Our Interview with Pumarosa

interveiw with pumarosa

Pumarosa is a band from London, who have recently released their debut single “Priestess” in late October and is available via Chess Club and Mom + Pop/Mermaid Ave. The five peice band; of members Isabel, Nick, Henry, Neville and Tomoya, are ambitiously taking on london. Playing festivals and gigs  they are getting lots of people to move to their “industrial spiritual”jams. The band has released the video to the single and a limited 12” record so they are ready to play.

We got a chance to talk to band members, Isabel and Nick. When the two answer the phone the are both so polite. These two have a great energy and are so funny. Hearing these stories and their experiences about playing live so far, getting gigs and planning release parties, was all very intruiging and very fun. It was a pleasure to chat with these two,

Northern Transmissions: How are you guys

Nick: Doing pretty good we were playing a show last night, which was fun, we were playing at this thing called Community Festival and it was good. It was fun!

NT: So that festival is in London?

Nick: Yeah it’s in London in 3 or 4 venues and there’s lots of bands booked.

Isabel: We were playing with The Japanese House and some other guys who are very complement

Nick: Dreller

Isabel: Yes Dreller! Japanese House was like the main attraction.

Nick: The big guns.

NT: Cool that you got to get in some festival time. Are you guys finished up with your tour?

Isabel: With Gengahr, well, I think now they are in Europe, we didn’t go into Europe with them but the English bit of it is finished. 

NT: So now that you’ve done this festival do you have any other plans?

Nick: We are playing a gig with the band Shura. Do you know Shura?

NT: Yeah I seen her music videos.

Nick: She’s kindly done a remix of the song we released. So I think she contacted us to do that and a couple weeks ago she called and said do you want to support me I’m playing in Birmingham. So that’s the next live performance which is happening in December.

Isabel: The remix is now on soundcloud too! Anyway another one we want to do after that, well, is going to be a sort of belated single, party release thing. Obviously the single was released a last week.

NT: Yeah?

Isabel: Yeah, we’ve just been quite slack at organizing it though. It will be a nice chance to just have a party  with everybody that’s been into it and our friend’s that have supported us. I think it’s the nice thing to do

Nick: Small and sweaty.

NT: Definitely! That’s awesome. And this is your first single! The debut release!

I+N: Yes

NT: I admire that you guy’s made it 7 and a ½ minutes long! You the whole song was really sweet I think it was a great first song to put out.

Nick: Yeah we weren’t sure whether it would be a good move and I think it was and in hindsight people loved it as long as it was, kind of building and hypnotizing. But we were kind of worried to an extent I suppose, you know is this a good move to put out, you know, a 10 min track. But all of our tracks are like that. The end up being long.

Isabel: We do seem to have quite long songs. It’s quite nice though because there is actually a radio edit but no one on the radio has used it yet they and just play the full version.

NT: That’s perfect! So you guy are working on more songs, any plans on a full album release anytime soon?

Isabel: Definitely. We are gonna go back into the studio with the guy that we recorded the first single with, Dan Carey. We are going to go back into the studio with him in December. We are going to record a bunch of stuff and then hopefully out of that we’ll get the next single and then hopefully an album next year sometime.

NT: Nice I definitely want to hear more from you guys!

Nick: Well, we are hoping maybe February or something for a single.

Isabel: Yes, hopefully another single in February or March. And then hopefully an album, not too soon after. (everyone laughs) I mean sometime after!

Nick: Basically time. Sometime.

NT: You guys are labeling your music Industrial Spiritual, is that something that you were aiming for when you started the band or was that something that developed on it’s own?

Nick: Definitely it came afterwards, after we explored the sound a bit. We didn’t really start with that as a leaving off point. It wasn’t that theoretical.

Isabel: I think it’s like, when you’re living in a city, and we live in London, it’s a mixture between life as pretty grimey but in amongst that there’s beauty and mysticism happening or you can make it happen. The reality is London, it’s this dower place but out of it comes magical things.

NT: Do you guy’s write a lot of your music inspired by a lot of things that happen in london?

Isabel: For me a lot of the words I write are about experience and my life is here. There’s kind of a tension between the city and nature and your mind and the physical reality of those things. So I guess that’s the sort of Industrial Spiritual.

NT: For sure, so you guys also have a sort of limited edition record out with “Priestess” on the A side, what’s on side B?

Nick: Side B is an improvisation that we did. We went to stay in Italy

Isabel: At the cinema

Nick: Yeah! at the original Cinema, a friend of Isabel’s has an old cinema so we drove out there with all our equipment and set up and spent 2 weeks.

Isabel: It’s kind of derelict. He’s just inhabiting it and making it into a new space. It’s still pretty raw but really beautiful.

Nick: We had everything set up and in the space we really liked the acoustic. We did a lot of improvising and at the time we were recording and that was the song… did it have some words? It happened pretty spontaneously.

Isabel: Yeah..

Nick: That song we’ve just never been able to play again and it just had this relaxed bit to it.

Isabel: After we kept trying to nail it to get it to a polished thing and it never worked. So we just thought that the really long recording of it was the only time it ever ‘happened’.  You can even hear his dog barking in it.

NT: Nice, so very raw! This is what happened! In the moment!

Nick: There’s no real overdubs, it’s not really mixed thoroughly, it is of the moment. Captures a bit of the atmosphere.

Isabel: and you can kind of hear the space, I know that sounds like a weird thing to say. There it’s enormous, like a whole auditorium, it’s a cinema and you can hear that. People have said that. The vinyl came out on Friday and people have reported back and said that you can actually hear the space, which is what we thought but glad it carried over.

NT: Yeah it’s probably got a nice acoustic airy vibe.

