Occasionally you come across a band purely by accident, we do it a lot here at the GATRS. It is how we came across Pint Size Hero, the hard-hitting trio from Brighton U.K.
We loved their big guitar riffs. The drumming that made our hearts pound along with the beat. The pure, in your face Rock and Roll of their music (think Black Keys).
So we met up with Chris Howley for a bit of a chat…
Tell us who the members are of Pint Size Hero and what they do
So in Pint Size Hero we have Jamie Whitburn on drums, Carl Bartlett on bass guitar and BVs, and me; Chris Howley on lead guitar and vocal duties. We’re a BritRock power trio!
We just discovered you, so really we know nothing about the band, can you give us a bit of history..
We grew up together on the coast here in the UK. We started playing music together in our college years and gradually got to a point where we felt we had an identity musically and wanted to create a vessel for these ideas. That’s when the band really started and we rented a studio in the city centre which we still work in to this day. We released our debut album ‘Get Your Kicks’ in 2011 and toured locally with great reviews from the local press. In 2012 we had the pleasure of being invited on tour by US band ‘Rival Sons’ it was an amazing experience which culminated in meeting Jimmy Page backstage at the soldout London show mindblown! In 2013 we carried on working on new material and playing shows in support of GYK. Classic Rock Magazine featured us as one of ’15 Of The Hottest New Bands in Britain’ in 2013, which lead to a fantastic sold-out show with our friends ‘The Graveltones’ at London’s famous venue ‘The Borderline’. Fast forward to September 2014, our new album ‘Like A Hurricane’ is here and we couldn’t be happier with the songs and the sound it’s killer…
Every band seems to be put into categories…such as Alternative, Indie, Punk, Post Punk…where would you place Pint Size Hero and why do you place yourself there?
We don’t like to define things because it tends to give people preconceptions before they’ve even seen or listened to us as a band. That said, the whole ‘BritRock’ category feels pretty good, we saw the ‘BritPop’ era in the mid 1990s here in the UK and now with bands like Arctic Monkeys, Royal Blood, and Band of Skulls doing really well commercially it’s a great time for that slightly more overdriven fuzzed rock genre.
You hail from Brighton. Brandy and I were just speaking the other day about a holiday in 2016 and Brighton came up, mostly because I am a big fan of another band from there, IF we flew over and spent the day with you, what would you show us while we were there?
So many great bands from Brighton! We’d have to start with a walk through Brighton’s famous ‘Lanes’, networks of old narrow streets around the city centre full of quirky, independent stores and street-art. You can get the best clothes, decorations, music, food, furniture, music gear it’s just the hub of this fantastic anythinggoes city! Then we’d have to grab some food maybe at one of the beach bars with a few beers too. While you’re there Brighton Pier is well worth checking out, Foo Fighters were there recently before their secret show at the Concorde2. Brighton in the evening for us is about visiting the smaller pubs in the city centre, usually in the ‘Lanes’, the atmosphere is really chilled and there’s a great friendly vibe. Can’t beat it.
In your free time, what do you spend it doing?
What the fuck is free time?? Ha! In those rare moments you can usually find Carl working on his oldschool VW Beetle and driving it across the South Downs National Park. Jamie our drummer is based in London so he’s really into visiting new exhibitions and whatever happens to be rolling through the city at the time. As for me, I like to surf so when the conditions are right I tend to drop things and head for the beach!
What album is on repeat over at the PSH camp?
Good question! Hmmmm, loving the new Band of Skulls album ‘Himalayan’ currently. We’ve also had the old QOTSA album ‘Songs For The Deaf’ back in the player recently, such a unique album, love it or hate it, we think it’s awesome.
I hate to ask this question, because it is so over used, but it is the one question everyone always demands I ask of a band, what were your musical influences?
Cream, The Doors, Rolling Stones, Led Zep, James Gang, Hendrix…. Year Long Disaster, Rival Sons, Fugazi, Blur, Arctic Monkeys… These are just some of the bands we love whether they can be heard in what we make is another question, it’s hard to pin- point why we sound the way we do what comes out is what you get!
Who is in charge of lyric writing? Is it a group effort or a single person?
The lyrics come down to me (Howley) and I don’t mind telling you it’s my least favourite part of the process. That said, I’m really proud of the lyrical content for our new album ‘Like A Hurricane’, it’s by far the best work I’ve ever done lyrically.
Which comes first..the lyrics or the music when it comes to writing?
Almost always the music for us. We’ll go down to our studio and play together, work on ideas musically and flesh out some basic parts. Often I’ll hear a melody or idea and I’ll either sing some words that come to me or even just sounds that are catchy. Then later on it’s a case of fitting the lyrics around what we’ve already created it’s a little unusual but it works for us!
Obviously we here at the GATRS consider ourselves writers of sorts, and we have come up with ideas on posts at some crazy times. What is the most random place or time you have ever come up with lyrics or song ideas?
It’s gonna have to be in the shower! A good handful of our songs have started there!
We also do our own type of touring. It is part of our job to go off and see bands. We have loads of horror stories from our travels. What is the worse or funniest thing that has happened to you while touring?
That’s a tough one! The worst thing for me is getting a cold/throat infection when touring, the pressure of having to rest all day and just give it every night with fingers crossed that your voice doesn’t go! A funny moment would be getting into trouble for messing up our dressing room we were relaxing after a show with some of the guys from Rival Sons and our buddies ‘Ulysses’ when the bass player (Jules) from Ulysses had a frantic moment of insanity and grated the contents of a fruit basket through the vent on our dressing room door! There are loads funny stories but not ones that we can necessarily share here!
What is the oddest request you have ever gotten from a fan?
Our fans are the best, we can honestly say that we are yet to receive a request that freaks us out! Signing body parts is probably the oddest request so far but that’s all good with us!
What type of pizza do you order? I mean, you never know when a fan might want to send some back stage. It is our job to make sure they know so you are not left eating something horrid.
Our pizza rider would either be A) a meatfeast topped with peppers and spicy jalapeño, or, B) a classic Hawaiian you can’t beat pineapple and it’s great for your throat too as a singer
Do you have any preshow rituals?
Get a snack inside you, drink a beer or whisky and just try to forget about any of the pressure associated with what we’re about to do. We like to try to hide ourselves away before we play so that it’s just the 3 of us and we can hone in on each other for that pre- show time!
When the time comes and you are selling out stadiums, what is the one thing you will insist on as a rider?
Boring answer a shitload of fresh fruit and vegetables! So much of our diet on the road is motorway food and supermarket takeaway food, which really takes its toll after a while!
Lastly, we ask this in every interview. Tell us your most embarrassing song that you have on your iPod or phone
I’d have to say Beyoncé Crazy in Love! I have lots of young family who use my iTunes, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it… (It does have a funky drum groove though doesn’t it…)!
In September Pint Size Hero released their second album Like A Hurricane via Worldwide . You can order it on iTunes or better yet check out their website and order a copy while you get to know a bit more about them.