The new album from Pulled Apart By Horses has now been out for a few weeks, titled ‘Tough Love‘, it features the current single ‘V.E.N.O.M‘ for which they recently gave a video clip. We caught up with bass player Rob Lee this week in The Hotseat. Expand this post to check out his answers. ‘Tough Love‘ is available to order online now [Here].
Name : Rob Lee
Band : Pulled Apart By Horses
Job In Band : Bass and Vocals
Website Address : www.pulledapartbyhorses.com
Hometown : I’m from Sheffield originally, but I’ve lived in Leeds for a long time. Everyone in the band is from different places all over the country, but Leeds is our home now.
Hometown is best known for : There’s a great creative and music scene there, especially in the area we live in, LS6.
Best venue in your hometown : The Brudenell Social Club. It’s legendary. It’s kind of an old working mens club, that’s also been turned into a gig venue, there’s a great mix of old local types and weirdo students all getting along.
Favourite show you’ve seen in your hometown : I went to see Hot Snakes recently, that was pretty epic because they had been split up for years and I never thought I’d get to hear those songs live.
Favourite show you’ve played in your hometown : Again, the Brudenell. We played there a couple of years ago on Halloween and dressed up as Zombie Sailors.
How did the band first come to exist? We’d all drifted to Leeds to go to university and art colleges and just ended up staying there because we liked it so much, then we all met through the local music scene and going out drinking. When we first started out there was no ambitions to be a big band or to do it full time, we just did it for our own enjoyment and to make the kind of music we wanted to hear. It’s all just grown since then, we’ve been really lucky and we’ve just kind of been swept along by it all.
How long has the band been going? Longer than most people think. We started in late 2007, so just over 4 years.
Any particular story behind the name? We started out practicing in this ace pub called The Packhorse, we were there all the time, drinking, playing and just hanging out. It became the home of the band. Literally. Members of the band moved in to the flat above it at different times. We wanted a name that would pay tribute to the place. Then James our guitarist came up with Pulled Apart By Horses, and we thought it was a fitting name. We then figured out later on that it’s the name of a rare Radiohead B-Side, Reckoner (Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses) and James is a total Radiohead geek. So he’d blatantly just stolen it from there. He tried to deny it for a while, but his plans were foiled when Thom Yorke released it after we’d been signed. We’d claimed the name as our own by then. It’s a ridiculous name really but we’ve really grown into it over time.
What’s your most recent release? Tell us a little about it… Our second album ‘Tough Love’. We recorded it with legendary Pixies and Foo Fighters producer Gil Norton. It feels like our first proper album in some ways. We really knuckled down and worked hard to write and record it. It’s a real progression from the first album, but it still sounds like us. We’ve become better musicians and songwriters over the last few years due to constant touring and this is the fruit of that labour. It was an amazing experience and we’re very proud of what we achieved.
Got a personal stand out achievement of your band to date? There’s been so many, at the moment it’s the new album. It’s our baby that we’ve raised and now we have to watch it go out into the big bad world. One particular turning point early on was when we were first asked to play Leeds festival, which is a big deal in the UK. We managed to pull a really good crowd, and it showed us that we could actually turn this into a full time thing. It gave us a taste of what we could achieve if we work hard enough.
OFF THE STAGE
What was your first introduction to music that made you think seriously about playing it? I was really lucky because my parents have always been into music. My dad gave me all his Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and old Prog Rock records. They got into stuff like AC/DC and Aerosmith with me and were always supportive of my love for rock music.
Any particular band / album or song that you personally credit as a major influence? Well like so many people, for me Nirvana changed everything. They are the main influence that everyone in our band shares. When I was a kid listening to stuff like Led Zep, it was pretty obscure, none of my other friends had any idea what it was, so it felt quite private, my own little world that was almost make believe. When I started hearing Nirvana on the radio and on TV, I thought fuck, this is real, they’re normal guys and they’re doing this now, maybe it’s something I could do one day.
Your first band name, and what style did you play? We were called PYG (Polite Young Gentlemen) We played sort of Trashy Garagey Mod stuff. We were actually very influenced by the Australian band You Am I.
Most prized music related item you own? Although I play bass in Horses, I’ve actually been playing guitar since I was really young. One of my first proper guitars, my Grandad bought me when I was about 13. It’s a Fender Jazzmaster, I’ll keep that thing forever. It’s what I use to write songs on and it stays firmly at home.
When you’re not doing band related stuff, what are you usually found doing? Well, I’m always doing band stuff, even when I’m at home I’m always playing guitar and recording new ideas. Tom and I do all the artwork for the band so we’re often busy drawing and doing design work. Other than that I like cooking whenever I’m at home, and staying up all night watching horror movies. I saw a cool one recently called the Loved Ones. We’re away on tour so much that when we get home we just become like little hermits.
