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Peace talk to us about songwriting, guilty pleasures and tape related tour pranks

Indie | Sunday 22nd March 2015 | Alice

Peace emerged with a bang following the release of several songs from their EP Delicious, and 'Follow Baby', from the In Love album hit number 16 in the charts. Within the short space of three years the boys have performed alongside the likes of The Maccabees, Foals and Tame Impala. I directed the boys to a Wetherspoons, The Kings Tun to be precise, where we all took up a booth for a chat and some traditional Wetherspoons grub. 

As an avid fan and listener of the band I was enthusiastic to delve into the boys' lives. We initially discussed the forming of the band and how they grew towards producing their music before talking about what they remembered of their first performances.

Harrison: Just the other day I went through loads of our old photos, so now I can kind of remember all of them. You know when you see a really young picture of the Arctic Monkeys? Yeah well kind of all those styles, a bit Inbetweeners really. Our first gig was at a friend of a friend’s birthday party, that’s why I guess we came together, partially do that gig. The next was at a pub where Doug was wearing a full Aston Villa kit with a flag as a cape, with another one of us in tartan pyjamas and another in a full green outfit.

You all obviously created serious ripples when you originally formed, as you were quickly signed to Columbia Records and released your EP Delicious in September 2012?

Harrison: People were talking. But Columbia were the first to notice us but they would be at every gig and really took interest. Then others, like Virgin, began to attend but we were already really far along with Columbia relations wise. So when Columbia got their offer out early it felt right.

Dom: It was nice as Columbia weren’t acting cool or playing their cards close to their chest, and were genuinely interested. They were down to earth and straight up.

I can imagine it was a bit of a whirlwind when you began to receive critical acclaim in early 2012? Was it as you expected?

Harrison: We had no idea and didn’t realise it was happening. The only difference we noticed was that more people began coming to gigs. I can remember not wanting to be an indie band but then we were really and were labelled it. I’ve never really understood what makes us indie.

How did the release of 'Follow Baby' compare to your expectations?

Harrison: I didn’t think it was that good. I had a friend who said it was going to be huge but I never really thought of it as that. I guess now looking back it was a big song to put out (makes explosion noise). After that people began to get really into it.

When supporting The Vaccines and Mystery Jets, what were the most precious lessons and memories? Did watching them provide comfort?

Harrison: That was quite early on. The chronology of it all is quite off. Tame then The Vaccines. We just hassled the promoters of Birmingham. All supports at first but that’s how Columbia became aware as Justin wore our band shirt and didn’t realise it was a band t-shirt, so when he realised he pretended he had known, kind of like when people buy a Nirvana top but don’t actually know any songs I guess.

Dom: I guess you always take something from your support bands or whomever you perform alongside.

Sam: I guess that’s the fun of touring really, you learn and take away so much no matter the size of the gig.

I've seen you perform many times including festivals such as Reading where you’ve played the NME Stage and also the Main Stage. You have such charisma and presence on stage, I take it that comes naturally?

Harrison: We enjoyed the Main Stage. As for which stage we enjoyed more they both had different vibes. I think I enjoyed playing later on. If we could play when it was getting darker on the main stage that would be hard to beat. The tent does make it feel darker which is a bonus I guess.

With songs, many people nowadays are used to catchy lines written with minimal personal feeling or any feeling at all. Personally I write about experiences I have overcome, do you like to incorporate personal experiences into the music?

Harrison: For this record it was just about everything being completely honest. Some songs are from personal experience, and some aren’t but it’s just got to be totally straight without any bullshit. That’s my rule. If I feel I need to write a concept song about some characters for example then I just have to do it, although I haven’t done that yet. A lot of observing things. The first album was really personal in places, a bit of a daydream. I wanted to feel more of a human writing this, more observant. A process as simple as possible.

What bad habits appear or are noticeable on tour as well as all guilty pleasures?

Harrison: Doug steals everyone’s iPhone chargers.

Dom: … and he’s a chronic snorer.

Harrison: Everyone’s had iPhone chargers go missing and he’s always had one that go missing before ours. He’ll take it out your bunk or at the venue.

Dom: I guess the answer to that is Doug [laughs].

I have a habit of taking my lighters from my friends.

Harrison: Oh my, they are worth their weight in gold on tour. [Harrison pauses to look over at Dom and ask him what he muttered]. What did you just say?

Dom: Well it was a lot deeper than I intended but our phones are our only connection to real world. But maybe they are the escape from the real world.

Sam: Boyce is back after drinking half a pint.

Harrison: Well I guess for me, although it’s not really guilty, it's Lord of the Rings.

When I announce I had only seen 20 minutes before falling asleep, all look horrified, especially Harrison. We discuss The Hobbit and in short, for all of you who embarrassingly like me haven’t seen either, they recommend watching Lord of the Rings before The Hobbit in case you watch it and go back to Lord of the Rings, as you’ll think it's shit.

I’m hurt when Dom mentions that he doesn’t particularly like Star Wars. They all mock him, especially about being a Fast and Furious kind of guy. I had to agree that Fast and Furious isn’t all bad, and was instantly corrected that the films are great. I guess when you drive an Aygo you can't relate to driving a Ferrari. The conversation turns to mopeds and how Dom has a purple one. The boys laugh about the registration containing the initials BNP and a bumper sticker saying the "ultimate weapon". Harrison declares that Fast and Furious is as guilty as it gets. We discuss Spice Girls and Taylor Swift as well as Foo Fighters. Dom was curious as to the fake money that dropped down at Reading 2012. 

Being on tour with each other must have created some funny moments or memories, are there any examples?

Harrison: We always get asked and say how hilarious things were but we can never remember examples. I guess one would be about our lighting engineer who’d been on tour for most of his adult life was being wound up by Dom. With a roll of gaffa tape he went round the whole of the toilet door on the tour bus when Dom went to the loo. Dom couldn’t get out and was freaking out and going into beast mode. He had been ripping him all day for nothing so got owned.

Dom: I got him back though. I wrapped his iPad with basically a whole role of gaffa tape [chuckles to himself]. Unusable.

Where do you see yourselves in five years?

Harrison: Wetherspoons like now. On tour. 18 nights at Wemberly. On Mars. Dunno to be honest, just more of the same.

After a long interesting and entertaining interview I leave the boys to some peace. The boys ooze charisma and originality,  and genuinely care about what they do. I have no doubt that they will be performing and producing more popular and memorable songs for many years to come.

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