A Conversation With… The Pearl Harts

I do enjoy a gig where I don’t have to leave early! I enjoy one even more once I hear some behind the scenes stories. That’s exactly what I got from the Beastie Boys bratty little sisters (it’s from the interview). Of course, they’re not the actual sisters of the Beastie Boys but they’ve been called it before. With infectious music, rising popularity and 2018 shaping up to be a very important year for these two, I popped down to the Westgarth Social Club In Middlesbrough before The Pearl Harts took to the stage to have a good chat with the two women who rock!

 

Jack: Hey you two, how’s it going?

Sarah: It’s going really well actually. We just released our first album, we’ve put it out ourselves and our first headline tour with a sellout show in London and it’s been very exciting but its getting legs of its own.

 

Jack: I was going to ask about the name of that record, what the hell?

Kirsty: It’s because one of us is Glitter and the other one’s Spit. It swaps around.

 

Jack: I was going to say, Glitter and Spit as it is.

Kirsty: Is it because I’m wearing the leather jacket?

Jack: Yeah.

Kirsty: Sarah can be spit sometimes

Sarah: Well, when I’ve had some White Wine

Sarah: But its all about the duality where it came from. We toyed with some duality ideas, Ying and Yang. We’re a duo and we do things together. It’s like one of us looking after the other but we don’t always need looking after, that’s just what we do. So yeah, Glitter and Spit felt appropriate.

Kirsty: And also, we’re women in rock. Traditionally women in rock music are supposed to be, not macho but a little masculine but we wanted to show you can be feminine and strong.

Jack: I was going to say, you’re giving off a bit of a Joan Jett vibe.

Kirsty: That’s good. We both like her.

 

Jack: And I was going to say, you guys added this date because of a certain thing that happened late last year. At one of the venues, women can’t sing rock. Personally, I think that’s a load of bull.

Sarah: And evidently so do we.

Kirsty: Well, that wasn’t very nice was it?

Jack: And the person who said it was a woman as well.

Kirsty: Wow. That’s feminism taking a huge blow to the head there.

Sarah: I think we do wanna be too preachy about whether women can sing rock or not, I mean we just think, we’re pleased with what we’re doing as a band so we say come check us out, come and see what we can do because we think we can sing rock.

Jack: Oh absolutely. I was having a little listen back to the record again and I was thinking this is really working.

Kirsty: What’s your favourite song off it? I’ve put you on the spot now.

Jack: I always save the tracks to my phone and I’ve gone through quite a few tracks lately. I’ve been backtracking through some records, Wolf Alice, Nothing But Thieves. Stuff such as that.

Sarah: Don’t delete the kisses. I love that song.

Jack: It’s here somewhere. I lose track of how much I listen to.

Kirsty: And that’s a good thing to have, in music and music journalism, you have passion, not just in the writing of it.

Jack: Oh here they were. It was Bonfire and The Rush.

Sarah: Quite a few people are liking Bonfire and that was a little bit of a wildcard for the record, we thought hmmm… is it going to go on? But we’re really glad it did go on.

Jack: Well like I said I think it’s one of the best. On the production of the record, how’s it different to Skeleton?

Sarah: Well, to be honest, it wasn’t miles away, it was with the same producer, Tobin Jones at the park studios in Wembley and we’ve worked him from the very beginning. He helped us hone our sound and knows his stuff. When we were talking about the sort of sound we wanted he was just well you could try this or that and we tried all of his ideas and found ones we liked, worked on them and recorded with him really early. Skeleton was an early track and the difference is that we reworked Skeleton from the original so we’ve added different guitar parts and harmonies. We loved the song but it was nice to leave it for a bit and make it better for the record. Even though we worked with the same producer in the same studio, we managed to change it as a band. When we first played it in the studio, I don’t think we played it live at the time and we improved and evolved it as a band so we made that better as a team. We were more confident with the performance to. Also, we recorded in separate rooms to so the drums probably sound a bit different and a different feel to it, a little angrier than it was before. A little groovier to.

Jack: That’s the good thing about anger as well. Kirsty you said anger can be really productive in a previous interview.

Kirsty: Did I? Well, I think it can. Another track on the record is about a time when I was really angry and we love playing that one. Especially with music, some of the greatest love songs are written about a breakup or about someone hurting you or you hurting someone and anger can stem into something else, as long as you’re not directly aiming it at one person or spitting at someone from stage then be angry, get it out. Sarah taught me that, but in a good way, in a good way don’t worry, in a productive way but not to bottle it up and get angry. We talk about it.

Sarah: It’s good to use songs to get out what you feel and get it into a song because it just automatically makes you feel better.

Jack: And it makes things just that much more productive along the way. But anger’s just that strong motivator.

Sarah: Totally. We’ve been angry, with other people, with each other and our instruments. When we’ve been on stage there was this one gig where I was just really angry with myself when we supported Black Moth.

Jack: On a scale of one to 11?

Sarah: 11 and angry. I won’t go into details with it but I just felt like I was letting myself down so I just felt like had to perform like there was no tomorrow so I feel like it can be a motivator to do something good but it’s better to look at it like that than something bad.

Jack: As long as you get it all out of the way.

Sarah: Yeah, bash it into the drums

Jack: Unless you put your hand through it first.

Sarah: Well, then there’s no gig is there?

Jack: Unless you tape it up first and think yeah, it’ll work. I was going to say as well, it says all you can think to do is take them out for ice cream and all they want to do is wreck your house and firebomb your car on your Facebook bio. Which one of you wrote that?

