for the clueless amongst us?
It's been a bit of a blur, I might have to look on Wikipedia to figure this out. We've been together for about 5 years. I met James through the local music scene and nights out in Leeds. He kind of knew everybody in every band and every promoter or venue owner. He probably owed most of them money! I kind of knew that he'd be a great person to start a band with, I really liked his previous band It Takes Bridges and I kept bugging him about when he was getting it back together. One night he said, he'd been thinking about putting a new band together, and that he'd been talking to this guy called Lee who was in Concentration Champ. I'd seen them before at a little pub venue in Leeds and they were terrifying. They played with stockings on their heads and made a god awful racket. I just said "right, I'm playing bass" and he said okay, I didn't give him much choice really. So the three of us practiced in the red light district of Leeds for a few months and got a few songs together. Then one day Tom turned up at practice and started screaming over the music and I just thought, "that's it!" In no time at all we started getting gig offers and tours, we only had about 6 songs. I quit my job and we went on tour constantly. It was pretty hardcore back then, we just did anything and everything that we could to play. We accepted every gig no matter how far away or how dodgy they were. Eventually a really good management company took us on and we got a record contract. Now here we are three albums in and we've been lucky enough keep going and playing as many countries as we can.
Which bands have made PABH who they are today?
A lot of the bands on the local Leeds scene were really influential to start with. Not necessarily musically, but just the DIY ethic. I was really inspired by a band called That Fucking Tank. They made us realise that you can just get on with it and not worry about getting signed or what people think, just doing it for your own enjoyment can be pretty infectious. There are a few bands that we all loved growing up, we had that in common even though we didn't know each other. The obvious ones are Nirvana, Rage Against The Machine, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, ACDC. When we first started we were all listening to bands like Lightning Bolt, The Jesus Lizard, Refused and Shellac. That was what we were kind of going for when we started, that angular, discordant riff based music. We ended up sounding nothing like any of those bands! Also, other bands have been really good to us along the way, taking us on tour and showing us the ropes. We couldn't have done it without bands like Blood Red Shoes, Future Of The Left and Biffy Clyro.
To someone who hasn’t heard 'Blood' yet, how would you describe it?
We wanted to capture a lot of space and atmosphere with this one, make it more dynamic and varied than our previous albums. We wanted to challenge ourselves as musicians and push the boundaries of what we were comfortable with. We knew we could do fast and loud with lots of screaming. So we decided to try things like vocal harmonies and being more melodic in areas, slower and quieter in order to exaggerate the heavier, faster, more abrasive parts.
How was the 'Standforsomething' tour in the end? Any unexpected occurrences?
It was great! We had a really good time. It's the first time we've had a sleeper bus, and we were sharing it with our friends Dinosaur Pile up, we all got on like a house on fire. Nothing particularly weird happened, it all went really smoothly. At the last show of the tour, in Amsterdam, Tom decided to climb up to the balcony, which was a good 20 feet up and jumped off it into the crowd. I wasn't sure if he was gonna make it, but they caught him. No damage. This time.
What exactly comes to your mind when the name 'Dr. Martens' pops up? And how does it fit with the band?
I've been wearing them since I was a kid. Literally, I used to have to wear them as school shoes. But then when all the grunge and indie bands wore them in the nineties I got some of the boots. I actually still had a pair of original 90's Made In England boots when we started the band, but I lost one on tour, I was gutted. They're pretty hard wearing, you can get a pair and they'll last you forever, it's not about changing fashions, they've stood the test of time and that's kind of what we're going for with the band. Unless you lose one out of the door of van! Luckily, that's not happened to a band member yet.
Whats next for PABH? Are you already working on new songs?
We've never had a big plan, we just keep on going and enjoy the moment. I've been writing and recording at home and I know Tom has too. James is always playing guitar, so I'm sure plenty of material is cooking away. We haven't started working on anything new as a band yet, the new album is still very fresh for us, even though it took so long to write and record it. We want to concentrate on playing the new material live. We've been off the road for a while until recently, and we really missed playing live, so we're all about touring as much as possible again. Especially Europe where Kasabian have just asked us to support them. We're really looking forward to coming back to Germany.