Sam and Harry tell us all you need to know about the return of your fave indie dreamboats.
Peace are back and life is good again. Returning late last year with “From Under Liquid Glass” and dropping “Power” earlier this month, the indie quartet have since announced the release of their upcoming third album, Kindness Is The New Rock And Roll, which will bless our ears on 4 May, a full three years since their fantastic sophomore record, Happy People was released.
Catching up with brothers Sam and Harry (bassist and vocalist, respectively), before their triumphant sold out NME Awards show at Omeara, we got the low down on all you need to know about the upcoming record, plus a quick lesson on a deity worshipped by the Knights Templar. As you do.
Your last record – Happy People – came out in 2015, what’s been going on since then?
Sam: Making this record pretty much!
Harry: It’s a bit of a long story, but just after our last show at Brixton Academy we went and lived in a farmhouse for six months. It was just the four of us, miles outside of any civilisation or town in the middle of a forest in a National Trust estate.
S: Well, we got Wi-Fi eventually… [laughs]
H: But it was quite isolated for an immediate six months when it was just us writing. After that we went to London where for another six months we were in and out of studios demoing our songs. Alongside that there was probably another lost six months where we just slept, went to the pub… To be honest I’m not really sure what happened.
S: We went right back to where we did our first EP and all of our beginning stuff. At that point we started to get it moving and by then we knew who we wanted to work with and where we were gonna do it.
H: Then there was another six months of pure business: emails, calls, who’s doing what, you owe these people this much money, etc.
Soundwise, how is this album different from your previous material?
H: We didn’t even realise it was different but it is massively different. Anyone we’d played it to was saying, “This is so different!” and I was like, “Nah, same old guys. Same ingredients in the stew.” Maybe it’s just seasoned differently this time?
I think the best way of describing it is Meat Loaf meets Primus. I was thinking of how to describe it, it’s quite a theatrical sound that bangs, wallops and stuff like that. Primus is essentially not too different from our principle. We’ve always been somewhere between the lines of funk and grunge, which I think you’d be able to say about them.
And what about with the subject matter of the record?
H: There’s some incredibly personal songs and some incredibly universal songs, not much in the middle.
S: The first two tracks, “Power” and “From Under Liquid Glass”, were kind of goalposts for the album.
“If you’ve made it this far with Peace, I feel like you can take anything.”
Is that one of the reasons why you put those two out first?
S: No, but can we say yes? It makes us sound better.
H: Yeah, we really wanted to establish the topic of the album with those two tracks [laughs]. I think it was just self-consciously done to begin with. For some reason I think our new material works much better than what we’ve tried to do before, we tried to be everything all at once and we’ve found a middle ground this time round.
S: Our material was interesting before; our songs sounded happy but were actually sad.
H: Just like the concept of the Baphomet, which is something I’ve recently discovered. The Baphomet was something that was worshipped by the Knights Templar. It’s a woman’s body, arms of a man, the head of a goat with a pentagram on the forehead, wings, scales, gills and it’s meant to represent everything at once because there’s so much oxymoronic-paradoxical ideas to it. I don’t even know what I’m talking about now…
How did you find that?
H: I stayed up real late with a friend of mine, talking about things, having deep conversations. We googled it and were pretty surprised. So I guess the album is kind of Baphomet-ish because it’s moving all at once but all of the components exist as their own thing within one beast rather than finding middle ground.
S: Nice work reeling that one back at the end.
Is there a particular song you’re most excited for people to hear?
S: There are two personal faves for me: “Magnificent” and “Silverlined”. They don’t feel like obvious radio singles but they’ve really grown on me.
H: “Silverlined” was one of the first contenders for this album, if not the first. We wrote the song in June 2015 and then nearly three years later it made the cut.
S: I made my peace with it and kinda got over it almost, but then the end result was me falling in love with it thinking, “Fuck, this is actually really good.”
How are you feeling about getting the record out? Worried? Excited?
H: I’m not worried. If you’ve made it this far with Peace, I feel like you can take anything [laughs]. The ordeal we’ve put our fanbase through over seven years or however long, I think if you’re still here then you’re staying for good.
What do you want people to take away from the album?
S: That kindness is the new rock and roll.
H: The guy I live with, he said to me, “I’ve been thinking about this, and I do actually think kindness is the new rock and roll,” and I was just sat there like, “It kind of is isn’t it?” and he replied, “Yeah, it’s a good album title.”
You’re announcing a tour too – what can you tell us about that?
S: It’s long, it’s going to be a whole month.
H: I think most of the venues we’ve played before, retracing our old footsteps, revisiting an old flame…
And what else have you got planned for 2018?
H: Things keep popping up in the calendar. My dad rang me asking for Y Not tickets and I said “Why?” He’s like, “Cause you’re playing it, it’s been announced,” and I think I can remember maybe having a phone call last year where I was a dickhead to my manager saying, “Look, I don’t wanna know what we’re doing I just wanna know when I’m getting in the van,” so I actually have no idea what I’m doing I just know the album’s coming out and the tour is in May. If we make an educated guess I’m going to say more festivals, talks of international activity and getting out of the UK.