Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Pete and The Pirates Interview - Noize Makes Enemies

Starting off with a list of apparent joke-fuelled ambitions may not be the usual progression into success for a band, but from the minute you hear; “She dances like she’s got her feet in her brain/ She dances like she might never again” followed by a sporadic and chaotic guitar riff, it’s clear Pete and The Pirates are no ordinary band.

“When we first started we had this sort of five step plan. The first was to play a gig and I think the second was to play a gig in London. The third was to get signed and the fourth step was to play at Reading festival because we’re all from Reading; but those were kind of just jokes. And we’ve obviously done those now. The fifth was to play at Wembley…but that’s a joke too. We just want to make a really good new album that everyone likes.”

The normally tambourine toting, Tom Saunders, vocalist from Pete and The Pirates, is refreshingly humble and chilled out in a way that quick fame and recognition can often destroy; something paradoxically personified by Razorlight’s Johnny Borrell.

But following an epic 2008, his feet remain firmly fixed to his Reading roots, having realised a dream and passion he’s had from the very start;

“I’ve always been hitting things and making noise. I’ve never wanted to do anything else. And we all sort of knew each other because we lived close so we started working together. But we all have really different influences. If someone asks us when we’re together, we all just start talking over each other. We all like Sonic Youth and Pavement. A massive influence for me is David Bowie. Not just in terms of song-writing but also just in terms of the standard that I set for myself. Does that make sense? You can re-write this in a way that makes sense!”

Explaining a lot of the band’s eclectic and jangling trademark sound, Tom’s modesty and effortlessly down-to-earth nature is unavoidably endearing. It also, in many ways, along with their talent, reinforces why Pete and The Pirates have such an excitably loyal fanbase. With their debut album, Little Death, released early last year receiving mixed reviews from music journalists, the band went on to play Bestival, Reading and Leeds Festival, demonstrating their unquestionable musical prowess.

“2008 was pretty amazing. Summer was a massive highlight. Tell any band that they’re going to spend the three months going and playing at festivals and they’re gonna love it. At Bestival we were told we wouldn’t be able to play because of the weather. We were gutted so we drowned our sorrows but then found out we could play after all. We were pretty drunk but it was amazing.”

Having seen in the New Year headlining at Camden’s trendy KOKO, the perfect end to an amazing year and the high benchmark for the band in 2009 has well and truly been established:

“We were a bit worried because we had all drank a lot but it was great. A surprisingly good way to spend New Years Eve – everyone loved it. I don’t have any new years’ resolutions though. I have very little will power so a while ago I made a resolution not to make any more resolutions.”

But for a band that in have already fulfilled four of their wildest ambitions, with a new album on the way and their new single, Jennifer, out this week, what does the new year have in store for the four Berkshire boys?

“We’re locked in a room at the moment, choosing what songs to put on the new album which is out sometime this year. We want it to make it as good as ‘Little Death’…and better.”

Whatever happens, 2009, for Pete and the Pirates, seems deservedly occupied with an abundance of success, more fulfilled ambitions, festivals and seemingly inevitably…a lot more alcohol - at least if 2008 is anything to go by.

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