Good afternoon Chaps, how are Pearl Handled Revolver today?
Chris: Chipper. Very much looking forward to the HRH shows in October.
Lee: I’ve seen so many of my musical heroes at Shepherds Bush Empire, that to play there is going to be something special.
You released ‘Fantasy Reigns’ in July and it’s been really well received, was it a difficult record to write and record?
Chris: It’s fair to say that we abandoned our comfort zone for the new album. So we deliberately made our lives difficult in that sense, by experimenting and deviating from our normal methods throughout the writing and recording process. It felt worth it though because the road less travelled makes for more interesting stories when you get back, and we could feel the album coming to life with each trip. It’s great that people seem to love Fantasy Reigns because there were definitely moments when we were a bit like those characters in HP Lovecraft stories who get obsessed with a mystery and are slowly driven to madness… if you substitute confrontations with diabolical pan-dimensional octopus gods for four blokes sat around a mixing desk arguing about the merits of putting an accordion through a phaser.
Lee: As far as writing these new lyrics goes, I found it an effortless process. So much had happened in the world between this new release and the previous album ‘If The Devil Cast His Net’. Finding things to write about passionately was too easy. As Chris says, we had flipped our creative heads completely with the music, giving me the opportunity to nurture un-tempered streams of consciousness like never before.
How far away from a recorded song do your live performances move, when you record do you know when a song is finished or do you allow a song to take on new dimensions live?
Si: We write a song in the studio and rehearse until we feel it is ready to perform live. Live performance is how we get a real feel for the arrangement and vibe, when it is tight we take it back to the studio and start recording. Most of the songs from Fantasy Reigns developed through live performance. It’s in the recording sessions where a song will really develop but it’s the take with the right feel that we are looking for. The songs always continue to evolve from show to show even after their release, we still play songs from our earlier albums but they are now quite different from the original recordings.
Chris: I think a song is only finished when you get bored of playing it. The recordings on each album are moments we were happy enough with to release, but the songs themselves aren’t set in stone and playing them live is an opportunity to meddle when the mood takes us. Some stay box-fresh, others transform radically over time.
You played HRH’s Roadtrip in Ibiza this year and played an incredible set before Hawkwind and I see you’re playing A New Day next year with Arthur Brown, do you have a fantasy list of bands to play with?
Chris: White Hills, Monster Magnet, Shabaka Hutchings, Here Lies Man, Futuropaco, Nick Cave…
Lee: I have to add Tom Waits to that excellent list.
Hard Rock Hell Radio prides itself on showcasing brand new and unsigned bands, who should we be looking out for?
Chris: Space Witch… like Hawkwind in a K Hole, fronted by an enraged Brian Blessed.
Si: Admiral Sir Cloudesely Shovell have released a new track called ‘Very Uncertain Times’ which it certainly is right now. Definitely worth a spin on HRH Radio.
Lee: I’m going to give a shout out for an awesome young band called ‘Naked Next Door’. They have a live energy that only comes with youth… great to watch, check them out.
Thanks for talking to me today, any last words?
Chris: Don’t take the things you seriously believe in too seriously.