Wednesday, 6 August 2014

A pint of Blood please!

What do you get when you cross a hard working rock band, imminently releasing album number three, with an established local brewery who's ethos is 'Love Beer:Love Music' ? The answer in the case of Leeds' very own Pulled Apart By Horses and Castleford beer producers Revolutions Brewery Company - is... 'BLOOD'. Yes, very soon you will be able to order a pint of 'Blood' and the one liners we could give you are a) endless, and b) probably not very funny. So we won't. 

What's it all about then? Well, Pulled Apart By Horses third record of the same name, 'Blood', is due to be released next month' (Sep 1st). We've had a sneaky preview, and trust us when we say fans are in for a real treat. 
What better way to celebrate the release then, than the fellas going down to a local brewery and coming up with a beer to be brewed and released to coincide with the album launch.  Why Revolutions? Revolution brewery's ethos is Love Beer : Love Music. We couldn't agree with this more! That's what we're all about at Plus One Magazine too! Excitingly, all of Revolution's beers are musically themed. You'll find the E.P. Session Pale, Clash London Porter, Go-Go American Pale and Pretender Blonde sitting pretty alongside monthly specials that the Brewery release, usually paying homage to familiar auditory greats.

We love that Revolution Brewing Co support the home crowd too. In recent times they've created ales for Leeds' own Jumbo Records' 40th anniversary; collaborated with local musicians Sam Airey and Lone Wolf to create special beers alongside their album launches, and that leads us up to date with their latest co-creation with Pulled Apart By Horses.

Mark Seaman (co-founder and director) told us that the 'Blood' (Pulled Apart By Horses beer), will be a 4.5% pale ale, available in cask at selected venues and in very limited numbers of bottles too. Which brings us along nicely to the competition the band are running to win a rare chance to see them performing an acoustic set at Leeds' Brudenell Social Club on August 29th. To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets, you need to snap yourself or friend enjoying your favourite tipple, post it via Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #PABHsBLOOD. The best shots will win a pair of tickets to the event, all entries need to be in by August 15th and you must be over 18 of course!

Tom and James getting Blood on the go - Photos Mark Seaman

Faith caught up with lead singer Tom Hudson from the band to talk about touring life, Blood beer and of course the album....

Faith C: Hi Tom! How's things with you today? What are you up to this afternoon?

Tom H: I'm good! I've been rushing around like a bit of a mentalist the past few days, as I'm doing a super lo-fi VHS music video for my pals, Menace Beach. I've been trying to transfer the footage into digital so I can edit it.  I'm not a big tech head so it's been a bit of a challenge, haha!

FC: A Menace Beach vid? Sounds awesome! We love those guys.

FC: So, you're doing warm up shows, festival appearances, a single, imminent album release, your own beer AND a music video for another band... are you guys the busiest band on the planet?

TH: Yeah, and the most stupid!

FC: I'm sure there's an NME award being created right now for that category...

TH: I'm not a very good multi-tasker either, so I'm constantly confused with what I'm meant to be doing!
They should do an 'idiot of the year', then at least one of us guys has a chance at an NME award!

FC: Ha! How do you guys cope when there's so much going on?

TH: Being busy is a good thing though. I need to keep busy, or else I turn into a sloth!

FC: You guys are doing some 'intimate' warm up shows prior to your Leeds/Reading appearances this month (including a gig at an old favourite haunt of ours - the Bodega Social in Nottingham). 
Are you excited about getting stuck in with smaller venues again, or have you got the big-stage bug?

TH: We would always take the small stages over the big ones! We work way better when we're feeding off the audience! 
The Bodega's great as well - a good sound system, a high stage for diving and a good atmosphere.
Don't get me wrong... we still enjoy bigger stages too, but we see it as a slightly different challenge!

FC: I'm definitely a small gig fan, so couldn't agree more!  Diving off those stages can be hazardous though! You're no strangers to the odd 'work injury', but I'm guessing none of you are about to tone down your performances any time soon?

TH: Haha, yeah, we have suffered the occasional injury in the work place. People think we're rock and roll, but I just think we have really bad spacial awareness!
The only thing is that the older we get, the more knackered our bodies get!

FC: Don't shatter the myth!

TH: My knees are still black and blue from our last gig on Tuesday!

