by Margaret Chrystall
THOUGH everyone is dying to hear Peace’s follow-up to beloved debut album In Love, for Sunday’s live Inverness show it will be as if time has stood still.
As drummer Dom Boyce revealed, for the four-piece – and the audiences they’ll be visiting on the tour that brings them to Mad Hatters on Sunday – we’re still in the time-warp of enjoying first album In Love.
He explained: "The way we see it is the last tour of the first record, rather than the first tour of the second record.
"That’s the reason we are playing places we haven’t gone before.
"We will probably do a couple of songs from the second album. There are a lot of theories online from people about why we’re doing this tour – that it’s a way of testing new material – but we’re doing it because we believe we still have more to give from the first album."
There isn’t a title for the new one yet, but Dom said: "As with most things in Peace, it’s probably about the first idea we have."
They changed the initial band name from November And The Criminal to Peace.
"Nine out of 10 people would say ‘No-one will ever be able to Google you’ or ’It’s really cliched’ or ‘It’s horrible!’.
"But all that was pretty much what made us decide to call the band Peace.
"If you say we can’t, we will – that sort of thing.
"But we’ve never looked back."
And the new album is all about moving forward, according to Dom.
That might explain to Peace fans why they spotted the band playing their new single Money live on E4’s staged reality show Made In Chelsea last week.
Frontman Harry said about the decision with his usual humorous twistage: "...we were briefly concerned about the consequences of our actions. What if they didn’t like earth music? What if our earth fans found it confusing?..."
Some are complaining it's some kind of sell-out - but it got people talking didn't it?
And the appearance is unlikely to have done the new album’s prospects any harm.
Dom believes the band has moved on a lot since In Love, just through playing and gaining the experience of being a band - and, in his case, a more experienced drummer.
“Any drummer, when you first start playing live, there are a few really important things - like playing really loud!
“But that can make everything sound really bad, so you have to suck it up and learn to play what’s appropriate.”
Dom said: "The new album's finished and it’s interesting and we are happy with it and I think it’s come on from our first album. It’s more refined and I think it’s better – better playing, better songs, better sonically and I think it’s a better constructed album."
That’s a lot of betters.
But the way Dom tells it, there hasn’t been a break from the songwriting that brought about debut album In Love.
He said: "From the first day after we finished the first album, I don’t think our singer Harry Koisser was consciously trying to write a second album, but he couldn’t help but write songs.
"So the songs on the new album have been written over the last 18 months and because we were so busy over that time as well, we haven’t really had much time to stop and worry about it.
"We’ve been away from home on tour and then we came home to record the second album, so there hasn’t been any time for worrying!
"I’m sure it could be quite scary, really. Everybody goes on about these difficult second albums.
"So it’s going to be dangerous to say we didn’t find it difficult because if people don’t like it maybe they’ll say it should have been a bit more difficult!"
But if he starts to sound scarily serious at times about the work and the sensible side of being a functioning band - don't think the madcap joy of the live performances Peace is known for are in jeopardy.
“I say this with a clear head at 10.30 in the morning, but when it comes to the second show at midnight tonight, after a few beers, it will probably be a different story. It’s definitely important to keep that fire in your belly.”
But it shouldn’t have been too hard to keep the spice in the band’s performances – with the band mostly from Worcester, Dom revels that his parents’ house is literally round the corner from the Worcestershire sauce factory.
“If the wind’s blowing in the right direction, you can smell the sauce!”
But Dom laughed that he would not say no to being an ambassador for his hometown product.
His heroes are just as easy for a Midlands man - Led Zeppelin come on down - and in fact this week's NME quotes frontman Harry in a look at Jimmy Page's best guitar riff (he chooses Ocean, by the way, fact fans!).
“My number one is John Bonham, I have his symbol tattooed on my arm in fact," Dom said.“I think he’s responsible for my deciding to become a drummer. Last year I went and visited John Bonham’s grave - it’s in Worcestershire. That’s another reason why I love Led Zeppelin - everyone in the Midlands is into their rock. And not only have you got Led Zeppelin, but you’ve got Black Sabbath too. That’s why you’ve got a very big rock and heavy metal thing going on in the Midlands – everyone holds it very dearly.
“But I found rock from being at school. It doesn’t take you long to hear the name Led Zeppelin. I suppose if you decide to become friends at school with a group that has slightly longer hair, you’re more inclined to go and buy a Led Zeppelin album. And if I’d stuck with football for two minutes longer, I might have ended up buying an Eminem album."
Dom revealed that there will be a couple of tracks from the new as yet unnamed album in the set in Inverness. Harry mentioned this week - elsewhere in NME - that it is likely to include World Pleasure. And Harry has apparently been very hands on in the mixing and final shaping of the new album's tracks.
Dom said: "If you don't, it might end up not sounding the way that you want. Harry has not really missed a session. It’s important, because you have to live with it afterwards and wear that album on your sleeve forever."
But Peace are good at being in love ...
Peace supported by Drowners play Mad Hatters, Inverness, on Sunday (doors open 7pm). Take a look at Money below: