PHOTO CREDIT: Hollie Fernando
SOUTHAMPTON’S Pale Seas are being tipped as…
PHOTO CREDIT: Denis Forkas Kostromitin
one of the most exciting and unique British guitar bands around. The group – with a line between words; a real bugger to get right on a computer – talk to me about their anticipated album, Stargazing for Beginners. Jacob Scott (singer and guitarist for the band) fields most of the responses and talks about the band’s development and why the band fell off the radar – just as things started to get exciting for them. I ask Scott about the influences of Pale Seas and what is coming in the approaching weeks; whether we can catch them on the road – and how it feels knowing the album is out there.
Someday, the latest single, is out there so I ask what it is about and what it means to them. The band select songs and albums that hit them hard; Scott explains which new artists we should investigate – and what it was like working with Chris Potter and Paul Butler.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey. We’re really good thank you. It’s been a great week so far.
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
So. My name’s Jacob Scott. I sing and play the guitar. On electric guitar, we have Graham Poole; on bass is Matthew Bishop - and on drums is Andrew Richardson.
We play music together in a band called Pale Seas.
The lyric video for Someday is out. Can you tell me about the song and what inspired its creation?
Someday was written over a two-year period and we probably demoed it more than any other song on the record - around one-hundred times in total. It was recorded in three different studios before we finally felt we had the right version - in a medieval abbey on the Isle of Wight.
At its core; it’s an attempt to free myself from the pain of losing someone that I loved - and the struggle I had to accept: the reality of day-to-day life after losing them.
Stargazing for Beginners is your long-awaited debut album. Has it been fun putting it together - or was it quite a challenge?!
I personally would have felt pretty strange if it wasn’t a challenge: it’s one of the things I enjoy most about writing music. In my own experience, the music I like most - and the work I am proudest of creating - has been suffered for.
It doesn’t come easy and there’s always been something quite dark about the thrill of writing those kinds of songs for me.
I believe you were due to release the album a while back and went off the radar. Why did you guys disappear, as it were, and delay the album?!
We wanted to try and make something great - that’s all that’s ever really mattered to us. I feel very proud of us all for making the record we have but we’ve never seen getting an album out as an achievement.
it just had to be great to us...
Does now feel like the perfect time to release it? Do you think the hiatus has been good for your music?
Having the time away has allowed us to create something that reaches the level we set in all of our heads when we first started playing music together. I wouldn’t change a single note on this record. We don’t really pay much attention to how long it takes because people don’t know how long it’s taken when they’re listening to it - they just know if they like it or not. There was no great pressure for a Pale Seas album to come out.
To us, the pressure was making sure that when it did, it was special.
PHOTO CREDIT: Hollie Fernando
The sounds running through the album is quite dark and deep. How much of that is down to producers Chris Potter and Paul Butler?
I think it needs to be inherent in the music in the first place for it to be enhanced...but, what both Chris and Paul do wonderfully well is frame and define the songs. They have an unbelievable instinct for the scale and emotion too: it just flows through them both.
We love them both so much.
What defines the songs on Stargazing for Beginners? What sort of moments and themes compelled the music?
I think (I thought) if I could show, someone, how much I loved them that they might come back - that’s what I thought this record could do. It’s a document of the way I thought I was navigating a period of my life, but in reality, I had absolutely no control whatsoever.
How did Pale Seas come together? When did you all hook up?
Graham, Matthew and myself met at college in Southampton and Andrew, we met on our first-ever night on tour playing with another band (several years ago). I remember all three of us were watching him play and he was hitting the drums so hard that his kick -rum was moving across was bouncing across the stage.
He had to keep on wrestling it back in time for the chorus…it was incredible.
Give me an insight into the artists you were all raised on? Which musicians and albums did you grow up listening to?
Jacob: There we so many people that influenced my taste when I was little. My mum was, and still is, huge on Marc Bolan and T. Rex - and my dad used to take me to see Dinosaur Jr. whenever they were over here. He turned me on to the Dead Kennedys, The Lemonheads; Nomeansno etc. My grandad used to play me a lot of Eddie Cochrane and Gene Vincent in the car, too. I used to go crazy for that stuff. I remember my uncle was very into Leonard Cohen, The Cure and Van Morrison, as well.
Graham: My mum grew up in Liverpool in the 1960s so there was a lot of The Beatles and The Hollies in the house, too. Then, I got into playing guitar - so it was nothing but Jimi Hendrix for quite a while.
Do you have any future gigs planned? Where can we catch you play?
We’ll be playing our biggest run of shows to date in November:
Thursday 16th - Leicester - The Sound
Friday 17th - Manchester - The Deaf Institute
Saturday 18th - London - Paper Dress Vintage Bar & Botique/London in Stereo
Thursday 23rd - Brighton - The Joker
Friday 24th - Sunderland - Independent
Saturday 25th - Leeds - High & Lonesome festival
Saturday 25th (late) - Middlesbrough - Westgarth Social Club
Sunday 26th - Nottingham - The Bodega
Wednesday 29th - Birmingham - The Sunflower Lounge
Thursday 30th - Glasgow - Hug and Pint
IN THIS PHOTO: Goat Girl/PHOTO CREDIT: Charlotte Patmore
Who are the new artists you suggest we check out?
Alex Burey would probably be top of my list. He writes the most beautiful, delicate; soulful music I’ve heard in years. I’ve fallen in love with every one of his songs...a very special guy.
Goat Girl are really exciting, too (lovely people, as well).
The new Gengahr tune, Carrion, is also really great.
IN THIS PHOTO: Genghar
If you each had to select the one album that means the most to you; which would they be and why?
Jacob: It would be Gene Clark – No Other
it still leaves me speechless - and I’ve listened to that record more than any other over the last four years. A beautiful ride.
Graham: Forever Changes by Love - for a couple of reasons.
It was the first time I’d heard so many different styles and elements marry together so seamlessly on one album. It was Psychedelia, Pop; Folk, Rock; Orchestral and Wild West sounds - all rolled into a selection of beautifully written songs. But, mainly, because hearing it for the first time also coincided with me moving to London for the first time - and listening to almost nothing but Love for an entire autumn...so it always puts me on a huge nostalgia trip.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Jacob: Nolan Porter – If I Could Only Be Sure
Graham: Joni Mitchell – Carey
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