Pale Waves – Interview 2017

Pale WavesManchester’s Pale Waves look like the next ‘dead cert’ to make it to the top of the indie music tree. With huge support from The 1975, including Matt Healy producing their debut single ‘There’s a Honey’ and directing the music video ‘Television Romance’, a record deal with huge indie label Dirty Hit and adoring fans, they’ve got the whole package to send them to super stardom.

How’s the tour been?
Amazing, so far pretty much every night has been sold out. We couldn’t ask for a better reception, especially as it’s our first headline tour. It’s been nice to really met the fanbase of Pale Waves because we didn’t know who they were!

Are people singing the songs back to you?
Yeah, especially as we only have two songs out but there’s like hardcore fans that have done their research. It’s been incredible.

You’ve got King Nun on tour with you for the second time. What’s that been like?
They’re lovely guys, they’re a really great band and they’re a really great opening band because they get everyone super excited straight away.

Any wild nights?
Not really, we’re trying to keep healthy because if you drink too much you’ll just waste yourself away. We’ve had a few drinks, like here and there, but nothing major. We’re trying to write an album.

Are you doing it on tour?
Yeah, well you can never stop really.

Some people have to move away to write an album?
Yeah, some people find it difficult to write on tour, and it is because you’re trying to find time constantly, but I think we’re doing an okay job of it.

So when’s the album going to be ready?
Next year we want it to be. I think it will be out next year, I just don’t know whether it will be towards the end of the year or middle.

And you’ve got an EP out before that?
Yeah and that’s like nearly finished. We’re hearing the final mixes for the tracks whilst being on tour.

Is this one being produced by Matt Healy too?
No, we’ve gone our separate ways after doing the two songs.

How was the tour with The 1975?
Yeah, it was incredible.

How was Madison Square Garden?
It was just mental to do our first ever tour of the U.S. with those guys because the venues and the places and the people were just incredible.

How did the American fans react to you?
Really great. We met a group of girls who came to every show, I don’t know how they did it but they did and they were really lovely and we’re basically friends now. So I’m really excited to go back and do our own shows because they’re gonna come too.

Going back to Matt Healy, were you ever worried that you would sound too much like The 1975 and people would pigeonhole you?
I think these days everyone sounds like The 1975. Just because you have some 80s influence and some funk guitar you’re labelled as The 1975. It’s because they’re such a popular band and the most relevant band in this time so it just doesn’t bother me. I just find it really close-minded when people are like “Oh you sound like this, you look like this”. Why do people have to compare so much these days?

How much of an influence would you say that Healy had on the singles?
Well, what you hear now is what we gave them. And then they just produced it, like the technical sides like the EQs (Equalisation), the frequencies and effects. They just made it sound better. It’s like if we gave it to any other producer.

How have you found the reaction to the singles?
Amazing. It’s absolutely insane. People are very welcoming to the tracks, it just really connects with people, especially with the ‘Television Romance’ video.

You did that with Matt Healy too, what was the filming like for that?
It was great, it was easy. He’s a really good director. I think he’ll be good at it in the future. He’s a very talented man.

So, you’re on Dirty Hit. What was it like signing to them?
Amazing, like a dream come true because we were obviously aware of them before and aware of Jamie (head of Dirty Hit and The 1975’s manager) and the roster of artists. It’s a big compliment because Jamie doesn’t take on a lot of people.

But everyone he does is quality and people like The Japanese House are female-fronted. Was that important to you to go for a label like that?
Not really, we didn’t really think of it like that. We didn’t really think: “We need to be on a label that is representative of females” but it helps and it’s a nice thing.

As a band it seems like you just keep on ticking off goals – you were just on the cover of NME – what’s the ultimate goal for Pale Waves?
For now it’s the number one album.

No festival headline slots?
We never really think of that. We just want our music to be everywhere and for everyone to enjoy it and to be perfect to us. That’s the main thing. It’s more about the music than headlining a festival at the moment, but obviously we have goals with shows. Like places we want to play.

What sort of places?
I really wanna play The Ritz in Manchester (their hometown) which is only like 1000 capacity. I wanna play Brixton Academy too, that’s a big one.

How was the Manchester show?
Yeah it was great. It was nice because we saw a lot of people in the audience that we saw at our Deaf Institute show a year ago. That was our first headline show so to see them there and see them now that was really special.

So it’s kind of like a journey?
Yeah, and they’re watching us grow and that’s what they really enjoy.

You played Sound Control on this tour and it’s recently been announced that it’s shutting down. What are your thoughts on that because it’s being made into student housing?
Oh really, is that what they’re turning it into? It’s sad and silly because it’s not like they’re a digital age or other ways to experience a gig. There needs to be more venues, but I guess if nobody’s going to gigs they have to.

So what’s the writing process like? Do you write together?
We start separately and then we come together and hopefully everyone likes it! But yeah, that’s how we usually come out with the best quality. If we’re both sat down trying to get an idea out it’s a bit anti-productive because we could be in completely different moods and it kind of destroys the creativity. We usually work on completely different things, like at the moment Ciara’s working on a track that sounds like a single and I’m working on writing to this really depressive music. We’re like complete opposites and then we switch.

I heard you say that your demos were more depressing than the stuff you’ve release so far. Was that conscious? Do you want to make a happy album?
I think, well, the two singles they serve the purpose of being singles. We want our singles to appeal to lots of people. The two singles are like a snapshot of Pale Waves and when we give out more music we can show a different side of our personality, basically.

Just to finish off, back to the music. When you do listen to music what are you listening to?
I like Vince Staples’ new album (Big Fish Theory) and Brockhampton, such a good album. And I always listen to The Cranberries!

Liam McMillen