Kirsty: No, it was a review. I can’t remember who it was exactly but there were these massive bearded guys and I remember who the hell would intimidate you? Then they wrote this article about us and they were like that.

Jack: I just remember laughing so much when I read that. It’s probably one of the best quotes I’ve ever read. And also, you were handpicked for a couple of tours. One was with Skunk Anansie. Fun fact, skin actually went to university here to.

Kirsty: Oh did she? Awesome!

Jack: I think it was interior design she studied.

Sarah: It’s not surprising, she’s super stylish

Jack: And she’s here in spirit to max out your anger. You were handpicked for the tour as well. On one of the dates I heard they dressed up as you?

Kirsty: Yes, they did. On our last song on the gig in Cologne. I just remember playing and Sarah dropped the beat which she never does because she’s rock solid and I just remember seeing their backing vocalist next to you singing in a wig and she had the sticks as well and I felt someone crash into me. It was Skin with a guitar, a blowup guitar and we were like Aerosmith style back to back. The song probably suffered for it but who cares? The crowd loved it. They got to see the band they all came to see with their support bamd. The whole tour was like that. We drank with them, hung out with them, they gave us advice and they were great but for the crowd to see that relationship, it was amazing.

Jack: I’m going to try and find a video of that now, I really see that.

Kirsty: It got live streamed but I think that was the end of it.

Sarah: There were some confetti cannons to.

Jack: Did you fall on your ass though? When Skin crashed into you?

Kirsty: I didn’t but I was really shocked. I went back to my loop pedal after and still had half a song to play because we were constantly doing something. Sarah’s got the samples or she’s on the kit so she’s singing so we cant just lay back and enjoy it. It was fun so we just let that roll, then we got hammered. I think we invaded their stage as well that night. We basically stayed on stage for an hour. Skin made us stay on stage and wouldn’t let us go. She put her arms around us and we stayed by the edge of the stage and everything. That was the best.

Jack: Now you’re making me wish I was there.

Sarah: Oh, you would’ve loved it.

 

Jack: After this show you’re on the road again, this time supporting Louise Distras’s UK tour.

Sarah: That’s correct.

Jack: How much are you looking forward to that? I mean you guys are just hungry for the stage at the moment. Tour, quick rest back on it.

Kirsty: This tour was a proper van tour but we’re travelling with Louise and her band so that’s going to be a relief on our end  because it’s jus the two of us and it’s all hands on deck with no crew so when we tour its all hands on deck so it’s nicer to have that little tour crew with us. As much as we love  just being me and sarah because we can mesh into one person, it’s nice to have some people to bounce off as well, it takes the pressure off with the load in style of things with the physical work because you want to enjoy it after but it’s like nope, talk to a few people, pack down, load out so it’ll be nice to have everyone around us.

Jack: And I have to ask to ask as well, when you’re driving up and down the country, is there a little mixtape in there?

Sarah: Yeah, it’s funny because me and Kirsty are really into our cheesy music.

Jack: Would you say they’re guilty pleasures?

Sarah: Oh they’re in no way guilty.

Jack: What’s on there?

Kirsty: Some 80’s hiar metal, some Motley Crue ACDC, Def Leopard. We had whole spice girls sessions.

Sarah: Kirsty had done so much driving that day and we thought, we’d wanna do most of the journey back to London and get that over with so I was like why don’t we stop in Northampton which would’ve taken three hours so we basically just had a Spice Girls party and sung our happy little hearts out. It’s not fair for one of us to sleep while the other one’s driving so we pushed through together.

Kirsty: And there’s also a song that comes on through my Itunes, which isn’t even embaressing at all and I think its from a film which just gets us really hyped up and it’s got a great beat that Sarah just dances to.

Sarah: You’re getting all this gossip because of your research so we’re just supplying you with more.

 

Jack: And if you could have knowledge of any instrument you don’t what would it be?

Sarah: I’d love to learn the more production side of things, it’s not an instrument but it’s kind of one because of all the software instruments so I’d love to learn that side of things more to bring those modern elements into the style of music we do.

Kirsty: That’s a really cool answer, but I really wanna play the Drums. I want sarah to teach me. She sometimes lets be have a go on them in rehersal but I’m bad.

Sarah: No you’re not.

Kirsty: Well I can do a four four,

Sarah: I can play a bit of guitar, Kirsty can do a bit of drums. We should just switch sometime but it’d be terrible. Like The White Stripes when they first started when they were like ten or something.

 

Jack: If you could work with any living musican who would it be? Like a collaboration?

Sarah: We were talking about this recently and we were talking about who we’d like to collaborate with songwriting wise and Sia has come up. She’s uber pop but I love her lyrics and she’s got a big fight in what she writes about so she’d be really cool to work with.

Kirsty: I think we’d love to work with someone in a different genre than what we do because I think its more interesting. Slaves worked with Mike from Beastie Boys.

I’d love to work with them. We were called the Beastie Boys bratty little sisters once which I loved and I think it’d be really fun but I wouldn’t mind working with someone from Tame Impala because they’re really big on production as well as their musicality so that would be interesting. There are loads.

 

Jack: And after the tour’s done what next for you guys moving into 2018?

Sarah: There’s nothing set in stone but we’re definitely going to be releasing some new music later this year and another tour later this year. We can’t say when it is but the London date is difinately is going to be in September and at the start of next year there’s going to be some new music as well.

 

Jack: And is there anything youd. Like to say before we wrap things up?

Erm… I can’t wait for the gig toniggght!

We’re gonna rock out!

 

You can watch The Pearl Harts music video for ‘The Rush’ below.

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