Peace are an indie-rock quartet from Birmingham, made up of brothers Harrison and Samuel Koisser, Douglas Castle and Dominic Boyce. Signed to Columbia Records, they have just come off the back of the NME tour and their new album is out on March 25th 2013. Audra O'Brien from Loud Magazine sat down and had a chat with Harry about the rollercoaster the last few months have been.
Can you tell me a bit about how Peace came together? How did you guys make the leap from wanted to start a band to actually doing it?
Well, we always knew we wanted to give the band a go, but it started out with us doing a few gigs and then messing about with our own songs. We initially released a song online just to test the waters, but then almost overnight it got something like 2,000 listens. We weren't expecting that reaction but at the same time it compounded our belief in ourselves and our ability as a band.
So you think social media helped you get noticed?
Absolutely, yeah. Starting out in 2010 we were doing odd gigs, and building a fan base but our main connection to our fans and to the industry itself was through social media. We are four guys from Birmingham who had absolutely no connection, no contacts whatsoever to the industry. Even based in Birmingham, we had no connection to London, we didn't really know anyone down there. So for us, social media was so effective to get ourselves out there. After we released our demo in 2011, all of a sudden we had scouts coming to our gigs, A&R people showing up, it was fantastic.
And almost immediately you had a positive response from the industry, the like of the Guardian and NME talking you guys up It is such a great feeling, having the support like that. I mean, we would still do what we do but it is amazing to see all the hard work and graft that we have put into the band pay off.
You have just finished up on the NME tour with Miles Kane and Palma Violets. What was the tour like?
So cool. So so cool. It had an amazing vibe. It was actually really cool playing the larger venues too. Like I said, it was great to reap the rewards of all our hard work and this tour was even better as we had a lot of support staff around us. We had a sound tech guy, a stage manager, A&R, catering. Normally it's just us rocking up to a venue and doing all the set up ourselves so it was fun to have someone else do it for a change!
Any crazy stories you can share with me?
I actually tried to boobie trap the Palma Violets with a fire extinguisher as they came back into the dressing room as one of the shows in Scotland. It didn't work and the whole thing backfired on me. I left the dressing room and when I came back in, Doug (our guitarist) had managed to get the extinguisher to work and absolutely annihilated me. I mean, I had no chance. I was soaked right through! Security and a few other people came charging in and wanted to know what was going on, and started accusing us and blaming me. I was the victim! How was I to blame (laughs).
So a bit of pranking going on…
A bit, not that much. I'll have to work on it.
Your new Album is out on March 25th, What can your fans expect to hear?
It is just a very honest album. The songs are very real and emotional, and have a lot of value and are just very genuine. We didn't hide behind the production of it, we took our time and made sure we were happy with each song and the sound. It' very organic too, we spent a lot of time in the studio messing about with different methods and instruments and we let that come through on the record. It's us as natural as possible and as real as possible.
So to go right back to your beginnings, how was school for you? Did you enjoy it?
For me personally, no I didn't really enjoy it until I got to study Music & Drama in the last few years. Until then I just wasn't sure what I wanted to do and was a little in limbo. I mean, I found the careers advise a bit bewildering…
…Funny, Careers advisers never tell you to become a rockstar…
Exactly! But they never really mention music or the music industry either
So you did have access to music, and resources in school?
Yeah, I had access to music and studied it. I loved it, that was when I was at my happiest in school.
For someone who is relatively just starting out in the music industry, do you have any advice for some who wants to follow suit? Have you learned any valuable lessons?
Be confident in what you do, and be chill. Don't stress out about stuff or be too shouty or over the top about yourself either. Take your time, don't rush, have patience with your craft but always be confident in yourself.
What have you got planned for the rest of the year?
We are off to the US next week, we are playing at SXSW in Austin. And a few other gigs too. Album is out in March so we will be promoting that, we've got some UK festival dates coming up and generally having a lot of fun.