Pulled Apart By Horses Interview by Bruce Cousins

Pulled Apart By Horses know how to rock, party and sever their own appendages in videos. What else does LTW’s Bruce Cousins find out from PABH’s Tom Hudson? Read on. 

Louder Than War: What is new on Tough Love Deluxe? Which is the best new song?

Tom Hudson: It’s a collection of b-sides, live stuff, and some demos we did leading up to the album that we recorded ourselves. I think my favourites are the ones, which didn’t make the album. Like PWR the one, which opens it, and Motivation the one which closes it. They are songs that we were all into just as much as all the songs on the album, but they didn’t fit in the album. We wanted to keep it much shorter, like a thirty-minute blast. So these two songs didn’t make it. It was a bit gutting having to part with them.

LTW: So are you happy to have now found them this home?

Tom Hudson: Yeah. It’s nice to do a special release. So they didn’t just fall into the b-side bin and get thrown away.

LTW: Do you play these numbers live?

Tom Hudson: I think we will play them on the next set of gigs that we play. We haven’t actually played them live yet so it will be fresh.

LTW: Were they recorded with Gil Norton (producer) as a part of the Tough Love sessions then?

Tom Hudson: Yeah. We did it all at the same session and he helped when we did pre-production. He helped us shift around parts of those songs as well and they were a part of the whole Tough Love mix with Gil Norton working on it.

LTW: Which music video filmed for ‘Tough Love’ was the most fun to shoot?

Tom Hudson: It would have to be the first one that we did: ‘V.E.N.O.M.’. Me and the other guys are massive fans of horror films, me especially, as you can probably tell with a few of our videos. It actually felt like we were on a proper short film shoot. It was with Bob Harlow who has done a couple of our other videos. This time round we pulled it all out of the bag. There was lighting, a director there and tonnes of people because we were doing separate shots. We all had our own little chunks of time when we had to shoot. It was like working on our own short film, amazing!

 

LTW: What other videos have you done with Bob Harlow?

Tom Hudson: Bob did the one after that as well, ‘Wolf Hand’, which is like 90’s. We were filming it on massive VHS camcorders. He did ‘High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive’ off the first album and ‘Yeah Buddy’ as well. So he is our man to go to really. We always trust his vision, whatever is going to come out we leave in his hands.

LTW: Were there any specific horror films that inspired the music video for ‘V.E.N.O.M.’?

Tom Hudson: There is this horrible 80’s film called Street Trash. It’s about all these homeless people who find this drink that’s called ‘Viper’. Then they drink it and it takes over them, and they start melting. It’s horrible. I wanted to do something like that but then, obviously, after speaking to Bob he kind of changed the idea around to make it his own. Then he wanted it Hitchcock style, black and white film noir kind of style. Then I found this thing on the internet called ‘The Hand Of Glory’.

LTW: What were you searching to find ‘The Hand Of Glory’ on the internet?

Tom Hudson: (Laughs) Yeah, it was private research! So it is this cut off hand. That was severed from when they used to hang criminals, and they kept the hands preserved/mummified. On the finger was a candle and it was meant to be a good luck charm. So we thought about me having this possessed hand and maybe taking over the other guys with a weird curse.

LTW: Standard day in the office!

Tom Hudson: Yeah!

LTW: If it were an actual horror movie that PABH were in who would die first?

Tom Hudson: I think James (Brown – Lead Guitar) would be first one to go to be honest.

LTW: So who would survive to the end and get the girl?

Tom Hudson: I don’t know. I would like to be the one who has the most violent, painful death of everyone.

LTW: That’s an odd request!

Tom Hudson: Just to fulfill my horror/gore needs. Well I had to chop off my own hand in ‘V.E.N.O.M.’, which was pretty good. We had somebody hiding under the shot squirting lots of fake blood at me. It was actually freezing cold.

LTW: But you didn’t cut off the other hand so at the end we see you raise it up as if it were igniting again.

Tom Hudson: That wasn’t meant to be in it. That was the last shot we did. We were just told to pause for ages and then I just flipped the bird at the very end, just pissing about, and Bob thought he’d leave it in.

LTW: As earlier in the video you see both your hands lighting up I presumed it was planned. But you didn’t think of this, you just thought to flip him the bird!

Tom Hudson: Yeah exactly. Mind you it would be pretty hard to chop both your hands off!

LTW: Yeah! How would you go about that?

Tom Hudson: Erm, I don’t know! You’d have to use a guillotine or something.

LTW: I have chatted to another band from Leeds before called Blacklisters, are you a fan?

Tom Hudson: Yeah, good mates with them actually. They’re amazing.

LTW: They were raving about Leeds, and their favourite venue there. What is your favourite venue?

Tom Hudson: My favourite always has to be Brudenel Social Club. It is a massive mix of everything. You have got one room that’s got all the regulars at the back, random people in the pool room playing pool and darts, and then you have got two rooms where amazing gigs happen. Plus there are cheap ales and everyone is just thrown into this weird phoenix night’s sort of social club. Have you been there before?

LTW: I have. I saw Tubelord there and I had a lovely time.

