Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Purling Hiss : Interview

Mike!  Nice to meet you thanks for chatting with GG!  What’s it like over in Philadelphia right now?

Hey! It's about 37 degrees and sunny! Other than that ok. Good vibes

There's you, Kiel Everett and Mike Sneeringer in the band - there's a strong history of amazing bands made out of three members, what do you think makes power trios so unique?

Power trio's are unique. It's an interesting, and not always easy way to have a dynamic in a band. With a 4 piece it seems more conventional to have a lead guitarist and rhythm guitar player. I've always have 3 piece bands. I think its really interesting to interweave guitar and basslines together, and also to take on both rhythm and lead guitar duties. Less is more!

Just listened to your recent Daytrotter session - it's got me super excited for your London show at Fuzz Box in May, what are you looking forward to during your trip to Europe?

Besides coming back, i'm looking forward to going to a lot of new places. We're really excited about going to Spain, Denmark, Norway to name a few. 

Your new album ‘Water On Mars’ comes out soon on Drag City – how did you come to work with them?

Yep it'll be out real soon. I'm proud to be putting it out on Drag City! I've been in contact with them over the last few years, they liked the older stuff i released, and when they asked Purling Hiss to do a record, it was really exciting.

I wanted to ask about a few songs, how they were recorded & what inspired them, they’re some of my favourites on the record - "Mercury Retrograde" & "The Harrowing Wind"

"Mercury Retrograde" was a more straight-forward recording, that really captures how we sound live. With "The Harrowing Wind", there was an extra guitar arrangement you can hear pretty clearly. Those songs were written around the same time. "Mercury Retrograde" is more of a play on everything sort of being out of whack, and on the fritz.  Light-hearted sardonic tune, while The The Harrowing Wind has a darker theme going on. There's definitely some range between light and heavy subject matter through out the album.

How was recording with Jeff Ziegler on 'Water On Mars'?

Recording with Jeff was great! He really did a great job of capturing our live sound. Adam Granduciel from The War on Drugs also helped produce the album. 

Were you still involved in the engineering/recording of ‘Water On Mars’ at all?  For some reason I imagine it must have been strange to have someone else filling that role after you’d done that for so long…

Definitely. Jeff did the recording/engineering and i helped produce. It was collaborative.

How did you find working in Uniform Recording studios as opposed to at home?

It was a great experience that i was ready for. At home, it's just me jotting down ideas, and limited resources and knowledge (which does have cool results sometimes). But now that im working with a band, going into a studio was the way to go. And Jeff did such a great job of making it sound huge and not over-producing it.

This new record sounds more high-fidelity than previous releases, I was wondering if using a 4 track initially was sort of…. making the most of the resources that you had at the time, that is to say, was working in a studio something you’d envisioned for Purling Hiss?

I didn't know what to expect for Purling Hiss when i first started recording. It was just a way for me to document my ideas at the time.

Am I right in saying your songs sound like they're kind of structured out of extremes?  I hear lots of opposites, loud/quiet, abrasive/smooth, acoustic/electric, dissonant noise/pop melodies -  I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about that?

Yea, this time around i wanted a well rounded album that catches different aspects of how i write, which isn't just heavy loud guitar all the time. I do like that the most, but i also wanted to mix it up a bit.

Do you prefer playing or recording?

I think its definitely a tie.

What's the most memorable show you've played to date?

That's a touch question! Well, most recently- playing with Dinosaur Jr. earlier this year was really amazing.

How would you spend your ideal day off?

Playing my guitar ALL DAY!

Anything else coming up in 2013 from Purling Hiss we should watch out for?

Not sure when this will be published but we'll have a new music video in the next couple of days for "Mercury Retrograde". Other than that we'll be touring in support of the new album for most of the year.

“I’m full of dust and guitars” – Syd Barrett, if you were sliced in half what would be inside?

Gilded Guitar Guts!

Fuzz Box May 16th
@ The Dome (White Fence, Mikal Cronin, Purling Hiss & The Pheromoans)
£10 - Tickets are here

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