FC: Commitment to the cause!  Speaking of which, you'll rack up another notch on the Leeds/Reading Festival bedpost this year. It's like you're their very own house band! What are your thoughts on playing there?

TH: I know, it's ridiculous! We're the 'creepers'!  
You see bands getting hyped and bumped up way too far on different stages, whereas we've just kept steadily creeping our way up!

FC: Good tactic! So we'll be seeing Pulled Apart By Horses headlining the main stage at Leeds Festival by... 2018?

TH: Haha! Maybe! Who knows?  Maybe we'll just be holograms by then?

FC: As a Nirvana fan, it must blow your mind to stand on the same stage as those guys did, back at Reading Festival?

TH: Ahh definitely! That Reading '92 footage is legendary!  To see that many people losing their shit to a weirdo alternative band is incredible!

FC: It looks as though playing live is still what you crave as a band, and where you get your kicks?
You've got more dates coming up in Europe, and a UK tour in November, right?

TH: Yeah definitely.  Although, saying that, recording the last album was a real learning experience!
We've got our Doc Martens Euro tour with our pals Dinosaur Pile Up, and then a UK tour after that!

It's nice to be back on the road!

FC: Fantastic!  The new album sounds great - you guys just keep on getting better - both live, and on record!  
We've seen you countless times, up and down the country. Outside of good ol' Blightly, where's your favourite place to play in the world?

TH: Hmm it's tough! We definitely have a blast on our Euro tours.  Things are more fun when you are out of your own country / comfort zones.  We seem to go down quite well in Germany.
But for me personally - it was an absolute pleasure to revisit Australia earlier this year.

FC: Wow, yeah. What a treat!

TH: Rock music is still big and very alive over there!

FC: That's for sure. If you added [Australian band] DZ Deathrays to the lineup of you guys and God Damn, that'd be a Plus One Magazine dream lineup right there!

TH: Haha! Yeah. We love the DZ guys and it's a pleasure to be playing some shows with God Damn. We've known those guys for ages, but have never had the chance to hook up!

FC: Speaking of the hairy Brumie noisemakers (God Damn) - we can't wait til their album drops too.
You've always had great tour supports.  Who would your ideal touring mates be (that you haven't already played with)?

TH: I think we've played with most of them! Every band we've asked to play with us have been someone who we're all really into!  When you get a good band on tour with you, it really steps things up a notch!
Not to mention you make some good like-minded friends too!

FC: Well, you've definitely got great taste in music!

TH: Haha, likewise!

FC: So, in the middle of all this touring, radio sessions, brewing etc... you're also doing a special album launch party- a competition winners only acoustic gig at Leeds' own Brudenell!
How did the idea of doing an acoustic set come about?

TH: We've been asked to do them in the past, and it never would have worked. But with the songs on the new album - and a bit more experience - it's something we wanna play about with.
We were asked to do an acoustic session for a Dutch festival called 'Welcome to the Village' and thought, 'why not?'.
So we've reconstructed some old and new songs to sound like an acoustic bogan / redneck version of our band!

FC: Can't wait to hear it!
So are we talking a chilled, unplugged-style seated show?  Adding an additional string (section) to your bow?  Or are you becoming the new Poison...?

TH: Haha! I don't know. I guess it's too early to know really. It's just something different and a bit of a challenge for us.  It also means we can do a few of these shows without worrying too much about the logistics of everything and hauling round a ton of gear!

FC: You've been getting your hands dirty in other ways lately too - brewing your album release beer (also called Blood - awesome name for a pint!). Did you approach Revolutions Brewing Co, or did they come to you guys with the idea?

TH: Being good pals with Paul Marshall (Lone Wolf), who works full time at the brewery... we were just hanging out one night and he suggested the idea to me.  I think it's a great thing to do and adds an extra element to the release, rather than it just being a record, CD and digital download!

FC: Definitely! Craft ale's the new rock and roll, isn't it?

TH: Totally! Haha! I'm just worried about what's going to happen when we're meant to be taking crates of the beer around with us from place to place.

FC: So it'll be accompanying you on the rider then? A trail of Blood around the UK and Europe?!

TH: It might end up all gone before anyone gets to try it!

FC: Did you all get a say on the ingredients - hops variety, etc?

TH: Yeah, we decided on a few ingredients, but to be honest we left it in the hands of Revolutions, as they're the pros!
Me and James put some elbow grease into making it though! It's tiring work!

