There’s few, if any bands who can say they’ve played Madison Square Garden with only two releases to their name, but Manchester’s Pale Waves sure can. Having signed with Dirty Hit early in the year, 2017 has been a whirlwind for the four piece. Their first single, produced by The 1975 earned them a loyal fanbase at the click of a finger, setting themselves as firm ones to watch for many.
If that wasn’t already a solid enough start, a US tour with The 1975 saw them play some of the US’ biggest venues, including that infamous Madison Square Garden show; giving them not only a solid UK fanbase but a US one too. Working with The 1975 has also brought in some criticism for Pale Waves, with some believing that Dirty Hit are trying to shape the band into their fellow Manchester signing.
None the less Pale Waves are continuing to storm through 2017 with their infectious indie-pop, and so I called lead singer Heather Baron-Gracie to have a chat about where things are heading for the band.
Hey Heather! What are you up to today?
We’re currently in the studio so we’re gonna head there, we’re recording our new EP and this is our last day here before we get the train back up North tonight so it’s going to be a pretty mad day. We haven’t tracked some of the stuff we need to yet so it’s going to be a bit mental.
When will we get to hear that EP?
I think a single from it is going to be released like next month and maybe every two weeks we’ll release a new song from it.
It’s been quite a big year for Pale Waves, hasn’t it? Are you happy with the direction you’re heading in?
Yeah of course, for a band that’s got two songs out like we’re doing so well, I couldn’t ask for anymore support than we’ve been getting, it’s fantastic. The opportunities that we’ve been given have been really helping us, like they would with any other band really.
You’ve been working with The 1975 a lot, has it been a good experience working and touring with them?
Yeah they’re amazing guys and they’ve been through it all and have so much experience so they kind of give us a lot of advice and help, and they’re really creative so it’s been really great working with them.
Is there anything in particular that you’ve learnt from them?
I don’t know, we’ve just had endless conversations about like what to not do, what to stay away from but they’ve always just said try to stick to your guns, it’s your sound and your band and you know how it should sound.
You played Madison Square Gardens when you were out in the US, how does it feel to have played such an iconic venue so early in your career?
It was pretty ridiculous really, we only had There’s A Honey out and to be in New York that was like our first ever show in New York as well and it was Madison Square Garden so it was quite outrageous how ridiculous it was.
Was the crowd reaction good on that tour?
Yeah, yeah it was awesome like we couldn’t ask for a better reaction. 1975 fans are so reactive and they just want to hear new music so they were a great fanbase to kind of introduce ourselves to.
Having played venues of that size, have your end goals for the band grown, or are you taking things one step at a time?
Definitely like we wanna aim for the biggest we can. We always have done so kind of getting a taste of that is like very exciting and very motivating, but we’re really excited to be getting back to playing really intimate small shows, especially with them being on our own.
Are the bigger shows actually easier to play than the intimate ones?
The bigger ones at the start were absolutely terrifying but then you kind of got used to it, then the small ones are quite terrifying because everyone’s so close and I always feel like people can really stare at me and just be so close, that scares me a bit.
Away from the touring side of things, what’s your writing process like? Has that changed at all since working with The 1975?
No, not really they never wrote anything, just produced the two tracks and now we’re working with a totally different producer ‘cos obviously they’re doing Music For Cars and both of us wanted to be so indulged in ourselves that we just don’t have time to cross paths now. It’d distract us from our own kind of work.
So our writing process has always been the same, it’ll start either with Ciara or me and then we’ll both just bounce off each other and indulge off each other and that’s kind of how we come up with all of our songs.
Is there anyone you’d like to write a song for Pale Waves to record? Or vice versa?
Um, not sure really. I’ve never really thought of writing a song for someone else but I’d love to work with like Madonna ‘cos she’s an absolute legend, that’d be amazing.
You’ve been ones to watch for a lot of people this year, what other new bands have you had your eye on?
I love MUNA I think they’re just amazing, and their album is so good, every track is consistently like amazing I think they’re just gonna blow up. They’ve got everything, the music, the look, they have something really interesting about them. You don’t really see a lot of bands like that these days so it’s really nice and refreshing.
Finally, your headline tour is coming up in a few weeks time, is there any particular venue you’re really excited to play at?
I’m really excited for the London show because obviously it’s sold out, I’m really excited for Scotland as well and obviously Manchester as well, that’s gonna be so good. It’s our hometown so I really can’t wait for that.
Pale Waves' UK & Europe tour starts on the 16th of October - Tickets