Despite releasing their eponymous debut album in 2000, The Pierces only found mainstream success in 2011 with their fourth album You & I, which reached #4 in the UK Albums Chart and sold over 100,000 copies.
Before they release the follow up, Creation, we spoke to the two sisters to find out what their decade on the edge of success was like and what their new album holds in store.
Your new album Creation is out in September – can you tell us about it? Is it different from your previous work?
Allison: It’s different. We’re constantly trying to do something different – we don’t ever want to make the same record twice. I think it’s an evolution in a lot of ways.
Catherine: You & I was very reminiscent of the 70s and we kind of wanted to step away from that and make something that sounded a little fresher and newer.
You scrapped the first recording session for Creation – how comes that didn’t work out?
A: It just felt like it lacked emotion. The producer was very talented and a great guy, who’s done amazing work. It’s just when we got a chance to step away from it and listen to it we just realised it wasn’t getting across what we wanted it to. So we had a moment to regroup and a little moment of fear – what are we gonna do?
C: A bit of panic.
A: And then we started recording with Christian ‘Leggy’ Langdon and it just kind of became really natural and felt like the right thing.
He’s your musical director – did he give you lots of direction on the album?
A: He had a really clear vision and he did kind of gently guide us into a bigger, more epic sound. We were just saying that we were a little nervous to go with it – but it kind of matched the intensity of the songs.
C: I think it was good – we love the album. I know it was good!
There’s a three year gap between You & I and Creation – have you been sitting on those songs all that time?
C: Some of them.
A: We wrote for about a year.
C: Kings I wrote during the last album cycle. The songs just kind of trickled out over that period.
So what was your writing process for the album?
A: We mostly write independently. We did get together a little bit for this album but none of the songs we co-wrote ended up on the record. This is the first album where there’s no songs that we wrote together.
Do you find that easier?
A: It just kind of happened that way because there was a period of time where we weren’t living in the same town – we didn’t do it on purpose.
You recently covered Lorde’s track Team – are you big fans of her then?
C: Yeah, I’m just a fan of her in general. I do like the music, but I just like that she’s so young and that she knows what she wants. We were kind of the opposite of that at her age, so I find that really incredible. There are so many young girls that feel they need to put their sexuality first in order to get noticed, and she’s putting her mind first.
It took you four albums to get the recognition you have now – did you ever feel like giving up?
A: Oh yeah!
A: Many times. I’ve quit countless times in my head and we’ve broken up a couple of times, but there’s always something that brings us back – it just keeps happening.
Would you say you’re better as a band for that?
A: Definitely. We’re definitely better as people – you learn a lot from your mistakes and what appear to be failures.
You & I was a huge success – do you feel that extra pressure with this record?
A: Yes and no. I try not to put any pressure on myself, just because I find it can be paralysing.
C: I take it all on for her and freak out.
A: It’s like everything always works out – so why worry?
You’re about to go out on tour – what can we expect?
C: We usually want it to sound like the record as much as we can, so we have all of the elements that are on the record in the live show. And we expect you to fucking love it!
There’s only four dates – have you got anything planned after?
A: Yeah, that’s just kind of a little sneak preview tour. 14 September is the tentative start date for our real tour.
C: But it will probably change, as it does in the music business!
Finally, are you already looking ahead to your next album?
C: You go insane if you do that, so we are just try to focus and commit to this, and if it winds down we’ll be like: ‘shit, we have to do anther record.’
The Pierces new album Creation is released 01 September and they’re currently on a UK tour – tickets are available here.