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This Is The Anatomy Of PUPPY’s New Album ‘Pure Evil’

Jack Rogers
Jack Rogers 10 May 2022 at 14.41

The push and pull of creativity, presented via a series of ground-shaking riffs.



PUPPY
have just released their new album 'Pure Evil' via Rude Records. 

A proper furious and fun, fist-in-the-air kind of record, it finds the trio delving deeper into the things that they love the most about creating music. Returning to the thrill that comes with making something new and unique with your best friends, the result is dark, dizzying and dripping in raucous melody and rich reverb.

To find out how it all came together, we dissected the different elements of its creation and what they represent with vocalist/guitarist Jock Norton...

REMEMBERING THE REASONS THAT YOU STARTED SOMETHING IN THE FIRST PLACE
"When all of the weird stuff in the world kicked off, we had just come off tour. We had done a lot of touring as well, really long runs. When you’re playing that many shows, it can be hard work. There’s a lot of graft involved. So when we took time off, we were all pretty burned out anyway, but you’re on this path when you’re a working band that you’re always thinking about the next thing. You don’t have time to pause and take stock. 

"We had been gearing up to do something new and figuring out the right way to do it. But as the world around us was changing, we started to look at what we had been doing and wondered if it was all in vain. We had no idea when anything was going to get back on track, like everybody else, stuff like whether we would ever be a band again starts going through your head. We almost had to look the bleakness in the eye and accept it, which was a big downer. But it also helped us get to a place where we were able to be at peace with it all and be at a place where we still wanted to make music. That desire never went away. It’s the same as when you first start a band. You have all of these aims and ambitions in your head, but ultimately you just want to make music who you like hanging out with. We just got back to that point."




DISCOVERING WHAT IT TRULY MEANS TO BE D.I.Y
"We found a rehearsal space that we now share with a few other bands. And a few of us mucked in and turned it into a recording studio as well. That’s how with no deadlines at all, we started to attempt recording music ourselves. We had all the time in the world, and we didn’t feel any pressure to make anything, so it all became a bit of an experiment. There were plenty of plusses and minuses to the whole experience, just because we were learning as we went along. It was pretty tricky at points, and not having that other person there guiding you made it a bit manic and mad. But it also allowed us to create something in a really positive way. It’s resulted in an album made by a band exploring stuff, having fun and taking their time. We were thinking about ticking boxes or singles or anything like that. We were just thinking about the music. That felt very gratifying."



TRUSTING IN WHAT YOUR GUT WHEN IT TELLS YOU WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING
"There are thought patterns that creep in when you’re in a band that are understandable. What sort of shows do we want to be playing? Who is our target audience? Are we doing things the right way? And whilst there are these elements that you need to think about and a brand to develop, it’s maybe not the healthiest way to foster creativity or a true sense of experimentation. You start thinking, ‘All of the bands we like are playing this same festival we want to be at, so maybe we should write a song like them’. You start to look at things from a strange angle. It’s cynical in a way, but it can also come from a non-cynical place. If you’re a grindcore band and want to be the best grindcore band, you will look at what the other grindcore bands are doing to play at the grindcore festival. It’s very much laid out in front of you, and if you have an infrastructure around you, it’s just the way it goes. 

"But because of the band that we are, and from coming up in certain scenes, we never really had anything like that. We were more about crate-digging, finding things we liked and seeing how we could make it work with our band. We weren’t there at a point or a part of a collective, and I feel like we were able to come out with something unique because of that. That presents challenges, but when you stop worrying so much about the rollercoaster of things and just focus on what feels right for you, it really helps you clear your head."




PAYING HOMAGE TO HOW YOU GOT HERE IN THE COOLEST WAYS THAT YOU CAN
"We’ve never really had our ears close to the ground regarding what is going on in contemporary culture and music. Generally speaking, our music taste is all over the place, and a lot of that comes from what we grew up on. I might want to record some ambient music, but my default mode will always go back to learning Metallica tracks on guitar at 14. When we started the band, we all shared the same route into music, with nu-metal and classic rock and stuff like that. Maybe that isn’t what we listen to a lot now. It’s about celebrating how we all got here. There’s this big space of shared common ground that bleeds not just into the music but also the visuals. 

"Take the castle on the artwork of this album. It was never properly planned out. It was more something that just felt right. When you analyse it more, you can come to more conclusions about including something that looks like that felt good. One of the things that I like about it is that it’s real. It’s very tactile. And something else that is cool about it, and sums up our love of heavy music too, is that someone has meticulously crafted it and put so much time into it, but it is essentially pretty dumb. It’s a stupid thing that only means something to a few other people and us. It’s incredible that something so inconsequential has so much love and commitment put into it. Putting in the effort to something like that has its own reward, and that’s where we came to on this album. What matters is us trying as hard as possible and caring about it. Nothing else."




THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING HAPPY WITH WHAT YOU ARE DOING, AND THAT BEING THE TOP PRIORITY
"This record definitely taught us to respect each other’s time and lives more outside of the band. When you’re on that wave for so long and when things snowball more and more, it becomes a bit like a game of chicken. The pressure to say yes to everything and always be switched on. Nobody wants to say they are too broke and can’t afford to go on tour for two months. There are real problems that crop up in life for a young band. And when that then gets taken away, and the pressure is no longer on you, the rest of your life takes up your time. And this time has made us realise that we don’t need to do anything that we don’t want to at any point. This is about being happy and excited about what we are doing and not getting ourselves burned out on something that we should be enjoying. 

"We were very scared to say no to things and miss out on stuff because you’re worried that we might let people down or blow our chance. But the reality is getting back to the things that you enjoy about spending time together and making things together will always be more important. Resentment can build up when people feel like they can’t be honest about what they care about, so being in a position where we can air that and focus on the important things has allowed us to get so much closer. We didn’t have to do this, but we wanted to. And I’m so glad that we did, and I feel really proud of us for it."

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