I was lucky (???) to catch up with Evs (l guitar/b vocs) and Freaky (bass/b vocs) from Pearler after their ear blasting set at the Station 18 Festival in Swansea.
PD: How would you describe Pearler as a band?
F: Piss artists… By far the hardest question to ask any band.
AE: Especially us.
F: We’ve had some unusual ones back from interviews, we’ve had stuff like COC, we’ve had Alice In Chains…
AE: Early Guns and Roses
F: Yeah, we’re looking at the guy and Andrew’s going okay, I’ll definitely smoke what he’s smoking.
AE: We’ve been called Stoner-Glam??
F: If you have bleached blonde hair and a bandana…you’re Glam.
PD: Well that’s you, but what about the rest of them?
F: Well, those hairy bastards are just coming along for the ride.
AE: I don’t know, we’re just mates that play.
F: Well, after we got tagged with Stoner-Glam in one interview we thought it was hilarious, so we started running with it then. So, we started ‘hash tagging’ everything with it, but if you actually search for ‘Stoner Glam’ on the instergram all you’re gonna find is a lot of Beverley Hills women smoking weed, cos it’s ‘Stoner’ ‘Glam’.
PD: Who are your musical influences and who or what inspired you to take up music?
AE: For me, to pick up a guitar it was Curt Kobain. When I first got into music, it was something I’d never heard before. And just the ferocity of him playing, it just got me hooked and then I got into the heavier stuff of bands like Megadeth and it just snowballed from there for me.
F: Well, believe it or not, I don’t really want to say it, but it’s old Wendell Kingpin mon. Seriously because me and him grew up on the same street. We all grew up on the same street, well loads of our mates grew up on the same street and he was always 10 years older than I was.
PD: When he was in Powder and bands like that?
F: Yeah, well I was roadieing for him when he was in Powder in the late 90s, but my brother and sister were heavily into rock and metal because they all hung out on the street, thanks to Wendell and his brother Andy and all of the crew so I got into rock and metal from the very beginning.
AE: It’s like when you’re growing up and you see a live band from somebody who is in town, like for me it’s Grayskull.
F: Ahhh the old-school boys.
AE: Yeah, it’s local boys as well.
F: When you can see your own boys ‘doing it’ like. If he can do that, I can do that.
AE Grayskull, Sons of Thunder, stuff like that. And still to this day. I go and watch Suns Of Thunder and I think oh my God these guys are like still amazing.
PD: It’s knowing that it’s possible, it can be achieved.
F: Absolutely, believe it or not my brother was in Wendell’s first ever band back in 1992 called Backlash. He was just 12 years old playing the drums at that point. So, like I said it’s always been a massive part of our family. I was carrying his equipment when I was 10.
AE: That’s why you play bass.
PD: What’s your favourite song to play live?
AE: I know what yours is (Freaky). Yours is Golden Times.
F: I do like a bit of Dunk…we’ve got working titles for all of our songs, so when you think of Golden Times you head back to when we recorded the song.
PD: Yeah, I’ve looked at your set lists and thought what song is that.
F: Orrgghh that’s hilarious, when people are taking our setlist to write a review on, they haven’t got a bloody clue what’s going on, cos it’s all our names for the songs.
PD: What about you Evs?
AE: I do enjoy playing Radical Eyes, cos it’s probably one of the best songs I’ve written.
F: They’re so all about the solo.
AE: But there’s Fortified, Fortified is a great thing to play, but it’s hard to kick off to it cos it’s not in and out of time it’s more in and out of a mosh like.
F: Yeah, it’s one of those timings that you can’t go full mosh, you can’t go half mosh…it’s it’s…
AE: We didn’t play it tonight.
PD: You played it at the (Swansea) Arena though?
Both: Yeah, yeah.
F: Well that is the very first song that we have written, first recorded, first for everything…first video. That is basically the core basis of Pearler is that song. That’s how it all began.
AE: I think that these days playing Sports Clothes Crimes is a good tune.
PD: You always play that last.
F: Yeah, cos it’s got that thrashy edge to it and the ending of it too, we can make it huge like this is a finale. We did actually open with it at one show and I nearly did a Steven Tyler and walked off the stage. It was like “Where you going” I’m like oh shit, we’ve got another 6 songs to get through… never again.
PD: What are your thoughts on the reaction that you got to the Belter and Another Belter EPs?
F: A lot better than I thought. Our band is we’re all old heads, we’ve all done the circuits, we’ve been in signed bands, we’ve done roadieing, we’ve done all the bits and bobs. So, Pearler was just basically a bunch of lads, just having a laugh.
PD: You’re not in it for the money of fame.
F: God no.
AE: We’re not even looking for that contract, nothing like that.
F: It’s all about us having a giggle. As you can tell by our song titles, as you can tell by our persona, as you can tell by everything we do.
PD: And our original interview?
F: Yeah haha. So, we were a bit umming and arring about releasing it to the main public. To our boys, they got it straight off the back, cos there’s a lot of in-jokes and all that kind of crap. So yeah, we were really, really surprised at how well people took off on it and I still, I still think they’re lying.
PD: Any plans for some new material?
F: Yes, we started doing pre-production on the new EP during the first Lockdown in 2020 and obviously as with every band, everyone’s having difficulties doing what they need to do at the moment, so we’re there at the moment.
AE: So we Pre-Pro’d it and put everything on it and sat on it for a bit because we didn’t know what was going on or where we could go to rehearse or whatever and to be fair, we’ve gone back and we’ve got to Pre-Pro it again. Because we sat down and made a ton of notes, like we’ve got to change this and need that, and I think we’ve got just the one song left to finish?