The thing you most look forward to just before a tour is… Although it’s nice to be at home, we soon get itchy feet and want to get back on the road. It’s our job now, our purpose in life, so I start feeling a bit lazy and useless if I’ve been home for a while. We’re off on tour in Feb for a month in february to play the new album around the UK and Europe. We’ve been practicing loads and we’ve got a point to prove. It feels like we’re ready for battle.
The thing you least look forward to before a tour is… You have to leave your family and friends and loved ones behind for a while. You always know it must be hard for them because it seems like we’re just off having a good time all the time, but we really miss them too. It just makes it all the more sweeter when you get home and you feel like you’ve been out there and achieved something.
ON THE STAGE
When on offer, what’s your one must have item on the rider? Whiskey. Preferably Jack Daniels. Can’t live without it.
Most memorable show you’ve played? and why? Okay. This is gonna sound like I’m being a total fucking suck-up, but honestly we got to play in Australia last year and it was a dream come true. It’s been a life long ambition of mine to go there, I never thought I’d be able to afford it, but to be able to go and play gigs over there was a total honour. Even the flight was fun because we got free booze for 20 hours and we just got hammered in the air. We felt so at home there and we hope we go back soon.
Got a favourite song to play live? Well I have to be biased and say ‘Shake Off The Curse’. It’s a new one that I wrote, it means a lot to me, and the festival crowds really get into it.
Any embarrassing on stage moments come to mind? Too many, mainly falling off stage drunk. I once fell off after the mic hit me in the face and when I got back up, the guitar tech went to tape my mic back onto it’s stand and ended up taping my hair to the mic stand and I was just stuck there til the end of the song. There was one gig when it was so hot that we all stripped down to our underwear and some dude pulled James pants down and his willy was flapping around mid solo. The list is endless…
Any pre-show rituals? Drinking whiskey and jumping around shouting ridiculous shit at each other and the stage crew. Tom usually throws up and then I hug him to make him feel better and stop shaking.
What do you find is the hardest aspect of touring in a band today? Well, like I said before, you go away and the people at home think what you’re doing is constant fun. The reality is there’s a lot of boredom and waiting around for that amazing intense hour when you get to play. Also it’s not easy being couped up in a van or backstage with four dudes and a lot of smelly testosterone flying about. We love each other like brothers but there’s times we wanna kick each other’s heads in. It’s an awesome job to have, but to anyone who thinks that being in a band is a constant party, I would say, “well why don’t you do it then?”
Last song you listened to? Ah, today it was ‘Lateralis’ by Tool
Last album you acquired? Tom bought me ‘Audit In Progress’ by Hot Snakes on red vinyl for my birthday. It’s pretty hot.
Which band or album is currently on high rotation? I’ve been listening to ‘Diamond Eyes’ by Deftones pretty much every day for the past year. I’m not really that up to date with the latest trends, but when I find something I like I get addicted to it.
Tell us an up and coming bands or artists you think we should go and listen to right now? There’s an awesome band called DZ Deathrays who are taking the DFA influence and completely owning it and carrying it forward. Turbowolf are part of the future of British rock. And if you like down and dirty no messin’ music check out the Irish band La Faro.
What’s on the cards for the next few months for the band? Touring, touring, touring, getting drunk and touring.
You can pick any one album for your band to cover in full, what would it be and why? Probably ‘In Utero’ by Nirvana. They are the main influence that unites us and that’s their best album. We’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves concerning covers for this year.
You can pick any one band / artist to cover one of your albums in full, what would it be, and why? The Bee Gees, because it would be hilarious to hear a Gibb version of Tom’s and my attempt at harmonies. Also there’s more pop to our music than most people would reckognise.
One band you wish you were able to see live but never had the chance? Obviously Nirvana, I don’t think I have to say why.
One venue you have yet to play that you would love to? We’ve actually played all the venues we wanted to when we were growing up. All the legendary venues in England, we’ve managed to do them as a support band. I guess the next step is to try and headline those venues.
The chance comes up to fill in for a member of a band for one tour, which band would it be, and why? To be honest I wouldn’t want to be in any other band than my own. It’s who I am and what I’ve chosen to do with my life, so I’m sticking with it.
A headline tour overseas comes up, tell us two bands you’d take along to support your band. Well, we’re off to Europe for two weeks in February and we’re taking Turbowolf and The Computers
Any last words? Our new album ‘Tough Love’ is out now. Buy it so we can afford to come back to play in Australia.
Pulled Apart By Horses – Tough Love – Buy online now [Here].