Meet Pulled Apart By Horses, possibly the most exciting new band to grace these shores in a long, long time. A four-headed shot of adrenaline straight through the eyes for certain, except they have riffs the size of Monster Trucks and tunes aplenty to go with it.
Having literally ripped up the BBC New Bands stage at this year's Leeds festival, they've just got back from a month-long excursion that's taken them from Liverpool to Lisbon and Bristol to Barcelona in support of ace new single 'Meat Balloon'.
Contact got the full low-down from guitarist James Brown and drummer Lee Vincent. Take it away guys.
Pulled Apart By Horses? Sounds gruesome. Was the name intended to work in tandem with the music?
Lee: You'll have to ask James about that one. The name was in place before the actual band was! I think the name goes well with the music though, although some people may get the impression we're a dodgy metal band.
James: I came up with the name and had 2 songs I'd written to initially play around with when we first started out earlier this year. The songs kind of grew and developed a lot more when Tom (Hudson, guitars/vocals) joined us but they still suited the terribly gruesome name.
Whose idea was it to put the band together and when did things really start to take off for the band?
James: I noticed Lee had left Concentration Champ who I loved and I met Rob (Lee, bass) through his girlfriend and he was up for messing about a bit with a band. I asked Lee if he wanted to meet up for a jam and bash out some Jesus Lizard type whack. We had our first practice in a weird warehouse outside of Leeds, which had hookers on every street corner. It went well and then we decided to get Tom to join to do some shouting and guitaring as he'd just finished with Mother Vulpine. I guess it really took off after we played Nastyfest in Leeds. We got a packed crowd and some great press and I split my head open. Fuck yeah.
Lee: Even before we had any songs people seemed to be buzzing about us, I'm just glad people still liked us after they'd heard the music.
You're all well established on the local scene from your involvement in other bands, running a record label, and putting on shows and clubnights. Do you think this gives you an edge over other bands just starting out?
James: I guess it does help yeah but ultimately it's about the music. It is very difficult right now as you have so many bands trying really hard so we feel very lucky to have got a bit of attention from press and labels. We really didn't expect anything at all when we first started.
Lee: I think experience in those areas definitely helps in the sense that we had lots of contacts and knew what gigs we should and shouldn't play, etc. But that's something every band should learn at some point in their own time. I don't think it gave us an edge though - If you're shit, you're shit; no amount of experience can change that.
Musically your sound is completely different to anything else happening in the city - possibly even the UK. Who were the ultimate inspiration for Pulled Apart By Horses' sound?
Lee: I think we're just chucking in all our collective influences, young and old. Old stuff like Nirvana, RATM, Jesus Lizard. I guess more recent bands like ATDI and Blood Brothers play a part too. We never had an agenda as to what we should sound like and I think that's healthy.
James: It's tricky as fuck that question. We simply can't pinpoint them. We all have differing tastes and musical backgrounds so I guess that would explain why it's pretty different. I personally would say I take inspiration from bands such as That Fucking Tank, At-The Drive In, Rage, Nirvana and the other two would give you a set of totally different bands.
How do the songs come together? Lyrics first then the music, or do you come up with the riffs first and write something to fit in around it?
James: It's very sporadic at times but usually its based around rehearsals. We get together and bring loads of ideas to practice and songs just seem to literally happen and reveal themselves. Tom seems to always have lyrics in his head and songs kind of mould themselves really. It's quite a nice way of working as it keeps you hanging on and anticipating what might happen.
Your live performance is chaotic, brutal, shambolic yet pulsating in equal measures. Do you see yourselves more as a live band at this stage rather than masters of the recording studio?
Lee: We're definitely a live band! I hope we can recreate the milky goodness on record too, we'll see I guess.
James: Soon we'll hopefully spend some time with some super gear in a studio so I guess we'll have to see what we can do with it. It'll be a challenge but we'll take it on by the fucking horns.
Your first single is coming out on Big Scary Monsters, who have a pretty impressive roster themselves. How did you first come to their attention and was it an easy decision agreeing to work with them once that interest became known?
Lee: It's weird. I would have never matched us up with BSM. We're unlike any of their other bands! But I guess when they put out the Chariots record they didn't exactly sound like a BSM band either. It's been good though, Kev & Ivano from the label are cool guys, they're passionate about the band and they get things done - That's all we could ask for really!
Your first single 'Meat Balloon' is out in the next month or so. Whose decision was it to release that as your debut 45 and are you surprised at the amount of positive reviews it has been getting already?
Lee: I think when we agreed to work with BSM that was the most recent song we had written so that was what we were buzzing off most. I think that's probably the main reason we went with it. That and the fact it's a right club banger.
James: The NME review was delightful to receive and it's had some ace radio play. I love the hard riffing at the end. It makes me poo eggs when we play it.
Talking of the music press, you've already received a fair bit of attention from the likes of NME, Drowned In Sound and now Contact. Do you worry that eventually they'll turn against the band or are you not too bothered about what the press think?
Lee: That's the nature of press isn't it, hyping up the new big thing and fucking off what they liked last month. I take it with a pinch of salt, good press is nice and also useful in attracting people to listen to you, bad press is usually just funny.
James: I like the music press, I've met some really nice people since we started out. If they turn against us then I take this back. Set of c*nts. Ha, ha! Any press is good press.
So, who's the biggest fan of 'Wayne's World' in the band, taking into account the single's chorus/hookline and all that?!?
Lee: Blame Tom!
James: Man it's a fucking awesome film. So is the second one. Wayne and Garth all the fucking way!
You've just completed your biggest tour to date, which involved shows in Spain and Portugal for a week in the middle as well as in the UK. How did these dates come about?
Lee: Spain was incredible.. Eli from Anteojos Booking just got in touch out of the blue in February, not long after our first gig, offering us the tour. You're not gonna say "no" are you!? The people we toured with are like our Spanish family now, It's amazing.
James: Those guys were some of the nicest fucking people I have ever met. They'd have done anything for us when we were out there and I'd do anything for them now. It was such an amazing time! I will never forget those gigs.
Do you see yourselves as starting the third post-millennium revolution in Leeds after the Kaiser Chiefs (alright, not that revolutionary but better than all the bloody Coldplay & Travis acoustic twaddle that was around at the time!) and Forward Russia (a bit more like it...)? Are there any other bands in your neck of the woods that we should perhaps be keeping an eye out for in the coming months?
James: Ha, ha, ha, HA. I'm not sure about that but things are going well for us right now, which is swish as eggs. I'd say look out for Wintermute who are one of the sickest live acts in Leeds. Their frontman looks like he's about to die when he's singing. Grammatics as well. I think things are gonna kick off for them soon. They have just finished an album. My mouth drools.
Lee: I think The Grand March are my new favourite Leeds band
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
James: We're writing an EP which will be out next year and doing the next video for our second single. After that I'm gonna have a much needed chill. We've played over 70 gigs since February. We're all tired as fuck.
When will the next single/album be coming out?
James: The next single is out in January 2009 on the Too Pure label then we're doing an EP in April and then the album.....? Well you'll just have to wait and see!
And there you have it. Pulled Apart By Horses, coming to a town (or should that be country?) near you anyday soon.
Picture by Bart Pettman
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