The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Interview: Peace

Peace’s Dom and Doug talk genitalia, failing A-levels and bright futures with Zakk Brown

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“We’ve never been content with a sellout tour in the UK,” says guitarist Doug when asked about crowd reception, “we thrive on the idea that there’s more work to be done.” Just returning from a European tour, partway through the UK and recently announced for round two at Reading and Leeds festival this year, Peace have built up massive popularity over the last few years. “The response is equal to the amount of time we put there. We’ve played Paris a few times and we get the best response there.” Ambitiously, Dom (drums) states that Peace are always working to be bigger around the world, as well as regularly selling out venues in the UK.

Sat in the cramped accommodation area of the Deaf Institute with an air of recovery from playing XFM the previous night, it was quite jarring to see band members Dom and Doug so reserved when compared to the playful nature of the band on stage and in their music. The conversation started with their performance at Leeds festival last year and the stark contrast between playing to the large fields of festivals to intimate gigs at places like the Deaf Institute. “It doesn’t ever feel weird for us to do small shows—if anything it feels more natural,” says Dom, referring back to their emergence and starting small before becoming a household indie name for this generation. “We’re seasoned to playing small venues… we power off them.”

After telling Dom a story of how I saw a man in a mankini flash his genitals at Jake Bugg during a set at Isle of Wight festival, I prised a similar story from him. “We played in Sheffield, we’d all gone out for dinner I think it was and we came back to our dressing room.” “Oh yeah,” chimes in bandmate Doug from the background, with a smirk of recognition. “There was a man in there doing up his belt buckle… he was pissed so we gave him the benefit of the doubt,” he said about the man’s presence. “There was a faint yellow liquid in a pint glass,” and after a several minutes of plucking up the courage, a band member touched it to confirm it’s warmth. “I think I’d prefer a penis flashing,” he said, adding with a cheeky nod to his band mate, “I think Doug would too.”

Due to being in Manchester, I felt obliged to ask the drummer about whether the music scene has influenced the band in any way. “Yeah, almost definitely,” he replied surely, “we’ve never really sat down and worshipped and taken huge influence from the scene, especially from the 90s where we get reference from.” Although, without specifically mentioning any band, we both agreed the music created here has been a significant place for music for the last 40 years or so. “It’s not a negative thing” to take influence from past music, he modestly stated. The band has always had a soft spot for Manchester it seems, having stated that they played “the Castle three times,” though in the college days under a different name, which would probably explain why Dom achieved the three Us he confessed to achieving at A-level.

It’s no secret that the band have an occasional flair for the eccentric when it comes to aesthetic, at times dressing in fur coats and playing tie-dye guitars. “I don’t think its important to our music as such… I don’t think what we’ve worn has directly influenced what we sound like,” says Dom when asked if image is important to their sound. He explains it from nostalgia, stating that people “buzz off seeing a band you love and dressed as the character you know them as,” and that the band were just depicted with that kind of image so abide to it from time to time for recognisability—“I think it’s part of the job” he concludes. Although, he adds, “it’s easy for me to say because I’m the drummer—I just sit behind everyone,” so it can’t be said for sure that this is the truth behind the aesthetic.

Wrapping up the interview, I asked if Peace have any ideas for a third album in store, after starting to write Happy People immediately after In Love. “I know that Harry had a meeting… as of yesterday discussions have been had,” he replied, still in awe at the fast success the band has had. “It won’t be long before pen meets paper… is that the expression?” before a tour manager came in and asked if the support band could come in, marking my cue to leave. Upon leaving however, it seemed Peace are confident that they still have enough creative energy to carry on taking mainstream indie rock by storm.