INTERVIEW: Pearl Handled Revolver

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Hi VENTS. We have been….. busy. We have finished recording our third album ‘If The Devil Cast His Net’ and we are looking forward to its release on April 29th.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Absinthe In Adelaide”? Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Lee: I have a voyeuristic approach to writing, as I find self reflection can easily turn into saccharin self pity, even pretension. So I find it best to focus on the world around me. ‘Absinthe In Adelaide’ is a prime example of this. Ironically I end up revealing far more about my true ‘self’ than I ever intend to. How we see the world says a lot about us as individuals, it’s who we are. The real trick is matching the ‘tone’ of the lyric to the music or vice versa. With ‘Absinthe’ the lyric set the initial mood, but what makes this track complete is the masterful way the lads have captured that mood musically. We’re particularly proud of this one.

How was the film experience?
Lee: The film itself was shot in the very street that inspired the song in the first place. We love to include our fans and friends as much as possible and this proved to be the perfect opportunity.

The premise for the video was to view the whole song through the eyes of the narrator… a classic night out in Tavistock Street! One of our favorite music haunts, The Flower Pot, opened their doors especially for the shoot. We then invited a plethora of our nearest and dearest friends and fans to be a part of it all. Some embracing ‘leading’ roles, others happy to be a member of ‘the audience’… but all of us having a good time.

This time we found an amazing local producer (Josh – Visiomoto) who made all this possible. He had the perfect attitude from the outset. His in depth interpretation and understanding of us and the songs has proven invaluable. Watch out for the second video we produced together, ‘If The Devil Cast His Net’, coming soon.

The single comes off your new Album If The Devil Cast His Net – what’s the story behind the title?
Lee: A very close friend of mine, while describing the scene in his local country pub, passed judgement on the shady rabble present by saying; ‘If the Devil had cast his net in there boy, he’d of had the lot!’. Needless to say that this appealed to me on numerous levels. The charm of its colloquialism, the primitive nature of it’s sweeping judgement and the dark, almost medieval drama it invokes. All typically English too, which to me adds an honest credibility, a genuine connection to our roots. More importantly, perhaps, is the way that this one phrase encapsulates the overall theme of the album. Both voyeuristic and indirectly reflective about our social evolution, our view of good and evil in a modern light… ‘If The Devil Cast His Net’ would we be part of his catch?

How was the recording and writing process?
Andy: We loved the writing and recording process for this album. Quite a few of the songs were actually written when we were in the studio recording our previous album. We were in such a rich vein that songs were pouring out of us. This album though was much more of a pleasure. We basically set the mic’s up and all 4 of us just played. It is such a great way to record, especially with these songs, as it was all about being in “the moment” and capturing the feeling and space. That’s what’s made this album for me. We feel that these songs are the strongest we’ve written.

Known for always producing your own music – did you guys follow this tradition with this album?
Simon: We have always produced our own recordings. If The Devil Cast His Net is our third self produced album, we have also produced four EP’s together. Producing ourselves has given us the freedom to create exactly what is in our minds and sound exactly how we want to sound. For us the recording process is just as important as the writing and performing. When we started recording If The Devil Cast His Net there was no discussion of bringing in a producer, we knew exactly what we wanted to do. We planned from day one to record the album live in the studio with very minimal overdubs and that is exactly what we did; it was more about recreating our live sound and capturing the moment. Most of what you hear on the album was recorded completely live and we are very pleased with the results.

Would you call this a departure from your previous material?
Simon: I wouldn’t say it’s a departure but more an evolution from our previous releases. It is our first album as a four piece band with all the bass being played on keyboard, which has made us all think differently about how we play and has now become a big part of the Pearl Handled Revolver sound. This has been very liberating for us all. It is also the first time we have incorporated a string section in one of our songs.

Chris: It is different, this album feels like the soundtrack to a dark road movie, it’s an intense trip, but definitely worth taking. Musically, you can hear the interplay between us really clearly and there’s more space so the album’s got this hypnotic quality.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Chris: Sometimes the lyrics inspire the music, sometimes the other way round. When I heard Lee talking about the pace of technological change on ‘Help Me Down From The Trees’ it inspired me to ape a more digital drumming style, hence the sort of techno beat scattered across the track.

Any plans to hit the road?
Andy: Yeah, performing live is really where we love to be. We’re booking up nicely for 2016 and with the album coming out in April we are planning a number of shows to get these songs out there.

What else is happening next in Pearl Handled Revolver’s world?
Simon: We have a number of live dates over the spring and summer, including main stage slots at one of our favorite festivals ‘The Cambridge Rock Festival’ plus our home town’s ‘Bedford River Festival’ which is actually the UK’s second largest free festival. There are of course many other tour dates planned starting with the album launch show in April. We have always put a great deal planning into our album launch shows and we do our best to make them memorable.

We have even started to play around with some new material…… who knows where it may lead?

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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