After premiering their new video, we thought it’s only fair you found out more about them.
How did you meet?
The earliest incarnation of the band was a studio project that Vern and Si put together to scratch a psychedelic blues itch. Andy joined in 2008 and Chris was found lurking on the internet in 2009.
How long have you been playing as a band?
This line up have been together since 2009. It’s been a long and eventful journey and we’re really proud of everything we’ve done so far, each release has been a step in our evolution, but we feel like our new album Fantasy Reigns is a leap forward in terms of originality and energy.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Our first guitarist (Steve) inadvertently named the band just before our first gig when he announced that “If this doesn’t work out then it’s the Pearl Handled Revolver for me”.
What are your influences?
We all have wildly different musical tastes and backgrounds, so it would probably be quicker to list the music that none of us like, but that would be churlish. Ultimately, this band is the melting pot for our various obsessions with all things psychedelic, soul music, weird movie soundtracks, prog and experimental electronic stuff, dance music and heavy rock.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
It’s music for the head, heart and feet. We’re definitely hard to pigeonhole. We’ve never tried to conform or stick to any particular style. If you believe in something then, ultimately, you become beholden to it and we’ve always wanted to retain the freedom to go wherever our inspiration takes us; rather than produce music that is acceptable within the boundaries of a genre.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Absolutely. In most cases, each album’s theme will manifest itself from the first or second song written. In the case of our latest album the first song to reveal its secrets to me was “In My Blood”. The lyric for this song was inspired in part, by the poem Thought Fox by Ted Hughes.
It struck a chord with me from the first read. On the surface, a description of the writer’s block we all experience as poets. But beneath the symbolism and dark undertones is a glorious description of his very thoughts emerging from the wilderness. The dark, musty truth. “In My Blood” explores my own need to find the darkest, primordial drive that lies behind our daily existence, in order to write anything at all…
Dark and broody until it reaches full pace, this opener encapsulates the ‘thought fox’ behind Fantasy Reigns; do we retreat into fantasy worlds of social media, fake news and tribal nostalgia out of denial or have these distractions become a convenient way to keep us abiding by a failing status quo? Don’t we all need the wilderness?
Now that’s a theme…
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We like to put on a proper show! Wherever possible we use projections and a full light show to create an immersive experience for the audience.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Arriving for our first official booking to find that the audience was comprised of numerous celebrities including the late, great Jon Lord, Ian Paice and Melvyn Bragg!
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Andy tends to favour a Gibson Les Paul into Fender amp combo but he is sometimes seen with a Telecaster.
Simon uses a multitude of vintage keyboards including Hammond B3, Farfisa, Vox organs plus Rhodes and Clavinet, he also provides the bass & even the accordion when the mood takes him.
Chris isn’t fussy and will try to use pretty anything that comes to hand as a drum, he has also played some guitar on the album track Machine Gun… an SG and an acoustic….
Lee is the lead vocalist and plays harmonica and does a mean solo on various branded tambourines.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
Our new album Fantasy Reigns is out on July 5th. We can’t wait for people to hear it and go on a trip with us! It’s inspired by and a reaction to the world around us. We live in troubled times, full of political, social, environmental, even technological turmoil and it’s hard to know whether we’re at the eye of a storm of our creation or just being tossed around in the Chaos that is existence. So, the album definitely has an edge to it… there are no ballads! But there is hope in there.
What are your plans for 2019?
We’ve been putting together a tour to promote Fantasy Reigns and you can get all the details from our website, or you can subscribe to our YouTube channel or follow us on facebook, twitter, bandcamp… we’re very Google-able!
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Well, we are actually going to be lucky enough to have one of our favourite bands Ken Pustlenik’s Groundhogs guest with us at our album launch show at Esquires in Bedford on 6th July…. That’s a pretty special opening act as we are all massive Groundhogs fans. It is highly likely that our good friends from Stray will join us for a few songs too. If we were to be the middle band then it would have to be something encompassing high energy, psychedelic vibes with music to get the crowd dancing, we think that King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard would make it a night to remember.