Pulled Apart By Horses are awesome. Their energetic alternative rock/punk with a slab of other genres mixed into the mix has made them one the most exciting bands to come out of the UK. The day before their album The Haze dropped, I got the chance to speak to Tom Hudson from PABH to talk about the new album, upcoming tour, day jobs and radio in modern society.
Jack: Hey guys, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. How are you doing?
Tom Hudson (Guitars and Vocals): Not too bad, ta! We’re all pretty excited at the moment as our album drops tomorrow. We’ve got a bunch of in-store’s to kick it all off and then we’re off on our own tour straight after!
Jack: Last year you released a hospital inspired video for ‘The Big What If,’ what inspired this video?
Tom: We worked together with the amazingly talented Lord Whitney and a long time pal Adam Conlon to create the video. Lord Whitney came up with a concept that partly referenced sections of the lyrics but also an idea of us all in a hospital environment to take part in weird sleep deprivation experiments. It cuts between us performing stupid tasks to try and keep ourselves awake spliced with a more surreal, dream-like world where things don’t make any sense. A big inspiration for the video was the cinema photography of Stanley Kubrick along with a bunch of other surrealist cinema. Our old pal Adam Conlon (who we’ve worked with numerous times) was the DOP and Tommy and I edited it all. It was a proper team effort!
Jack: What’s the song about?
Tom: A lot of the lyrics are more of a stream of consciousness. Looking back on it now I think it kinda describes that weird anxious feeling you get when you’re about to jump into something that has a hazy outcome. It’s like a rush of adrenaline and nerves all at the same time whilst gazing into the unknown.
Jack: You also released a video for Hotel Motivation. What makes a good music video?
Tom: There’s all sorts of different variables that make up a good video. One of the most important things is to have a good idea, something solid to tie everything in. Some of my favourite music videos have been created with zero budget but an awesome & creative idea. Another important thing is for the video to reflect on the track, the two should go hand in hand and naturally complement each other.
Jack: Your new album The Haze is about to be released, do you get nervous or excited before a release?
Tom: Both! It’s always a mix of both. You feel nervous about how people will treat the thing you’ve spent the past year or more crafting, but also a massive feeling of excitement and relief that it’s finally released into the ether.
Jack: Is there something you hope people take from the album?
Tom: Hopefully people will be into it and realise what we were trying to do with it. I hope people enjoy it and listen to it as an album rather than focus of a few specific tracks (and buy it on vinyl!) I also hope they come back to it time and time again.
Jack: What inspired the title The Haze?
Tom: It’s got numerous meanings really. One is referenced in the title track that’s all about waking up in a haze and making your way through it until it lifts and you see things clearer again. It’s also a bit of a metaphor for our journey as a band. Plus we smoked loads of doobies when we wrote it.
Jack: Why did you want to go back to the spontaneity of the first record?
Tom: Just because it’s something that’s probably got lost a little bit along the way since releasing the first record. When you write / record your first record you haven’t got as many expectations or things to compare it to so you have a bit more freedom to go with it. We wanted to get back to that vibe and tried to go with our guts more.
Jack: Why is new drummer Tommy Davidson such a perfect fit?
Tom: I think mainly down to us already being really good friends before-hand. As soon as we all go in a room and started making some noise together, the chemistry was already there!
Jack: Robert said you wanted to take yourselves away from your usual practise room, find a new space, both literally and metaphorically, and just immerse yourselves in music for fun once again. Why did you pick a tiny remote cottage on a Dairy farm in Wales, instead of Leeds?
Tom: It was mainly for a change of scene, to isolate ourselves off from everything else and cut out the distractions of every day. It also gave us an excuse to book in some time where we have to get involved and concentrate on writing. Waking up in the morning with the only goal for the day was to try and make some music was awesome! It’s awesome to wake up in the morning with all your gear set up in the next room and the only goal of the day is to make music.
Jack: Did the location change the way you recorded the album?
Tom: Recording in Sheffield was really cool. Even though it’s only half an hour away from Leeds it’s got a totally different vibe, different scenes, different people, a different landscape. I’m glad we still kept it Yorkshire but it was really cool to explore a new city and come to terms with it. The studio was in this industrial area that was surrounded by factories, rivers, train tracks, bacon sarnie shops and ‘knocking shops’. It was weird but all kinda added to the feel of it all.
Jack: What was working with Ross Orton like?
Tom: He’s a dude and has become a good pal after working with him. He’s Sheffield born and bred and has this proper northern grafting / working man’s attitude to everything. We’d push ourselves to the limit (and he would push us) but always left enough time to chill out and get a swift pint of ale in at the local Tavern up the road. A man of our own! I think he got the best out of us and helped make the record sound exciting and raw.
Jack: You’re touring the UK in March and April, will you be playing mainly new material?
Tom: We’ll obviously be focusing on the new stuff as it’s what excites us the most (and because we think a lot of it will translate really well live) but we still chuck in stuff from the previous albums. Nobody wants to just hear new stuff and that only, you’ve got to play a few familiar tunes from the past albums.
Jack: On the tour you’re supported by Tigerclub and Thee Mvps. What do you like about these bands?
Tom: Tigercub played with us in Brighton when we did our last album tour (with the awesome Menace Beach) and they absolutely blew us away. We had a few drinks with them after the gig and all kinda wished they had been doing the whole tour with us back then.
I saw Thee MVP’s play at Chunk studios in Leeds a couple of months ago. Our old drummer Lee was putting out a single of theirs on 7inch and gave me a heads up about them playing. They’re fast, fun, in your face garage rock. Really energetic and exciting…. not a million miles away from the whole Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, Fuzz, Meatbodies scene. I can’t wait to watch both bands every night, it’s going to be great!
Jack: Do you have day jobs outside of the band? If so is it hard to find time to tour?
Tom: We do sometimes. It depends what is going on with the band / money / schedule and whether we need to juggle things about or not. The only thing worth mentioning is that Tommy has his own screen-printing studio & company called Prints Of Thieves which is great. The rest of us do other creative jobs here and there but the band is our main focus.
Jack: What are your plans after the UK tour?
Tom: After the UK we’re heading out to Europe. And then after that we’ve got some festivals lined up – which is always a pretty fun time! From then on we don’t really know yet, we’re just starting to get things together now.
Jack: Are there any plans to go back to Australia? Some of your fans have written on Facebook requesting you come back.
Tom: Nothing is set in stone yet but we’ve done some press over there for the new album and are starting to get a plan together for returning again. We’ve been lucky enough to travel over there three times now and every time we’re there it still blows my mind that there are people that listen to our stuff and dig it on the other side of the world.
Jack: Finally, as you recently took part in a Radio 1 take over. Do you think Radio still has it’s place in a world of Spotify and Apple Music?
Tom: I think it still has its place in the world but I think it’s probably getting harder and harder for them with the ever expanding realms of streaming music online. I like to listen to the radio (mainly 6 music!) to discover new artists, people I wouldn’t necessarily come across and to hear live sessions and interviews with bands. It keeps stuff interesting when you don’t know what’s coming around the corner!
Pulled Apart By Horses In Store Signings:
17 London, Rough Trade East
19 Leeds, Crash Records
20 Nottingham, Rough Trade
21 Newcastle, HMV
21 Sunderland, Pop Recs
22 Bristol, Rise Records
23 Kingston Upon Thames, Banquet Records
27 Oxford, O2 Academy 2
28 London, Scala
29 Bristol, Thekla
30 Southampton, Talking Heads
01 Derby, 2Q Festival
02 Birmingham, Mama Roux’s
03 Norwich, Waterfront Studio
05 Glasgow, King Tuts
06 Manchester, Sound Control
07 Newcastle, Think Tank
08 Leeds, Brudenell Social Club