In Conversation With - The Pale White
The Pale White deliver a heavy dose of blues and indie with their newest EP ‘Take Me To The Strange’, they took a moment to talk to us about moving towards unexplored territory when it came to their sound when making the album.
What inspired the EP name ‘Take Me To The Strange’?
The name “Take Me To The Strange” came from the idea that as a band we were moving towards newer or previously unexplored territory within our sound. We were writing more and more songs that flirted with the heavier and odder side of the band, and it felt like we were going to these strange areas that we had never recorded or showed anyone before. So in that sense it’s a nod to our development we think. Its also a lyric in one of the tracks, “Trapped Nerve”. In the context of that song, it references a desire to maybe move away from the worlds obsession with social media and to engage with something different.
Taking inspiration from your EP name, what would taken to ‘the strange’ entail?
Moving towards something you’re not sure of, but embracing it.
What lessons did you take from your debut EP into producing this sophomore EP?
Our first EP was more of a collection of singles than a cohesive record. We very much saw that debut release as our first era as a band. A snapshot of our early life as The Pale White. We’re very proud of those songs and still love them, but this is definitely our most rounded and thought out release to date. We liked the idea of the tracks flowing together and having a common thread. All of the material on the EP was written around the same time, so it has a feel and some similar lyrical themes running through them. It was written in winter in our old freezing cold rehearsal room, so that image has always stuck with us. We were keen to follow our instincts and go wherever we felt was exciting to us.
Were there any unexpected surprises during the recording process?
Like we’ve said before, we were eager to explore and maybe push ourselves a little bit further recording wise, and embrace any unexpected discoveries when recording. There are a lot of pretty filthy guitar and bass tones on the tracks, and we’ve flirted a little bit with synths in certain parts.
Any behind the scenes stories from the recording process?
We recorded and tracked a lot of it in a studio called Chairworks in Leeds. We went up there for a few days with our producer John Martindale, and stayed in the house that’s connected to the studio. We spent hours and hours just immersing ourselves in the EP for full days. I don’t think we actually saw any daylight the entire time. We’d spend all day in the studio recording and experimenting with sounds, and then on the evening we’d cook meals, watch Ricky Gervais standup and play pool. We learnt that John is incredibly good at pool. If you by chance bump into him in a bar, never play for money. We finished tracking the EP in John’s studio, Blank Studios in Newcastle. It’s pretty much the creative hub of the city. All of the bands have a connection to that studio. They’ve had a huge impact on the local scene.
Is there a message you would like to send with this EP?
Lyrically, we always like to let people draw their own meanings and connections to the songs. We never really want to impose a feeling or theme on someone. Obviously some of the lyrics come from experiences or relationships, and then some are hypothetical situations or feelings, but we would like people to attach their own meaning and context to them. Some of the songs are fairly self explanatory, like “Panic Attack”, and then others are a bit more ambiguous.
The opening lyrics to ‘End of Time’ is ‘Waiting for a dream that takes me to my grave’. What would this dream be? What inspired this particular line?
The lyric is “waiting for a train that takes me to my grave”. The song moves around that imagery. “Next stop is the end of time”.
You mentioned ‘We’ve got the potential to break out of the city where no one’s done anything for a while’ - how do you think being raised in the North East has shaped your music?
That quote was taken from when we first started releasing music as a band. The North East scene had lay stagnant for a few years, and there really hadn’t been any noise coming from the area for quite some time. We think it’s in a much healthier state now, and it feels like there are a few acts really ready to break out. People are starting to take notice of local artists and we’ve got people like Sam Fender, Pigsx7, Callum Pitt, The Old Pink House, Shields and Feva all flying the flag for the area. I think it’s only a matter of time before people have to sit up and take notice. It’s the best emerging music scene in the country. We’re really proud of where we come from, and although it has posed some difficulties at times, due to us being so far away from the capital, we wouldn’t want to move away or distance ourselves from the area. It’s a massive part of our lives and identity as a band, and it’s a proper hidden gem of a region.
Are there any plans of an album, now that you’ve got two EPs under your belt? What are your plans for the near future?
Plans for the album have started to slowly come together, but we want to really make sure we produce something that feels right and that we can be proud of forever. Albums last forever. You only get one chance at a debut record, and we want ours to be the best it can possibly be. You shouldn’t sprint in a marathon. We want to spend some time doing more touring next year and releasing singles leading up to a record. We think it’ll be worth the wait.
Feature by Athena Kam