The Pineapple Thief – Interview
Graeme J. Baty had a quick chat with Bruce Soord about the 2019 UK tour ahead of their appearance at Newcastle O2 Academy on the 20th March 2019.
UK and European tour is imminent. What kind of setlist can we what can we expect? Mostly new material or will you explore the back catalogue too?
It’s mainly songs from our last two albums since Gavin Harrison joined on drums. But we’ve thrown in 4 or 5 old tunes too, which have been great fun to spruce up.
Latest album Dissolution came out last year. How’ve you found the reaction to it?
We are all really pleased! Although I’ve learned not to trawl the web to check out comments as it’s can really mess with your head and put a downer on your day.
It feels like a very densely layered album, I keep hearing new things with each play, which is amazing! Are the songs crafted in the studio or is it more organic?
Thanks. Come to think of it, the way we craft our songs is pretty organic even though there is a massive contradiction in how we go about it. We are all working remotely in our own studios, but we connect daily using the internet so it’s not as sterile as it sounds. Gavin and I work together closely in the early stages of songwriting. It’s basically like having a jam together in a sweaty rehearsal studio but without the pressure of coming up with something killer instantly. I am sure many bands will relate to the ‘30 minute jam in E’ syndrome when trying to write together on the spot.
2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the band, is this correct? Will there be any special event to celebrate? What has been the highlight of the 20 years?
It’s a bit weird because this all started as a very small solo project, and remained so for many years before things started to get going (including getting a band together to play live). I never focussed on ‘making it’, I was just obsessed with making music. Signing to Kscope in 2007 was a massive moment for us, as was Gavin Harrison coming on board in 2015 when we recorded ‘Your Wilderness’. Gav has a lot of fans and a lot of them seemed to relate to what we were doing together.
Although the band has been going for some time the time feels perfect for The Pineapple Thief. Do you feel that you’re gaining a wider audience?
Absolutely – we can see it when we tour. More and more people are turning up. I was chatting with the guys about it the other day. How many bands do you know that finally break through after 12 albums and 20 years? We certainly played the long game.
There’s a very depressing political world in the UK at the moment and the material sounds stronger than ever. Dissolution seems to have evolved in this in this environment. To me, it feels like there’s a lot of escapism in the music and the lyrics. Is this something that influenced the record writing process?
Absolutely. Everything that has happened in the world over the past 2 years and how it has played out over social media and online blogs and news sites has been really disheartening. I am still hopeful we will look back on this era and realise it was a disaster but thank god we all saw sense eventually. It can’t carry on like this surely?
Gavin Harrison seems to have injected some creative magic has his input influenced the material and your own songwriting?
It’s great having someone like Gavin as a writing partner. He comes up with creative ideas I would never have considered, which is a songwriter’s dream (when you are all on the same page). And having one of the best drummers in the world in your band is certainly a positive!
Any shows on the tour that you are really looking forward to?
Bristol is the last show of this run and it’s as close to a local show I am going to get for me. There will be quite a few familiar faces in the audience. Come to think of it, that will freak me out. So maybe it’s the one dreading the most!
What got you started as a band? And what was the pivotal thing that got you into music?
When I was 13 or 14, I went to my mates house. His dad had a massive record collection. Mainly 70s rock and prog rock. We spent the day playing records on his fancy turntable. That got me absolutely hooked on music.
How would you describe your music to people? And how has the sound evolved over the years?
I just say ‘rock’. Over the years it’s become more defined and musically we’ve all got a lot better at our art. Apart from Gav maybe as he’s been at the top for a long time…
Name the first record you ever bought?
‘Eye of the Tiger’ 7 inch.
Name the album that you’ve played to death
‘Sea Change’ by Beck
Name the first gig you attended
I used to love going to local gigs in my hometown of Yeovil. It had a very vibrant scene in the 90s. I think my first ‘proper’ gig was INXS!
If you could be in any band, past or present who would it be?
Supertramp I reckon… Or maybe Duran Duran when they were superstars.