A chat with... PVT0
Australian trio PVT have had a busy year so far. With an unwanted name change from Pivot to PVT, a new album (Church With no Magic) out on Warp and a hectic tour scehdule, BT editor Dave B took some time out to chat with lead singer Rich about the new album, religion and why he decided to finally lend his vocals to his music.
Hey Rich- how are you today?
Pretty good. Getting ready to get on a plane for Australia in 2 days. I’ve had time off the road for so long now that I’m not so keen on hitting the road straight away. I have to get in the zone.
I know this is probably the 100th time you’ve answered this but Pivot to PVT- must have been a kick in the balls?
Of course. But I think we’ve done the right thing. We could’ve kept fighting for the name if we wanted, but it would have been costly and time consuming. We spent some money on a lawyer, and in the end if we got sued in the US we could've lost, simply coz they had the name first in the that territory. We actually talked to Caribou for advice, coz he had the same issue years ago, he recommended avoiding the legal entanglements coz it was painful for him. The funny thing is though we can still be Pivot everywhere in the world, just not the US.
We all know the reason why you guys had to change your name so I won’t bore you with having to give us the details- instead if you could rob any other bands name, who’s would it be and why?
Lightning Bolt is a good name. Good band too. I’ll go with that.
Are the other Pivot any good?
I think we all know the answer to that. No further comment.
How would you describe your music in three words to a new listener?
This is an interview favourite this question. Never know how to answer it still. Muscular, joyous, dionysian.
‘Church with no Magic’ is an interesting album name- is there some sort of hidden anti religious meaning?
It’s not necessarily meant to be religious, although that is the obvious interpretation. It's not a direct go at the Catholic church, although we're pretty sceptical of religion. We liked the questioning nature of the title, it seemed to fit a lot of the ideas we were discussing around the time. It's more about anti-fakeness or pro-truth then anything anti-religious. In fact it's pro-religious in a way – it's asking where is the real magic in life? That's a spritual question. Also, it's a feeling I had, of events or places. For example, I always think shopping centres are 'churches with no magic'. Lots of people congregate there, but they are such transient and empty places, the feeling that exists there if you just stand there for a while. It's a nonplace.
Your sound has definitely changed since the release of ‘Make me Love You’ and ‘O Soundtrack my Heart’- most notably with more vocals on your tracks- was this a conscious decision or a natural progression?
It was natural. We were doing it more and more live. Sampling bits of vocals. I sing all the time and have been since high school. But besides this we were never going to do O Soundtrack II. We're always looking forward, for something new.
Is it difficult to come to a group agreement on when a song is complete and ready for inclusion on an album?
No I don't think so. I think we know when it's done. And usually it becomes an easy decision coz you've heard it too much by then, and you just wanna put the baby to bed. What's difficult is agreeing on a track order for the album.
WARP is such an iconic label- it must have been quite an honour to be the first Australian band signed to them…
You guys are touring around August- what can fans expect from the live show?
A 30 foot fire breathing godzilla. Go go dancers. Lasers, definitely lasers. Some good music too.
‘Window’ is a great video- raw, simple and effective. Are you wearing cameras on your head? Who came up with the concept?
Clemens Habicht the director came up with it. He got one of these new POV cameras, that are being used a lot for extreme sports. They're lightweight and cheap and high quality, so you see videos on youtube of people base jumping with them on and hang-gliding. He thought wouldn't it be great to watch what a band's doing on stage. He's a clever guy.
Finally what does the next year hold for PVT?
Well the next few months is bucket load of touring. Then probably a break. Then more touring. Then somewhere in there I would like to record some new material. This time we're keen on going out to the countryside somewhere for a few weeks. I wish Conny Plank was still alive and we could go to his barn studio in Germany where Eno went with Cluster in the 70s. Or the south of France where the Stones did Exile On Main Street.
Cheers Rich- I look forward to your Dublin show…
You too. Please tell Fionn Regan to come, I'm a fan of his stuff.
'Church With no Magic' is out now on Warp Records.