Every time I see Persefone, it’s almost as if I’m catching up with old friends. Having seen the band three times and also spoken with them just as many times, one may think it can be difficult to think of what to talk about. This is far from true as the band continually keep themselves busy and are just as humble as ever. In a small production office located in the heart of Manchester, I caught up on what the band had been up to and also what was in store for that evening’s concert…
So firstly, welcome to Manchester! Have you had chance to look around yet?
Carlos: Not really, everything has been a little tight on the schedule.
Bobby: We went for a walk this morning with our video guy as we are shooting some videos so we went for a short walk around the city. Every morning we try and get some shots from around the cities we are in.
I heard from Lars (manager) that this is day 11 of the tour with no days off.
Moe: Yep that’s right! If it was our decision then we would choose to do all 15 shows in a row and no days off.
Bobby: We are doing this during our vacation so we want to maximise the amount of shows we have. Lars was like, “No we need a day off” but we really wanted another show.
Moe: We tried to book a show in Bristol and then one in Belgium as well but we weren’t able to sadly. We’ll be shooting a video clip that day anyway.
Bobby: It’s technically a travel day as our next show is in Essen, Germany so we are spending most of the day travelling. We’ll be spending the day off in Belgium.
Moe: It’ll be a weird day off as we’ll go to sleep and then we have to wake up early in the morning for the ferry to Calais and then we go to sleep again.
Mark: We should have time to drink some Belgian beer though so it’s not all bad.
Did you have any choice in picking the bands for the tour?
Carlos: We wanted to pick bands that fitted with us and also were able to play with us on this tour. It’s not an easy task but we are really happy with them.
Bobby: The musicianship is crazy and they are super nice guys. Everything goes really smooth.
Carlos: They are really professional as well and don’t party much.
Mark: Lars really knows us and knows what kind of bands we like and who we would gel with.
Moe: Both musically and personally. You’re spending fifteen days in the same environment with them and you need to all get along. So it’s good to find the right personalities and I think both this tour and the last tour have been working smoothly.
Carlos: It’s a job as well and you need to think about the business. You need to be prepared and ready to perform and being drunk or high does not make sense to me. It’s just being professional and both the bands are so professional.
Moe: We’ve got four more dates including this one and then it is back to work.
Bobby: The other work!
Moe: After our last gig, we are going back to Hamburg and then flying back to Barcelona.
Bobby: We are not complaining though as we really are enjoying this tour. It’s been amazing so far and the two bands we are playing with are really awesome. The guys play really well and are really nice people as well. 2 weeks after this tour, we are headlining a festival in Madrid so we have one week off technically and then we are right back at it.
Moe: It’s like usual with the tours. We try and fit in the band around our real jobs and it can be challenging at points. We think that coming on tour is actually relaxing for us as we can escape from reality for a few days. You only have to deal with one thing at a time instead of several things at once. We love touring though so we wouldn’t change anything.
Have you got the lights with you again?
Moe: Yep, we do. We promised to improve the show and I think we have. Carlos has spent a lot of time with our lighting guy to sync the entire show to the lights. We feel that the experience for the audience will be even better. You will tell us though!
Bobby: We are doing our best to improve the shows. We have been rehearsing a lot and changed half of the setlist so the crowd can experience something new. And all the work with the lights I think has really improved it.
Moe: We continually try and improve things. Even now, we are looking at the show and seeing what areas we can continually improve. We are already thinking about what we can try next time.
Bobby: We are constantly learning I think, not only in music but with everything. We like to try new things and it continually improves us.
Mark: It’s also one of the few times we are all together on tour. It’s not so easy with the daily jobs and everything else so on tour we start working things out about the new album and also ideas for future tours.
Moe: We are spending a lot of time with our manager as well. Lars is not only our tour manager, he is also our manager so we get chance to chat with him about our ideas. It’s like the best time for us to start planning for the next 1 to 2 years. I think it’s better doing it in person rather than doing it via Skype and email.
Since we last spoke, you’ve been a little busy in that you’ve been playing quite a few festivals and then you also collaborated with Tim Charles on the new single. How did that collaboration come about?
