St Albans-based band The Pocket Gods have released 67 album and 23 EPs taking in indie-pop, prog rock and psychedelic country. They are marking their 20th year with a best of collection - The Jesus and Mary Chain as well as being featured in the current Guinness Book Of Records alongside a picture of Justin Bieber for their 100x30 album which holds the record for most tracks on a digital album. We caught up with them to find out more about their recent history and forthcoming plans.
Epic, lo-fi, psychedelic, country pop.
2016 - what will you look back on most fondly from the year?
Well, it was weird being in the Guinness Book of Records alongside Justin Bieber. We definitely didn’t expect that to happen! Also got to meet the music industry legend Seymour Stein, famously known for signing Madonna and my fave band The Ramones. He’s a fan of what we do and it was such a thrill meeting him at The Great Escape.
Did you make any new year’s resolutions?
The same ones I do every year to drink more, take up smoking and do more drugs. I have failed to keep them apart from possibly the drinking one!
What was the biggest lesson you learnt in 2016?
Keep going, keep doing what you do and be patient. Things do take time in the music biz so it’s just enjoying the roller coaster ride and learning not to fall off.
What was the musical highlight of 2016?
Irish singer songwriter Ronan Furlong’s debut album Minervas meddling was a strange brooding mix of folk prog and pop def under rated.
What is your musical highlight of 2017 so far?
U2, no only kidding! I loved the way Ed Sheeran messed up the whole charts which they’ve now had to change. It was all a bit surreal and he’s a great talent cool pop songs and it’s a shame us Brits are knocking him. Both he and Adele have resurrected the UK music industry so thanks.
Who are you excited to hear from in 2017?
Our US label mates Flaunt have a new album out called Spectra and it’s like Sergeant Pepper’s redone for the electro pop age. It’s like King Crimson meets the Pet Shop Boys.
Tell us about the record you have just released…
Ah yes it’s like an unofficial best of with old songs redone and new ones as well. It’s a mad mix of indie country psyche rock and electronica. Lyrically it’s a search for the divine in an ever increasingly materialistic and soulless society. Someone described it as psychedelic Catholicism. It’s also a part thank you to the great Scots noise Meisters the Jesus and Mary Chain whom I was lucky enough to play with once and which inspired me to form my own band The Pocket Gods and here we are still going after 20 years!
If you had to pick three artists to be filed next to, who would they be and why?
Gram Parsons as he made country music cool again. The Headcoats as their lo-fi garage vibe inspired a lot of early Pocket Gods stuff, and The Beatles as if everyone who owned a Beatles album bought a Pocket Gods one then I’d be able to buy some new blue cowboy boots.
What inspired the record?
As above jamming with the Jesus and Mary Chain with my amp turned all the way to 11.
If the record were an animal, what animal would it be?
A shape-shifting chupacabra.
Define your sound in five words…
Epic, lo-fi, psychedelic, country pop.
If you could jam with one artist alive or dead, who would it be?
Paul McCartney as we could keep swapping instruments would be an awesome jam.
If you could have written one song by another artist, what would it be?
Anything by Phil Collins…no erm for true pop simplicity and tenderness September Gurls by Big Star.
Someone is making a film of your life, who will play you?
Ha, about 2 years ago probably would have been Ray Winstone but I have lost weight so maybe Justin Timberlake! That would be cool!
Lastly, tell us one thing you have never revealed in an interview…
I have been abducted by aliens.
Listen to The Pocket Gods on SoundCloud below. For news and tour dates go to The Pocket Gods Facebook page.