“Life is a maze, but we are still going in circles.”
Interview by Gary Cordwell
Firstly, thank you for talking to Midlands Rocks and congratulations on the new album, it’s fantastic! (reviewed here) So, The Cave And The Sunlight – the album opens with ‘The Cave’ but there is no ‘Sunlight’. Is this deliberate?
Well yes it was. ‘The Cave’ is the intro and sets the mood for the rest of the album. It is too soon for sunlight. That comes later on the record, hahaha.
Is there a theme or philosophy behind the album? How does it progress from your debut album, The Banjo, which seemed more of a concept piece?
There is not a single story or theme going through the album, but it is written from the same, personal, emotional standpoint: Life is a maze, but we are still going in circles. We keep on repeating what we have done before. It goes for love, work-patterns and choices. Until we realize that we are doing this, we can’t do anything about it. It is a difficult thing to process and I have not fully done it myself. But that is where this album is written from. The lyrics are very diverse and tell different stories, but you can still feel a common atmosphere in all of them. The Banjo was a concept album from start to finish. We were not really trained in song-writing and the most noticeable difference is that the new album has better writing AND playing. We have grown and will keep on growing.
What is the band’s recording process? It sounds like it was largely played live in the studio.
Yes, we record live. All 3 together, and then I dub some rhythm-guitars for added heaviness and of course vocals. It is a pretty basic and fast way to record. But you have to play with your heart every time and be ready to welcome some mistakes on your album. But often: that is where the magic happens. Jacob Bredahl is a huge help in getting us to do our best in the studio. His ear is outstanding.
Are things different this time round now that you are signed to a bigger label? (Napalm Records)
We were not signed when we recorded the album, so musically we have done exactly as we wanted to. But now that the album is out, we feel a big difference. The word is spreading fast and we get in contact with a lot of fans from around the world. Napalm has been great to us so far and we really love working with them. Bilocation Records was the best possible label for us to start with and we love those guys to death, but we are ready to take a step up the ladder and Napalm has helped us do this.
Who are Pet The Preacher’s influences, both musical and otherwise?
I can mainly speak for myself, but I know that Torben ( bass) is really into Jimi Hendrix and Von Larsen is into very slow, doomy stuff as well as Metallica ( we all are) . I think we all love the classic rock legends and metal as well. But we have a lot of different, musical influences too. As long as it has heart or at least a good idea or intention, I can get into it. It does not matter if it is pop or grind metal. I like it all. Right now I am listening to the first Mötorhead album, Annihilator’s Set To Kill, Chorus Grant’s Space and Vallenfyre’s Splinters. But influences can be anything. Good poetry, fucked up politicians, history or movies can all be equally great when it comes to inspiration.
How important is the blues to the band’s sound?
The blues is the link. It is the truth and the basis for all that we, and others who deal in heavy rock, do. It is as simple as that. To bring blues into metal or heavy rock, can bring a spirituality to it. It is filled with history and mystery. Listening to John Lee Hooker play solo or hear Blind Willie Johnson howl, gives me goosebumps every time.
I love the cover art. Who created it and was it specifically for the album? What does it signify to you?
It is by Emy R. from Arrache Toi Un-Oeil. She was a girl we met when we played in Paris and she is absolutely awesome. She came up with the design by herself and captured the essence of the album perfectly. To us it signifies the diversity of the album and our world. But you have to talk to her to get the “real” answer haha.
Will you be touring the UK in support of the record? And what can we expect from a Pet The Preacher concert?
Yes we will. We are starting off in june w. Acid King. And will be in the UK from the 15-18/6. You can see the dates on our pages. We really hope to see some people there. It would mean a lot to us. We are also touring more later this year, but I can’t say anything about that yet. But can keep an eye out. We want to tour as much as possible.
A quick guitar geek question, what guitars/amps/pedals do you use to create your sound? It’s mammoth!
Well in the studio I used a lot of different stuff: A Les Paul Custom, an Epiphone Flying V and a 1971 Telecaster. I used some Orange amps, a Marshall JCM800 and a Peavey Penta. I can’t remember the pedals but it was not a lot of different stuff. Live I use an Epiphone Flying V ( Jeff Waters Signature), directly into an Orange Rockerverb 50 stack. I have a good deal with Copenhagens best guitarshop, Woodstock Guitars, and I just love this amp. I use the green 0.88 mm. picks and Dáddario 0.12-52 strings with a wound G. And a blues bottle slide.
What does the future hold in store (hopefully) for Pet The Preacher?
We are already writing album number 3, and we will finish that one this year. We are setting the bar even higher this time, so we take our time to write some sick shit. Besides that ( hopefully): touring, touring, touring.
Thanks again for taking time out for this interview. Do you have any closing words for our readers?
Thank you so much for talking to me and be sure to pick up a physical copy of The Cave And The Sunlight so we can keep doing what we live for. Take care.