Interview – PEERS

A few weeks back, [edit] radio named Reading based indie rockers PEERS as our third Rising Talent to follow.

Last week we caught up with the Berkshire based quartet, about what they’ve been up to over the last couple of years,  what’s it like being on the same management group as Alt-J and what fans can expect in 2013:

The first big break you guys had was to play the BBC introducing stage at 2010s Reading & Leeds Stage, what have you guys been up to since?

We were all pretty excited about playing Reading and Leeds and what would happen after, but realised the best option was to finish off our two years of college and sixth form. Use the time to develop without any pressure into the band we wanted to be, making music we were 100% happy with and playing the odd show in Reading. We didn’t want to rush into releasing anything and regretting it a couple of months down the line, it’s likely what you put on the internet stays there for a very long time.

Demo ‘Nightdriving,’ featured on BBC Radio Berkshire and was then featured by NME, is that sort of response exciting?

Yeah it’s definitely a cool thing that people have enjoyed our music enough to write about it or play it, but as an artist there’s never enough that could be happening. Our ambitions stretch beyond BBC Berks or the NME, I saw it as a really great start for us to push on from.

You’ve released a steady stream of demo’s via Soundcloud, can fans expect an LP anytime soon?

They can definitely expect some more music soon, although it won’t be a full-length just yet. It’s something we’ll start thinking about next year I’m sure. We’re just concerned about building a following who would listen to the album and making the stories to put in it at the moment.

In previous interviews you’ve named Bombay Bicycle Club as an influence, are they still a band you look to or have you moved on?

They’re definitely a band who’s output we still love for sure, but they probably aren’t as influential on us as they once were. They were part of a cluster of bands we all listened to at the time we were forming the band, with Bombay it was their age that connected with us as well as the music. I think they helped dispel the assumption that a young band is shit, which in a way helped us do things, like try and play shows in bars and lie about our age.

From you’re Facebook feed I noticed that you guys like a bit of Justin Timberlake. Are their any other pop/R’n’B artists you like?

Haha yeah, we’re big JT fans. Not in an ironic way or anything, it’s just that his two albums have been on repeat in the car when we’re on the way to shows. And yeah, definitely, we’re not snobby when it comes to pop music. Although a lot sounds the same and tons of artists have joined the bandwagon, there are some gems out there. We’re fans of Rihanna, Beyonce, Bieber in the charts but as a band we’re much more into the new wave of R’n’B and Hip Hop. I think we listen to artists like Odd Future, ASAP Rocky, Frank Ocean, The Weeknd, Kendrick, AlunaGeorge, Kanye and JayZ and all the rest much more than ‘guitar bands’ at the moment, it just feels fresher.

Chris Mentioned that he’d love to play on Jools Holland, what bands who you like to share the show with?

Yeah we love that show, there needs to more of its type. A good line-up with us would probably have Arcade Fire, Bruce Springsteen, Bowie, Frank Ocean, AlunaGeorge and Alt-J. A good mix of old and new ha

You’re signed to the same management as Alt-J, what did you think of their album? And would like to win the Mercury yourselves?

The album is a really great achievement. We heard it quite early this year and knew it was strong, I couldn’t get enough of it but had to wait until the release before I heard it again. Though the Mercury Prize was an awesome surprise, it always felt like the album had the potential for something like that, it definitely warranted the favourite tag. It would be nice, but I won’t lose any sleep over it. I don’t know if we’re that type of band, a nomination at best. No-one writes music for awards, you write music for yourself in the beginning, and if someone likes it, it’s a miracle, and if you get an award from it, it’s an amazing bonus.

I grew up in the Reading area myself, so know the live music scene there really well. Where are your favourite venues to play?

Our first shows were put on by Sid Siddle in the Rising Sun Arts Centre, effectively a room in an old house, so we always like going back to there, it’s got a great atmosphere. We always find ourselves in the Oakford which is fun, it’s a nice place. Our favourite is probably South Street Arts Centre, it’s not used enough but its got a great sound and is pretty big.

I noticed that you played a New Slang event in Kingston, that night is linked to Banquet  Records, an amazing independent store in the same town. Are independent records stores places that you like to spend your time?

I’d be lying if I said yes. There aren’t a great number to choose from in Reading but we usually pop into the Oxfam music for cheap tapes and records. Most of our music listening and discovery is on the internet at 2am.

What do you hope for over the next year for PEERS? 

We want to play more shows, release more music, go on tour, think about an album, think about a film, pursue our other interests in aid of the band, in short, be rockstars.