Peace: And Harmony

source: Sony Music

Last August, The Bee’s Upfront series returned with another British indie rock quartet, Peace, whose ‘UK’s Best New Live Band’ title was entirely justified during the gig – while it wasn’t as packed as The Vaccines last January, they certainly had the second best crowd reaction. The band’s debut In Love was produced by Jim Abiss, who has had an impressive oeuvre that stretches the spectrum of the UK scene (Arctic Monkeys, Adele, Kasabian), it’s not surprising then that the record got critics waxing hyperbolic praises of their greatness. To quote some; In Love is not only ”the finest British debut of the year,” (NME), the band also has ”an innovative eye to the age-old business of love through quirky images” (The Independent). JUICE managed to speak with brothers Harry (vocals, guitar) and Samuel Koisser (bass), Douglas Castle (guitar) and Dominic Boyce (drums) before they got on stage. Suffice to say we took the opportunity to find out the myth behind the debauchery of record industry suits, Birmingham’s scene vis-à-vis London’s, and their idea of romance in relation to pop culture.

What’s good guys? Being relatively new in the scene, did you expect to have a lot of fans here?
Harry I don’t really know. It’s all new [to us]. It’s weird.
Dominic (D1) It is weird, considering when you just started you’d make music for the 4 people you were with – and your mom and dad (laughs). For us to go this far is strange.

We’re curious about what you guys mentioned in a previous interview, that Peace was inspired by Birmingham’s club scene. Could you tell us how inspiration from that scene led to forming a band?
D1 It was just the spirit of it – friendly and more collective group of people having a good time. Being in a band can be kind of like a competition.
H It can be a bit pretentious [being in a band]. It’s the way the DJs and people conducted themselves was really something that bands don’t really do that much. I guess it was a weird type of positivity, sort of a collective energy that everyone seems to have around them – their common goal of having fun. [The club scene] was just more of the way we acted. A bit musically too, not that it’s of paramount importance to sound electronic, but it’s still there somewhere [in our music].
Douglas (D2) The rhythm elements, sort of the shakiness of it… something like that (laughs). It’s hard to put into words.

You guys also said that there was a difference between Birmingham’s and London’s scene. What are the 2 like?
D1 Don’t really know what it’s like nowadays (laughs).
H We haven’t been there in quite a while! But I guess in London there’s a sort of competition, and also in Birmingham we wouldn’t expect to get signed to a major record label or anything. In the beginning that was really of anyone’s interest, everyone was ambitious but not in that way. It’s pretty ironic actually that we did end up getting signed. That wasn’t the point in the beginning [for Birmingham bands], whereas in London bands feel the need for a record deal, a manager – everyone was a lot more organised in London… and no one knew what to do in Birmingham (laughs). That was it really, no one knew what they were doing but the main point was just to have a good time.
Samuel Dumb luck, I reckon.
(Everyone laughs)
H There’s a beautiful naiveté to it. Some bands like to be managed by their dads, and they are on Radio 1 and stuff in the UK – it’s completely fine and unheard of. No one conducts themselves in a professional manner. Everyone is making their own rules… or some other cliché, I don’t know (laughs).

In 5 years, you guys are probably still going to be doing this, how different will Peace be then, you think?
H Everything is so new, I don’t feel very professional. Everything’s been fun so far, maybe in 5 years we will still be saying that, I don’t know.
S I reckon I’d have a suit in 5 years.
H (Laughs) That’s it! At the moment we’re quite casual.
S Too casual.
H It’s exciting.

Any specific goals though?
S I want a suit.
H I’d like to release an album a year, might be hard.
D2 Might be boring as well.
H (Laughs) I think in 5 years it’d be good to be working on a 5th album…no, 4th album.
S Somewhere in the middle.
H Or maybe to be able to grow a beard at one point.
D1 I’d love to grow a beard…
H You’re never growing beard.
D1 My dad was 24 before he started growing his, ring me in 2 years (laughs).