Interview: Pulled Apart By Horses

Pulled Apart By Horses talk school, festivals and self improvement.

Pulled Apart By Horses are an alternative rock band from Leeds and they’re going to be massive. Like, arena rock massive. Melvin Benn thinks so. I definitely think so. Look at their reworking of Lana Del Rays 'Blue Jeans', or Tough Love closer 'Everything Dipped In Gold'. But enough foreshadowing from me, let’s keep to the here and the now. Pulled Apart By Horses are one of the most exciting bands in the UK at the moment. They combine an incredible work ethic with a relentless energy on stage, as well as hook after hook and riff after riff on their songs. Their second album, Tough Love, was released earlier this year and before a very busy summer of festivals ahead of an October headline tour, I spoke to James Brown from the band. Below are the words what were said:

For someone new to your band, how would you describe your music?

It's excitable loud music for lovers of rock/punk/metal written by four sufferers of ADHD.

In ‘first day at school’ style, can you please tell me an interesting fact about yourself?

A close friend of mine who still is today (who I shall not name) soiled his pants on my first day of school. I consoled him and felt sorry for him and thus we became friends. Another friend of mine also tried to break out of the school and ran off down a lane outside the premises. It was like Prison Break for minors.

What’s the brief history of Pulled Apart By Horses?

We all met in Leeds after our other bands became defunct. I got itchy fingers and contacted Rob and Lee and sorted out a practice in early 2008. We wrote 'The Lighthouse' together, played it to Tom from a mobile phone recording and he turned up and sang then BOOM! PABH was born.

I’ve seen you at various festivals and gigs over the past few years and every time I see you, you manage to sound better and put in a more ferocious performance. What’s the secret?

We've slowly learnt to play our instruments better, worked out how to tweak our individual sounds, acquired some good equipment and I guess slogged it out over four years to become a better band. You can have all the best equipment in the world, but if you don't play constantly you won't get better.

You’re playing a shedload of festivals before heading out on a UK headline tour in November. Does this mark the end of the Tough Love album cycle and what’s next for the band?

I wouldn't say it marks the end of the Tough Love cycle as we are still roaring to play the new material and singles from the album and we are very fond of what we've done on that album. I would say that were always in need of writing and more recording though as it keeps us fresh and gels the bond between us, so we'll probably start the writing process all over again sooner rather than later.

What new albums are you looking forward to getting hold of this year?

I've still not bought the new Sleigh Bells album yet and I'm also looking forward to hearing what Muse do on their new record. I'm also hoping a new Pixies album might at last surface. Oh and the Biffy record if that gets released later this year.

Live music is essential for any artist, in my opinion. What’s the last gig you went to, the best gig you’ve ever played and the best gig you’ve ever been to?

Last gig I went to was Cursive in Leeds at The Brudenell Social Club. They were fucking incredible and totally inspiring to see live. If you don't know them I would highly suggest listening to the new record I Am Gemini. Best show for me was Leeds/Reading last year. We played the NME tent and expected little crowds and got the total opposite of that. Best show I've been to will have to be Radiohead at Victoria Park in 2000 on the circus tent tour.

You’re opening the mainstage at this years Reading and Leeds Festival, making it five years in a row. You’re from Leeds, so do you ever feel bad lying to the Leeds crowd about them being better than Reading?

Ha, ha. We are actually very honest on stage with crowds. If they need to wake up we let them know about it. It'll be the reverse this year though as we do Friday in Leeds and Reading on the Sunday. It's normally Leeds on a Sunday for us so this year everyone we'll be beaming and not hungover. PIT PIT PIT!

Festivals are a great place to discover new bands. Are there any bands that you’re hoping to see at festivals this year?

Well we shall see I guess! I'm hoping to catch At The Drive In, Pearl Jam and Biffy at various festivals we’re playing this year but I think it always a good idea to slog it out in the smaller tents and stages for a bit just to see what new fresh talent is about. You might discover your new favourite band!

Your live shows are pretty full on, do you ever feel the need to write a ballad, just to slow things down for a moment?


If you were a type of wood, what wood would you be?

Balsa. Breaks easily but can then be easily repaired with PVA glue so I'd keep a bucket of that on stage. Some of my bones aren't repairing you see.


If you’re going to a festival this summer, there’s a good chance Pulled Apart By Horses will be there giving the performance of the weekend, so if you haven’t checked them out before, do. If you have seen them live before, then you don’t need me telling you to go and watch them. That’ll be your plan already. If they are escaping your plans for the summer then you can catch them on their extensive run of UK headline dates (there’s a Twitter rumour that Dinosaur Pileup will be supporting) so if you like heavy riffs, mosh pits and amazing music then book a ticket now. Their next single from Tough Love is their ode to touring and being in a band 'Bromance Ain’t Dead' which is released on July 23rd 2012 through Transgressive Records. If you like Vinyl, and who doesn’t, then you should preorder your copy now here.