That there isn't just cheese and excellent chocolate coming from Switzerland is no secret, even if not that many bands from Switzerland are well-known, so the ones who does are all delivering music on a high level. Now there is another band coming from Switzerland to conquer the rock universe - Pure Inc.!
As I got the offer to review the new Pure Inc. CD I agreed right away and I wanted to do an interview as soon as I listened to the album. I met Pure Inc. when they toured with Masterplan a few years ago and I was confident that they won't disappoint me with Parasites & Worms - and I expected a lot from them. Kudos to the Swiss for their new album!
First I would like to know how long did it take you to come up with the description of your sound? Or was it a spontaneous idea?
Hahaha... Yes, it was a quite spontaneous thing. At MySpace there is a part 'Sounds like' and there Gianni posted this cocktail recipe. We thought it's funny and fitting. And it seems it really fits, coz many people asked us about or made a comment. ;)
After the released of A New Day's Dawn a lot happened in camp Pure Inc.! Everything's back on track now?
Yeah, we've been through a tough time after the release of A New Day's Dawn. Within a few weeks we lost the record deal, our management, our booking agent and our bass player which was the worst of all. It took a few months til we reestablished and then we started to look for a new bassist.
Sometimes this experiences lead into something better... stronger... At the end it turns out quite positive for us. At the beginning it wasn't easy to cope with the situation, to understand what's going on, but it was also a kind of relief. It kinda set us free. Now we are happy to have Hoffi in the band, we are happy with our new label Dockyard 1 and our new management Urbannote. We found new members for the Pure Inc. family. And we enjoy our music even more, even if the heaviness of our new album might indicate something different.
In that situation - without a deal - you been forced to record in your rehearsal room. And if my information is right, you recorded almost live... Would you consider to record again the old-fashioned way? Well, not necessarily in the rehearsal room to capture the live energy...
The part with the rehearsal room is right, but I have to disappoint you about the live takes. Even if there are a lot one-takes at the album, we recorded first drums, then bass, guitars and at the end the vocals - and some effects and gimmicks. And we were forced by the situation to do it that way. We only had an old 24-track hard disc machine for the recordings - and that thing didn't even have an 'undo' button. So there was no way to do 10 takes and make the best out of it or other tricks we could do.
And somehow it was right for us, we wanted the live feeling. We wanted it more emotional then on the first 2 albums, we wanted the people to hear the honest, raw and sometimes dirty sound which is also Pure Inc. So there was only one thing we wanted to achieve, that the songs have to move us. We don't like all the polished, super clean sounds you get these days, even in rock and metal. But Pure Inc. always stands for uncompromising and honest music and that's what we wanted to show this time - and we wanted to reach a higher level with Parasites & Worms.
Why you named the album Parasites & Worms?
It's funny, but we came up with the title after we finished the recordings. We talked about how we feel about the recordings and about what happened the last couple of months - and we realized how much the recordings and our new mate Hoffi helped us to get rid of parasites and worms. Coz we felt like we were infested by parasites and worms, and that we were freed from them... Reborn.
Lyrically there is one theme which connects the songs, cou mankind should face it and try to break free from the parasites. And so we think its the best title for the album.
The cover artwork fits very well to the title, but if wouldn't know you, I wouldn't have picked up the CD. Did you get similar comments? How were the reactions on the album? Are you satisfied with the reactions?
The cover was a topic in each and every review and interview - and the reactions differed. But we think that the artwork should transport the message of the album and the artist, if we would think about the reactions it wouldn't be authentic. With Parasites & Worms we show the dark side of society - and we didn't want to light this up with the cover. Beside that rock music always been critical and dirty. With the concept of Parasites & Worms we felt obliged to show a cover which supports the concept. That the cover triggered off discussions is positive, I think. ;)
In general the reactions to Parasites & Worms were just great. Especially the progress we made since A New Day’s Dawn people appreciated - and that motivates us. In our home country Switzerland we entered the charts for the first time! That's a blast!
You have a new bass player, even if he's already part of Pure Inc. for awhile. Was the chemistry there right from the start? Or did it take time to grow together?
Yeah, we hit it off! And from day 1 he integrated into the band and supported us. We are happy that we found a replacement and someone who fits to us on a personal level.
How much influence did Hoffi had on Parasites & Worms?
Hoffi was a full member right from the start and he took part of Parasites & Worms big time. Haft of the songs were already written when he joined, but he had a good feeling for the bass lines and so gave the songs more depth. At the rest of the songs he had as much influence then anybody else in the band, that was quite clear for us from the beginning.
