Interview: Pleasure House


Pleasure House hail from Birmingham, and specialise in creating a catchy style of indie pop with addictive, memorable hooks. Last week, they headlined The Good Ship in Camden for the launch of their new single ‘Like a Drug’. It captures the essence of Pleasure House’s live shows and showcases the type of melodies that suck you in. Before their headline slot, The Indiependent caught up with them to discuss ‘Like a Drug’, and being in a band.

The Indiependent: Can you guys introduce yourselves?

James: I’m James; I’m the drummer from Pleasure House.

Alex: Hi, I’m Alex. I’m the singer from Pleasure House.

John: Hi, I’m John; I’m the bass player from Pleasure House.

The Indiependent: Awesome. Have you guys played The Good Ship before?

James: Never. This is our… how many times have we been in London?

Alex: This is probably our fifth time in London.

James: Something like that, but we’ve never come across The Good Ship here.

Alex: Well it is the greatest of ships!

James: It is a very good ship isn’t it?

Alex: It’s like a yacht, we like to call it. A small yacht. (laughs)

James: It’s like a yacht how you go downstairs into the small venue. I like that, it’s wicked!

The Indiependent: How are you feeling ahead of headlining tonight?

John: Ah it’s great; I mean it’s a single release, so you can’t get better really, a gig in London with other cool bands like Sahara…

Alex: JUDAS, Cavaliers, the whole line up’s a wicked line up so it’s a real pleasure to be on the same bill as these people, because these are local boys who have got good support, they’ve got a great sound. So it’s nice to be at this place tonight where we’re kind of headlining it. It’s a real accolade for us to be able to say that we’ve done it, d’y’ know what I mean? Especially because it’s for our new single ‘Like a Drug’ so it should be a nice gig.

The Indiependent: Nice, nice. Something interesting I found out is that you supported The Hoosiers?

James: Yeah!

The Indiependent: How did that come about and what was it like?

James: It came about… I can’t even remember how it came about… Oh do you know what I do! We were all out drinking for our singer’s birthday and we got drunk with one of the promoters and he ended up liking our band and putting us forward for the slot. And the Hoosiers’ crowd were actually mental!

The Indiependent: Really?

James: I didn’t think they would be because they’re not a mental band, but they were up for it, man. So it was good!

The Indiependent: Ah nice. ‘Like a Drug’ is one of my favourite songs of the year. When I heard it I thought ‘This is what a good song should sound like’, songwriting wise it’s absolutely spot on, everything is just in place. What was the songwriting process like for that track, and what’s it about lyrically because it’s got some really cool metaphors as well.

Alex: Well I wrote the lyrics to it, and the whole thing is, basically a complete metaphor, every line can be seen in a different light. There’s undertones throughout the whole thing. It’s about how being addicted to that one person, and having that lust and that love for them…

The Indiependent: Right. ‘Like a Drug’.

Alex: So basically the whole thing is a metaphor for that addictiveness you get when you fall into an amazing relationship with someone. It can be friendly, it can be platonic. This was written about my girlfriend and that inability to stray away from that person not realizing and not knowing the crux of why you love someone and knowing that you can’t live without them. And it’s just that same addiction and that comparison to drugs and any vice that people have with them in their day-to-day life, it’s the same thing. It may not be good for you, you know, social status may say that you shouldn’t do it and it’s not the right thing for you to do but you can’t help it. It’s just an overwhelming feeling of addiction to that one person. But yeah that’s what it’s about.

The general way we write songs is, I’ll make up a few ideas at home on my own and then we’ll bring it to the rehearsal room and we’ll just play with it and make it our own sound, each add our own little sparkle to it. That’s how it goes normally.

The Indiependent: Oh wow! What’s the most rewarding thing about being in a band?

Alex: The loving crowds!

James: Yes! (laughs)

Alex: Obviously playing the music is amazing and it’s a great feeling, but if there was no one to play to then it wouldn’t be great.

James: So, we love the attention, basically!

The Indiependent: I always wonder what it means to a band when they see people sing back the lyrics?

John: Oh wow, yeah!

Alex: It’s one of the best feelings in the world.

James: Better than sex!

Alex: It’s definitely up there! But I’ve been on many stages throughout my life. I did a lot of theatre when I was younger, I was in a few professional shows and that was, y’know onstage for like 2-3,000 people. And nothing compares really, to a crowd of people no matter how large, singing back to songs that you’ve put so much heart into. It’s such a special feeling because you feel you’ve done your job right. I mean our job, as a band, as artists, is to connect with our audience, that’s our priority. I mean there’s no point in writing songs that people don’t like or don’t get or don’t understand. It’s all about connecting with your audience. So when people are singing to your songs it means they’ve got it for one, but it also means that they really love it as well. It’s an amazing feeling, it’s great.

The Indiependent: Finally, who are you guys listening to at the minute?

James: We mentioned a few bands earlier. John is well into Toe.

John: An instrumental Japanese math-rock band called Toe that I love at the moment. Me and James are well into this band called Peace as well.

Alex: I don’t know if you’ve heard of Peace?

The Indiependent: Of course I’ve heard of Peace!

(All laugh)

Alex: I don’t know if any of the (Indiependent) readers have heard of Peace but they’re this really cool band who are also from Birmingham. But we’ve really been into Tame Impala as well, and The War on Drugs. The direction of our music is actually going in a slightly more psychedelic-driven style. We’re moving slightly away from the more poppy element of the stuff we’re doing and into a bit of a darker, heavier leaning, and that’s ‘cause of the stuff we’re listening to really. It’s exciting!


Words by Ermis Madikopoulos


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