Pure Love: Interview With Frank Carter and Jim Carroll

After the release of their début album Anthems, Pure Love set out on a UK wide headline tour. Rocksins had a chance to chat with Frank Carter and Jim Carroll before the band took the stage in Glasgow.

What was the initial idea you had when you started Pure Love?

Frank Carter: We just wanted to start a rock n’ roll band. That was it. There was no more to it than that. I was bored, he was bored, we were like “I’m bored, let’s start a band” and that was it, really.

With both of you coming from previous bands, did that make it easier to start a new band, or was it challenging to start again from scratch?

Jim Carroll: It wasn’t really a challenge to do this, but it’s always a little tough to start a new band when you’re working from the ground up, but it’s always beneficial because it makes you work that much harder and you reap the benefits from that.

Frank: It was nice, because before this we weren’t particularly close friends. We’ve become friends through the band. It was nice because we weren’t really scared of offending each other. We were really straight up about things which made the decision-making process work really quickly.

When the first single, Bury My Bones, got it’s début on Radio 1, were you nervous about how people would react?

Frank: I wasn’t nervous about it, we’re both really proud of what we’ve written, so that takes away the pressure. At the end of the day, whether other people like it or not… That’s the benefit of music, people can listen to something and make a decision on whether they like it or not quite quickly. It’s kind of 50/50, flip a coin and let’s see where it lands.

There were a few delays with the release of the album, what happened there?

Jim: It was supposed to come out last summer, then it got pushed to October then it got pushed back again to February. The label wanted to put more into it, and build it up some more. It was good and bad. It was annoying because we’d been working on it for so long and we wanted it to come out, but it was good in a way because we got a little more money from the label and we got to do another video.

Over the last few weeks reviews have come out for the record, how do you feel about them?

Frank: I think it’s had one bad review. It’s not really been a mixed bag, overall everyone seems to really like it. It’s just one magazine, I guess, that just doesn’t like me, by the sounds of things, that’s how the review read. Other than that tough, everyone seems to really like the record, that’s all we can ask for really.

Jim: All that really matters is that when we played the first show of the tour since the album came out, and it’s one of the most insane shows we’ve ever played…

Frank: Not just in this band, for me, in my lifetime, it’s the best show I’ve ever played. For me to go on-stage and see that many people just explode to an album that had been out for three days. OK, yeah, we’ve been playing for a year, but we’ve only done like 45 shows. That’s all that matters. Critically, it doesn’t fucking matter, people can put a number on it, they can say we sound like which ever fucking band they think we sound like, at the end of the day the only thing that matters is that people come and see it and they enjoy it, and that’s what’s happening, everyone that’s coming to the shows is coming up to us afterwards and saying it was amazing.

How do the live shows for Pure Love differ from previous bands?

Frank: You shouldn’t be worried about anything that’s going on with other bands we’ve been in, because all that matters to us is what we’re doing now. Nothing has changed performance wise. We’re the same people we’ve always been, but happier. I know, for me, I’m married now, and I’m really excited about music. Nothing has changed performance wise. People hear the album and question how it will work live, but then they come to a show and it’s crazy. There’s not an angry face in the room. It just explodes in the same way. People put in what they see you put in, as a performer. We invest completely in the band and in our shows, and our fans invest themselves completely in the music. It doesn’t matter at all what we’ve done in the past. That has of course helped us get to where we are just now. I don’t want to be known for something I did fucking five years ago, I want to be known for what I’m doing now. I want to be measured on the last thing I’ve done, because you’re only as good as that really. If you paint a nice picture ten years ago and then you paint a shit one every day for the rest of your life, who cares? You’re obviously useless, you painted one good picture once. I feel like, in both of our bands, we’ve continued to put out good music constantly and we’ve continued to grow over the years, but I feel like we’ve put out our best music now.

You’ve been encouraging people to come to gigs with inflatable toys, where did that idea come from?

Jim: The idea came from when we had loads of big inflatable balls when we played Reading and Leeds, I guess it’s just one more element to make the shows fun and get people involved a bit more.

Frank: When we play, for us it’s a total party, and we find that the best way to break down the audiences inhibitions is to tell them to come and have fun, and we say to people to bring a fucking inflatable dolphin. If I see it in the crowd, I will ride it, Jim will try to ride it, and he’s playing guitar. We just want to have fun, so if you take an element that really shouldn’t be at a show, and add in some great rock and roll songs, everybody is having fun.

Rock bands seem to be enjoying greater success in Britain recently than they have for a while, Do you think Pure Love will be a band that can achieve mainstream success?

Frank: Our album went in the midweek charts at  number 22, that’s amazing for us. Maybe down the line, this band could be a band that charts well. You’ve got to remember, charts are only measure on people who buy the record, and although rock bands are getting played on radio more often, they’re still not necessarily big sellers. What matters is that people come to the shows and they get something from it. That they go away and they say “I saw Pure Love, forget everything you know about these people”. You shouldn’t think of us as people, you should think of the band. I think that’s what people have trouble getting over, to them it’s like “he was in a hardcore band, and he was in a hardcore band”, forget that, think about the band. Don’t listen to reviews, listen to the album. Don’t listen to what people are saying about shows, go to a show. Then you’ll see it first hand and you’ll be able to tell people what we’re all about. What we’re trying to do is build ‘lifer’ fans. We’re trying to give back to people, this belongs to you. We made it for ourselves, but we made it for the fans too. The only people who can stop you from enjoying it is you. We want you to come to our show, and have the best day ever.

What are your plans for 2013?

Jim: We’re going to be playing as many shows as we can, hopefully this continues to grow. That’s all we can really do.

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