Ahead of the completion of the U.K. leg of their tour to promote their latest album “The Haze & The Curse of Papa Lulu”, we caught up with Pulled Apart By Horses before their homecoming show at Brudenell Social Club in Leeds. Darlings of the Leeds music scene, which brought them together in the first place, we chatted to lead singer, and guitarist, Tom Hudson and guitarist James Brown pre-gig to discuss their unique song names, hiding from European Police and their future plans.
Intrigued by the title of their latest album, and especially by older tracks like “I Punched A Lion In The Throat”, I wanted to know where the band name came from originally and where they come up with so many quirky and unique song titles. James started by explaining where the band name originates from “it’s a lyric from a Radiohead track that never got released, but then it did get released.” Tom then tried to talk us through how he comes up with the track names. “I dunno sometimes I will just like come up with a name and then it just ends up sticking. Like we will have an idea for a song and we will be jamming it about and we will give it a stupid name, or just come up with something at the time, so we can remember what the song is and then after a while we just kinda grow into that. Then we are just like right we can’t call it anything else because it’s just stuck.” James added “It’s almost like a tagging system isn’t it? it’s like you write a song and then you give it a tag.” Tom then took us into more detail and shared with us some ideas for future track names and lyrics. “In my phone I just have a list of really fucking random things. When I come to do lyrics I just sorta like pick and choose from it all like some weird fucked up puzzle. My mind just works backwards.” Tom then gets his phone out to share some of this crazy list with us. “I’ve got one that’s like lyric ideas and I’ve got one that’s just called random that’s got stuff in it that I haven’t got a fucking clue where it has come from. Vanilla Isis. Keith Moon looked into a spoon and his face become Pete Townsend. Living with vegan Yoda. First weed problems. Pizza Sutcliffe, that was an idea for a craft beer pizza joint based on serial killers and rapists. Funny 8 days later. Yeah…there’s too many.”
Pulled Apart By Horses have recently released their fourth album, “The Haze & The Curse of Papa Lulu”, and the guys went into a bit more detail about the themes within it and how it differs to their previous release “Blood”. Tom began by telling us about the recurring themes. “A lot of the lyrics on the new album have a bit more thought behind then, you know they are still kind of tongue-in-cheek in parts. The Haze is just like that feeling whenever I wake up, I’m like nocturnal and whenever I wake up in in the morning I spend about three or four hours hovering around in a haze, and it’s kinda like about getting through that and shaking it off a bit. It’s still got a bit of a feel of kinda what we have done over time, you know it’s got stuff from the first album that’s a bit more immediate, and stuff where we have gone with our guts a bit more.” James added “Not that ‘Blood’ was unnatural but ‘The Haze’ feels like it’s a bit more natural. We went away to write some songs, in like a dairy farm in Wales, we cut ourselves off from everything to just write music for the enjoyment of it. When we did it we didn’t have like management or a record deal or anything at the time so we were kinda like free in a way, we didn’t have anyone breathing down our necks. It was a chance to just go back to square one and not over think everything.”
To listen or buy “The Haze & The Curse of Papa Lulu” check out these links.
Finally talk turns to memories of some of their crazier, and funniest, times on tour. James was first to regale us with his memory of Tom doing himself a serious injury at Leeds Festival in 2010. “I don’t think Tom realised but he jumped down to the barrier, off the stage, and then came back onto stage. He was totally fine, just playing away, and then he went in the crowd. I remember looking down at him and I was like ‘oh my god what’s that?’ He had blue jeans on and the whole of his leg was just red with blood. So I think he had smashed his leg when he jumped down, and smashed his shin open. So he hadn’t realised and he was crowd surfing in the crowd and basically just bleeding on everybody.”
Tom then tells us about the time when they were both on the run from the German authorities. “When we were in Germany once I remember us getting really stoned, we were on tour with Future Of The Left at the time. We were staying in this weird little youth hostel thing and we were a bit giddy because it was one of the first European tours that we did, and we were a bit wasted. We had this little balcony but you had to climb out of our window to get to it. So we were just stood there, like having a drink and smoking and stuff, and then I just went off for a walk and ended up walking over all these rooftops. I don’t even know what the fuck I was doing, I’m scared of heights as well, but I started climbing up this weird balcony that went up to a rooftop terrace. James came out to try and call me down but then it turned into James deciding it looked fun and he joined me. And then somebody on our balcony smashed a glass on the floor so the Police turned up. We saw all these spotlights and me and James were just on this balcony, hiding. Eventually they pissed off so James decided we should go back to our room as if nothing had happened. We both ran down and jumped through the window, I got into bed fully clothed but James accidentally stepped on all the broken glass. The Police were knocking on our door and the first thing he thought to do was pretend he was having a shower, he got a flannel and wrapped it round his naked body. He was like ‘yeah they will think I was having a shower and they won’t suspect anything’ but there was a trail of blood from him to the window. Then I remember they separated us and they were shining torches at us and they were asking what we were doing, but my only bit of German that I really knew was entschuldigung which means sorry. So I just said we were in a band and we were English, then they burst out laughing and said ‘yeah fine’.”
To find out when Pulled Apart By Horses are coming to a town near you have a look at their website.