Tom Hudson: Was that an all-dayer?

LTW: I don’t think it was actually. It was their last tour with Sean (Bamberger – Bass) before he went off to work for Sega.

Tom Hudson: Yeah, I think I was there actually. They have split up now haven’t they?

LTW: They are doing one final show on New Years Eve. What did you think of their second album Romance?

Tom Hudson: I never actually listened to it to be honest.

LTW: They recently posted that they never realized before how little people liked Romance.

Tom Hudson: Oh I didn’t realize that, I’ll have to give it a listen, but it’s probably too late now.

LTW: You know there is some random guitarings on the end of the first album?

Tom Hudson: Yeah.

LTW: That flows directly into the first track of Romance. I quite like that.

Tom Hudson: Joe’s such a good guitar player as well, some of the stuff he comes up with is ridiculous. Just loads of little spindly weird riffs all kind of tied together. He is an absolute weirdo though, Joe (Prendergast – Vocals/Guitar). He is one of those genius weirdoes.

LTW: They did a cover of yours, didn’t they, ‘I Punched a Lion in the Throat’.

Tom Hudson: Yeah they did a little weird acoustic version of it didn’t they.

LTW: They completely took all the power out of it.

Tom Hudson: They made it almost beautiful.

LTW: Yeah, I don’t think that is something many bands could do with your music.

Tom Hudson: Yeah I know it’s hard to make us sound beautiful.

 

LTW: If you could get any band to cover any song off Tough Love what would the band be, and what would the song be?

Tom Hudson: I think I would like somebody really different to do something. Let me think. I’d love to hear a Joanna Newsom cover; A weird harp version of one of our songs.

LTW: Blacklisters got me into her. I hadn’t heard of her before and they were raving about her so I checked it out.

Tom Hudson: She’s amazing actually. It is funny because Lee (Vincent), our drummer, even though he is this hardcore guy covered in tattoos, him and me are actually massive fans of hers. He somehow manages to make her pink T-Shirt that he’s got, with the most beautiful intricate writing, look like a black metal T-Shirt when he wears it. So I’d like Joanna Newsom to do a cover of one of our songs, maybe ‘Epic Myth’ with some harp on it and weird off-key vocals.

LTW: You have toured with quite a few of my favourite live bands such as Muse, Biffy Clyro and The Bronx. Who is the best live band that you have played with?

Tom Hudson: I think The Bronx might have to be one of them. We did a tour with The Bronx when they were doing Maricahi El Bronx as well, and it was just amazing. Warming up every night, waiting to go onstage watching Mariachi El Bronx play and all the room gets cheery and starts to dance about. Then we’d go on and change the atmosphere a bit and the The Bronx would come on after us and absolutely destroy the place. They’re a nice bunch of guys as well. They don’t have a crew or anyone with them apart from a tour manager. It was nice seeing a band that played twice every night and moved all their own gear about. They just seemed hard working, but hard-partying as well.

LTW: James mentioned in a recent interview that he is not partying so much anymore. Is that the case with the whole band?

Tom Hudson: Oh no! James has calmed it down a little bit but that’s only marginally. Lee went for about two months and knocked alcohol and cigarettes on the head. He hasn’t smoked since but he has started having a couple of ales. I think there is only so long you can go without having a cheeky beer. Rob and me just carried on having the rest of the rider ourselves.

LTW: It must be difficult to say no to free beer.

Tom Hudson: Well that is the thing, how are you going to say no? I don’t really drink very much before we go onstage, I’ll have a beer or two just to loosen up and get into it, but as soon as we come offstage we are buzzing so much that we’ll keep on going. We are the ones that don’t really call it quits, wanting to stay on and party, even if it means being really hung-over and knackered every morning.

LTW: Is there a band out there, which can match PABH in the partying stakes?

Tom Hudson: A lot of the bands that we tour with are pretty similar. They are always quite similar to us in that there are a couple members that take it easy and then there are the naughty ones who hang out together and don’t know when to call it quits. Egging each other wrong really. Computers! The last headline tour we did in the UK with those guys, they know how to fucking party as well. When we were in Birmingham we got thrown out of this pub we were in. we all got way too wasted, then their keyboard player started playing Queen and we all just gathered around this piano in the bar singing Queen really loud, and getting rid of all their custom really. It was good. Then we got back to our Travelodge and almost got into a fight with this guy that was mouthing off at a transvestite. So that was an eventful night.

LTW: What is the worst party wound you have woken up with?

Tom Hudson: I don’t know. At Lowlands Festival we had this nice hotel, in which they had put all the bands up in and I remember waking up on somebody else’s balcony in the morning, still with a beer in my hand and a cigarette, and a really painful headache. Rob (John Lee – Bass) was on the floor next to me, passed out. Another one was when James and me had to pay a massive hotel fine. We ended up getting too drunk, one of us had a sharpie and we ended up drawing an Ouija board on the table.

LTW: Did it work?

Tom Hudson: No. I think we got too drunk and didn’t actually end up doing it. We just did all the prep work for it. Instead of throwing a TV out the window I pushed a phone out the window.