Isabel: Yes it’s a beautiful acoustic. You know, we had like mics positioned all around the hall, not just the instruments.

Nick: Two of the guys spent like two days just wandering around with microphones getting really nerdy and we were just like “we want to play”.

Isabel: Yeah, or like we want to go to the beach

Nick: They just spent hours on end.

Isabel: Neville from the band who plays guitar and Tomoya who does synths they are really into producing and recording.

NT: Yeah as a band you and Nick met first and then brought in Henry and Tomoya and Neville

Nick: Yes we had sort of been playing for a while and just by chance and playing gigs and watching other band we gradually found other people. So we found henry first, I think he was l think he was living with me

Isabel: (laughs)  you found him in your own house!

Nick: in my own house!

Isabel: Oh yeah because he was trying to run away, to portugal, and we made him come back and be in a band.

Nick: I gave him a call while he was in portugal, working on a chestnut farm, having a really good time drinking wine and sitting by a fire, and I was just like “hey Henry we’re gonna start a band, (laughs)  you’ve got to come back”. But I think he was up for it because he did actually do that.

Isabel: Yes he was!

Nick: It was really nice.

Isabel: Amazing.

Nick: I’m curious if he’s had doubts about it in the past when we just started

Isabel: That’s so funny, I never think about the fact that they might have had doubts.

NT: You’re video is out, when did that come out?

Isabel: It came out last week as well.

NT: Your sister did the choreography in it right?

Isabel: Yeah choreographed it and then she’s the girl performing in it as well.

NT: Ah ok cool so it’s like both of you sisters dancing and jamming out

Isabel: She’s a professional dancer but since we were, well, not even old enough but like 14 we were always dancing and partying and stuff. She’s just such a joy to move with. It’s amazing, but you’ll be in a room with everybody just standing around and she’ll start moving and every one will begin to move too. She’s really exciting to be with. Also for me, seeing her perform is the best thing. The song is kind of about her so it kind of makes sense that she would be in it.

NT: That’s perfect, and then who filmed it?

Isabel: Holly Hunter. My best friend Kitty just finished studying at Goldsmiths Art School and Holly was in her course. So she’s kind of just graduated and she’s really really good. and so I met her through this mutual friend and yea, she was up for it, I played her the song. She liked it. She showed me some of her videos and we did it. I didn’t want to work with someone who exclusively did music videos, I wanted it to have more of an art background. i think she did a brilliant job.

NT: I suppose filmer’s can be too picky or polished.

Isabel: When I began the process I was trying to find other music videos to show how they are, you know this is what i like. But it was pretty hard, I guess it’s not something I’m that keen on as a format but a few people do do it really good. I think, you know, we didn’t have a really big budget so we kind of had to make up something of our own.

NT: Yeah I think it works, definitely. So like you guys have collaborated with lots of artists in different fields, dance and film. Playing with that other musician that did the remix for you. What’s your opinion on the collaboration aspect?

Nick: I think what we’d love to do is like a joint show or a live thing. That’d be amazing maybe grab another band and do a sort of one off performance where you both set up and make something together. I think that would be really exciting I know that Bo Ningen and Savages did that and they kind of put in a more artistic context. So something like that could be really great. there’s a band called flamingods who are quite hard to pin down because they live the dream in Dubai and London and so they are never really around but I think it would be fun to do something with them.

Isabel: It’s very psychedelic, euphoric, repetitive sort of ethno dance music.

Nick: I just don’t know but if we’d combine the bands it might be quite predacious.

Isabel: I think it would be great! I think it would be better to do it in a party context rather than an art gallery.

Nick: yeah

Isabel: Or like maybe it would be really fun to actually have a party in an art gallery. Sometimes when musicians go to an art gallery they get really still, but, you don’t have to be still in an art gallery. It might be fun to do something really kinetic and mental.

Nick: Yeah get some movement

NT: Yeah you could totally work with the space of the gallery too.

Nick: Yes

Isabel: Could be really interesting!

Nick: With other collaborations we’ve got some remixes, some good and some other ones not so good. I mean the Shura one is pretty great, I like that she’s done her own thing with it.

Isabel: Yeah it’s very feminine, quite slinky and pop and in a way that’s great because we would never do that and she’s taken it and put it in this other format. Also she’s cut up the lyrics a tiny bit so now instead of saying come to me, she has remixed it to say come to bed (their both laughing)

Nick: it’s very funny.

Isabel: quite sexy

NT: Haha clever, very cool. Do you guys have any other things you want to talk about?

I+N: other things..

Isabel: Well we really want to come play over there in Canada and the States. So some people have been talking and trying to get things organized.

Nick: That’d be a lot of fun.

Isabel: I think for us, we love playing live and that’s where we really get to connect with people so we basically want to come play over there. Just having that little taste of touring and supporting Gengahr was great and we recently just played London Calling this festival in Amsterdam and it was so exciting. Just playing in a different country was a real buzz. And for you it would be interesting because you are in a different culture.

NT: For sure. I heard London Calling went really well.

Nick: it is really great, they have two stages so the change over never takes any time. One band is playing while the other is setting up. As soon as the band is done downstairs you can go upstairs and see someone else. It really works, it’s a beautiful space.

Isabel: And they were all so nice. There’s this big room downstairs where the artists could hang out and we sneaked in some of our friends as well and everyone is just in there. You know, Kurt Vile is in there too, really fun, really cool.

NT: Very cool. So lastly, 5 records you are listening to.


Scott Walker old or new scott walker


Nick Cage – Push the Sky Away

Talking Heads- Stop Making Sense

PJ Harvey

Interview by Nova Olson