Philpot - A genius flower shop band
A while ago I received the new Philpot album Hate Writes Better Than Love. Hardly knowing what to expect I checked out the album and soon fell in love with it (read review here: http://www.metalrage.com/reviews/1391) . Now, a couple of weeks later, I realize that this could very well become my album of the year. It’s simply great and of course I wanted to ask the guys some question when I got the opportunity. Luckily vocalist Kentz Ward was willing to do so. *Be sure to check out our Philpot contest, which will be online until April 25th*
Hey, how’s life at the moment?
‘Life is good. I'm still young and healthy. No complaints.’
Please introduce yourself and your band to the ones unfamiliar with you.
You come from a small village where you write and rehearse your music in a flower shop. How did you end up in a flower shop?
‘My grandparents have been in the flower business for a long time. Even before I was born they had a flower shop. They sold the business to my father who ran it for a few years and then closed it. We practiced day and night in the flower shop and still do. Although my grandparents have since reopened it, so the business has returned.’
What makes this place so special as a rehearsal room?
‘I don't think there's anything too special about it. It's where we rehearse and feel comfortable doing it.’
Won’t you care for a real studio by now? Why (not)?
‘Would I like my own studio? Well, the answer is yes. But we can rehearse and play anywhere for the most part. It's more about all of us getting together and working.’
Before you guys even turned 20 you had already penned down about 100 songs. Where do you get the inspiration from for so many songs?
‘If you work hard at something inspiration will come to you without having to look for it. I'm never out looking for inspiration and I never say " I need to be inspired." I've heard that too many times and hate hearing it.’
And what are you musical influences? I mean, Philpot’s been compared to lots of bands but to me it still sounds very fresh and original.
‘Beatles, Beach Boys, Stones, Stone Roses, Oasis, Primal Scream, B.R.M.C, Leonard Cohen, etc. The other guys in the band listen to about the same stuff except Kennedy likes Cradle Of Filth. We're not trying to sound like anyone and we're not trying to not sound like anyone so bad that you can't even write a fucking song. I'm sure there will be comparisons. Someone said in a review a while back that I sounded like Eddie Vedder. I don't know where the fuck they got that. If I really did sound like that I wouldn't continue to sing. That voice has been mimicked so many times and I've always hated hearing it.’
If I may believe the stories you guys sometimes played four-hour shows. What makes you do so? (I do applaud this though, I wish more bands would do that nowadays!)
‘We started playing at this club called The Verve in Terre Haute Indiana. It was the only bar that would actually let us play even though we were under 21. They would call us all the time and be like "a band cancelled can you guys make it up here." Alot of the time we played for free but it was great to even be given the opportunity to actually play somewhere. We played 4 hour sets because they wanted us to start at 9 and the crowd wouldn't even get there till 12:00. I've played 6 hours a few times. Those were the good nights.’
So, you sign with Toucan Cove and you start to record a new (great!) album called Hate Writes Better Than Love. How were the recording sessions for that album?
‘Everything was great. I love being in the studio. We always have a great time. There's much work to be done but when you're well rehearsed and you have a passion for doing something everything feels just right. We all got along well and loved working with our producer Bill Klatt. He does amazing work. It was great to mix in Electric Lady Studios. I'd love to record an album there.’
On February 23rd you had a release party for your album, how were the reactions to the new material?
‘We played to a packed house. The reaction was great. A lot of people had already heard some of the new songs from shows past but everyone was very pleased to purchase the album.’
And how are the reactions in the reviews so far?
‘It's kind of a 50/50 split. Some people think we're actually trying to sound like other bands. A lot of them don't seem to amount too much besides making me laugh but there have been some that I actually enjoy reading especially when you can tell the person reviewing the album actually takes time to listen to it.’
Please describe why people unfamiliar with the album should check out your album and what they can expect from it.
‘It truly is a great album. I mean I'd buy it. There's not a song on it that I'm unhappy with. Every Philpot fan that's heard it loves it. It's louder and stronger than your everyday rock album and the mood it creates is overwhelming.’
To me, you guys seem to be very laidback. Just do the thing you love most (playing music) and don’t give a damn about what other people think about you. Whether it’s playing a four-hour show partly in the dark or driving down to NYC in the middle of the night to convince club owners of your qualities. Do you feel like you have really worked for your ‘break through’ of was it a bit of luck as well? Please explain?
‘I don't like to use the word lucky. We might have been in the right place at the right time but we've worked very hard to get where we are and it's starting to pay off. I believe it's our destiny to do what we're doing.’
What are the main goals you’d like to achieve with Philpot?
‘To play to sold out crowds, sell millions of albums and still look good doing it. And maybe get to be on a Wheaties box or something.’
What can we expect in the near future? (touring US/Europe, new release etc.)
‘We're setting up more touring right now. Definitely a new album. We've got tons of songs to choose from.’
If you would be able to pick a support act for a headlining tour, which band would you pick and why this one?
‘I'd love to play with Oasis. Their live shows are amazing. I've seen them 3 times. First time I was front row center. Primal Scream would be great as well although I haven't had the opportunity to see them live yet.’
An album everybody should check out once in their lives (not your own!)?
‘The Beatles White Album. It's my favorite.’
‘You can't explain genius. It just works, right? We're the real deal.’
Ok here’s a stupid question. In movies, who do you prefer? Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone? Why?
‘I'm more of an Arnold man but Sly is pretty killer too. I was more into Terminator than Rambo.’
Well, that was my final question, anything to add? Please do so now!
‘Thanks for the opportunity to answer these questions. Best wishes to all.’