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Interview: Pales (+ New Video)

Interview: Pales (+ New Video)

Wednesday 13th July, 2016 2:44PM

Wellington alt-folk outfit Pales bought their second album Don't Be So Nice to life last week when they played the whole thing from cover-to-cover for Eyegum Wednesdays at San Fran. Just before the three-piece hit the stage, Eyegum contributor Sophie Scott-Maunder had a chat with the band to learn a little more of what their all about. Check out their new video below, have a read, and then suss out the line-up for tonight's Eyegum show...

Hi guys! You’ll be playing your latest album Don’t Be So Nice in its entirety tonight. Thanks for coming! Easy question, who is Pales?

Rose, Scott and Mike!

How has it been preparing the entire album for a live setting?

Scott: Harder for some people than others.

Mike: Me being the one who it was hard for because we sort of changed it up. We’d been doing it as two guitars and three vocals and maybe a little bit of clarinet ever since Pales started. We’ve been doing some of the songs on this album for ages and wanted to change it up. He made me learn them all on keyboards - which is hard.

Scott: A lot of the time there were too many parts on the album to perform how we would normally be doing it which is kind of why Mike is playing lots of synth and keyboard stuff now so he can play several lines at the same time.

Mike: I’m the best [laughs].

Scott: And that’s why Cory and James are joining us tonight as well.

What are they doing?

Scott: Cory played drums on some of the tracks on the album so he’s doing a lot of the same stuff. James is doing lots of ambient and secondary guitar lines that I wrote as well as melodic lines that were written for the piano.

Mike: He’s got a guitar solo too.

Pressure's on! So for the uninformed, can you tell us a bit about how Pales came to be?

Rose: We first came together because Mike had a bunch of songs he wrote and he wanted to jam them with Scott and I. From there it developed into us bringing our own songs to the rehearsals as well. That’s how we ended up with the concept of Pales - which is essentially each of us working on our own album. Mike did the first album and we performed it as a trio. Don’t Be So Nice is Scott’s album. And now I have an album to go.

What other acts have you all been associated with in recent years?

Mike: Scott and I played in a band called Fuyuko’s Fables when we were together at jazz school. I play in a band called Groeni, Rose plays in a band called Ida Lune and Scott plays in a band called Zero Cool - which started a week ago.

One of the first things I noticed when I listened to the album were the beautiful vocal melodies, not to mention the accompanying harmonies. Were there any artists who influenced the sound or style of this album?

Scott: A lot of the songs I had wrote were quite old, so it goes back quite a long way. One of the songs called 'Up It Goes' has heaps of vocal stuff going on and odd timing. I was listening to a lot of Dirty Projectors and was trying to get some influence from them. I had also been thrashing one of Angel Olsen’s albums for a year which coincided with me working on most of the album. She probably influenced me a lot. But at the same time taking inspiration from local artists like Seth Frightening and other friends of ours who play music as well.

I'm intrigued by the title of the album. Is there a meaning behind Don't Be So Nice or is it a cheeky quip of some sort?

Scott: I don’t know. It’s probably a little bit of both. I think I got sick of people telling me that I was being too nice at the time. That’s when I wrote the title song, which is a bit confusing song lyrically. Nobody likes the nice guy but really - be nice. People should be nice [laughs].

Now it’s your turn to write an album Rose, no pressure! What can we expect from the third Pales album?

Rose: Good question. I have a bunch of songs that we have been doing for ages that we haven’t recorded. So I think when I revisit them, the ones that we have done I think i’ll probably want to play them a little differently than we’ve been doing them. So I don’t know yet. I’m not sure what I’m going to with them yet. It’s a surprise!

Tonight's Eyegum Wednesdays show at San Fran features musical entertainment from The Pussywhippers and AMY_cin. Head over here for more information.


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Eyegum Wednesdays: The Pussywhippers and AMY_cin
Wed 13th Jul 9:00pm
San Fran, Wellington