photograph reworked by Tom Hudson
Despite what their name suggests, Pulled Apart By Horses are the last people on earth to need any props (animal, mineral, vegetable or otherwise) to pull themselves apart - on stage, at least. PABH consists of Tom Hudson, James Brown, Lee Vincent and Robert Lee; and they are a gritty, screamy, bloody quartet with a propensity for nudity, injury and vomiting. Emerging in 2008 from the interwoven-ness of the Leeds scene, the PABH monster very quickly snowballed as they picked up gigs left, right and centre as well as a load of press along the way. And on this day in 2010, their self titled debut album is unleashed via Transgressive Records.
// CONGRATUFUCKINGLATIONS lads! \\
Theirs is a case of blood, sweat, tears and all manner of other bodily functions being totally evident in their music and presence; with a stinking slash of pure, unedited, unabashed and totally rock and roll thrash indicating that they've arrived in any venue. PABH's onstage persona, like their music, is encased in a noisy, rocked out, raw throated roar. Underneath though, they are in fact, classically 'pop' at heart; just as they are actually a bunch of really nice, super hard working, music loving, stage diving lads once the dust has settled. Kind of like, the most extreme sour candy you can get; covered in cheek puckering crystals but underneath that is actually rather sweet. Ha. Don't get me wrong though - the blood AND the guts are real. No sugarcoating that shit.
Anyway. I had a chat with singer/screamer Tom Hudson a little while ago, catching up about band, tour, gastronomical pyrotechnics and a potential PABH Rihanna cover...
All of you guys have come from different bands which each had their own measure of success. What is it about PABH that has made it a success that wasn't there in all your previous bands?
Well it's just about us guys. It's never been about us trying to get big or do anything out of the ordinary really, we just wanted to form a band and kick about together, but as soon as we started off it just started snowballing really quickly which is awesome cos we're just a bunch of dudes just having fun.
Somehow people like Vice and the NME and all sorts of cool in between really dig you guys, and yet PABH have managed to infiltrate the scene in quite a chilled out way, without it being oversaturated with you at all.
We've just done everything the old school way, we've toured the shit out of everything. We've been together two years or something, but we've played about 400 gigs or something ridiculous like that. It's just putting in the hard work.
It's pretty cool that the album's coming out on Transgressive, so congratulations on that, it's super wicked.
They're awesome guys. It took a while to find the right record label; because we're in between kind of being a DIY band and being a kind of professional band. We've still got our DIY roots, but those guys are a step up from being a DIY label, cause they've got the same sort of morals and stuff, and they're just a bunch of eager guys really.
Did you guys play SXSW?
We were going to, but then we realised it was going to cost tonnes and tonnes of money so instead we decided that we'll do it next year after we've released the album and we've got a bit more under our belts. Instead of playin SXSW we toured around Europe for a couple of weeks with Blood Red Shoes, so it was sweet. Lins (Tommy's intermittent band mate, the latest cellist of Leeds' Grammatics and Tommy's girl. Yep y'all, he's taken) was at SXSW playing with Grammatics. She'd be like calling me and we'd ask how each other's gigs were and she'd have just played some Texan bar and would be eating ribs whilst I was eating currywurst in Berlin and shit like that. It was a two week tour but it felt like a bit of a holiday at the same time.
Did you manage to vom on anyone whilst you were there?
Not on that tour actually, it went alright. I've managed to hold it back a little bit now but it still comes out every once in a while. Speaking of that warehouse gig, that we played with [Mariachi El] Bronx? Just from playing that gig, the Bronx have loved us and we played some dates with them. And we had a pretty bad one in Nottingham where I just threw up on the whole crowd. That was quite weird.
It happened in a really chaotic way, and I just started throwing water around on people and they reacted really weirdly and just started chucking pints at me and stuff, so I was like fuck this, and I jumped the barrier, started running around and grabbing anyone's beer and throwing it in the air. So everyone was just covered in a beery mess. And one kid got really excited and got me on his back and was running around with me on his back, and I was trying to get off him telling him I was going to be sick but he wouldn't let go of me. All of a sudden I just projectile vomited straight past his head and he realised and dropped me and there was...more mess. It was pretty grim.
It's like your signature move now, the Vommy Tommy.
It's like my Street Fighter special move.
Do you still do all the band's artwork?
Yes, have you seen the cover? Here it is...
...The best thing about our album's lyrics booklet is that every single page is like a different artist, so it's like a little zine in itself, which is pretty cool. Got Jacko Hudson on the case!
YAY Jacko! His latest artwork for Sky Larkin is beautiful. So do you guys still have all your day jobs?
No we don't anymore. Lee still does a few hours at a bar...we're all scraping by and we're all absolute tramps. But I don't really care, as long as I can pay my rent and not get into shit, it doesn't matter to me anyway. I'd rather be doing this than working some shitty office job and crying [laughs]. If you're doing what you wanna do, you can get by.
Tell me a bit about the video...(check it below)
I did all the treatment and researched it, (bassist) Rob did all the storyboards and we co-directed it. And Rob made all the fake blood with it. It was awesome cos all my research was just watching these shitty (read: amazing) B grade horror movies and loads of Evil Dead.
I can't watch scary films. And I'm afraid of the dark.
Really? I think we all are a bit from when you're a kid. I used to turn the light off and then run downstairs like a spazz being really scared - I still do it now a bit. When I go to bed, I turn all the lights off and then there's five different doors facing me and a black room beyond each, so you never know who's creeping about!
I have a request, and I don't know if it's even possible to be met, but I REALLY REALLY REALLY want you to do a cover of a Rihanna song...
It couldn't be 'Umbrella' cause loads of people have done that...
It could be anyyy or even a Beyoncé song or something...Just as long as it's in the style of Pulled Apart By Horses. It would be amazing.
I went through a phase of singing "If you like that then you shoulda put a ring on it" I kept putting that line into a few songs...
How did your fans take it?
I'm a pop bastard at heart. If you peel away at the screaming, there's a classic pop structure behind all the songs. A lot of the times i'll play, people don't even know what sort of band we are, we could be anything really until we rip into it. We're like a hardcore band in indie clothing [laughs]. Anything goes. We don't write for a specific kinda sound. Even if we write something totally different from anything we had ever written before, we have total confidence that it's gonna sound like PABH at the end of it anyway.