Since releasing their debut single 'Priestess' in 2015, musically adventurous London five-piece Pumarosa have been tipped for greatness. They play Whelan's in Dublin this Monday evening – so we had a quick catch-up with guitarist Jamie Neville to get a sense of the band beforehand.
What's the music that you listened to growing up, and that you still listen to today?
Wow, good question. There’s so much, we all listened to such different music when we were young - but for me, Radiohead is a big one. I remember listening to 'Hail to the Thief' when I was probably 10 and thought 'This is so weird and incredible; I had no idea music could sound like this'. I still think that about some of their music when I listen now. Other then those guy, Nirvana, Slipknot, Pixies, The Smashing Pumpkins. I’m a child of the '90s. so it's all grunge.
When did you first realise you wanted a career in music?
For me there wasn't - and still hasn't been - a point where I thought that. A career in music implies you will do anything to make it work financially and be able to support yourself from the industry, and I don’t believe that attitude is conducive to making good, honest music, really. Some of the best musicians and artists I know (in fact most) have no financial support and aren’t considered career musicians, but it’s still their life's work. There was definitely an incremental movement in my thinking to take music more and more seriously and believe that I had the confidence to be an artist as a career, but that same thinking accompanied believing I could do a lot of other things independently of society's mainstream expectations and institutions. Also, I got fired from every other job I ever tried to survive off (laughs). Its a good feeling, though - don’t let people you don’t respect tell you what to do. Go find someone you respect to listen to, or just listen to yourself.. I guess [that] was my attitude.
In three words, describe the minute before you walk on stage.
Cook pass babtridge
How do you wind down after a gig?
We don’t usually wind down.
What’s the one song you wish you’d written or recorded first?
The Beatles - 'Across the Universe'.
What song of yours are you most proud of?
I’m proud of all of them - they all take a lot of work in some ways, and in other ways they are all really intuitive and instinctive. Tricky things, songs..
What’s your favourite venue to perform in?
Difficult question, because a lot of the most impressive and interesting venues we’ve only played once or a handful of times, and it's impossible to separate them from the gig itself. Saying that, the Paradiso in Amsterdam is a great place and I’ve had a lot of fun playing there.
Your best and worst gig so far?
Best gig is a totally random gig we played in Norway once. It was just crazy: loud, fun, people going mad.. I love gigs when you can sense a kind of frantic excitement, people clawing toward the idea that nothing is normal and we are never going back there, we’ve disconnected together.. That's why Glastonbury is a great place, because it's a genuine expression of that mutual emotion. Lots of imitation festivals these days don’t touch that place - in fact, we had a great gig at the Crow's Nest at Glastonbury this year. Worst gig? A gig for a technology company.
Whose career do you envy, and why?
Aphex Twin. Because he is a genius.
Vinyl or digital downloads?
Vinyl, no question… but we aren’t all made of money.
Give your thoughts on Spotify in three words.
God, it's a complex issue to concentrate into three words… 1) murder 2) she 3) wrote.
You can only have three albums on your phone/in your house at any one time - what three would you pick for today?
Frank Ocean - 'Blond'
Arthur Russell - 'Love is Overtaking Me'
R. Stevie Moore - 'R. Stevie Moore plays songs of The Beatles'
Name one piece of music memorabilia that you wish you owned.
Whitney Houston’s pubes.
Name one record, one book and one film that everyone should hear/read/see.
Album: Lou Reed – 'Transformer'
Film: 'Ants' (not that good, but you should see it)
Pick the director and lead actor(s) for a biopic about your life.
Martin Scorsese and Ray Liotta.
You’re ordering take-away, what do you get?
You’ve been given €100,000 to spend, but only 1 hour to spend it. What do you buy?
Describe your perfect day off.
Answering these questions..
What do you have in store for your Dublin audience?
Pumarosa play Whelan's, Dublin on Monday, October 31st. Tickets are €15.50 plus booking fee and on sale from usual outlets now.