“We’ve all come back at different times,” Pivot’s guitarist Richard Pike tells me. “We’ve had a week or so off, so we’ve all sort of gone separate ways after living together for so long while touring.”
The band have just come back from London after touring in Europe since August, promoting their sophomore album O Soundtrack My Heart, playing a heroic amount of shows across the continent.
“We’ve had moments off where we stayed in London and that was good, and the last few weeks have been ok, so we’ve had a few little pockets of breathing space, but since we came back in August after supporting Sigur Rós we had 45 dates to play so it was crazy.”
With the band playing so many shows I asked Richard if the band’s experiences had at all influenced the way they played the songs, and if we could expect any new additions or surprises when they play the Gaelic Club this Saturday the 29th November.
“The main thing is that we’ve been playing the new album so much that it has evolved, all the album tracks now seem very different live. We haven’t written any new stuff on tour, but there are definitely some new aspects to the live show that you won’t be expecting.”
“We have been working on some stuff though, and in fact we did a whole bunch of recording at the beginning of the year and we picked out the stuff we liked so we’re coming back to that now. We’ve deliberately chosen to play less gigs in December and January and we’re going to work on all that.”
When I caught up with Richard’s brother and drummer Laurence earlier this year, he had told me that Richard had slept with Peaches Geldof and that Dave Miller (programming) had spewed on himself in front of 10 Downing St, so I asked Richard if they had been keeping up the pace.
“I had no idea Laurence said this until someone opened the article and it was the big pull quote,” he laughs. “I should probably get him back but I can’t think of anything.”
The brothers have an undeniable musical chemistry, and having interviewed them both I can say a very similar sense of humour.
“It’s good playing with a sibling. I mean we’ve always made music together so we’ve sort of developed a rapport, but I think it’s probably harder for other members of the band… so Dave basically,” he laughs. “There’s always that kind of brother connection, but we really like having that other person there and someone else to bounce off, because without him we might just get bogged down in our own routine.”
While Pivot are now finally receiving the attention they deserve, it hasn’t always been that way. It was really only the fact that they signed to Warp Records, the first Australian act to do so, that they really received the exposure that got them noticed. Before like so many other bands they had struggled against the local music industry’s conservatism and close mindedness.
“I think it takes a lot of guts in Australia to kind of do something different because there’s sort of all these modes and ways you’ve got to follow to get through certain walls and ceilings in the industry and there are certain things radio expects.”
“I think radio particularly has become really conservative over the past few years. I don’t know what’s happened with triple j, I don’t know what’s happened with Richard Kingsmill, whether age has done something strange to him or something. I have always had a lot of respect for Kingsmill and I still do, but he’s letting a lot of people down I think and sort of going against what triple j originally stood for.”
“I don’t really understand it, and I kind of wish stations like FBi were national, because they’re doing such a good job in Syndey, but I don’t know what to say really. Whether it’s a sign of the times, or whether people don’t want to be challenged or they don’t want to consider music art, or they just want something that is packaged and radio friendly. It baffles me.”
While he may sound a little on the pretentious side, at heart Pivot are just a bunch of musos out to play music and have fun.
“As much as we want music to be art, we also want to have fun. At the end of the day we got into music because it’s fun and I hope people don’t misinterpret us wanting to make art as being how brow, or intelligent for the sake of it or whatever, it’s just us being playful, it’s fun to do that, playing around with music, jumping around on stage, and that’s what it is in the end.”
“Maybe it is a selfish pursuit to want to do that, to just want to muck around with the sounds that we want, but you know, so is trying to write a pop beat.”
Catch Pivot 29th Nov at The Gaellic Club with My Disco