F: Yeah, one more to have a little mess about with. Hey Ev’s, that’s what Pre-Pro is for.
AE: Exactly, so we’re gonna finish that gong and we’ve got a couple of gigs coming up.
F: That’s been our main problem, since we came out of the gate after Lockdown and everything, because we’ve agreed to so many shows that happened over Lockdown, we still haven’t booked a new show this year, they are all ones that have just queued up. We haven’t had time to really sit down and go through doing what we need to do, cos we’ve got to get ready for shows. So, we have got a bit of a break now in 2 weeks. So, we need to tighten the nut and it should be a bit of a change to the old material, we’re a lot more pissed off, just put it that way.
PD: What is the most important thing that you’ve learnt from recording the 2 EPs?
F: Well, this is the first time that we’ve used Pre-Pro believe it or not?
AE: Yeah, it is, before we just used to jam the songs and record them.
F: One of the big things that we loved about when we first got together is how quickly we were writing tunes and to a point even though, don’t get me wrong, it’s not the most professional way of doing it, but we just wanted to keep that core element of how it sounded when we wrote it.
We’d go into a practice, 2 practices later, we’d have a full song, solos, breakdowns, chorus, everything, even lyrics, everything’s done.
AE: Everything was just natural.
F: We actually recorded Belter and Another Belter together on the drums and the bass. We slammed I think it was 12 tracks out on the day and then we went “Right we’ll cut this down now and do 6 and 6.” So, we did the guitars and vocals on the first 6 and went back about a year later and slammed down the rest of it.
But we wanted to get it out quick, to sort of show how we were writing ourselves. Like, slam it out – Bang! We didn’t want to sit on it or tighten the nut, just get it out.
AE: They were just raw tracks and we wanted people to hear that. You can listen to the tracks from the EPs now and there’s nuances that we do live that are different, like certain parts of the solos parts of Wendell’s vocals …
F: When IT came to doing this new EP, we wanted to sit down and go right, let’s … go on a little bit of a position …we’re acting like an actual band now.
AE: We’ve got a ballad on the new album!
F: Yeah, so if we play it live, we want to see lighters…
PD: What’s next for Pearler?
F: We’ve still got a shed load of shows to do.
AE: Yeah, we’ve a couple of definites next week, the week after we’ve got Collateral, then we have…
F: Just throw me in the van and I’ll get there.
AE: Then the Metal To Masses final, the Bloodstock thing. Blind Divide are on there too.
F: I hope we play before them, have you heard Blind Divide? They are cripplingly good, incredibly good. If we’ve got to follow them, I’m going home.
PD: What is your favourite type of venue to play?
AE: I don’t think there’s a favourite for me, I just like to play.
F: For me, it’s all about the stage sound. Matt here at Hangar 18 nails it, I love playing here. You can tell from our performance when we have good or poor stage sound.
PD: Are there any bands that you’re looking forward to sharing the bill with?
AE: I’d love to play with Skid Row, which we were supposed to play with at HRH, but it got cancelled to Covid.
F: Well, we know the boys pretty well through years of gigging, so it would have been really nice.
AE: We need to play with Valhalla Awaits.
AE: Cos obviously, we know Andrew (vocals), he’s Gareth’s brother and we’ve got to know Rhys (guitar) and Snoz (drums) and the boys and it’s like, they’ve just got together, we need to play together.
F: Yeah, 100 per cent.
AE: We need to do a lot of shows together, we need to go on tour together.
F: Yeah, cos you have Florence Black, Valhalla, I don’t want to put us in the same category as them, cos those guys are way more professional than us. As far as sound is concerned it’s not the same genre, but we can get away with a close enough fit. It’s that area.
PD: Each band’s fans would enjoy the other acts.
F: Yeah, they’re no too dissimilar, but they are gonna blow your bloody heads off.
PD: Would you say that eating cheese before bedtime helps with the song-writing process?
AE: If I hear that speech before a song again, I’ll cry.
PD: At least I stopped him saying it all today.
AE: To be fair Pete, you saved the day.
F: That was absolutely magic, outstanding, you’ve got to let the crowd know what you did today. Brilliant.
AE: The timing was brilliant.
PD: I actually Google searched ‘Susan Boyle in Bondage’, so if anyone ever checks my search history…
AE: You’re in trouble.
F: I could sort you out with that t shirt if you want.
PD: Err best not.
I feel that I should explain the meaning behind this last question:
Every time Pearler play the song Desert Slut, Wendell Kingpin introduces the track with the story of how he must have had some cheese before going to bed. He explains how he had this dream about being in the dessert and a beautiful (??) woman invites him to a bar in the middle of this dessert and son… Now, I know that the band are a teeny bit fed up of this story, so I hatched a plan to do something about it. I checked the setlist and noticed it was track 4, so at the exact time that Wendell started to introduce the song, I thrust this picture in his face.
PD: So, where can people learn more about Pearler?
AE: Everything is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify. It’s all Pearlerband …
PD: Pete’s Rock News and Views???
F: That one too yeah.
AE: It’s the usual socials.
F: But keep your eye out on our YouTube channel, we’ve got a lot of new videos coming. A lot of live gig footage, things that we’ve done over the years. So, we’re feeding that out bit by bit.
AE: There’s a lot of like the Bloodstock, we’ve only got the one from Bloodstock on there, but there’s another 3 to come.
F: Don’t tell them what they are.
AE: No, it’ll be a surprise.
PD: Thanks for taking the time to chat today, good luck with the upcoming gigs and the new EP.
F: Cheers Pete, thanks foe all the support you give us.
AE: Thanks Pete.