FC: I bet that it'll be quite a moment, when you guys get to sample it.  Make sure you save us a pint!

TH: I can't wait to try it! Paul gave me an update the other day, saying he could smell it brewing and it smelled like pear drops!

FC: Sounds great!  I can imagine making beer is tough, but worth it!  We had a think about what Pulled Apart By Horses favourite drinks might be:

Lee - a pint of stout
James - Woo Woo
Rob - a shots kinda guy
Tom - whiskey chasers

How far off the mark are we?!

TH: Pretty damn close actually. Although Lee's more into his ciders at the moment.
What's a Woo Woo?

FC: Ha, trust me - you wouldn't like them!

TH: Well, 'Woo Woo' sounds like James Brown all over anyway!

FC: That's what we thought!

FC: Yorkshire's a fine place for all this ale. Loads of micro-breweries popping up all over!  Do you guys have any favourite ales? Other than all the Revolutions ones, of course!

TH: Me and Rob are really into our Ales. I like simple ones like Three Swords, Saltaire Blonde, Black Sheep and Copper Dragon.

FC: Yeah, Copper Dragon's Golden Pippin and Saltaire Blonde are two of my favourites!

TH: Golden Pippin - that's it!

FC: Leeds and surrounds seems to be a hot bed of talent at the moment - both in brewing and bands!
We caught Meance Beach, Vessels and Post War Glamour Girls at Beacons Festival.  Are there any other local bands that've caught your eye lately? Who should we look out for?

TH: Menace Beach are one of my favourite bands at the moment!  PWGG are up there as well - their latest album 'Pink Fur' blew me away when I first heard it and was one of the reasons why we wanted to record 'Blood' at GreenMount studios!
Cowtown are another fave, they've been around for ages, but their new sound is incredible! Like a mash between Thee Oh Sees and Devo!

FC: What was it like, recording 'Blood' in Leeds?

TH: Recording 'Blood' on our home turf was great! 
The last two albums were recorded away, in a smaller amount of time. All cooped up together in one isolated place. But recording in Leeds meant that as soon as we finished recording for the day, we either went home for a reflective break OR went to the local for a reflective drink!
We also had some time to pop out and watch some bands together - like a band field trip or something.   The last day we finished up and went to see The Cribs. It was a good way to tie the album up!

FC: Now you're about to give Blood to us all, we've been thinking...there was a significant leap in musicianship from your debut to the follow-up 'Tough Love'. It sounds like you've made huge strides again with this third record - but in a more diverse, experimental way.  Do you think your sound has broadened and changed significantly now?

TH: It's a weird one. I think it has broadened and we've had a lot of time to experiment with sounds and songwriting; but because we have had a lot of time to do it, this feels more like a next step for us instead of a big leap.  I guess that's because we've been through a lot to make it. We've also discarded many songs along the way.
Our main goal was to push ourselves and try something new.  We could have made Tough Love part II but didn't want to retread old ground.

FC: It has been a fair time coming - but that must feel like a luxury for such a hard working band - to be able to take time over it?

TH: It was a luxury to have the time to do it, but also a bit of a burden.
There was a lot of confused cabin fever / writers block moments along with way! It was pretty intense, but I wouldn't change anything!

FC: So moving away from Tough Love - does this mean you've gone all serious on us with this new record?

TH: Haha, I think even if we tried our hardest, we would never be 100% serious. Our tongues are too far in our cheek to be able to do that!

FC: We'd miss that sense of humour anyway. Where would we be without your song titles?!

TH: I know! If anything, I think some of the new song titles are weirder than on Tough Love.

FC:  Like you said, you wanted to move away from old ground on this record.  There's definitely a more diverse sound coming from each of you guys on here (including your vocal performances).
There's still the trademark Pulled Apart By Horses crunching riffs and face-shredding screams of course, but elsewhere, there's menacing, darker moments - as well as quite a groove on some of the tracks.  
You take a lot of influence from art and film, it seems. Did this help to shape the feel of the album?

