Peace comes to America


Up-and-coming indie rock band Peace recently released their debut album “In Love” earlier this month, which has been much-heralded by NME magazine and even garnered the quartet a Best New Band of 2013 nomination for their rock vibe that spreads its influences from groups in the 60s to fuzzy psychedelic jams and all the pop in-between.

Before the band opens a string of U.S. shows for Two Door Cinema Club and St. Lucia this month, including a stop at The Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac Oct. 18, singer and guitarist Harry Koisser spoke with The Post from home in the U.K.

How has reception been for “In Love” so far in America?

Harry Koisser: In the UK it’s been really good. I’m not sure why it’s been out for six months already in the UK. And then, it’s been out for a day or two in the US and the response has been really good immediately. I guess the only things you really see is, when you play shows you hear it or someone tells us on Twitter, but so far it’s been real good on that front.

What kinds of bands influence your sound? You have a lot of different elements clashing on the record.

HK: I guess we’re quite inspired by more classic bands. I guess me and Dom [Dominic Boyce, drummer] first bonded over Led Zeppelin, and then I know for me, I love the pop nature of The Who and it still being, you know, when pop music used to be a good thing, now it seems be sort of tampered with, something going awfully wrong. But when I think of bands like The Who or The Kinks or even The Beatles, that was amazing pop music. I’ve always liked that. Also, they have great backing vocals. Even bands like Queen inspire me quite a lot. Something brilliant about it, it’s such big show. None of this is actually what we do or sound like really too much, but I’m inspired by some of those big pop bands that made incredible music.

Is there anyone you have in mind when you write lyrics? Songs like “Toxic” sound like there’s a certain someone in mind.

HK: I guess in my mind there would be like, different people [I’m referring to] but sometimes it applies to a few people, or people I don’t know. I think there’s always something in mind that makes the lyrics come out and I think in a lot of cases there probably are, but sometimes it’s not just one person or not actually a person.

I guess I can play around with things like that and it was kind of just amusing to me for a song to sound like it’s about a girl but it’s not, it could be about anything. But I think that’s one of the beautiful things about music is that it’s up to the listener, like Toxic could really be about anything to anyone.


Are you ready for your next tour of the U.S. with Two Door Cinema Club? I don’t think you’ve actually made a stop in Detroit in your careers yet.

HK: Yeah, I don’t think we have been to Detroit. We’ve only been on one sort-of U.S. tour, which was just small clubs across America. We can just go out and play the songs and play for people where we’ve never been before, which is a really cool idea. It’s what we did in the UK a year or two ago, and it feels like we’re doing the same sort of thing on a bigger scale, I guess. I love travelling over to America, it’s a great feeling and it’s so different.

Being an up-and-coming band in the era where all music is accessible with a couple clicks, what do you do to stand out from the pack?

HK: I’m not really interested in any sort of brand associated with a band, except for the music and I think, although we are called Peace and there is a strong image attached to that, it doesn’t have to go any further than the name and us as people and the music. It’s just there. It’s not like we’re trying to hard to push anything.

I think what makes us stand out is, I think there’s a lack of emotional restraint in our music which I don’t see in a lot of bands nowadays, like, I don’t really think when you’re singing a song it should be too hidden or too cryptic. I quite like emotional music and soul music and even a gospel idea, singing about something so straight-forward, letting the lyrics say something in the song and not surrounding ourselves in mystery which I think a lot of bands find quite easy to do. Trendy metaphors aren’t really my vibe.