I got the chance to sit down with the pop punk quartet Picsel to talk about their forthcoming album, set to be released in 2018!
Hello guys! Could you please introduce your band to our readers? Hi! We are PICSEL. We are a sarcastic bitter pop punk quartet taking the piss out of our inability to cope with modern life. Think Weezer, Fidlar and Jez from The Peep Show. But even less successful than Jez!
How did your band get started? We’ve been playing music together since we were wee boys. PICSEL really came about as a result of us writing a hell of a lot of songs, some louder than others. This project was kind of an experiment. We are all pretty happy with the record!
What’s the story behind your band name? I bloody hate names. We all do. We had this idea about using a simple one word. For me, PICSEL is cool as it represents how the tiny details make a difference. Our album is about the messed up nature of modern life, so I guess there is some philosophical link in there somewhere… We also like the welsh spelling. It’s a nod to the homeland.
Could you please introduce your latest releases Fat and Old/Status Update? These are the first two releases from our forthcoming album out in 2018. Fat and Old is a 2 minute tiny piece of chaos about the realisation that you should probably get your act together and that your body can no longer cope with a lifestyle similar to that of a student.
Status Update is a really simple song with a handful of power chords and a sweet middle 8 that just kinda takes the piss out of our reluctance to grow up. We’re desperately trying to hang on to the last remnants of our youth.
How was the recording process? 2 days locked up in a rehearsal space. There were some dark moments. It was all done DIY by us and recorded by Justin. Music was done live in the room so we put in a hell of a lot of hours!
Any funny story from your recording sessions? I turned to Dai (our drummer) at the end of an epic, sweaty, ten hour live session and said “man, that was awesome” and he said “was it? I’m tired, aching, my hands are covered in blisters and I want to go to bed” – just kinda sums up the song “Fat & Old”.
Who were your main influences on these songs? I think a lot of these songs are born out of our love of the music we listened to growing up. Bands like Weezer; Nirvana; Foo Fighters. Just trying to write simple, fun, energetic and melodic songs with the odd guitar solo thrown in for good measure. As for stuff we’re listening to at the moment…
Tom: I’m really into Big Moon at the minute. Love their new album. But also seen some pretty special shows lately from Neck Deep and a few unexpected others.
Justin: I’m completely in love with Pinegrove at the moment and although our music isn’t that similar our DIY approaches are definitely cut from the same cloth. Loving everything by Slothrust and FIDLAR as well.
Dai (drums) is a big ETID and Bronx fan. We all listen to Weezer quite religiously.
PICSEL being a side project of BROKEN FIRES, isn’t it hard to play in two different bands, or is it on the other hand, quite fun to be able to release something totally different from the BF sound? It’s been really cool actually. It’s the same guys involved with both projects and so there is no juggling involved at the moment.
PICSEL has given us a great way to release a different kind of album. Without being brave enough to just start another project these songs might have never seen the light of day. They didn’t fit BF but we are all so pleased with how they sound and that they are out there under the PICSEL banner.
How do you usually write and compose songs? For both the PICSEL and BROKEN FIRES projects it usually starts with an idea that one of us brings to the table. Sometimes it’s super fully formed – like a total song – but most of the time it needs a lot of shaping and work. The main theme lyrically and melodically usually sticks though. We’ve been finding that sometimes the most authentic sounding stuff that we are happiest with is often that initial melody, chord progression or combination of words. It’s a funny thing…
If not music, what would you guys be doing? I’m not entirely sure! I think without this musical outlet, the ability to do it all DIY, releasing through a cool indie like Phwoar and Peace, I think we would all go insane. That’s kind of what the album is about… Modern normal life is just so annoying sometimes.