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PALE STRANGERS

RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW PALE STRANGERS WHAT HAPPENED?

Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
Thank you! 

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
Chris: I have a very vivid memory of my Grandad taking me to Nursery/Reception when I was younger and he would tap along on the car dashboard to songs. That was the first time I was ‘aware’ of music and rhythm. I instantly got hooked on Led Zepellin and the rest is history….

James: For me it was through my dad. He always had the music he loved on in the car so from a young age it was Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Cream, etc. The first thing that really GRABBED me was a version of ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ from an Eric Clapton live album and my Dad played me the original when we got home and I’ve been hooked ever since. 

Introduce us to you all and your musical history.

Chris: We’re Pale Strangers! We used to be called ‘Rival Bones’ back in the day but after a hiatus, new business, house moves, weddings and now back together and writing music, we thought it would be good to start fresh.

We started back in 2015 and had a great run till around 2020 where we released multiple EPs, singles and played all over the world. We then kind of burnt out just before Covid and broke up between 2020 – 2023. We decided to just have fun writing and not worry about whether we were going to play live again and naturally a new EP spawned out of that! 

What was life like for you before music?
Chris: I genuinely don’t remember life before music…

James: I was hanging out with uncool people being quite unsure of who I was.

What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
Chris: Stairway to Heaven believe it or not. I remember learning that song on drums while my grandad learnt the keys part, my dad the guitar and my uncle the bass.

James: ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ by Cream.

Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?
Chris: It’s strange but exciting that I feel like we’re starting over again but with a ton of experience, friends, contacts etc. Before we had a break we were playing festivals like 2000Trees, Isle of Wight, InMusic and playing in countries like South Korea, France, Croatia etc. In terms of our sound, we’re heavy, loud and make you move.

James: For me it’s super hard to say… It’s been a good while since we released anything or made any noise and the world has changed so much but I guess we’ll find out soon enough with a new single about to drop!

PALE STRANGERS

What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry?
Chris: 

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.

If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?
Chris: My own studio is completely set up to make it easy for me to go and record when I want.

Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? Discuss….
Chris: I don’t really, but we’ve had one issue with a song of ours called ‘Robot Girl’. I’ll let James tell the story….

James: haha okay, we did an interview once and I was asked “Is this song about a sex robot?? And if it is, What the fuck??”. It is, of course, not about a sex robot but rather about a man who is looking for love in the wrong places. The interviewer was satisfied with my answer! 

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? If not, why not?
Chris: Hmmm, I’m pretty sure the Royal Family are lizards.

James: Liz Truss was most definitely put in as PM in order to destabilize the economy for a few weeks so that the rich could cash in. 

What was the worst experience on stage?
Chris: For me, it’s ALL about sound. I’ve had some horrendous experiences on stage where the sound has been dreadful and it really impacts the experience for us as a band. I know James has had some technical issue experiences….

James: I used to have a pedalboard power supply that was a big lithium battery. It was great because no matter what, I’d have clean power as long as it was charged.

We did a gig years ago and it turned out that it was not charged so about 3 songs in, the pedal board died. Unfortunately we’re not a band that can manage with me just going straight into the amp so the show had to stop while I went to try and find batteries to power the essential pedals on the board so we could continue.

The promoter was ADAMANT that we had to finish, even though it was about midday in a large hall with 4 people watching. Worst gig ever. 

What are the next steps you plan to take as a band to reach the next level?
Well, we’re releasing this EP and we have some label interest to release it physically which is great. We’ve recently signed with a Booking Agent so we’re hoping over Spring/Summer we’ll be touring, playing festivals and supporting other amazing artists. At the end of the year, we plan to start writing again and keep releasing new music to people to hear!

Whats your thoughts on Elon Musks contribution to the world?
Chris:Torn. He’s ruined Twitter. Tesla is cool. His Neural stuff is weird. James might have stronger thoughts on this being a fellow South African…
James: I don’t want to talk about Elon Musk. He already has more airtime then he should.

I hear you have a new music, what can you tell us about it.
We have a new EP ‘The Pale Strangers’ coming out in June with the first single ‘Deep Waters’ releasing on March 15th. This EP is the first time we’ve written NOT in the rehearsal room. Typically, we would come up with a riff/drumbeat/idea and go from there.

This time, we’ve had a space to record and try different things. This entire EP has already been recorded by me and James in a room before we actually got to a studio to record it. This means we’ve been able to really chop and change, experiment and try new things. 

What was the recording process like?
Chris: Well, this time we came in really prepared and with the songs already roughly recorded. We had a few days in the studio. Drums were recorded first along to the guide tracks and then James took over for the next few days to record everything else.

James: For me it was pretty straight forward because we were super well prepared. When you’re prepared like that you have the luxury of just worrying about being creative and not worrying about the parts or playing it right. 

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

James: Trusting ourselves. Honestly there were loads of moments where I’d write something I felt good about but because it had been 5 years since we’d written anything it was hard to know if was actually anything worth pursuing so for me, my radar for “This is good/or not” was totally non-existent. 

Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Chris: I mean, I don’t think it’s healthy to think about what you’d change otherwise you’ll drive yourself wild. There are TINY things like a handclap here or a shaker there but other than that, I’m totally happy with it.

James: No. There are always bits that you listen to and think “Hmm maybe I could have done that bit 2% better” but that’s just how it is. That was a moment in time and I’m happy to live with it. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Chris: Just to keep a lookout on all of our socials. We have a pre-save link up at the moment for Deep Waters which if we get close to 100, we’ll chart so it would be cool if people could follow us, pre save the single and GIVE US ALL THE LOVE! 

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