Circuit Sweet Interview, Feature

The Peppermint Hunting Lodge PT.2 FEATURE

November 22, 2010
Edd Taylor

 Back in September we featured the first of the two part feature on Gloucestershires finest talent The Peppermint Hunting Lodge. Circuit Sweet checked in again after their latest recording session to find out all the information and future plans and releases from this rad 6 piece band.


We Spoke to Guitarist Gorey for a full insight…

Firstly we want to give the audience an insight into the band before finding out all about the recording process-
  •     How did u all come about making music, what or who influenced you to pick up that guitar, drum stick etc?
  In all honesty it was Marty Mcfly playing Johnny b Goode on Back to the Future. It’s actually one of my earliest memories. I was sat on the floor one evening in my parent’s old cottage when I was about 4 years old. I saw watched that scene and remember was so intrigued by the guitar its self and just how it was played, I decided then that I wanted to play. I nagged the rents for 2 years to get me a guitar and eventually I ended up with a £20 acoustic my dad bought out of the paper.

  • How did TPHL form?
Edd Taylor

 We were all in different gigging bands. Me and camp played in a band called Karma Mechanics while Dan, Dave played in Akira Dawn. I had been in a couple of mess about bands without first bass player who was also in a punk band. We all used to get together and get the acoustics out whenever me and my housemates had a house party and despite all of our musical differences we just jelled every time. We all have a very childish sense of humour and similar mentalities and I think it is that more than anything which made it work. We decided whilst all pissed that we should try it plugged in and see how we sounded together so we arranged a practice. The night before we were due to have our first real plugged in get together I came up with a riff, took it to practice, jammed it and we instantly all thought “fuck, this is good”. That riff became our first song – “On Switch”. It was the fact that we were all friends before, rather than just musicians chosen to fill a role which I enjoyed the most. We all hung out outside the band (and still do) and that was kind of an alien concept to me but a concept that I loved and had always wanted. Paul joined us when he was only 16; we needed a drummer and auditioned Paul. He impressed us so much we welcomed him in there and then. Dobbins (the bass player from the late, great Akira Dawn) joined us last summer when we parted with our original bass player and has has filled the slot like a fucking legend.


  • What are the bands main influences that shadow over TPHL work?
 I can’t speak for the rest of the lads but I personally have always taken a lot of anything from anything late 60s/early 70s. My idol and main influence is Jimi Hendrix. My neighbour introduced me to his work when I was about 8 or 9 and I have been fascinated with it since. I also listen to anything really electronically noisy or post hardcore. I have taken a lot of influence from bands like at the drive-in and Jr Ewing. Radiohead and holyfuck I can also admit to obsessively bumming off.

  • How would you best describe your sound?
  This is a question that I get stuck on every time, why I haven’t come up with some pre set answer yet I don’t know. To me it sounds like “space rock”. That’s what I would call it. I’m always interested to hear other people perceptions of our music though so all I can say is listen to it and decide for yourself.

  •   Most inspirational gig to date?
  One of the best has to be when we headlined Gloucester guildhall for so many reasons. I think the live footage in the “I like to gamble” video is from it. Mainly because it was a good laugh before and after we played. Pre sound check I decked if off the stage whilst trying to jump onto it, knocked over every single piece of kit in the room on my way to the ground which took about 10 minutes, booted my guitar and got up to a room full of people unable to breathe with laugher. It hurt, but was funny. The support bands were awesome, the crowd was insane, we played well which always makes you feel good. I spent a day building a guitar and writing “FUCK KARAOKE” on it, only to smash up and give to the crowd during our last song. We went home and had a party after. A lot of gigs stand out for different reasons but that was a favourite of mine.

  •   How do your live performances go down (to attract new readers to come see you live?!)
 We enjoy each other’s company and enjoy playing our instruments so we always have a good time when performing. For me you can have a shit day, turn up to a gig, play and for that 45 minutes or whatever that you are on stage at one with the rest of the lads (that is the most cliché/cringe worthy thing I have ever said. it’s true, I’m sorry) it just a different world. We always kill it, it’s never forced or scripted we just genuinely adore what we do. So come and see it and see for yourself haha.

  • Where do you want to see tphl in the future?
On the road full time. Touring is the best thing I have ever done. When I’m not on tour I want to be on tour, when I’m on tour I want nothing more. I would love to just keep writing meaningful music and keep gigging the shit out of it. Obviously we are always trying to make it available to a larger audience but as long as the fun times are there that’s what keeps me happy.

