Exposure: 80s echoing synth-pop from Glaswegian trio Prides
- Alex Caslano
- 24 February 2014
The trio specialise in big, anthemic choruses a la Tears for Fears, Roxy Music, Genesis and Talk Talk
Already one of the most talked about bands of 2014, Glasgow trio Prides have wasted no time in taking their euphoric synth-pop to the masses. Emerging early last year, their debut single ‘Out Of The Blue’ was playlisted by Radio 1 and they were also invited to play the BBC Introducing Stage at Reading & Leeds. Citing bands like Tears For Fears and Talk Talk as influencing their sound, you can expect more than a hint of 80s grandeur in their music, with recently released EP ‘The Seeds You Sow’ packing some serious power. Vocalist Stewart Brock gets us up to speed:
You’ve only just released your debut EP, but already Prides are attracting some very positive attention. How did the band form and when you started making music together?
Myself and Lewis have been in bands together for almost ten years now. We drafted in Callum originally to help us play live as we were functioning as a two-piece at the time. Gradually he became more involved in the writing process and we decided to become Prides.
There’s a strong 80s appeal to your sound with powerful arrangements and big, anthemic choruses; what bands from that era would you regard as inspiration?
Tears for Fears, Roxy Music, Genesis, Talk Talk; they all had a big influence on the kind of music I wanted to make. I really liked that bands in the 80's weren't afraid to be a little overblown. There are so many great anthems from that era; how can you not want to scream 'Don't You Forget About Me' along with Simple Minds? Or 'You're The Voice' along with John Farnham?
Obviously there’s an electronic aspect to your music, do you have certain processes for getting down the foundation of a track? Are you using software programs and writing melodies on your laptop for example?
Lewis does all our recording and production from his home studio using Logic. We like a lot of the Native Instruments synth plugins and are big fans of Effectrix by Sugar Bytes. Vocally I work from the piano and then record with Lewis.
It seems like there’s a really nurturing and supportive atmosphere for new bands and artists in Glasgow at the moment; do you recognise a sense of community and enthusiasm for making music in the city?
The history of music in Glasgow is undeniable, and there's certainly a community here unlike any other that I've known. Not being from Glasgow originally I was really surprised that bands and artists are so supportive of each other, and it's actually a really nice thing to be a part of.
You’re heading out to SXSW in March followed by a short but fairly extensive US tour; how does it feel to be heading out to the states so early in your career?
Yeah we've been massively fortunate. It feels like there's a real British Invasion happening in music over there just now, which is perfect timing for us. We've had a lot of support from the states from quite early on so it'll be amazing to get over there and see how people react.
You played some fairly high profile gigs in 2013 including the BBC Introducing Stage at Leeds; did you spend a lot of time getting the live element of the band right and is touring something which you regard as a priority?
Absolutely. Being a studio-based band it took us a while to really nail down how to make it work in a live environment. We all have a history of playing in punk/rock bands, and we wanted to keep that kind of energy and intensity while adding those electronic elements. Playing live is really important to us, and definitely something that we want to do more and more of. You have to be able to connect with people, and the best way to do that is being right in front of them.
It seems like everything is really picking up momentum at the moment; how do you see the rest of the year panning out? Will there be a few more EPs before an album?
Well we've got the EP release planned, loads of touring, probably another EP before the summer, get ourselves along to some festivals and see where it leads. But yeah, we're planning for 2014 to be a good one.
Prides play alongside Aidan Moffat and Miaoux Miaoux at SWG3, Glasgow, Sat 1 Mar, and with Vigo Thieves at O2 ABC, Glasgow on Sat 29 Mar. Their debut EP, ‘The Seeds You Sow’, is out now on Universal Island Records.