This interview took place in a pub in Paris, The Katabar, near Place Pigalle. After a successful show the day before, Pure Inc, a really good Hard Rock band from Switzerland was available for the French press. Here we are with the guys…
- Jeff: Hi guys, I'm sorry, it was impossible for me to be at your show yesterday, so I would like to know how is Pure Inc on stage. How do you play, how are you on stage, do you like it etc.?
Dave [Drums]: Ok ,ok, well as you can see it in our name, I would say that we're "pure". I mean that we try to play a music right "in your face". Also, to do a better description we're more a live band than a studio band. On stage we can really express our happiness to be there with the audience and anyway when you play live, you can feel the power of the music, that's not the same in studio. On stage if you do a mistake, you can't do it again, in studio evidently that's different. Well anyway, maybe that someone else can say something better ? (laugh)
Gianni Pontillo [Vocals]: Well yeah, he is speaking about mistakes cause he does a lot of mistakes! (laugh). No, he is a talented drummer (laugh), he is a young but good drummer but as many others in the band, he just does his best during the lives. But anyway I mean that if you listen to the album and if you come to see us you'll see that it is really different. The sound is direct, and we play really "hard"…
- Jeff: Is it heavier?
Gianni: Yeah, well it's not heavier but harder…
Sandro Pellegrini [Guitars]: More kick the ass… Because you'll see of course that we're here to play a music that we like. We do that to play live, no really Pure Inc. is a band for live.
- - Jeff: And so, just to know, how was the show, how was the audience in Paris yesterday?
Gianni: Yeah the audience was good, really excellent. Because we're not well known yet, so if you come in a town where most of the people don't know you and if you get good vibes, good feelings from the people there, it's absolutely great for us. It was the case.
- Jeff: Ok, let's talk about the CD. What's the meaning of your lyrics, are you a band who wants to give a message?
Gianni: Yeah, we have a message. And the message in most of the song is about problems in the world. Also most of them are love songs so it's a typical Hard Rock album. But live we have another message for the audience. For example "I'm A Rolling Stone" is a song for live, if the audience gives a good answer we become real "Rolling Stones…", we become crazy and it's for them.
Sandro: Nevertheless I think that we can say that it is like a concept album and it's a dedication to our label manager who died in a tragic car accident. He was a big fan of us so it is a dedication to him. You know, yes it's about the problems in the world… All those tragedies… So at the end, even if we talk about it we want to send a special positive message to go further. Well, just "be happy…"
- Jeff: Hoo well, I wanted to talk about your label. How did you come to sign with them?
Gianni: They wanted us. Really…
- Jeff: Their manager was a fan? Maybe that he saw you somewhere and said "I need these guys in the team…"?
Sandro: Well, first we finished our first CD. We wanted to take the opportunity to contact records companies with a finished product. And our manager send it to all possible labels, and AFM answered quickly because they were interested by the record. In addition, Andreas Allendörfer (AFM Boss) became a big fan and wanted to sign us. It's maybe a big company but they all have a good attitude, they like music. We can't compare them with a major.
- Jeff: Yeah they work with a friendly attitude…
Sandro: Yeah it's friendly. Yeah we have good friends at AFM…
Dave: The work that they put in the bands really comes from the heart. It's not only business you see.
- Jeff: And well, if a big Major comes tomorrow and say, "Hey we want you guys!", what will you do ?
Sandro: Oh you know, it will depend of their dedication. I mean, a Major company can give a lot of things you know and they have connections. But, it's always really difficult because you're just a number between all the others bands. So first I think that we would not be interested. But well you know, it always depend of the offers… Tthat's hard to say (laugh)
Gianni: And anyway, even if they promise a lot of things, you never know how it will be at the end. There are a lot of negative examples even with Majors so…
- Jeff: And anyway, right now you're happy with your label (laugh)
(Everybody): Yeah !!! (laugh)
- Jeff: So now, how do you define your music? Is it Hard Rock ? Is it Heavy Metal? Grunge?
Sandro: What do you think? You're the listener!
- Jeff: Well I think that it is Hard Rock, but well you have some "US" influences…
Gianni: EXACTLY! You're right.
- Jeff: And so who are your musical references?
Gianni: Well we have a lot of influences but most of the bands are American bands. So we would describe our music like Alternative Hard Rock with a little touch of Grunge. So you can say that we sound like Nickelback, or Audioslave… it's a real mixture…
Sandro: Well our speciality, is that all the members listen to a lot of different music. We like Heavy, Rock… We like Swedish bands, we like Prog etc. So we have a lot of influences. But also "modern" band like Godsmack or A Perfect Circle.
Dave: But hey, we're not stealing music, it's just influences from other bands. We created our own style.
Gianni: We're more into Rock than Metal anyway…
- Jeff: And after a break, Rock seems to be back now with some bands like Audioslave… But why did you play this kind of music?
Sandro: Just because we like it… If it's successful, it will be cool… If not… We will see what will happen. Rock Music was always there anyway so, we're not waiting after something…. It just comes from the hearth really…
Dave: We don't want to follow any trends…
- Jeff: Yeah I see, but do you think that it can work?
Sandro: Yeah we think so!