Recording

So you recently checked into Giant Wafer Studios in Wales to record your debut EP. Produced by Tom Woodhead of ¡FORWARD, RUSSIA!
The EP, which as stands should feature 3 newly recorded tracks and possibly a couple of homemade demos

We want to know all about this studio time and what we can expect
  • So firstly was the session a success?
 Absolutely. Couldn’t have been better. Tomshag Woodhead is the best producer I have ever worked with. He listens to you, lets you try things out and gives honest opinions. He’s fucking hardworking, somehow managed to put up with us idiots for a week and he’s a sound bloke to hang out with as well. We did a lot more creatively this time round as well; we will hopefully be releasing some footage of our time down there so you can see for yourself!
  •     Who takes the lead on the song writing or does it all fall into place naturally?
 The main backbones of the songs are usually invented by me or Dave. We are both constantly writing and anything that we think is usable we tryout with the rest of the band. Everyone writes their own parts for the songs. The songs are always formed from just jamming out a riff and hearing how it should naturally progress. I really like playing around with structure and dynamics so I spend a lot of time working on that side of things once the key elements are down. Dan writes his lyrics while Camp does his backing vocal melodies. We are a very fair band when it comes to this I think. We all put in a lot of effort without own parts; we are all perfectionists and would be wrong to try to credit one person for everyone’s work.

  • What was the bands approach to recording the debut ep?
  None of us could wait haha. We take as much effort getting our performances tight in the studio as we do over writing the songs themselves. We have taken a lot more time over these 3 songs and thought more about structure and dynamics and just making them sound “clever”. I think this is evidently reflected on the recording.
 
  • What crazy instruments/sounds/effects did u manage to get down?
  I am the first person to admit that I am completely anal and an absolute cunt when it comes to equipment and tone. If it’s not old, analogue and rad, I’m not interested. Whereas before we have always been rushed to get takes down I have usually used my trusty red strat for everything. This time I wanted to vary my sound a bit and thankfully Tom let me do that. I used 4 guitars for 3 songs. On “Apex Decay” I used a 1965 Gibson 330 which is absolutely stunning. I borrowed it off our guitar techs – Ange and Phil. For “Vivaldi” I used my Sunburst strat that I built and for “Red Mascarade” I used an in house Dan electro that I absolutely fell in love with. I used my red strat for all of my overdubs. The studio had some really nice vintage kit and a spent a lot of time on my own in the live room experimenting with what I could do with it. I found a broken wem copycat that after tinkering with for a bit I managed to get working. The tape was distorted and creased and the heads were worn out. It was completely shagged really but made some cool noises because of it. One of the coolest things to me on the recording is the noise at the end of Red Mascarade. I used my 1978 Electro Harmonix dyslexic mistress (joke intended) with all the settings turned up and my guitar feed backing to create this high pitched squeal that sounds like a car alarm, then ran it into the broken copycat to create the windy hiss right at the end. I love it haha. I really like my delay sounds. Oli Montez from aulos kindly leant me his Roland space echo which is a stunning piece of kit. You can hear that mainly on “Apex decay”. Tom bought a moog analogue delay with him so all the little bits I mainly used that. For amps I used my trusty 1974 Marshall JMP mk2 super bass throughout which Tom fell in love with by the end of the week.
  •    Describe what we can look forward to
 A fucking brilliant set of songs (in my opinion). A well presented example of what 6 friends are capable of. Varied, refreshing, intelligent music that has had a lot of effort, thought and hard work (and beer) put into creating it. All accompanied by the production expertise of Mr. Tom Woodhead.
  •   And finally when can we actually look forward to hearing and owning this?
  We will hopefully be releasing the EP in January which will be available on iTunes, spotify or hard copy which will be available with a few secret little lodge gifts!


 Get on this ultimate superspacenoizefun experience and check out their myspace HERE.

In the mean time you can get a free track of TPHL by checking out their previous post on the link below.

http://circuitsweet.blogspot.com/2010/09/peppermint-hunting-lodge-pt1.html

This is one of the best interviews that have been done to date. 
We will be back in touch with the guys when that EP is flying about. For now best of luck and if your digging these guys, seriously catch them live.

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