LTW: A mate of mine went to Lowlands and met Dave Grohl. Did you see him there at all?

Tom Hudson: Yeah. We played Pukkelpop the day before and Foo Fighters were headlining that and the next day we drove to Rome and they were there as well playing the same day. I walked passed Dave Grohl and his daughter when we were at Pukkelpop and I made eye contact with him and it freaked me out a bit. I’m not one of those kinds of people who will go up to someone and be like “hey can I have your autograph or picture”. Then the next day we went for dinner and got some food and all of the Foo Fighters were there, having their tea with all their families and all their wives, and it was really weird. We just had Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkin’s kids at our table doing these weird dances, and we were just like “what the fuck is going on”?

 

LTW: Is that where the song Grave Dohl came from?

Tom Hudson: Oh yeah! I should have mentioned that actually. I should have told him. I should have got a copy just for him. But Grave Dohl and some of the old-school b-sides that we did from the first album are on the Tough Love sessions (Tough Love Deluxe) as well. We have kind of just chucked everything on because some people have got the album but they don’t get the vinyl or the 7”s, or they sell out. So they don’t end up hearing the b-sides so it is nice to have everything whacked together.

LTW: So would you say that it is worth getting Tough Love Deluxe even if you have got a copy of Tough Love already?

Tom Hudson: Yeah definitely, we are doing it so you can download it separately as well. So you can just get the sessions you don’t have top re-buy the album. I hope people will be digging it. We wanted to do a little bit extra just to round it off. When the album came out early this year we wanted to gather up all the extra little bits and do something a bit more special with it rather than the album just slowly fading out and that be it.

LTW: PABH is a very injury prone band; it seems like every interview that you do you are talking about another injury. Having just cancelled your November tour you have all been at home, have you managed to stay free of injury in your time off from the road?

Tom Hudson: I have. However just before the last gig we did Rob ended up getting an injury at home by stepping on a sewing needle. It went all the way into his heel and then snapped off. We were meant to be playing a gig the next day. I think it was Boardmasters and then another gig, and then the converse gig in London at The 100 Club, that had a load of different bands playing. This was two days before that. Rob went into A&E and basically had a guy rooting around in his foot for two hours trying to pull this needle out. So he ended up walking around on crutches and had a little Westlife style stool to sit on every now and then if he needed a bit of a break.

LTW: Well should have just stayed there and just stood up for the final chorus and the key change.

Tom Hudson: (Laughs) Yeah, yeah go for the big key change (sings) Ahhh! Yeah I think Rob is probably the clumsiest one out of the lot of us but I have managed to get away with injuries for a little while. Touch wood.

LTW: Have you got plans to reschedule the November tour for later on at some point?

Tom Hudson: Yes we are definitely going to be getting back out onto the road as soon as possible. At the moment we are in a bit of a limbo we are sorting out what we are going to do next year and writing new stuff.

LTW: Exciting! Can we expect a third album?

Tom Hudson: Yeah, it’s on its way really. Without getting too many hopes up it is just kind of flowing at the moment and we are just catching it. We have now got quite a bit of time, we are trying to not lose our minds and get out on the road before we forget what to do.

LTW:Are you financially all right to be off the road for this long?

Tom Hudson: We are just about floating by at the moment. We have bought ourselves enough time to get stuck in and then (I guess it all happens in a big cycle really) get back on the road. Festival season comes up before you even know it. We just thought we would take a bit of time to get stuck in before it’s like “Oh fuck, we’ve got (to record) an album in two weeks”.

LTW: So are you thinking about going with Gil Norton again then?

Tom Hudson: We don’t really know, it is all early days. I’d love to work with him again but it just depends on how it works out. Don’t know we’ll wait and see who produces I suppose. I’m totally not saying that we will never work with him again because he’s an awesome dude. You know he does a good job.

LTW: He has done so many classic albums, hasn’t he?

Tom Hudson: Well you know that’s the thing, you can’t really fault the man when he has got such a back catalogue of amazing stuff under his belt.

LTW: Are there any other dream producers you would like to work with?

Tom Hudson: There is Steve Albini, I don’t really know how that would work with us, but I think that would be a dream just to go to his studios and see how he works really. Whether we got anything cut out of it or not, it would be quite interesting because he does things very non-conventional compared to other people. There is a guy called Alex Newport as well who did the last Bloc Party album (Four). I got into him through Pissed Jeans’ King Of Jeans album. He did their last album Honeys as well. If he could recreate the sound that he did for them, or even half the sound! But I don’t know, we’ll wait and see.

LTW: He did ‘Variations On Swing’ by Meet Me In St Louis and worked with At The Drive-in as well.

Tom Hudson: I know, you can’t really fault that either. We’ll wait and see what happens. It is pretty exciting really.

LTW: Thanks very much for taking the time out to talk to us it has been a pleasure. We look forward to seeing you out on the road.

Tom Hudson: Yeah, you too. Good speaking to you dude.

LTW: Well take care of yourself and make sure you don’t get any more injuries.

Tom Hudson: Haha, yeah I’ll tell Rob to stay clear of the old sewing needles!

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