After being landlocked for two years, UK rockers Pale Waves are taking to world touring like a bat out of hell. Fortunately for their legion of Australian fans, their busy touring schedule has brought them to our shores, affording us the chance to spend some quality face-time with their ever-growing catalogue.
The bands most recent release Unwanted brings them to a total of three full length albums alongside 2018’s My Mind Makes Noises and 2021’s Who Am I, no doubt making the setlist quite a challenge for the band, but a non-stop hitfest for fans no matter what the outcome.
In even more good news for fans, lead singer Heather Baron-Gracie told BLUNT Pale Waves are putting on their best performances yet.
How did two and a bit years off the road change your relationship with touring?
I feel like after that I’ve had the healthiest relationship that I’ve ever had with touring. It’s made me value it way more. That break allowed me to take a breather, and it allowed me to fall back in love with it. Right before COVID, I was getting super exhausted and over being on tour. The magic was taken out of it a bit for me because it felt like we were just doing it 24/7. I’m having the best time that I’ve ever had touring.
What are you doing differently to avoid having that same relationship that you ended up with pre-pandemic?
I feel like I’m treating it more as a job than a party. I’m getting up earlier. I’m going out in the cities and exploring it. I’m eating healthier. I’m not partying and drinking every night. I’m coming off-stage packing my bags, meeting fans and then going to bed. And that’s allowed me to feel a lot better and have a way healthier mindset. Let’s be professional and let’s put on the best show we can for everyone in the room.
From a fans perspective, it does feel like we lost tough which just how big of a community this is, the shows feel different for us too. Is that something you can speak to as well?
A hundred percent. It’s so overwhelming in the best way. It’s mind-blowing that when you walk on stage, this is just music that you’ve created from your own mind and your own feelings and emotions and it connects with these people so much. They plan their week or the month around coming to your show. To me, it’s just crazy that we can create that atmosphere and they’re feeling so good about themselves and in that moment itself because of you and your music.
Creatively, do you feel that being removed from the immediate feedback of live shows, it sort of allows you to take risks that you probably wouldn’t have taken if you had that direct fan response?
I do feel like it did influence us to just isolate ourselves even more and just to indulge into what we wanted to create rather than what everyone else wanted us to do.
I feel like before we even started writing or recording and wanted, we had an idea in mind what we wanted to do and that was a more alternative album. We wanted to turn the guitars up to level 10. We kind of already had an idea as to what record we wanted to create and that was because yeah, we were in lockdown and we missed touring so much and we missed playing shows. That allowed us to know what world we wanted to create with the third album. And I’m really glad we did do that though, because now they’re actually some of the funnest songs to play live out of our whole catalog.
Usually I decide on what direction I want to take the records. And so that is a lot on my shoulders and if it goes wrong, I would be the first to blame.
So when we got up on stage and when we started playing those songs live, I was kind of like, “Oh, thank God.” Because I would’ve been in the absolute shitter if it went the other way. So it definitely did pay off and we can all feel it on stage as well. We as performers have so much more fun playing. Well, we love playing the first and second album too, but there’s just an energy about the third album that, just because it’s more upbeat it’s more fun to play on the instruments and stuff. So.
You had that feedback now and seeing that your ideas work and you can trust your gut, where does that leave you as an artist now?
We’re humans and we’re riddled with anxiety and doubt. So even when we figure out the new direction for the next album, I’m going to second guess it until I get reassurance that most people enjoy it. Just because we’re humans and we rely on that kind of relationship of praise and stuff. But at the same time, you kind of know what you want to do as an artist and we’re just kind of going to let it flow naturally and not think about it too much, but then not drift too far away from what Pale Waves do because we love a really good, poppy, hooky chorus. We’re absolutely, now we simplify over that, so.
We can’t get rid of the key features of Pale Waves.
Pale Waves Australian Tour Dates
Tickets available now via https://bit.ly/palewavesau
Saturday, March 18
Super Fun Day Festival, Brisbane
Sunday, March 19
Lion Arts Factory, Adelaide
Tuesday, March 21
Magnet House, Perth
Thursday, March 23
Max Watts, Melbourne
Friday, March 24
Metro Theatre Sydney