Perfectparachutepicture is an English noise rock duo formed in 2013. The pair, Edward James (bass) and Kyle Ernest (drums and lead vocals), drop their debut album No Modern Desire on Friday, September 6th with single releases in the run up. We caught up with Kyle to find out more about their upcoming single ‘Holy Rain’, set for full release on Friday, July 26th.
‘Holy Rain’ stands out as a single from an album of songs that we’re both extremely proud to be putting out in September when the album is officially released.
First up, tell us bit about yourselves - what led you teaming up as Perfectparachutepicture?
Myself and Edward met as children at a primary school in Sheffield. We didn’t actually grow to know each other fully until we became friends through music at the end of secondary school. Since then we’ve jammed together, playing as a solid rhythm section in various bands until finally Perfectparachutepicture was formed back in late 2012.
Who do your take inspiration from?
Initially we both took inspiration from early Biffy Clyro records, the powerful raw-ness of well written songs that Biffy produced catered to both our tastes. I know Ed has always taken inspiration for his playing style from bands like Turbowolf and Red Fang. Their distorted guitars really shaped his playing in the early days and he developed his own style off the back of it to form the basis of our music today.
In terms of vocal melody, I took inspiration from Justin Vernon of Bon Iver (amongst many other acts), I love how he created melodies and used the vocal as an added instrument, it was exactly what was missing in early PPP demos. Only being two of us in the band, we needed to utilise vocals as a third instrument and that has been a major learning curve for me over the last few years especially.
Why the name ‘Perfectparachutepicture’?
It may sound cliché, but we wanted to be different. Ed would love to tell you an elaborate story of how we were mid skydive and took the Perfect-Parachute-Picture, but we came to the idea that the most random piece of alliteration would make us stand out. We simply wanted to stand out and ended up with a name that was difficult for people to get right, most people just call us ‘PPP’ now-a-days.
How would you describe your musical style?
After most shows we play there always seemed to be at least one person that says “Wow, I didn’t expect that much sound to come out of just two people” and I like that. It’s hard to categorise yourself as a band or artist, I suppose generically you could say we’re a ‘rock band’ and you’d be right in saying so. We’ve always just called it ‘noise-rock’, but I guess that could be misleading now a more pop-inspired vocal is prominent in our songs. Ed does like a good riff, though, and I still play the drums like I’m trying to put the skins through.
If you could collaborate with any living artist or band, who would you choose?
Elena Tonra, of Daughter. Surprising to most, I know. Her vocals are simply breathtaking and I would love to co-write a song with her.
Tell us about your new single ‘Holy Rain’, what’s it about? What’s its themes?
We share the writing of lyrics on most songs and ‘Holy Rain’ was written about someone I know primarily, who at the time was going through shit. Life was throwing so many obstacles their way and I feel the lyrics really reflect how I felt at that time; how I would give parts of myself up to help, to show them life isn’t so bad and yeah life has it’s ups and downs, but it’s all good in the end.
It’s kind of a love story, but not. It’s a story that resonated with Ed, so he added the ending lyrics as a comment on how things don’t pan out how they should sometimes, and it’s hard to keep progressing but that we always should.
When did you write ‘Holy Rain’, and where did you record it?
‘Holy Rain’, like a lot of the songs on the album were written back in 2018 initially, with parts re-thought over in the recording stage. The song was recorded at Fox Den in Sheffield with producer Will Stocks, and he stripped back what was originally an over-complicated song. When we wrote ‘Holy Rain’ I played far too much in the verse, once Will had heard the lyrics from the demo he worked with me and told me I wasn’t giving the vocals enough room to stand out, I didn’t know what he was talking about initially, but I’m glad he had an input.
Will is like the third member of the band and incredibly handy to have there when we think a song is finished, and it simply isn’t or there’s things to be done better, this really shows in ‘Holy Rain’ especially.
How does ‘Holy Rain’ build on your style?
The song features a strong vocal delivery, something that I touched on above, and I’m proud that I no longer feel I have to hide my vocals behind heavy effects on records, like I did in songs from PPP’s earlier days. Again, a lot of confidence with vocals came from working day in, day out with Will and I’m very appreciative for his help. ‘Holy Rain’ still has the raw bass riffs and hard-hitting drums in the chorus like the many previous songs, but it shows so much progression for us as musicians.
What are your hopes for ‘Holy Rain’?
Personally I just hope people can connect with the song, like any other song we write, really. I feel ‘Holy Rain’ stands out as a single from an album of songs that we’re both extremely proud to be putting out in September when the album is officially released. I like how different ‘Holy Rain’ is from the first single off the album; ‘Cigarettes’. For me it shows a more delicate and emotional but still very powerful song, and I hope that comes across.
What other plans do you have for the year?
Many! We’re working tirelessly behind the scenes on everything from pre-production for our Tramlines Festival appearance on The Leadmill stage at Hillsborough Park on Saturday 20th July 2019, to the release campaign for our debut album ‘No Modern Desire’ which is out 6th September 2019.
Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourselves one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
I’ve done many things in my adult life that I’d say I probably regret, i guess like most people my age. I think if I could go back to one point in particular, it would be to when I was either 19 or 20 years old, PPP had been around for just a couple of years and I was doubting everything, I felt we weren’t good enough, I felt I wasn’t good enough. I doubted the band, my abilities to play, perform, sing and I really believed myself to the point where I was about to call it a day and go get a 9-to-5 job.
At that point in my life, I needed reassurance and I wouldn’t listen to the people around me telling me to keep going, I don’t know whether I’d have listened to myself from what I know today. I guess it’s a message to anyone really who plays music, writes songs individually or as part of a group, or just generally in life that if you really do believe you’re good enough and you believe in yourself, you’ll get better, you’ll become recognised for your hard work and you’ll realise that nothing else truly matters. You have to do what you love and if that’s creating music, like myself, then carry on working towards that dream.
It took time for me to realise that I was good enough and we as a band, have never looked back. To quote a lyric from ‘The Hold’, which is the first song on the album: ‘People won’t care until you get there, as you feel your lungs fill up with air take a stand now, so you can know how good it feels’.
Listen to Perfectparachutepicture’s previous single ‘Cigarettes’ on YouTube below. For news and tour dates visit perfectparachutepicture.com.