AN INTERVIEW WITH…ROBERT LEE (PULLED APART BY HORSES)

Pulled Apart By Horses

“I suppose it is only natural to be a little bit anxious after putting so much time and effort into something before setting it free,” says PULLED APART BY HORSES bassist ROBERT LEE ahead of the release of fourth studio album THE HAZE.

Seven years after their self-titled debut, The Haze sees the band return to the core of their sound with. Having progressed across three records before The Haze (out 17/3), the Leeds based four-piece have become known for heavy, angsty tracks. Robert describes the journey, saying: “When you first start out and are a brand-new band people have no expectations or pre-conceived notions about what you are doing.

“When we were writing the first tunes for the first albums we didn’t even know if we would record them. It was just a few mates making some noise in a practice room hoping we would play some local gigs.”

It is often the rawness of a new band that captivates crowds in the early stages of their career – Pulled Apart By Horses’ rise is no different. “I think there is a certain naivety and honesty in the energy and it is hard to recapture that as you go through the years. We have been doing it for nearly ten years now; things change along the way, but the attitude and energy of the first album is something we wanted to recapture again.”

This time around, Pulled Apart By Horses were able to bring out this record as if they were a new band all over again. Giving them a new lease of life and fresh ideas in the studio was key to the creation of The Haze. One reason behind this was bringing in new drummer, Tommy Davidson, which “kind of felt like a new band and brought a new enthusiasm and creativity to the band.”

Another was the fact Pulled Apart By Horses were out of contract before working on The Haze. This meant they “could do everything on our own terms, which in some ways was quite inspiring for us. It was really fun and enjoyable!”

Over their near-ten-year musical career, Pulled Apart By Horses have become one of the most talked about bands on the live circuit. With roaring vocals and wild antics – both on and off stage – they are no strangers to intimate venues or festivals. Blowing away both in the past, they are to do this again when they head out on tour in April in support of The Haze.

Still appreciative of and somewhat taken aback by the fans who come to the shows, Robert calls the live setup “infectious” – explaining that “it looks out of control – people are throwing each other around. To see that happening makes us play the way we do. It is kind of cool because fans find some kind of release at our gigs and they can just lose themselves for however long we play.

“Without people being interested and coming to the gigs we wouldn’t have the luxury of being able to write and record albums.”

A point made by several bands Loose Cardigan of Ideas have spoken to is the North/South divide when they are out on tour. Robert also brings this up, with his observation that “the biggest difference is that certain cities, particularly bigger ones like London, become saturated with music for whatever reason. It is harder to engage with those people who are kind of desensitised to it in a way, whereas the more northern and working class you go the more enthusiastic and engaged crowds are.”

Of course, it is wonderful to be the first of your friends to get into a band and be able to look back and say ‘I told you so,’ but Robert points out there is a risk of trying too hard and ending up neglecting the bands that have stood before those coming through. “There is a fine line between music becoming a fashion statement -obviously it is a great thing to be interested in new music and keeping an eye out on new music and what is coming through, but I often feel that people collect bands as a trophy and act as if they have their finger on the pulse because they are into this band and they kind of forget about other bands they really got into in the past.

“When you start listening to music for appearance sake and to try and prove something, you might as well not bother. At the end of the day; I think it is important to be into something because you are interested in it and have a genuine love for it.”

With that in mind, Pulled Apart By Horses leave us with some sound advice for all bands coming through at the moment. With no preferences to where they play live, Robert concludes positively, reitertating: You can worry about going to a big city thinking it could be tough, or go to a smaller city and worrying no one will turn up, but the great thing about being in a band is that it is so unpredictable. It always surprises you what can happen at a show.”


PULLED APART BY HORSES play across the UK between MARCH 27 – APRIL 8. Tickets available here.

 THE HAZE is out MARCH 17. Pre-order a copy here now.

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