TH: Yeah, art and films always help me when writing lyrics.  We're all big films fans as well, so a lot of the time we will draw inspiration by something that has struck us in a film.  I'm into a lot of Italian horror from directors like Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci, so it's a given that there's some references to their work that pop up throughout the album!
Another thing for us was to experiment with sounds more, as we had more time in the studio.  We used vintage amps, record stuff to tape and spent hours building up fuzzy guitar feedback and other atmospheric sounds.
Dynamically, we wanted things to have more of a groove.  I think we were all listening to a lot of Pixies when writing, as you can here that loud-quiet-loud dynamic.  It takes a lot of confidence to strip things back sometimes! Especially when our initial reaction to something is to make as much noise as possible!!

FC: I can definitely hear (and see in some vids) a lot of that creepy horror influence in some tracks.  
We love the fuzzed-out sound, and of course, the kinda 90's sounding chorus pedal!

TH: Haha, you can't beat a Big Muff fuzz along with a Small Clone chorus pedal. You couldn't get any more 90's than that!

FC: On the new album, the likes of the no-nonsense 'Skull Noir' and the brooding sounds in 'Weird Weather' and 'Grim Deal' pack a hell of a punch.  Elsewhere on the record, there's more radio-friendly moments in Hot Squash and Lizard Baby.  
Blood packs a heck of a lot in.  Do you think the eclectic nature of the Blood will open the gates for new fans?

TH: Possibly / hopefully.  We will just have to wait and see.  The best thing would be to still be able to please our old school fans, but open the door to some new faces too!
I know people aren't going to be into all of it, but with it being a bit more eclectic - people can hopefully go on a bit more a journey when listening to it.

FC: I'm sure you'll please a lot of people with the new record.  There's moments where I'm instantly transported back to hearing the Pixies, Jesus Lizard and Mudhoney for the first time, but in a Pulled Apart By Horses Way - and there's definitely baselines that you can't help but dance to!

TH: Haha, awesome! Well you definitely ticked the right bands off the list for me then. And Rob's head will definitely be growing another inch after that bass line comment!

FC: You definitely haven't lost that powerful trademark PABHs noise...but it's channeled in other ways with 'Blood'.  Has it changed how you want to work with older material when you're playing live?

TH: The new songs are great to chuck in all around the set.  The brooding, slower tunes work really well to slow the pace down and give people time to recover after the more intense parts.

FC:'s like asking you to pick a favourite child, I know, but what's your favourite track off the new record, and why?

TH: Oh jeez, that's a hard one! I like so many for different reasons!

FC: My (current) fave is Skull Noir. But I'm sure it'll change!

TH: For me I think Grim Deal was the first song we wrote together when I listened back to it and thought 'Fuck! What the hell is this" as it was completely different to anything we had done before, and happened fairly early on in the writing process.  
I also have a fondness for 'Skull Noir' as it was the first song I wrote after Tough Love. It's the first child syndrome I think!
But I think the other guys will have totally different songs that are their faves!

FC: Before you go, are there any words of wisdom you'd like to share with our readers?

TH: Erm... any words of wisdom...


TH: Don't be afraid to be a weirdo.  Throw yourself into everything. Make mistakes. Life's too short to do nothing. Eat pizza. Don't eat yellow snow. 
Buy our fucking album... please.

FC: Haha, good advice. And yes, kids, BUY THE ALBUM!
Thanks so much for talking to me today, Tom.  We'll catch you soon for a pint of Blood!

TH: YES indeed! The beer better be good now after all this, haha!

FC: I'm sure it'll be a total dream.  Good luck with the tour, and the album of course!

Pulled Apart By Horses release their third record, Blood, on September 1st - on their new label Best of the Best (through Sony/RED).  The singles Hot Squash and Lizard Baby are out NOW! Check them out at

You can catch the fellas on their festival warm-up dates in the UK before they play Reading and Leeds festivals:

Mon 18th Aug - Kasbah - Coventry
Tue 19th Aug - Bodega Social - Nottingham
Wed 20th Aug - East Village Arts Club - Liverpool

Then their special competition-winners only gig at Leeds' Brudenell Social Club on August 29th (check our Plus One Magazine post for how to enter), before they're off to Paris, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Amsterdam on the Doc Martens Stand for Something Tour, and back to the UK in November, coming to Manchester, Glasgow, Brighton, Birmingham, Bristol and London.

Phew. Hard work or what? All that's made me thirsty!  Fancy a pint?

Do you like the idea of these music/ beer collaborations? Have you had any favourites in the past? Who would you like to see brewing?  Let us know in the comments below.