August 2018

Double Pivot

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It’s a funny thing that the best things in life don’t always seem that way to begin with. For every advancement made by the human race there’ll always be a group of us who can’t see its benefits and frankly, just don’t like it. PVT’s latest album Church With No Magic, while not radically divisive, is most definitely a sonic advancement and as such its it takes time to fully appreciate just how far they’ve pushed their sound.

“We’re trying to use electronics and technology in a way that’s more visceral and physical,” drummer Laurence Pike explains from Sydney’s Centennial Park where the ducks squawking in the background couldn’t be in starker contrast to the dark, experimental, rock-electronica that PVT produce.

“It’s been extremely positive (the response), as far as a progression goes that’s what we’re always aiming for with our records. We’re not the sort of band that exist in one shape or form that people can easily pigeon hole, it’s funny because people in music media have trouble with that because that want you to be easily definable because that’s where the can place you for ever more. I think our aspiration as artists is to develop what we do and get better at what we do and as a result our music continues to change.”

Pike, who’s joined in the band formerly known as Pivot (until a nu-metal band in America laid claim to the name there) by his brother Richard and Dave Miller, is happy enough to let people take their time coming to terms with an album that’s seen the band add vocals (courtesy of Richard) into the mix for the first time. “It doesn’t really matter, in six months time they’ll probably catch up,” he offers initially.

“It’s the only thing, it’s why you do it. We want to make music that’s meaningful to us and continues to push us and explore the limits of what we’re capable of. I wish more bands would do that,” echoing what many a music fan must be feeling before drawing to the inevitable conclusion. “It’s the commercial nature of music, it’s easy to put together a band that’s an imitation or copy of something popular, it’s maths. “I think we’d be doing it regardless and I think that’s the difference. That’s when the good things and innovation happens, and longevity too I guess.”

“That’s the best thing about being on a label like Warp, the artists they sign are capable of making those decisions themselves and are capable of pushing their music forward into interesting new places. That’s what they’ve built their brand on so they give us a license to do what we want, we’re lucky.” Pike continues before explaining how this freedom allows them to approach the recording process exactly as they want to.

“We just go into the studio and start recording, we tend to improvise as a means to spur new ideas. We go in with 10-12 ideas that could be as small as a tiny drum loop at a certain tempo and then we come out with a bunch of music and filter through it for few weeks until we find the thread of a record. Then we chip away at that and re-record things, initially it’s a very unconscious process. We’re unlike most other bands in that regard, there’s no principle song writer. We’re an experimental band in that we experiment with the process itself.”

“We don’t rehearse a lot either,” Pike admits, “I think we’re lucky that we don’t need to rehearse a lot and we like to keep things a bit unsaid. We learn how to play songs as we tour rather than rehearsing something into a concrete, definitive version and then just going out and playing that every night for 200 shows.”

PVT

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