Gianni: If you can play live, you always have the luck to touch new people. It's easier to become a little bit famous. If you stay "underground", for sure your music will remain "underground". But yeah we would like to play with Audioslave… It could help us… (laugh)
- Jeff: Is it a dream? I mean would you like to play in the USA? Are you planning to do that, Is it possible?
Sandro: I think that USA is a good market for us. I mean our music has a lot of US influences, so it should work yes. South America could be nice too. But well, we're in a dream now, you know, live performances two albums etc…
-Jeff I see. Let's talk about something else now. How did you come to play together?
Gianni: Well we started it as a school band, but the line up changed. But anyway now we're mates, and actually we all live in the same area. That's the reason why we met together. I mean, Andreas is German and he came one day to ask if we wanted a bass player, and here we are. We're not "old" friends but we play 3 times in the week together, we go to the cinema and stuff like that. It's real friendship.
Sandro: We had a lot of line up changes. So we restarted as a new band, and well it seems that he works good now.
Dave: The difference with a lot of bands is that we're real mates. I mean that nobody put one of us in the line up. And you know it's easy to see it on tour.
- Jeff: Yeah I see, people are friendly in Switzerland (laugh). But how is the Metal scene there? And I promise you, I won't talk about Gothard!!!
(Everybody) (big laugh) No please !!!
Gianni: That's nice !!! (laugh)
- Jeff: No seriously, the Metal scene in Switzerland is bigger and bigger, we don't have that here in France… We don't have big bands like Samael, Celtic Frost… You probably have a lot of Metal fans in the country…
Gianni: Not really…
Sandro: Do you really think that the Metal scene from Switzerland is bigger than France?
- Jeff: Well not bigger but more successful. You have real famous cult bands… Just give me some famous French bands…
Gianni: Hum… well… humm… Heavenly? Scarve?
- Jeff: They're good bands but well, unfortunately, not really famous out of France…
Gianni: Well that's right… You know many Swiss bands are famous but they all play the same kind of music… They only do copies…
- Jeff: But it works!!! (laughs)
Sandro: Yeah (laugh). But the rock scene isn't so big. We have big bands like Samael and Celtic Frost of course… But the market isn't so good. It's impossible to see a Metal video on TV, same with Radio. So that's probably one of the reasons why the Swiss bands are well known out of the country.
Gianni: You know, we have a lot of bands, especially some Alternative ones who played with Die Happy or Clawfinger for example. But in general out of Switzerland, people only talk about the Hard Rock ones. Our luck is that we can play with Hard Rock, Metal or Alternative bands (laugh). But well it's a bit tricky on a side…
- Jeff: You know in France, we don't have Metal on Radio and TV too… It seems to be the same problem for you, so do you still believe that we will have some one day?
Sandro: Good luck if you want to find pure specific rock radio in Switzerland. But is it a necessity? I mean nobody plays Slipknot but they have a fucking great success.
Gianni: You know, we have some big Metal festivals. There, play big bands like Metallica or System Of A Down. They never pass on the radio but it's full… On the other hand, that's the problem of the youth. If some of them could understand that quality come from what you do musically, with your instrument, they could stop to buy shit like Britney Spear. But I think that it can change. And anyway if it doesn't change, that's not a gig deal because Metal bands sell CD so…
- Jeff: yes you're right. Well now, one of my last questions. What do you think of Internet?
Gianni: It's the BEST media. Without Internet we couldn't have a good promotion. You see, we were talking about Radios, now they're not so important in comparison of Internet
Dave: It's just a great help. Just look at MySpace you can find a lot of new bands there… So we try to follow this "trend". It's really interesting to see that a lot of people can listen to our music through this media. And plus we can communicate with these people instantly.
- Jeff: So you're not afraid of the problem that comes with the exchange of music on the net?
Gianni: No way…
Sandro: What can we do against it anyway? No no, we must take it like a way of promotion… We're not that big so it helps us. For sure it's probably different with some others bands… But right now for us, Internet is a good way of promotion.
- Jeff: Ok, thanks for the honest answer. Now, before the end, I have a last "stupid" question. Do you like football?
Dave & Andreas: No we don't…
Sandro: Yes !
Gianni: YEAH !!! Cause I'm Italian !!! And we will beat France at the World Cup!
Sandro: He probably wants to know some stuff about Switzerland, because we're in your group? Right ? (laugh)
- Jeff: Yes!
Gianni: Switzerland will beat France. Do you know why? Well because you think that you're great… You had a lot of problems to be Switzerland the last time..
Sandro: Yeah, we're better and better, we have a lot of good players now, so we will win!!!
Gianni: But be prepared with Italy!
Evrybody: (laughs)… (note of Jeff, Gianni seems to be a real addicted of team Italy;) )
Gianni: We have beaten Germany 4/1. We're really strong now (laugh). You'll see (laugh)
- Jeff: (laugh) So well this is the end, we have a lot of readers from all over the world so if you want to say something to them…
Gianni: Yeah people from all over the world, just buy our CD and make us rich! We need it (laugh)
Sandro: Just visit our pages:
http://www.pureinc.net and http://www.myspace.com/pureinc.
We hope that you'll like our music !
Thx to Flo and the Underclass team and to all the Pure Inc. for this excellent and friendly interview.