Things are moving very quickly for the Pale Waves in 2017. They started the year supporting The 1975 on their US tour, which included a show at the iconic Madison Square Gardens, home of the Knickerbockers. They also performed at the BBC Introducing Stage at this year’s Reading and Leeds to much acclaim, and will now spend the Autumn months headlining their own tour throughout the UK and Europe. Heather managed to find time in her busy studio session to drink coffee and have a chinwag over the phone about what looks to be a breakout year for the Manchester band.
How is it going in the studio today?
“Good thanks! Doing vocals after these interviews which should be exciting. Always funny doing vocals, [they]get you doing some insane harmonies, I sounded like a mouse yesterday from how I was going! But apparently it’s going to sound awesome.”
Well let’s hope our chat can warm up your vocal chords!
The Pale Waves are signed to record label Dirty Hit. The quartet had label mates Matt Healy and George Daniel of The 1975 on hand to produce their first single ‘There’s A Honey’. The song has the same pop punch as The 1975 and proved an instant streaming success, racking up 2,172,103 listens on Spotify – but the Pale Waves don’t plan to rest on their laurels when it comes to recording their debut.
”We are doing this EP without them [The 1975] just because they are off making Music for Cars and we want to put ourselves into our own records, all of ourselves into it. We didn’t want them having to produce us when they’re focusing on their own stuff. We want to give our all to our EP. It’s just best for us to do our own thing.”
So what can you tell us about the record? How is it coming together?
“The recording is going great, we’ve been in over a week now. Long days up ’till midnight. It’s really exciting to develop the songs. When you go into the studio songs will always change and improve, it’s lovely to watch them grow. The songs that are going on the EP are quite old songs of ours. We’ve had them for a while and it’s a mixed bag really, there’s some really upbeat tracks on there, there’s even a ballad!”
Everyone loves a ballad!
”Exactly! Everyone loves a ballad- maybe I’m giving too much away!”
The band are signed to Dirty Hit, a record label co-founded by Jamie Oborne, Brian Smith and the late Ugo Ehiogu, beloved England footballer and coach for Tottenham Hotspur U23’s. The label’s roster includes Wolf Alice, The 1975, Superfood, The Japanese House and Benjamin Francis Leftwich – it’s a very strong crowd to be a part of.
”It’s really exciting to be a part of it. We feel really special to be on Dirty Hit. We always wanted to go with an indie label, that was our main focus. We love having a close team working with us, just a few people that are always there – it’s really nice. they are all so passionate about what they do, it’s great having them involved in our music.”
You began the year supporting the 1975 in the US, you then hit the festival circuit and are about to embark on your first headline tour- things are moving very quickly!
“We’ve only ever played two headline shows. Doing support slots is amazing but nothing compares to your own show, we are really excited- we are playing more than six songs! We can add songs in there that people wouldn’t expect, We are playing one of my favourite songs by us called ‘She’ and that’s a dark kind of emo song- we are really excited to play it, it really gets to people which we love.”
Coming off the back of the festival circuit, have you made it out in one piece?
“Yeah just! That’s the first time we’ve played Reading and Leeds. We were all really excited, we didn’t really know what to expect from the crowds because we were playing the BBC Introducing stage at 12 o’clock. Most people aren’t awake on a Sunday at a time like that at the festivals but we were really happy and overwhelmed with the audience that we had, it was amazing!”
You’ve been on the road a lot this year. What was your experience playing in such an iconic venue as Madison Square Garden?
“Pretty surreal! I think back on it now like – did that really happen? It was amazing, just like all the shows with The 1975. Their fanbase is so receptive to new music. It was pretty insane to play such an iconic venue. We only had ‘There’s A Honey’ out at that time- one single and we were playing Madison Square Garden- who does that? It’s mental! We feel very special to be able to do that, honoured to have been chosen.”
How does it feel to now have your own tour to headline?
“We can’t wait to start! Doing your own shows, it’s so different, we are a little bit scared but at the same time so excited. I love meeting the people who have come to our shows, there is nothing like that. It’s such a special moment, they’ve come down to watch your band play. You both just indulge in one another, there’s something very special about that. We do our best to come out after the show and meet everyone. We feel very special to be able to do this for a living.”
Any dates in particular you’re looking forward to? The Joiners obviously!
“I’ve actually heard a lot about The Joiners. A lot of people have told me great things about that venue. We are really looking forward to the London show because that sold out in like three days or so, so overwhelmed! So excited for Manchester, that should be really special. So excited to go back to the US, really excited for the Paris show, I love Paris! Excited for all of them! I can’t wait!”
With the buzz that follows the Pale Waves wherever they go that excitement is definitely mutual. This autumn they will tease their debut album in Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle, London, Norwich, ending the UK leg of their tour in Brighton. The quartet will then travel to Cologne, Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris ending the tour in Brussels.
Tickets for the Pale Waves are available here. Check out their single ‘There’s A Honey’ below: