Blues Pills: “We're still heavy, it’s just a different kind of heaviness"

Line-up photo of the four-piece band band Blues Pills

How did you enjoy playing at this summer’s Steelhouse Festival?

It was fantastic to play at the top of a Welsh mountain. We seem to be spending a lot of time in the UK. One year we played London five times.

Your self-titled 2014 debut album was extremely well received. Did you feel under pressure making the follow-up, Lady In Gold?

I’m not going to lie, there was a lot – mostly from myself. We missed several deadlines, but I really wanted to improve my lyrics. I spent a lot of time staring at a blank piece of paper, but it was worth the roller-coaster because I think they are better.

The album is far more soulful. Won’t Go Back, Rejection and the YouTube track I Felt A Change all have hints of Aretha Franklin.

That was definitely a goal. And yeah, of course, I’m a massive fan of Aretha’s. I really hoped to bring that out in the music, as well as the rock elements. It was a natural step.

Some reviewers suggested that the transition sacrificed a little of the band’s intensity?

[Laughs] Somebody called us soul-pop. I don’t hear that. There were more of the slower songs on the first album. The new album is still heavy, it’s just a different kind of heaviness.

The new tunes are shorter and sharper, so will there be a little less stretching out on stage?

Not at all, we’re going to extend them and leave room for some improvisation. That’s a very big part of what the band does.

Your Nuclear Blast labelmates Kadavar are touring with you.

The two bands are very compatible, I think, and we are good friends. We’ve been talking for ages about doing a European tour together.

What do the next six months hold for Blues Pills?

This tour runs until December, and then we take some time off to hang with our families and finish building our own studio outside of Örebro. Being able to record whenever you like brings such freedom.

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Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.