For a band that is only just getting introduced to the UK music industry, The Pierces have certainly already had enough ups and downs to last an entire career.
Neither their eponymous debut album, released back in 2000, nor the 2004 follow up Light Of The Moon set America alight so things weren't looking good for the New York duo, who originally came from Alabama. As if that wasn't enough, they then ran into an unsupportive record label for their third album Thirteen Tales Of Love And Revenge. So despite the warmer reception for the album, and TV appearances for album track 'Secret' on Gossip Girl and Dexter, the duo decided to call it a day. So how are they now talking to us now? The answer is simple: Coldplay.
Bassist Guy Merryman was so impressed by Thirteen Tales... that he asked the girls to join Coldplay on their North American tour, the very next day after they had decided to split. In the end, they didn't go on the tour but he, along with Rik Simpson, have produced The Pierces' next album which is due for release next year. Whatever your feelings on Coldplay, we have to at least thank them for bringing the folk pop-rock charms of The Pierces to our shores.
With the release of their debut UK EP Love You More set for 25th October, one half of The Pierces, Catherine Pierce, sat down with us to give you a glimpse into what makes the duo tick.
What's your earliest musical memory?
Probably singing while our father played guitar. He loved music and passed that on to us.
If you could hold a recording session with any number of artists, who would you choose?
Well, the obvious thing to do would be to choose the greatest musicians that ever lived, but it would probably end up being a disaster. There would be ego battles and intimidation and it would probably sound too perfect and have no character, so I'll just choose people that make music I really love and that would be fun to hang out with is the studio. We could have Rufus Wainwright on piano and harmonies, Patrick Carney from The Black Keys on drums, Jack White on guitar, and Butterfly Boucher on bass...she's a bad ass.
You want to describe your music to a stranger on the street, who do you compare yourself to?
I described our last record as a chocolate cake with a razor blade in it. I'll say this one is like a water baptism by Hippy Priestess in the Hudson River. People compare us to lots of things, it depends on which element they hone in on. Our harmonies remind people of The Mamas & The Papas and Simon & Garfunkel; the feel and grooves of the songs remind some people of Fleetwood Mac. Someone said the other day that we were like a folkier Lady Gaga...I thought that was really funny.
You are going to live on a desert island for a year, which three albums do you take with you?
I never answer this question because, (a) I can't ever decide, and (b) there will be no way to listen to the records anyway. So instead I'll bring a guitar, a handsome man, and sunscreen.
Everyone has a defining music moment, one that lives on in the memory, what is yours?
For me it's recording music. When you make something that you really love and are proud of, it's one of the best feelings in the world.
What is the best gig you've ever been to and why?
Two stand out for me: The White Stripes at The Bowery Ballroom right as they were breaking. It was clear that it was something special. The energy in the room was amazing. Also Florence & The Machine; her voice is mind blowing.
If we were to look at your MP3 player, what is the most embarrassing track or album that we'd find?
Probably Enya! Ha!
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Massively rich, with two husbands (that will be legal by then); one is the greatest lover of all time and the other is the funniest man on earth. Allison will live in the mansion next door with her two husbands and we'll hold monthly free concerts on our lawn that will be catered by El Bulli.
How would you describe your debut UK EP, Love You More, to us?
I wouldn't. I would tell you to go listen to it on iTunes and then purchase it so I can afford my mansion and two husbands.
What's next for The Pierces?
We are gonna live in London for awhile and play shows. Very exciting. We love London!
Love You More is out on October 25th and you can download EP track 'To The Grave' for free from their website here