Thursday 3 April 2014

Interview with Pet Slimmers Of The Year

Image of Fragments of Uniforms (Full-Length Album Digipak) - Limited Run

I have been a fan of today's guest for a long time. We have featured almost every release on the blog in one shape of form or another. I interviewed them way back in 2012. But I thought it was time to catch up with British Sludge/Post-Metallers – Pet Slimmers Of The Year – as a lot has happened since then.

They have just signed to Candlelight Records who have just released their brilliant new album – Fragments Of Uniforms – which we rate very highly here at Sludgelord HQ.

If you're a fan of Pelican, Russian Circles and ISIS then you have to check these guys out as their emotionally heavy Sludge/Post-Metal riffs will leave you a shivering wreck.

I am happy to say that the guys have agreed to talk to me once again. So let's get started.

Q1 – Hi guys. Thanks for doing this. How are things with you today.

A - Perfectly excellent thanks Steve! Thanks for getting in touch with us again!

Q2 – I know I asked you this question last time but for new readers and listeners to your world, can you give a brief history of how the band came about and where it is today.

A - PSOTY came together in 2008 after our previous band dissolved. The other band was more "song" orientated and as the singer left, we decided to start over with a new direction. We started off as wholly instrumental but realised a smattering of vocals really does lift certain parts so now we just do whatever sounds good to us.

Q3 – So a lot has happened since I last interviewed you guys. Being singed to Candlelight Records for a start. How did that came about. A fantastic label doing some brilliant work within the UK Rock/Metal scene.

A - Well, props to our old manager, Adam Mortaro, for tirelessly pushing our music about for the last couple of years for zero money, firstly. The Candlelight relationship came off the back of word of mouth really. After we put the album pre-release up - we sold a limited run of 50 copies only - Darren (A&R Candlelight) emailed us to ask us if we needed anything. We'd been DIY for so long that we'd been looking for a home for the album. We got talking and the rest, as they say, is history..

Q4 – Did you have any other offers from other labels wanting to sign you.

A - We had decent feeedback but a lot of "come back to us in January" or whatever. That's generally how it goes on our limited experience. It's tricky to find a balance between pestering people to be involved with your music and finding people that genuinely want to make something of it. We were fortunate enough to find the latter, and for that we are grateful.

Q5 – Your debut album is about to be released soon – Fragments Of Uniforms. Which we love here at Sludgelord HQ. A long time coming. Was it a hard album to write and record for.

A - It wasn't tricky once we got going, it just took a lot of rehearsal sessions late into the night to actually get going which required a lot of McCoffee. We wanted our debut to be an album that was cohesive and that would flow naturally and feel like it was one big piece of music. Some of the tracks have similar progressions for that reason.

Q6 – Would you change anything about it or are you happy with the final version that is being released.

A - We had that stage of pulling it apart a bit and messing about with it before we came this point but Jonny at Bandit Studios was really meticulous in his approach with the mixing side so even the first draft of it had everything where it was supposed to be and was sounding pretty much how we'd imagined it. We're really happy with it as it is now.

Q7 – You have read our review of the album. How would you describe it in your own words.

A - We'd say it was a great review, haha! It's a light and dark passage through creation, fear, hope, loss, recovery and eventual demise. While the track names aren’t necessarily linked, they all have those elements in common.

Q8 – What was the main inspiration behind the album as it’s a very bleak album at times. It's an emotionally charged album.

A - We could go all pretentious here but it's a semi-concept album around being lost at sea. We’ve always found melancholy music it be generally more emotive so if something sounds a bit "too jolly" it normally gets canned.

Q9 – Was that your main intention to release something that causes a reaction with your audience.

A - Not necessarily. We write the music we want to hear and what makes us feel good. We always said we wanted to be on our own favourite band so we've always been amazed when people tell us how much they like it. We're making the music for us so whoever we pick up along the way is welcome to the 'Slimmers party!

Q10 – What has the reaction been like to your album. As you released this album on CD in Dec 2013 which I bought a copy of. Or are there not that many reviews to choose from.

A - As the album doesn't come out until 14th April (shameless plug!), the reviews are only just filtering in and we pleased to say they're positive and people seem to be into it. The only criticism we get is that some people don't like the band name but we're not concerned about that as we feel the music detaches from the name in any case.

Q11 – Where did you come up with the name for the album. And what was the inspiration behind it.

A - The album title is taken from Manic Street Preacher lyric which we though fitted what we were putting together. We decided to use it after we'd written 'Days Since I Disappeared' as we originally demoed that and an unreleased track called 'Fragments of Uniforms' together.

Q12 – Most people would call you a Sludge/Post-Metal band. How would you describe yourselves.

A - Funny, we had a conversation with a guy a few weeks back and he asked the same question. We answered "Post-Metal, apparently" his response was "Post-Metal?? But metal isn't over yet!!" We normally go with 'Ambient-Metal' although there are so many genre crossovers these days that we could be anything. We're not really into genres as such.

Q13 – Do you perform gigs on a regular basis in your home town or do you have to travel further afield to perform regularly.

A - We very rarely play our hometown these days. We get up and down the country when we can. We're playing a few shows at the end of May over a week or so...almost a tour!!

Q14 – What is the song writing process in the band? Is it a group collective or is just down to one individual.

A - It's always collective. If someone had an idea to bring to practice we'll work on and see if we feel it. Most of our favourite parts come from just jamming bits out before we rehearse a set. If we all go for it then it'll end up on a recording somewhere. The worst part of that is if we not really concentrating and we didn't record it. We lose a lot of material that way, we're ashamed to say.

Q15 – What are you thoughts on the crowd-funding scene where bands and artists ask fans to help fund their latest album, tour or release. Are you fans of this medium. Would yourselves ever go down this route.

A - It gets the money and support directly from the people that want it - in that respect, it's great method. Not necessarily sure it would work for ourt little band but we'll see how the land lies after our debut and if it looks like a feasible option, it's definitely something we'll explore for future releases.

Q16 – What is your live set-up when performing on stage. Any advanced rigs or are you guys have a more straight forward set-up.

A - Not really. We like to keep everything organic when we play live so it's always guitar, bass and drums. The only thing we use a lot are loopstations on the guitar side. We use a lot of ambient loops which are created on the fly as we play and use that to fill out our live sound. Our guitarist has a couple of them.

Q17 -  If you could give any advice to people wanting to start a band what would it be.

A – In our limited experience, we’ve always stuck to making the music we wanted to hear so we’d offer that as the best advice we can give..

Q18 -  Apart from the new album what else do you have in store over the next 12 months or so.

A - We have a few shows up and down the country (details on our facebook page) and we're hoping to get in on a few festivals. We're just going to see where this year takes us and continue to write the next album.

Q19 – And finally, do you have anything to say to your fans.

A - I guess a big thanks for taking your time to listen to us and we're glad that you like what we're doing. Thanks for the support and welcome to the party!

Well guys thanks for doing this. Best of luck with the new album. It's a brilliant album which we really admire here at Sludgelord HQ. Thanks. Steve.

Cheers Steve, thanks again for taking the time to get in touch! PSOTY

Thanks to Pet Slimmers Of The Year for taking the time out to talk to us here at Sludgelord HQ. You can buy Fragments Of Uniforms from here.

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