What songs represent Pure Inc. in 2008 best? And are there songs which have a special meaning to you? If so, why?
Not easy to answer... I think that a song like Raise Hell shows the variety of Pure Inc. very well... The drive, the energy, the groove and the fantastic vocal melody during the refrain. Yes, that shows it well. :)
About the meaning, it might sound like a cliche, but we as a band are very proud of Parasites & Worms in general. For us the album is full of emotions and also experiences, about letting go feelings while we worked at the album. And that pushed us even more. So, Parasites & Worms is for us a piece of art which should be digested in its wholeness.
Lyrically you don't use the cliches, the lyrics are more critical... Deal with what happens in the world. What topic is most important at the moment for you? Most touching?
That's true. For Gianni it's really important to talk about his experiences and what he witness and about what he fears to happen. The world these days delivers a lot to think about, a lot to fear - even from the point of view from a rich country like Switzerland. But I don't want to go into details, coz there should be space for every one's interpretation and that's part of discovering an album... a band.<br>
Soon you will hit the road and tour with J&oslah;rn Lande. His solo stuff isn't that heavy... What do you expect from this tour?
First of all we are really happy to tour Europe again! Pure Inc. is a very energetic band and for us playing live is the essence, so we can't wait to get on the road.
We hope to have a good time with the other bands, like we had in the past. And we want to meet our fans and make Pure Inc. more known in Europe.
What can the fans expect? Which songs will make it onto the set list?
We will try to vary the set list every day. We want to present some tunes from the new album and a few of our favorites from the last 2 albums. I promise, we will rock every single night. :)
Does the trip to Brazil will be canceled due to the tour?
Unfortunately yes, even if we would have loved to play Brazil! For us it would be a dream to play in Latin America. Unfortunately the dates did overlap with the Jørn tour and so we had to cancel the Brazilian shows. But at the moment a tour in Europe is more important.
Surely the focus is on Europe, so are there any festivals you'll play next summer?
Festivals, well... we get offers, but usually just from Swiss ones. But we hope this will change with this tour and our powerful live shows.
Now you aim at the American market... Any special strategy to get the Americans attention? Perhaps with a little help from your MySpace friends?
Even if Pure Inc have an American sound and so should have a chance, for an European band its extremely touch to be successful there. And we still have to become more known in Europe. So, we are quite relaxed about the release in the US and just hope that something good will come from it. Sure, it would be great to be successful there - and through MySpace we get more and more response from the USA.
At the limited edition you have a cover of Immigrant Song, a track you already played live. Is there another song you would like to cover? Perhaps something from a different genre?
We are listening to a broad variety of music and so we will do some covers in future. In the past we did cover Audioslave, Pantera, Soundgarden and even, if just for fun, Christina Aguilera and Dimmu Borgir. So, everything is possible!
In your home country you already played as a support for many different bands. What has been the highlight? And which one was a more disappointing experience?
We had a couple of highlights. We played some sold-out shows with Motörhead and Gotthard. To play in front of a couple of thousand people was just awesome!
And there are a few negative experiences. A few years ago we should have supported Yngwie Malmsteen. About an hour before sound check - we haven't arrived at the venue at that time - the master decided that he don't want to have a support band. He threatened to cancel the show when a support band shows up! That was quite disappointing - and my admiration for the guitar wiz didn't get any bigger. I never been a big fan of him anyway.
How important is it for you to play with so diverse bands? Not to be limited...
We all like to play with different bands, we like the change and it's exciting to discover something new. Concerts where all the bands sound the same are pretty boring, right?
Is there a band or musician you would like to work with?
Hahaha... You want me to make a long list? :) Ok, Mr. Page would be a dream to work with for me personally. And Tool which I admire. And then there are Josh Freese, Trend Raznor, Tori Amos, Steven Wilson, David Gilmour, Phil Anselmo, Jeff Beck... Damn, there are so many musicians I admire, not to talk about the others.
Anything you would like to add?
Visit www.pureinc.net or www.myspace.com/pureinc and don't miss us on tour with Jorn!
Many thanks for the interview, Claudia.
Sandro & PURE INC.
First I have to thank Sandro for answering my questions and I'm really looking forward to see them on tour! Don't miss them on tour with Jørn, coz there aren't any excuse not to go! Okay, a few might be acceptable. ;)