Local Music Scene
Darren has a drink with PRE
Public Relations Exercise Q&A
By Darren Loucaides, Guest Contributor
Indie band Public Relations Exercise were in Leicester to do a gig at the Firebug bar, so Darren caught up with them to have a beer and a chat...
I arrive early at Firebug, amid torrential conditions. I ask the formidable looking barman whether he knows Public Relations Exercise. He nods. I ask if they'e there. They aren't. I order a pint and sit down.
They arrive 20 minutes later. Their alternative attire (leather jackets, worn jeans) would have told me this was the band, but they recognise me first.
After intros and a round of pints, the interview begins.
You've just had an album released on 02 April, Come You Are Safe, We Are From The Bombs – are you happy with it?
Lloyd (guitars): Definitely happy with the album.
Tiernan (bass): The release seems like it's been thwarted with problems from the beginning.
We were supposed to be touring the album when it came out, but our booking agent was made out of rubbish. They sent us on a tour in February and they were gonna book another one in April.
But the one in February was so bad – they were sending us to play bar mitzvahs and christenings. And pubs you've never heard of in towns that don't exist.
Everyone goes on about how great the whole DIY ethic is – these people are talking rubbish! Really, DIY’s tough. You have to do everything…
You hear about these idiot bands that get signed for a quarter of a million and they go and blow it all on hookers and throwing hookers out of windows. On cocaine.
But ultimately, it's not your money, you need to make that money back with album sales. If you don't, you get dropped.
We did a lot of it ourselves and it was hard.
What's the album about?
Lloyd (ironically): It's about the war, man!
Tiernan: War on terror! George Bush, man! Not my president, man!
Martin (vocals): I wouldn't say there was an umbrella. People have called it a compilation…
Lloyd: The songs have been written over a long time – some of them before [Tiernan was] in the band. Get The Gun was written five years ago.
No political statement?
Martin: No... Well, the name's from a song; people just liked the phrase. That song's about the war.
It's just the satirical – soldier bombing the hell out of somewhere going: come with us, everything's fine, we've just bombed you last night.
You released it through Field Records. How did they get wind of you?
Lloyd: We pursued them with blanket emails!
Martin: We were on one of the first 7" splits with Ann Arbor. Cats and Cats and Cats and Fight Fire With Water are great bands that I think [Tim, Field Records] likes. Monster Killed By Laser. Score One For Safety. Just really great bands…
Lloyd: We sent the demo and he said we were one of the only bands he wanted to see based off a demo.
Lloyd: Everyone's got their bands they're into and then there's about three that we share a common ground – Blood Brothers, At The Drive In, and Refused.
Leicester's music scene: good/bad?
Tiernan: It has some really great bands and some really awful bands. There's no middle ground. There's a lot of apathy, but I think Leicester's very good.
Martin: The old Tired Irie were brilliant. Her Name Is Calla are great. That guy, with the bald head and beard [the barman] has a thing called Death Of London, a sort of Shellac, big black thing...
Who are your favourite cartoon characters?
Martin: Goko from Dragonballs.
Tiernan: Spotty from Super Ted.
Lloyd: Peppy le Pew.
Martin: Quite a lecherous one!
What do P.R.E have to say that needs to be heard? In other words, why should people listen to you?
Martin: We're earnest in what we do. It's not that we don't want people to like us, we just love how it feels on stage and to be honest, we don't really care what people think of us. We're completely different to anything else around, I think.
Lloyd: We really enjoy what we do, and we've always been very honest about it. We're out to please ourselves, first of all. We want it to be fun. If it's fun and as long as it's honest, people will engage with us.
Tiernan: And there's also our fit drummer.
Expect big things
The interviews winds to a close. A man known only as 'the hobo' joins us, and more drinks are purchased.
The conversation drifts from hopes for the future, to plans for a party that night. I'm invited to join them at a Blood Brothers gig, being told, "you're one of the gang now!" by Tiernan.
P.R.E: a charming, down-to-earth band. It seems doubtful that the immense success they are capable of could change that.
As for the album, it's an ear-splitting train-crash waiting to happen. Expect big things.
last updated: 05/07/07