Interview: A Conversation with The Pale White

Live at Leeds is edging ever closer and our stage at Nation of Shopkeepers has never seen such a talent-packed line-up. To prep the crowds for the perfect party we’ve been cooking up, we caught up with our headliners The Pale White to see what they’d been getting up to, who they were looking forward to catching at the festival and whether they really did scare off Josh Homme at Reading Festival…


Hey guys, how’s it going? Been up to much? 
Hey hey. We’re collectively very good, thank you. We’re gearing up to unleash lots of brand new music this year. We started things off by putting a single out called ‘Loveless’ at the start of the year. It’s been a live favourite in our set for a while, so we thought we’d set it free into the wider world… And just the other week we released a brand new single called ‘Peace Of Mind’…


Yes! We’re loving ‘Peace of Mind’, how’ve you been enjoying the response? 
It’s been going down a treat, so we’re very pleased. It’s a slight change of pace for us and probably more of an indication of a lot of the songs we play live or haven’t released yet. It’s heavier than a whale strapped to an anvil so we were really pleased to see it rubbing shoulders with Arianna Grande and the like in Spotify’s New Music Friday Playlists.


How has touring with We Are Scientists been?
We’re fans of those guys, so it’s very cool getting to come along and support them. They have really passionate fans, so the shows have been really fun.


How are you feeling about headlining our stage at Live At Leeds?
We can’t wait to come back and headline this year. We were very kindly asked to headline a LaL Ones to Watch show late on last year and we’ve been buzzing about headlining Nation of Shopkeepers since we found out. Last year’s event was one of our festival highlights. Such a cool show getting to play with Temples, The Magic Gang and Frightened Rabbit, so it’s unbelievably exciting to be the closing act on a stage! Leeds is always a very wild crowd. Things always seem to get rowdy when we come to Leeds.


Who else are you planning to try and catch at the festival?
There are so many acts playing that we love. Demob Happy, Blaenavon, Forever Cult, Imogen, Sam Fender, Stereo Honey… They’re all on our list. Our boys The Old Pink House are on our stage as well, so we’ll definitely be catching them and heckling them from the side of stage.
What are your plans for the rest of the year? What can we look forward to?
We’re working on something pretty special behind the scenes. We also have a few festivals to announce soon and some headline shows. We’re playing some shows with Twin Atlantic again at the end of May/start of June which we’re buzzed for. Those guys have been very good to us and are lovely people.


What’s Newcastle like? Much of a scene up there?
Newcastle is actually a really vibrant creative city. There are lots of fringe communities making exciting art and opening new ventures despite the economic climate. Blank Studio is like the creative hub of the scene. All of the great bands seem to have a link to the studio. It was quiet for a little while as a music scene, but it feels like for the first time in a long time there are bands breaking out. Sam Fender, The Old Pink House, Penguin and FEVA are all doing exciting things and making moves. We sold out our hometown show at Riverside at the start of this year which felt like a real moment for us. It’s a sign that people are getting out and coming to see bands local to their area in Newcastle. It’s not been like that for a long time, so it’s a very exciting time up North.


Which new acts have you kept your eyes on? Any to recommend?
We love Boy Azooga, FLYTE, Forever Cult, FEVA, Penguin, The Old Pink House, Sam Fender, Anteros, Yonaka. Absolutely outrageous for anyone to claim that guitar music is dead.


If you had to start a rumour about The Pale White, what would it be?
When we were playing Reading Festival we somehow managed to bump into Queens of the Stone Age. We called them out for scheduling their secret set at the same time as our Introducing slot and offered them out for an arm wrestling competition. Josh Homme bottled it. We also out-drank Forever Cult.




Lead photo: Daniel Stark