Moe: We were in Japan doing a tour and it was funny because when we were coming back we were talking about writing a new single because sometimes we have this need to write some new music. The whole year has been a great year with the reactions to Aathma and we were thinking it might be cool to do a new single as something new. During that time, we were also preparing this tour and around that time Tim got in touch with us saying he loved the album and would love to collaborate on something. So we thought, ok we have something that we are working on so feel free to add some violin and vocals to it. I think it came out really well.
Moe: We have several festivals lined up for the summer. We have one in Barcelona and then a small one in Uppsala where we are meeting up with our friends in Loch Vostok.
Mark: We’ll be staying at Teddy’s place when we are there as well.
Moe: And then, we are going to be playing Wacken which is a huge milestone for us. And this is not confirmed yet, but we are hoping to come to the USA soon. As I said nothing confirmed yet but we are looking into it. After that, we’ll maybe start working on new material.
Coming onto gear, you recently got endorsed by Ormsby guitars, Carlos. How did that come about?
Carlos: That was really smooth and natural. Filipe and myself were endorsed by Mayonnes guitars for about 6 or 7 years in a row but last summer I was looking on Instagram and liking some pictures from the company. As it happened, the artist rep managed the Instagram page and got in touch asking if I played in the band. I said that I did and then we spent two weeks chatting about everything but guitars. I felt really good vibes from them and then figured we would speak to them and see if they were interested in working with us. They said they were 200% behind us and it’s been great. Don’t get me wrong, Mayonnes guitars are lovely but they are now a bigger company. Ormsby are still a smaller company and they are all about the artists.
Instrument wise, I now play a production model which is considerably cheaper than the previous instrument but feels so different. It’s a fanned fret guitar which I was worried about initially but I’ve been really enjoying playing with it. The artist rep came out to the show last night and we chatted about the guitars and any improvements to be made which was really cool. I hope this relationship lasts a long time.
Have you still got the funny messages in the in-ears?
Bobby: Not anymore! There were so many fucked up things in the in ears back then and we completely redid them from scratch. We talked about the funny messages but so far we’ve not put them back.
Carlos: We are playing new songs and they are not easy. The last thing you want to hear before a guitar solo is a hidden message that will make you laugh. Not for this tour but it will happen again in the future.
Bobby: We don’t have time to breathe during our setlist. In Paris, during “Prison Skin”, Toni turned to me and started shouting funny things and I started smiling and laughing and I was trying not to as I had to focus!
Carlos: Toni, Bobby and I play in a punk rock band as well which is full of jokes and is quite silly. We talk to each other a lot in that band and have constant jokes. In this band, I try not to look at Toni and even if I do he is super-focused and trying to concentrate. And then you have this fucker (points at Mark) when he’s not singing. When I’m playing a guitar solo he’s trying to put me off by annoying me!
Bobby: He’s now doing the air violin.
Carlos: Yesterday, in Birmingham, we had three photographers and I was doing this really fucked up guitar solo which took months of practice and he (Mark) decided to do air guitar so they all took pictures of him!
Moe: It’s the only way to get a picture of a guitar player with funny faces as they pull weird faces doing the solo.
Mark: You actually said to the photographer after the show, “Why did you not take the picture of me during the solo?” They said “You are playing guitar all the time. He is only pretending during your solo.”
Carlos: Then Toni said to me during the set: “You know, during that solo all the photographers took pictures of Mark. You are such a loser!”
Carlos: It’s funny but true.
Onto the setlist, what can we expect tonight?
Carlos: It’s difficult to find the right songs to do a proper setlist. We have a lot of songs that are quite long and people want us to play all kinds of songs which are quite long.
Bobby: Half of the show is new.
Mark: We try to create that mood with the whole set and sometimes some songs don’t fit so we leave them for the next time.
Bobby: Given this is the Aathma tour part 2, we wanted to play Aathma so we are playing quite a bit from that album.
Carlos: There’s a good mixture of songs and the ending is beautiful. I’m not going to spoil it any more for you.