Frontman John Eatherly on making a triumphant new album.
Fresh from performing at east London’s Oslo for one of the NME Award shows last night, your fave NYC quartet have gone and dropped their fantastic second album, Street Safari, today!
Made up of John Eatherly, Xan Aird, Max Peebles and Pete Star, the record sees Public Access T.V. reaching new heights in what is a glimmering and gorgeous sophomore record. Mixing elements of funk, R&B and pop to perfection, it’s a melodic masterpiece exploring the inner workings of Eatherly’s mind.
Eager to find out more, we caught up with the dazzling frontman to get the scoop. You’re welcome.
Going back to the beginning, how did you all meet?
I met Max (the bass player) in high school. He actually moved into my house for a year because his mom had to move for work and he wanted to stay so she let him move in with me. He also turned me on to all the cool shit as a teenager. When I moved from Brooklyn to Manhattan in 2010, I met Xan (the guitar player) at some bar in the east village. We basically just partied together and also played in other bands together. So I have a lot of musical history with both Max and Xan prior to PATV. Then there’s Pete Starr… Nobody knows too much about his life or where he really came from. He might have been created by machines, but he hits hard and keeps time like a robot.
You formed in 2014, what’s changed since then?
The dynamic of the band hasn’t changed at all since day one. They know I run a tight ship and what happens if they miss a note… We did all used to live together. Now we live on the same block.
How have you grown as a band in the last four years?
Everything happened very quickly in the beginning. We signed a major label deal after one show; our second show ever was in England. In reality we had a lot of work to do to become what we are now. We used to have some people holding us back from putting out music or giving advice to not come out with the best shit you can first. I’m a true believer in always coming out with your best foot forward. We’ve been through a lot. We are in a better place now. I haven’t had a drink in over two years. It feels like we have our shit figured out now… for now. I’m only about moving forward and I don’t look back.
Your debut – Never Enough – came out in 2016. What’ve you been up to since then?
It’s important to keep momentum. Nowadays more than ever. You cant rest. There wasn’t even really a gap between touring our debut and writing Street Safari. It just fused together.
“I want people to know we aren’t just some bullshit or a trend band that will pass.”
When did you start working on Street Safari?
Less than a year ago. All the songs are super fresh for me. I was happy to have a clean slate creatively. You can only have that after your first record.
How does it differ to Never Enough?
Our first record was all done live. Street Safari has many more layers of sound. All my favourite records are like that. I love it when you can listen to something for the tenth time and still hear something you might not have noticed at first.
And what was the creative process behind the album?
I made demos on a little 8-track for every song. Somewhere along the way I asked my friend/producer Patrick Wimberly if he would be down to record a couple songs. One thing led to another and we made the whole record together in a month. He was the first producer I truly enjoyed working with.
Songwriting wise – what was the inspiration?
I’m very inspired and affected by everything around me. Songwriting is very therapeutic for me because I realise more about myself the more I write. It’s a mirror of what’s going on in my head. It’s my way of figuring out my life. I don’t always want to write but I have to. If I’m not writing it’s because I’m not living or feeling.
What would you like people to get from the new album?
I want people to know we aren’t just some bullshit or a trend band that will pass. We don’t ride the waves of others’ success or change what we think is cool. We stand for believing in what we think is dope. People get sick from being fed so much trash, they forget how to use their brains. I don’t need people to get anything. I just want people to listen. Then maybe they can relate to a feeling that sparked a song or to a lyric or anything. If I want you to get anything from Street Safari, it’s that it comes from the soul.
Noted. What else have you got planned for 2018?
Touring touring touring. Making music videos for everything. Trying to be the me I want to be.