Peace interview: Almost back from the dead

Henry Lewis caught up with frontman Harry Koisser ahead of the band's SWN Festival show at Cardiff's Tramshed.

Henry Lewis

Last updated: 15th Oct 2017.
Originally published: 12th Oct 2017

Image: Peace (credit)

Birmingham rockers Peace have been notable by their musical absence in the last couple of years, with fans scratching their heads as to when a follow up to the absolutely brilliant Happy People would arrive.

Ahead of the release of their second album back in 2015, the band posted arguably the record's finest tune 'World Pleasure' to their website before it mysteriously disappeared, this time round though there hasn't even been that.

Magically mercurial, groovy as hell, riff heavy and simply mesmerising live, Peace are an exquisite outfit and proved this recently as they wowed Manchester's Albert Hall at Neighbourhood festival, and followed up the performance with a tweet that simply read "Peace is almost back from the dead today".

There will be yet more live resurrections this year with a performance at Cardiff's SWN Festival on Friday 20th October at the Tramshed, and ahead of that date we asked lead singer Harry Koisser about bridal gear, replacing drummer Dom and promoting kindness.

You had to replace your drummer Dom with Sam from The Maccabees - what happened to Dom? How did it go - did he pass with flying colours?

Dominic got hit by a truck while we were in Woodstock. If you think Dom's bad, you should see the truck. He trained Sam very well and Sam has done a fine job of filling in for Dom's left arm. That's what you get when you bring in the professionals. 

You’ve been involved with some very important campaigns this year including the gig for Grenfell, a gig outside BBC broadcasting house with Wolf Alice and more for the carnival of resistance and also the Help Refugees NME front cover; how important is it to you get involved with things like this?

The whole thing with it is about prioritising kindness & doing things for other human beings rather than yourself. We got involved with Help Refugees in 2015 when a friend of mine named Josie who runs the charity helped me and many other people learn how to put our music and influence to good use.

I couldn't understand why anyone wouldn't try and help with such a gigantic humanitarian crisis. People did refuse, which makes me sick. Likewise with the Grenfell Tower, I can't understand why anyone wouldn't get involved when given the opportunity. I walk past it almost every day and I have no idea why it hasn't been covered up. Maybe I'm soft but I get extremely upset and confused about the world, especially when awful things happen. Luckily we're living in a time when it's OK to give a shit and OK to try and make a difference no matter how small. 

A few years ago at Glastonbury, you produced one of the best sets I have ever seen. It was in the Rabbit Hole, all covers and I'm sure you had some bridal gear on. Do you have a bank of covers ready for moments like that? Do you remember that show at all??

Yes, I was wearing a wedding dress. That was a great show and I remember barely any of it. We have about 10 or 15 covers ready to go at all times. The universal litmus test for a band's greatness is how well they knock out a cover of Mr Brightside on demand. Also it's better to have a cover of 'All of the Lights' ready and not need it, than to need a cover of 'All of the Lights' ready and not have it. 

There are a LOT of top bands coming through at the moment, who has caught your attention these last few months?

I've been in the mountains for the last few months and the hills the year before that so have no idea what has happened. All the new bands I knew are huge now. I will get my ear back to the ground shortly, perhaps at SWN

SWN Festival Cardiff is approaching where you headline in the Tramshed - sounds like it could be a sweaty affair, does that work for you four?

I've never been to Tramshed in Cardiff but I feel like that was the name of the restaurant in Shoreditch that the waiter tried to citizens arrest Tony Blair? (He's correct) Aside from that We're really up for the show. All our shows are an explosion and I J'adore SWN festival. We had one of our first "good shows" there in 2012. 

Find Peace at SWN Festival Cardiff tickets below.

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